It's still early days in the world of voice tech, but already PR and marketing professionals are exploring what it can do for brands and audiences.
Carl Robinson, a voice tech pro based in France, explains that lots of brands are experimenting with voice technologies in different ways to determine what works, and to discover, define best practices, and share that information.
Carl and host Sheelagh Caygill conducted their podcast interview with Carl's Rumble Studio, an asynchronous recording platform that allows users to record and publish audio content at lightening speed!
Carl explains that there are various movements, such as the Open Voice Network, which is sharing and defining standards for voice tech across many industries.
In the comms and marketing world, one of the most obvious examples is content and content discovery through voice search.
"More and more content is being found through voice search as users ask their smart speakers or phones for whatever they are looking for," explains Carl.
"Companies are optimizing their web content for Google Assistant and the other smart speakers so that it's surfaced as a voice search."
Content can include pages created and optimized for voice which are then synthesized by the text-to-speech engine, and then read out through a smart speaker. It can also be actual audio content that a brand creates, such as a podcast or micro-cast, which is then returned by Google.
There are now interactive voice response systems (IDR) with natural language understanding, and also call analysis. New technology is even able to transform heavy accents so that they are more easily understandable to customers.
Smart speakers are also being used by marketers for branding campaigns. Carl cites the example of Skilled Creative in the US, which is working with Meredith Corporation to produce custom voice tech apps for branding campaigns.
Proceed with caution
Carl says that agencies wanting to get into voice tech should do a lot of research first, because developing voice tech is not like building a website. Consider working with an agency, or if you want to train your staff, look to an organization such as the Conversation Design Institute, for which Carl has a discount link on his Voice Tech podcast website: Conversation Design Institute.
You can also use free tools like Voice Flow, but don't under-estimate the amount of work voice tech creation can take, because it's a complex and time-consuming.
Carl says that a minimum, comms and marketing pros should educate themselves about voice tech, and that means reading, listening to podcasts, and asking questions. Use the hashtag #voicefirst on Twitter for questions and conversations.
Voice tech isn't a flash in the pan and it isn't going away. It's going to change the way we interact with all the devices around us. It behooves you to know what's coming up.
You can find Carl on Twitter and LinkedIn, and be sure to listen to his Voice Tech podcast!
Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/communicateinfluence)