How can your business use Alexa?

By: Richard Michie

I’m really excited about the possibilities of voice technology and how it’s going to develop to become part of everyone’s daily routine. So to test the waters, I created an Alexa Skill to read all the latest blogs from the Marketing Optimist.

As you can see in the video, the skill is reading an extract from our post about Facebook’s algorithm update, it’s really easy to use and pretty effective.

I’m really pleased to say that it’s now live and available, you can download it from the Alexa App.

As well as appearing on news update, Marketing Optimist’s content also appears in the Alexa App with a link to the full story, giving the content another bite of the cherry.

Why is voice search important for business?

Voice search is growing exponentially, from Siri on your iPhone to the range of home devices, like Alexa, which boomed at Christmas. Personal use is driving development and uptake, but voice-activated devices are appearing in offices around the globe too.

This is just the beginning of a sea change in the way we navigate the internet, people are happy to talk to their devices now.

I’m not saying that we’ll stop using keyboards and screens anytime soon, but a wide range of actions are now carried out by voice only.

Does Alexa compete with Google Assistant?

At the moment, Alexa isn’t great for search, If you want to do that then the Google Assistant wins hands down, which is a shame because I really don’t want to buy two products. Maybe due to this, Amazon has taken a different direction with Alexa, rather than taking Google on at their own game, they’ve gone for utility and built voice skills into their whole ecosystem meaning that search isn’t as vital to it.

With Alexa, Amazon now has a direct line into my home. As well as playing any music track in the world from my Alexa, it will tell me the latest weather, read the news headlines, order me a cab, purchase more cat food (I’d need a cat for that really) and it can even control the heating and lighting in the house.

Why should your business care about voice-activated devices?

For years the internet has been text-based with things done in a linear way. Voice opens up the web to people who don’t want to learn how to use a computer or phone, they just want to talk and have things happen, it’s all very Star Trek.

These developments throw up new challenges for businesses. In a screen-based system, the user has the option to scroll and check all the listings they want, quickly trying combinations of queries until the right result is found.

It’s quick and easy to skim read a screen and find what you want, but when Alexa or Google Assistant start reading out the options, you soon get weary after about two options.

So the trick is going to be to get your businesses content front and centre quickly. For search, that’s not going to be easy, because as I said, if you aren’t in the first two or three results you are invisible.

To make headway, businesses are going to have to think creatively about how they can engage with customers and add real value. And that, to me, sounds like a lot of fun!

If we can help your business develop ideas and content for voice. Give us a call on 07834 197785 or fill in the form below. We’ll really excited about the possibilities!

 

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