Sonic Branding: Facebook and Instagram's Huge Miss

Do you know what Venmo is doing right with sound in their app? Facebook and Instagram have some catching up to do. Press play for this 1-minute Flash Briefing:

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Transcript:

🔊 SOUND ON 🔊

1

00:00:02.506 --> 00:00:06.806

Facebook has no sound. Instagram has no sound of their brand.

2

00:00:07.126 --> 00:00:08.426

This is a huge miss.

3

00:00:08.766 --> 00:00:14.752

There should be an audio mark that plays when certain things happen or even at least when you open the app. Let's talk

4

00:00:14.803 --> 00:00:17.566

about just Instagram for a second. If you think about Venmo:

5

00:00:18.306 --> 00:00:24.375

There's a cash register cha-ching sound when you receive money. And you actually have a physical reaction to that where you get a

6

00:00:24.425 --> 00:00:28.306

little dopamine rush, you feel good, it's a positive sensation - good association - with

7

00:00:28.626 --> 00:00:29.026

money.

8

00:00:29.766 --> 00:00:30.266

Facebook and Instagram

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00:00:31.106 --> 00:00:38.070

have a lot of things going on in our body, a lot of reactions in our brain, major hormonal and neurotransmitter shifts

10

00:00:38.131 --> 00:00:44.006

happening as we scroll and like and see comments and get those emotional strokes (ego strokes).

11

00:00:44.686 --> 00:00:48.286

But there's no sound to it. Huge miss.

7 Powerful Stats About Voice Technology & #VoiceFirst Marketing

Last week my smart friend Michelle Excell from The Antipodean asked me for some stats about voice.

michelle-excell-voice-marketing-question-emily-binder.jpeg.PNG

Michelle is not the only one who’s asked. So let’s all share. Here are the top stats about the power and rapid growth of voice technology, voice search, and #voicefirst marketing.

Voice Marketing Stats for 2019:

Smart speakers are the fastest growing consumer technology of all time, reaching 50% of U.S. population in under five years.

Smart speakers are the fastest growing consumer technology of all time, reaching 50% of U.S. population in under five years.

  1.  Smart speakers are the fastest growing consumer technology since the smartphone (above - this is the popular chart from The Alexa Conference - see my top takeaways here).

  2. In 2018, voice purchases increased 3x on Alexa compared to the 2017 holiday season.

  3. Typing is very slow compared to what our brains can process through speaking and listening. 

    1. The average person speaks 110-130 WPM (words per minute). 

    2. However, we have the mental capacity to understand someone speaking at 400 words per minute (if that were possible). 

    3. We only type 38-40 WPM. Think about the implications for voice search:

  4. Voice searches will account for 30-50% of all searches by 2020. (Gartner predicts 30%, Comscore predicts 50%).

  5. Two stats from my most recent podcast focusing on Alexa in-skill purchasing (ISP) and high conversion rates inside skills for purchases with voice:

    1. Early results show that voice skills have higher conversion rates for purchasing than any standard website or mobile experience. E.g.: Two skills with very high conversion rates for upsell to premium version (34-50%): Big Sky (weather) and Escape the Airplane (game). -voicebot.ai, 1/24/2019

    2. Voice in the car - huge opportunity: twice as many U.S. adults have used voice in the car compared to smart speakers and monthly active users are 60% higher. 

  6. 75% of smart speaker users interact with their speaker daily.

  7. Ownership rates for smart speakers are nearly equivalent among people 25, 35, 45, or 55 years old. -Edison Research, The Smart Audio Report - 7/18/2018

Amazon Echo First Generation. Photo by  Loewe Technologies  on Unsplash.

Amazon Echo First Generation. Photo by Loewe Technologies on Unsplash.

Want more information about voice? Great resources:

This Week in Voice Podcast - Emily Binder with Jason Fields, Voicify (Season 3, Ep. 13)

Emily Binder joined Jason Fields, Chief Strategy Officer at Voicify, and host Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing and head of VoiceFirst.FM on This Week in Voice.

Stream the episode here or click the image below:

This Week in Voice Podcast: Guests: Emily Binder and Jason Fields (season 3, episode 13) with Bradley Metrock

This Week in Voice Podcast: Guests: Emily Binder and Jason Fields (season 3, episode 13) with Bradley Metrock

Listen on your favorite podcast player:

  1. Apple Podcasts (iTunes) - This Week in Voice: Season 3, Episode 13

  2. Stitcher

  3. TuneIn: on your smart speaker, say:

"Alexa, play This Week in Voice."

"Hey Google, play This Week in Voice podcast."

Timestamps and stories (sources linked):

1) 04:15: Amazon's Super Bowl ad, featuring Harrison Ford, is already drawing positive reviews in advance of the big game

  • Amazon is reassuring us that they can be trusted (PR wake)

  • “Not everything makes the cut” re: Amazon Alexa hardware

  • I love this - very Bezos: Queen: “Don’t Stop Me Now” plays at the end

  • Celebrities and testimonial - well cast, diverse (Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker, Broad City women, astronauts)

  • A little creepy

  • Transparency about product failure - brands can make mistakes (this is the zeitgeist we’re in)

    • 10:35 - Amazon Alexa microwave

  • Clever psychology

2) 11:48 - Siri Shortcuts can be used to steal and send personal data

3) Voicebot.AI Story of the Week: Walmart pulls out of Google Express and Google Shopping Actions

  • This is about DATA

4) BBC: Are smart speakers good for kids?

5) "Can we create a non-patriarchal, unprejudiced, post-gender virtual world?"

  • What is “post-gender”!?

Marketing and voice tech in under three minutes a day.

On Alexa Flash Briefing and Google Home.

Click to hear samples.

Alexa Conference 2019: Live Stream, Takeaways, and Most Requested Chart about Smart Speakers

The Alexa Conference just wrapped. Get top takeaways, Emily’s short livestream interview with VoiceFirst.FM, and the most popular chart of the conference.

Smart Speaker Penetration - Most Powerful Chart

Several people have asked me for this chart from my presentation, How to Crawl into Your Customer’s Ear - The Alexa Conference 2019. Bret Kinsella’s opening keynote included it too, as did a few others. I did not create the chart but I’m sharing it from the publicly available Activate Tech and Media Outlook 2018 Slideshare. If you need to convince your boss that voice is a thing, send them this:

Smart speakers are the fastest growing consumer technology of all time, forecasted in 2018 to reach nearly 50% penetration in the U.S. in less than five years. This chart is tracking to be an accurate prediction. Chart courtesy of Activate, U.S. Census Bureau, World Bank.

Smart speakers are the fastest growing consumer technology of all time, forecasted in 2018 to reach nearly 50% penetration in the U.S. in less than five years. This chart is tracking to be an accurate prediction. Chart courtesy of Activate, U.S. Census Bureau, World Bank.

Livestream - Emily Binder interview with Ian Utile for VoiceFirst.FM

Click to watch (01:39 minutes) or press play below:

Best takeaways from The Alexa Conference 2019:

#AlexaConf2019

Tweet from Brian Roemmele about my best voice marketing advice: you need a sonic brand ASAP.

Tweet from Brian Roemmele about my best voice marketing advice: you need a sonic brand ASAP.

Katie McMahon from SoundHound shared some great info about the power of Houndify and the connected car.

Katie McMahon from SoundHound shared some great info about the power of Houndify and the connected car.

Our friends from Nebo Agency came up from Atlanta. Read Founder Brian Easter’s article:  The Next Disruption: Voice Tech and the Buyer Journey

Our friends from Nebo Agency came up from Atlanta. Read Founder Brian Easter’s article: The Next Disruption: Voice Tech and the Buyer Journey

“When we have diverse tech teams, racial profiling and gender bias won’t even make it to production.” -Kesha Williams, Senior Software Manager, Chik-Fil-A (overall keynote speaker)

“When we have diverse tech teams, racial profiling and gender bias won’t even make it to production.” -Kesha Williams, Senior Software Manager, Chik-Fil-A (overall keynote speaker)

Brielle Nickoloff with Witlingo gets it: we have a pristine, quiet place with voice right now - so take advantage with marketing your brand early. It will get crowded like the bloody red sea that is the rest of the internet - fast. Brielle and I did a live audio Castlingo from the conference -  enable the Emily Talks skill then say “Alexa, launch Emily Talks” to hear it.

Brielle Nickoloff with Witlingo gets it: we have a pristine, quiet place with voice right now - so take advantage with marketing your brand early. It will get crowded like the bloody red sea that is the rest of the internet - fast. Brielle and I did a live audio Castlingo from the conference - enable the Emily Talks skill then say “Alexa, launch Emily Talks” to hear it.

Jen Lehner shared one of my favorite pieces of content via Brian Roemmele: David Bowie predicting the future in 1999. Powerful.

Jen Lehner shared one of my favorite pieces of content via Brian Roemmele: David Bowie predicting the future in 1999. Powerful.

Notice that Alexa (Echo) isn’t the center of this photo. It’s in the upper corner. Peripheral. That’s where we’re headed: ubiquity of voice assistants. (My reflection on this slide from Paul Cutsinger of Amazon at The Alexa Conference 2019 - Chattanooga, TN).

Notice that Alexa (Echo) isn’t the center of this photo. It’s in the upper corner. Peripheral. That’s where we’re headed: ubiquity of voice assistants. (My reflection on this slide from Paul Cutsinger of Amazon at The Alexa Conference 2019 - Chattanooga, TN).

#VoiceFirst Community and Thank You

It was great meeting so many of the smart, forward-thinking people who make up the #voicefirst community. It is one of the most exciting, supportive, diverse, and pro-women communities in tech. Thank you to Bradley Metrock, Peggy Kilburn, and the VoiceFirst.FM and Score Publishing teams for putting this event together. See you soon!

Keep Listening - Short Voice Marketing Shows to Enjoy:

Stay up to date on voice marketing on my weekly marketing podcast and daily <2 minute Flash Briefing.


Get my daily Flash Briefing about marketing, voice tech, and career

Get my daily Flash Briefing about marketing, voice tech, and career

What’s the Sound of Your Brand? VoiceFirst Marketing

Packaging will take on new meaning for brands, expanding from visuals into sound. Logos and text won’t be enough in a voicefirst world.

In the next couple years, the visual look and feel of a brand will not be enough to compete. Packaging will be more sensory and holistic. It will feature sound. Marketers will compete for mindshare and attention in a new way: beyond the screen, in the air.

Visual Packaging

Brands have spent billions on visual identities. For marketers, zeroing in on the ideal look for our brand has been paramount. We’ve rebranded and focus grouped or crowdsourced new logos or containers, meeting with delight or vitriol (everyone’s outraged these days). We’ve designed and tested retail packaging with great attention. Smart brands have realized that the packaging that helps you compete when placed next to a competitor on a shelf is often overkill for ecommerce packaging. Similarly, sonic packaging must be approached as a different animal for a customer at a different point in the funnel.

The impulse to buy operates on fundamental human instincts. It’s ultimately simple and deeply rooted in the brain. Help customers avoid loss to survive (best) or achieve gains to thrive (still good).

The impulse to buy operates on fundamental human instincts. It’s ultimately simple and deeply rooted in the brain. Help customers avoid loss to survive (best) or achieve gains to thrive (still good).

Let’s talk about packaging. As voice becomes more prominent as the way in which we interact with machines, a brand’s package will need to be increasingly sonic. This goes beyond your audio logo or the person you hire to be the voice of your brand. Just as users scan a website and have an emotional response within milliseconds, we process audio even faster than visuals. Sound moves through our brains faster than any other sense – it is our first sense.

We process sounds in 0.05 seconds. That is ten times faster than the blink of an eye.

You are reading this right now but if you were listening to my voice, you would perceive richer meaning and you’d process it faster and more naturally. All of this is to say that your sonic brand packaging will require great creativity and care. The sound of your brand will be instantly judged on a level that humans are hardwired to process fast.

If you thought marketing became more challenging in the last decade due to competition for attention on multiple screens with flying newsfeeds and short attention spans, wait until we begin to compute more with voice and less with hands.

upward-view-phone-hand.jpg

We will shift away from the manipulative, ad-supported revenue models that social media companies (including this platform) have relied upon with unwitting users’ data as the product. People are tired of shrouded privacy policies.

Hear my 15-minute podcast about the changes we can expect from social giants like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Engaging customers will require more creativity and true brand strategy as voice takes precedence.

And voice will take precedence. Smart speakers are the fastest growing consumer technology since the smartphone. In 2018, voice purchases increased 3x on Alexa over last holiday season. Voice assistants are 1.0 today. Just wait. They’ll get smarter, more anticipatory, and more contextual in a way that a screen just can’t. Until now we’ve been computing in computerese, as Brian Roemmele put it. Typing is not natural or easy for us. Our brains are lazy by design – we gravitate toward ease of use. Your customers want hassle reduction and less friction. Meet them there, and start now.

In a voicefirst world, tactics won’t be enough. It will be harder to trick clicks because we won’t be clicking so much. Deeper strategy including true assistance will make the difference.

“Join the conversation” will become literal

“Personalized” and “intimate” will take on a whole new meaning when we go beyond passive visual consumption and start having a literal conversation. Tap, type, and swipe will become talk, listen, and solve.

Get the Daily Beetle Moment:

Daily Beetle Moment available on Alexa Flash Briefing and Google Home

On Alexa or Google Play Music (Google Home). A briefcast about marketing, voice technology, career, and more in 3 minutes or less. Hear samples.

Case Study: Ritholtz Wealth Management Voice Marketing - Flash Briefing

In 2018 we began working with Ritholtz Wealth Management on a voice marketing strategy to get their foot in the door of the Alexa ecosystem. As trailblazers in blogging and social media in the finance and investing space, “Downtown” Josh Brown and Ritholtz wanted to beat the crowd to voice, too.

Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown. Image credit: thereformedbroker.com

Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown. Image credit: thereformedbroker.com

Top Flash Briefing about Investing


Market Moment is an Alexa Flash Briefing we created with Ritholtz, a New York City RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) run by two of the most online-savvy and established advisors in the industry: Barry Ritholtz (Masters in Business podcast and Bloomberg) and Josh Brown (The Reformed Broker). They wanted to be first in voice in the investing space - and now they are.

IN ITS FIRST MONTH in 2018, MARKET MOMENT ORGANICALLY BECAME THE FASTEST GROWING BRIEFING IN THE ALEXA SKILL BUSINESS CATEGORY.

Based on the popular “Today In Market History” tweets from @RitholtzWealth, Market Moment hosted by “Downtown” Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) is a 5-star briefing packed with great information about business and the market.

The Ritholtz Mafia has been a blast to work with. They’re hands-on, ahead of the curve, and excited to invest in voice branding.

Having vision in 2008 that social media would explode helped Josh and his team get millions of followers. They’re doing the same thing with voice. Check back in a couple years and see who in finance-related content marketing had the head start voice.

Tactics:

We took care to choose keywords, title, and description for Amazon SEO (search engine optimization). Through monitoring and tweaking these fields, we have been able to climb the rankings for our top search terms, including investing, stock market, and financial advice. For example:

Improving Alexa Skills store page rank (SEO):

  • After eight weeks, with $0 spent on promotion:

    • We improved from position #75 to #20 for "investing", a 73% improvement. I.e. we were #75 of total results and now we are #20, on page 2.

    • We improved from position #24 to #8 for "stock market" (and to #7 a week later, below):

Amazon SEO: Market Moment Flash Briefing climbed rankings in Alexa Skills store from #24 to #7 for keyword “stock market” in first nine weeks.

Amazon SEO: Market Moment Flash Briefing climbed rankings in Alexa Skills store from #24 to #7 for keyword “stock market” in first nine weeks.

COMING SOON:

We are gearing up to launch a first-of-its-kind custom voice skill and mini podcast about investing based on The Compound YouTube channel. Follow @beetlemoment to be notified.