At its heart, Marketing has always been about understanding your target market, engaging new customers and building real relationships between buyers and brands. But in 2020, new advancements in technology are allowing us to market to customers more personally - and more efficiently - than ever. In particular, new voice-first solutions are opening up new avenues for conversation between people and businesses. Using conversational scheduling software, voice messaging platforms and voice AI tools, brands can begin truly listening to the ‘voice of the customer’, and connecting with new buyers far more deeply than ever before. Today, we’re going to be breaking down 5 key ways that you can begin using voice technology to supercharge your own marketing strategy - from attracting new prospects to ensuring that they keep coming back for more. #1 Deepen your understanding of your target marketPerhaps the most important benefit of voice technology for modern businesses is the opportunity it creates for brands to gain deeper insight into their target market’s opinions, thoughts and preferences. When you allow customers to talk to you about what’s on their mind, or send in their feedback on your company via voice, you’ll hear their honest, unfiltered and spontaneous thoughts about your product, service or brand. And these raw audio recordings will reveal far more about what they really think than a written review ever could. Using this rich data you’ve gathered, you’ll be able to market to your customers far more effectively, and adjust your strategy based on what they want to see more of - and the things they want you to change. #2 Collect and share rich user-generated content (such as voice testimonials and spoken reviews) To effectively boost your brand’s credibility, you need to make use of your customers’ most trusted source; other people. In fact, according to BrightLocal, 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and featuring reviews on ecommerce websites has been shown to lead to an 18% increase in sales on average. So, it goes without saying that not only should you definitely be collecting reviews from your customers - you should also be sharing them on your social platforms to quickly build trust and attract new buyers. But why do customers trust each others’ recommendations more than businesses’ own product descriptions? It’s because people’s reviews feel human, unbiased and real. And what could be more authentic and personal than listening to someone speak?When you give your customers the option to record you a voice review or testimonial, they’ll be able to convey their excitement far more strongly than through text. These voice reviews will then make for fantastic, powerfully emotive user-generated content that you can feature on your website and share on your social channels to entice potential new customers. #3 Run voice competitionsOne great way to create a buzz around your brand is incentivising potential customers to enter into friendly contests; creating and sharing their own content with you for a chance to win a prize or discount. Hosting competitions is always a good idea as it helps you generate more engaging user-generated content than ever; upping your brand visibility, saving you time and expanding your business’ reach. And competitions are always more fun when they’re creative! To get more people entering your competition and engaging with your brand, use online voice recording and messaging tools to encourage your customers to quickly and easily send in their spoken feedback, questions, stories, jokes, opinions or even songs. You’ll then have a bunch of fun, engaging content that you can use on your website and social channels to appeal to new buyers. #4 Identify and recruit brand ambassadors When it comes to recruiting new ambassadors for your brand, you want to identify people who represent your target market, are enthusiastic about using your product or service, and are genuinely excited about what your business has to offer. What’s the best way to pick these customers out from the rest? We’d recommend simply listening to who sounds the most enthusiastic in their voice notes, feedback and spoken reviews! As we discussed earlier, talking communicates so much more than typing - and is a great way to give new potential brand ambassadors the opportunity to let their enthusiasm shine. #5 Build a Conversational Marketing strategyConversational marketing is all about talking to customers in a way that’s personal, convenient and clearly prioritises their needs. It’s a form of marketing which allows brands to connect with buyers far more meaningfully; helping them build rapport with buyers, improve customer retention and boost customer loyalty. Crucially, conversational marketing is all about asynchronous relationships with the customer. This means that conversations should occur whenever the customer prefers — whether that's in real-time, after finishing their meeting, or later that night when they have a spare moment. As the conversation revolves around the customer’s availability, your staff might start talking with a customer at 7 in the morning over their first cup of coffee, get on with the rest of their day and then finish the conversation at 9pm, after they've put their kids to bed.In the words of HubSpot’s Co-Founder Dharmesh Shah, "Customers should be able to pick up things right where they left off whenever it is convenient for them to continue. The key is to remember that conversational marketing should be designed around the needs of the customer — not the needs of the business."Voice technology can help brands converse with customers in a way that’s both personal and efficient because asynchronous voice messaging platforms allow brands and customers to simply leave each other voice notes whenever is convenient for them. On top of this, voice is humans’ most powerful relationship-building tool - and has been for millennia. Talking is our fastest, easiest and most natural method of communication - and sometimes typing simply doesn’t cut it. It’s time to bring the subtle nuances of tone, tempo and emotion into your business’ marketing strategy through voice - and start building stronger relationships with your customers than ever. The era of voice-first Marketing With the ‘voice of the customer’ becoming more of a marketing buzz-word than ever, it’s time to start really listening to what your customers have to say. Ultimately, you shouldn’t look at voice-first tools as trendy add-ons to your marketing toolkit. Instead, view them as an important part of your marketing strategy’s foundation, with everything you do as a marketing team centred around listening to and engaging your customers on a personal level. After all, one of the easiest ways to boost your company’s value in the eyes of your customers is simply to show them that you care about what they have to say. Choose to speak directly with them, person to person - and let them decide how they want to be heard. We’re sure you’ll find that when people talk, good things happen!