On the getfluence.com blog we’re always on the lookout for the latest trends in native advertising. Today we’re looking at a trend that you probably didn’t see coming: voice assistants. How does that relate to influencer marketing? Read this article to find out!

Infinite possibilities

Voice assistants are coming, mostly in the form of connected speakers, like Amazon Echo or Google Home. You must first understand that with these devices, you’re not just talking to the pre-installed artificial intelligence. Indeed, an app store is already available, where you can download new specialized assistants. With time, you’ll surely be able to chat with the assistant of any brand. A question about your bank account: talk to the HSBC assistant! Insurance? Axa will answer you. What’s the best metro route to get to Place de l’Etoile in Paris: the underground company’s voice app will show you the way.

(Photo credit:  Google screen capture)

You still don’t see the relationship with influencer marketing? We’re coming to it. Imagine that by asking your virtual assistant for decoration advice on an Ikea application, for example “Ikea, what’s the hottest color in interior decoration this year”, you hear Ty Pennington answering you? If that’s your definition of hell, sorry, let’s take another less scary example. Some fitness advice? “Give me an easy workout plan to beef up my abs”: sports influencer Michelle Lewin gives you a real-time exercise. 1, 2, 1, 2!

In short, to personalize their offer and make it attractive, brands will have to do better than a robotic and impersonal voice, and without doubt, charismatic influencers will be called to the rescue.

The return of celebrity influencers

Mega-influencers have been the target of criticism since marketers noted the low engagement rate of their publications. Consequently, building a pool of 10 macro-influencers often proves less expensive and will generate more commitment than a partnership with a star influencer.

Voice marketing (let’s call it that until a term is invented) could put mega-influencers back on the map. Indeed, if the brain easily recalls hundreds of faces, a voice is harder to recognize and only a limited number can be really memorized. Have you ever heard an advertisement featuring a micro-influencer on the radio? Never! It’s always the stars who’re called to action. It’ll be the same with partnerships for voice apps. Brands won’t use a pool of micro-influencers, but rather a single star influencer who’ll lend their voice for the occasion.

(Photo credit: Gratisography, Pexels)

Many big influencers have broken through thanks to their voice. For example, in the field of video games, most recognized streamers have made it their principle asset. The French edition of the 20 Minutes newspaper featured French streamer Diablox9. The article titled “Diablox9, the Geek’s voice” rang the praises of the YouTUBer’s voice: “clear diction, a rhythmic flow”. Imagine then being stuck in the latest legend of Zelda, and asking an application, for example that of French site, jeuxvideo.com, to help you get out of the situation: if Diablox9 responded in person, customer satisfaction could only rocket.

The example of Oprah Winfrey with Hearst Corp. on Amazon Alexa

You think that all this remains to be proved? You’re partially right. Yet already, there are some early signs showing the way. The best example to date is the launch by the giant Hearst Publishing Corp. of an application for Alexa (“Skill” in Amazon jargon). Its name? O to Go. Its principle? Every day, Echo users having installed the app can ask to hear an inspiring quote, just to motivate them to start the day.

Banal? Perhaps, but the quote in question is read by Oprah Winfrey herself, one of the greatest opinion leaders in the USA. And that changes everything! Would the app have worked as well without it? Certainly not.

An opportunity waiting to be seized by brands

In applying the principle of first come first served, it’s the precursors who’ll benefit most from this phenomenon. Google Home or Alexa are the biggest new points of contact with consumers since the advent of the smartphone (and their apps stores). But even more, those who understand the benefits of influencers from the beginning will benefit most from this new medium.

Advertisers using influencers will benefit most from the potential of voice assistants. Click To Tweet

Voice assistants are still in their infancy, but they’re well on their way to becoming part of our future, so it’s never too early to get involved!