The voice sector is faced paced and rapidly advancing, as just this week Amazon released 17 new Alexa enabled hardware devices including the Echo Frames (Alexa enabled glasses) and the Echo Loop (a ring with Alexa built in).
However, what does this mean for the world of gambling? What impact will the era of voice have on both affiliates and operators in the gambling space?
John Campbell presented some thoughts on the subject at the Digital Marketing Forum in London last month – and below is a summary of the presentation with the two main areas that both operators and affiliates need to consider.
Voice Search: Optimising for Voice across voice assistants
The primary use for smart speakers currently among consumers is voice searching. It could be to find out the answer to a math question, the opening times of a restaurant or who is the favourite to win the Rugby World Cup.
Predictions around the percentage of searches via voice is a huge debate in the industry. To pin one figure on the entire key phrase universe wouldn’t provide a fair assessment. As seen in the mobile shift earlier in the decade, certain key phrase sets will lean towards the new voice format whilst others will not.
For example, for weather searches, the intent and expected format of the response lends itself to voice very well. On the other hand, if you were to ask, ‘What is the law around gambling in Ghana’, the response would be a long detailed one, explaining all levels of the law, which is not a very voice appropriate response.
Therefore, website owners need to optimise content around those phrases that are likely to be voice searched – these phrases tend to be longer and more conversational.
Voice Apps: Alexa Skills and Google Actions
Alexa Skills and Google Actions are third party voice apps that add extra functionality to the assistant. Brands can create and publish their own voice app which is opened by an invocation phrase e.g. Alexa, open Betfair.
The brand can decide what content goes in their voice app and the use case for the app. It could be to play a game, to give out information about this weekend’s sporting events or to interact with a customer’s existing website account.
There are a number of brands including Betfair and Paddy Power who have already created Alexa Skills, but it’s still early days for gambling. One of the reasons for this, is policy restrictions both on Google and Alexa. Any Action or Skill currently made can’t allow a customer to win real money / facilitate gambling.
However, brands can use voice apps as a branding or education piece to drive awareness of campaigns or new verticals.
Meanwhile, for affiliates a voice app which makes recommendations or generates stats on sporting events could be a good way to engage with potential customers and then send them a link to click to get that all important click.
Here is a quick starting guide to get you clued up on voice apps…
- Search the Alexa Skills Store and the Google actions directory to see what has been built, read the reviews of what works well and where there have been problems
- Use Alexa Blueprints to get a skill live without having code anything. For Google there are three default templates, triva, Flash cards and a personality quiz.
- Create a comms and promotion plan for promotion of your voice app. You need to promote your app to make customers aware of its existence.