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Voice, the new channel for magazines and brands

Team PaperLit

In this guide on voice applications for magazines and brands, we tackle the latest developments, areas of use, and the steps to launch your own.

Voice assistants, search and apps have been around for about more than five years. However, it was only recently that they have started to really take off.

Now, different industries are looking to redefine their own strategies to incorporate voice applications and voice search into their digital strategies – and magazine brands are no exception.

In this brief guide, we’ll take you through an overview of voice for magazines and brands – from the latest developments in the market, the specific role of voice apps in business and their applications, where it fits in your marketing and customer engagement strategies, examples from the market, and how to launch one of your own!

A channel on the rise

Voice apps may still be in their early days, but there’s no mistaking the fact that in about two years from now, the majority of brands will be trying to grapple with voice searches, voice apps, and conversational and voice strategy.

Just look at the stats on how voice search is changing the way we use the internet. Usage has increased exponentially since 2008. Even then, there’s still a lot of space to grow. Most of the growth has been concentrated in English-speaking countries, but this year and the next, adoption in international markets is expected to increase, meaning even more people will start using voice search and voice apps soon!

channel voice app-1

Voice as a functionality has also reported continuous strides with speech recognition error rate dropping enough for the technology to have the same recognition rate as humans. Undoubtedly, this explains why voice-enabled devices are enjoying increased sales.

Eventually, voice search will be as commonplace as apps or social media, and this will change how we use the internet and how brands engage with their customers.

One of the main reasons why your brand should have a voice strategy in 2019 is that making a move now to develop your own voice app can provide you with a first-mover advantage and presents you with a new channel to engage with your customers.

Creating a voice app now also brands you as a pioneer. By the time voice apps are all over the place, since you started early, you’ll already have a mature voice app while others will still be figuring out their own apps.



All the terms and data you should know to take advantage of voice search technology

Voice apps for magazine publishers

At present, voice apps are still in their early days. However, basing on the trends, they may be on their way to becoming mainstream soon. So what are the benefits of voice apps for magazine publishers?


First, it helps expand your customer engagement capabilities. Your customers will thank you for adding a news channel that they are adopting more and more. But it’s not just for your current clientele that will be affected. Voice apps provide new opportunities for customer acquisition. In fact, magazine publishers can use voice apps to improve their SEO ranking! The effects can be felt a lot more if they act now and benefit from a first-mover advantage through early indexing.

Hand-putting-wooden-five-star-shape-on-table-115 brands that use voice apps brilliantly

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Many big names have seen the value of implementing a voice app. Check out these 15 brands that use voice apps brilliantly across different sectors.


Improve your SEO ranking with a voice app

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Magazines have to eventually implement a voice app if they want to keep improving SEO ranking – and it’s better to start now than later!

Incorporating voice into your digital strategy

voice app strategy

Adding voice into your overall digital strategy can help you in at least three specific areas. Firstly, it’s one step towards achieving complete omnichannel marketing coverage.

A successful omnichannel strategy means being able to engage with your customer seamlessly across multiple channels. With voice as an emerging area for customer engagement, you’ll eventually have to tackle it, and the earlier, the better!

A strategy for voice also allows you to boost your conversational marketing capabilities – the new frontier of customer engagement for brands. We’ve seen live chat and chatbots first popping up in their early days, and now every digital-savvy business has one on their websites and apps. The same is going to happen for voice apps.



Finally, it offers more opportunities to gather customer insights through voice app data analysis.This is particularly powerful for digital magazines and online publications that have a voice app as it reveals insights on how readers like to interact through this new channel, as well as sentiment analysis through tone of voice.


Current Usage

At present, voice apps are still in their early stages. There are around 2 million apps in Google and Apple app stores each, while Alexa skills number only at 70,000 as of January 2019. This is why it’s still possible to gain a first-mover advantage and get your voice app indexed early.

However, voice apps are not necessarily obscure. Forward-thinking brands have already begun experimenting on how to implement voice apps. Just take a look at these 15 brands that use voice apps brilliantly.

Overall, brands have approached the implementation of voice apps in two ways. First, they develop an app that is directly related to their service offering. Groceries allow ordering of their products through voice and banks allow simple transactions to be done through their voice apps.

The second way is to develop a voice app that provides a new or complementary service to their existing service offering. For example, women’s lifestyle magazines that offer a home yoga trainer voice app or a business magazine voice app that delivers daily workplace and management tips. What will be your approach?


Launching a Voice App

There are four phases to launching a voice app:


Decide how you want your voice app to address the needs of your customers. Do you want to offer your services through this new channel, such as handling payments, renewals, or even converting your publications for delivery through voice apps, or do you want to offer a new complementary service that will be of value to your customers?


In developing a voice app, you have three choices – develop it in-house, commission an app developer to make one from scratch or to enlist the help of a digital publishing platform that will allow you to create a voice app through customised templates. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks.


Key here is promotion. A news post on your website, announcement in your email newsletter and a couple of social post teasers should be a good start to inform your current customers that a voice app is coming.

Monitor and optimise

Voice app analytics can show you conversion paths, error phrases, dialogues you didn’t plan or even sentiment analysis through pitch. Data analysis from voice apps and the optimization that follows will ensure user retention for your voice app.


How Paperlit simplifies app voice launch

Creating something new, such as voice apps, can be daunting especially if you don’t have any experience. That’s why Paperlit simplified the process for magazine publishers and brands to launch their own voice app!

Paperlit will propose two or three templates that will be further adapted to provide a customised voice app experience. Sources of content, such as existing blog feeds and news pages, will be decided together. Methods of delivery can be decided as well, such as if you want freely accessible and/or exclusive premium content.

Finally, the voice app will be developed and will be published either in Google Assistant Actions or Amazon Skills – or wherever you want.

Paperlit is the partner of magazines that want to take full advantage of digital transformation. Voice apps are an opportunity for digital magazine content delivery and monetisation – areas that Paperlit has a particular focus on. Collaborate with Paperlit now and rely on a partner that’s always finding ways to adopt the latest innovations and trends into digital publishing.


Paperlit is here to help you boost your digital magazine with voice apps. Let’s collaborate!