Google Assistant: What It Is, Features, And How It Affects Your Brand

Apple users, hear us out for a moment. It may not seem like it now, but Google Assistant may just be one of the most exciting things to happen to brands in years. Sharing many similarities with other artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant differs for one huge reason: as of 2016, 81.7% of all smart device users use Android. No matter which side you root for in the mobile wars, it’s impossible to deny that Android is a major player – and ripe for using to your advantage. That’s not the only reason to pay attention to Google’s neat little AI tool. Keep reading to find out for yourself – but first.

Why use it?

Is Google Assistant just another gimmick? Not a chance. The beauty of Google Assistant is that it makes looking up anything on your device effortless. For example, let’s assume you want to find a Thai restaurant in the area but you’re unfamiliar with the location. Rather than spending 30-minutes looking up reviews, searching for a restaurant by the city name, and bouncing back-and-forth between your browser and GPS app to identify which restaurant is closest, all you have to do is tell Google Assistant the type of restaurant you want to visit and let it do the rest. That’s it!

Social Media Advertising Transparency

Ease-of-use is what makes Google Assistant stand out from the rest. Cutting down minutes of search time for pretty much anything, users are much more willing to be spontaneous with the information they look up and what they look at. It gave our digital marketing agency in Windsor an idea: could entrepreneurs use Google Assistant to their advantage to uniquely market their brand? Absolutely.

Here’s a thought…

Consider posting ideas about using Google Assistant on your social media pages to give your customers an opportunity to interact with your brand even further. For example, if you sell an exclusive product (e.g. a unique food item), entice users to set a location-based reminder via Google Assistant that will alert them to buy your item when they are near your location (consider setting up a contest, where they must share a screenshot of their device with the alert enabled before entering the contest). Once they receive the alert when in the area, they’ll be much more willing to pay your establishment a visit.

Social Media Advertising Transparency

This is just one of the many out-of-the-box things you can do with Google Assistant. The most impactful however is most likely…

Voice search

Voice search is going to change the way your brand is found on the Web – it’s just going to happen. While SEO is still king (more on SEO in a second), voice search is going to take its place in the coming years. Times are changing – so too must your brand’s approach to marketing. The best thing you can do now is to optimize for position zero – or, the little box that pops up when you ask Google Assistant a question.

Optimizing for this is as simple as providing answers about your brand to your site’s front page. When someone visits your front page, what it is, how it can help, why it’s important, how to (contact, find, use, etc. – whatever ‘how to’ answer is appropriate for your brand), etc. Think about any questions a stranger would have regarding your brand’s front page and provide these answers accordingly. From there, keep playing with Google Assistant, asking questions (consider resorting to the, ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how’ of journalism when coming up with them), and seeing what comes up in the pop up box. The goal is for the information to be relevant and informative. If you have trouble, feel free to reach out to us.

Can it grow your brand?

It’s still early days for Google Assistant, though the opportunity for using it to grow your brand is absolutely there. Because it’s early days, your brand has an exciting opportunity to figure out how to utilize voice search and Google Assistant at large to raise the stakes of Google Assistant showcasing your brand to those searching for a business just like yours. We will undoubtedly have more tips in the future as Google Assistant continues to evolve, so stay tuned.

Bright future?

You bet! From helping you find a loan (amazing) to controlling your smart thermostat to translating on-the-fly to simply providing you any piece of information you could ever want instantly, the true feature of Google Assistant is that it brings information to the user. The days of entering just the right search query in hopes of finding relevant information are coming to an end; soon, Google Assistant will make obtaining information as simple as asking a question (and it truly will be that simple). It also raises the odds that your brand is exposed to more people in your area than ever. With more people making even more search queries going forward thanks to the spontaneity of Google Assistant, you’re going to have more chances to expose your brand and bring in new customers. It’s an exciting time with even more exciting possibilities!