• Joseph Lowe

Amazon Polly – An Emergence of a Marketing Website Trend

Updated: Apr 26, 2020

Podcasts & Audiobooks are on the rise

For any digital marketer, it’s increasingly important to pay attention to the news because trends that quickly change can dictate how successful your marketing efforts will be for years to come. This year, roughly 72% of Americans read at least one book in the past 12 months. In fact, on average Americans read around 12 books per year (good job readers), which has all stayed relatively consistent. So what’s newsworthy here?

How people are consuming content.

A study from the Pew Research Center found that around 1 in 5 readers listen to audiobooks as opposed to buying a printed copy. Another popular content channel are podcasts, which have gained popularity over the past few years as well – particularly in 2019. A poll from CBS News states that two-thirds of Americans listen to podcasts, and 23 percent listen to a podcast numerous times per week.

I too have my favorite podcasts loaded in my Spotify account, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a few audiobooks and podcasts downloaded on yours as well. It’s true that today’s readers often opt to listen to a book or a podcast to and from work or in the 10-minute pockets of time we might have to spare each day.

There’s no shame in it – though we hope you can take a minute to read our posts! The big takeaway here is the way we consume information today is changing, so it’s time to think strategically about how that might affect your marketing efforts, particularly on your blog or website.

What is Amazon Polly?

Simply put, people prefer convenience. Whether it’s Amazon’s many Alexa-enabled devices, Siri on Apple, or audiobooks, consumers often choose to listen or hear rather than sit down and read. That’s why Amazon Polly has the magnitude to change how we think about website content.

What is Amazon Polly you ask?

Amazon Polly is a new service offered by Amazon that turns text into lifelike speech. This low-cost text-to-speech solution utilizes deep learning technology to synthesize speech that sounds like a human voice of your choice.

Amazon Polly & Digital Marketing

Users can totally customize a voice of their choosing, controlling aspects of speech such as rate of speed, pitch, volume, pronunciation, language, gender and more. Just think about it - It’d be hard to imagine that podcasts or audiobooks would be successful with one robotic voice reading content. Today, it’s been used to build applications or speech-enabled products and as of this year, read through Wordpress-built websites.

In 2019, WP Engine announced they partnered with Amazon Web Services to launch an Amazon Polly plugin that enables an integration for the text-to-speech functionality, adding another layer of functionality to Wordpress sites everywhere. For any business, Amazon Polly represents a golden opportunity to hop on an emerging trend before anyone else while it’s cheap and fresh.

Try out Amazon Polly before your Peers Do

The impact of voice-enabled sites has the potential to be huge. Rather than searching quickly on your phone for something and scrolling down to read tiny lettering, with the click of a button you can simply have your device read the text to you – saving time and energy. Imagine having your phone read out a long marketing how-to guide over your car’s speakers as you drive to work in the morning. With Amazon Polly that’s as easy as applying pressure on your phone’s screen. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to try out podcasts or potentially pick up a book every once in awhile. But for marketers or small business owners who tap Amazon Polly, your users gain the choice to interact with a website with their ears or their eyes. Sometimes, the option of choice naturally leads to more engagement.

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