What is voice-to-text? Voice-to-text is in the same world as voice search and voice recognition. Voice-to-text tools use AI technology that allows them to process, interpret, and respond to human language. Rather than typing in a word, phrase, or question, consumers can ask the same question verbally, and the voice-to-text device will translate the speech into words.
Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant… These little artificially intelligent devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives. As a result, the number of voice searches has boomed in the last five years, amounting to approximately 50 billion voice searches every month. Furthermore, experts predict that by the end of 2020, 50 percent of web searches will be voice searches.
So, what does this mean for businesses and marketers, and why should they care?
First, the increase in the number of voice searches performed by voice-to-text devices changes the way content is created and structured. For example, keyword searches will be structured differently, since the ways in which we speak and write or type are different.
What is voice-to-text?
As we mentioned above, more and more consumers are relying on AI-powered devices and virtual assistants to ask for directions, search the web for restaurants, weather reports, and even the best way to make chocolate chip cookies. This is voice-to-text at work.
So, rather than typing in a word, phrase, or question, consumers can ask the same question verbally, and the voice-to-text device will translate the speech into words. Some will also even perform the action!
Marketers are still trying to figure out the best way to leverage voice-to-text that provides them with a competitive advantage. However, there’s one thing for certain: The businesses and marketers that don’t take the time to understand how voice-to-text works, or understand how voice search serve consumers will certainly miss out on opportunities to gain a competitive edge.
What does voice-to-text mean for marketers?
The good news is you don’t have to fully understand all the technical details of how artificial intelligence or voice-to-text works; rather, you can understand it enough to take action and develop a marketing strategy or workflow that leverages voice-to-text communication.
For example, as a marketer, think about how you currently acquire new customers. Maybe you rely on inbound or content marketing, display advertising, or a blend between the two. How would those strategies work for you in a voice-activated world? How would this impact your lead capture results? It’s time to think about how voice-to-text will impact your current marketing strategies.
Take it a step further: What would a customer ask about that would be related to your business or brand? Is it a common question about how your software works? Where is your office or storefront located?
Of course, these are just some examples, but it’s time to start thinking about the types of questions your customers or prospects ask, how they relate to your business and brand, and really think about how that impacts their experience.
So, where do you start? In this article, we will share some of today’s most popular voice-to-text tools marketers can explore to leverage in marketing operations to get more done faster.
8 Voice-to-text tools to explore
1. Google Docs Voice Typing
One tool that has been in use for some time by writers is Google Docs voice typing. This is a free and simple tool that can be enabled by installing the Chrome browser extension, turning on your computer’s microphone, enabling the “voice command” settings, and start talking. You can instantly watch Google Docs Voice Typing translate what you say to written words on a Google Doc.
Additionally, you can activate a number of voice commands that edit and format your document as you speak, such as set font in bold, italics, underline or even create bulleted or numbered lists.
Google Docs Voice Typing is a free tool, however, it is only compatible with Chrome.
How can Google Docs Voice Typing help marketers?
For marketers who spend a lot of time brainstorming, writing, and creating content, Google Docs Voice Typing just might be a godsend. The benefits of this tool are crystal clear. Think of all the content you can create by simply cutting down the time you spend writing.
SpeechTexter is another voice-to-text tool, similar to Google Docs typing, but SpeechTexter is a web-based app with a very simple user interface and features. SpeechTexter supports over 60 different languages and various voice commands related to formatting, cursor placement, and more. SpeechTexter is free but it is also only compatible with Google Chrome.
How can SpeechTexter help marketers?
Similar to Google Docs typing, SpeechTexter can help marketers create content and write communications faster. This is particularly helpful for marketers who need to translate or write content in multiple languages.
3. Dragon Professional Individual
Dragon Professional Individual is one of the most popular voice-to-text tools available. One of the reasons why users love it is it allows them to perform many tasks without using a keyboard — and all at a 99 percent accuracy rate.
Not only does the software adapt to an individual’s unique voice, dialect, and jargon, it also uses voice commands to control your computer’s actions and web browsers, such as “send email” or “search the web for X.”
Dragon Professional even integrates with other popular applications, including Microsoft Office, iWork, and many others. It is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems.
Unlike Google Docs Voice Typing and Speech Texter, which are both web-based voice-to-text tools, Dragon Professional is software that must be purchased and installed onto your machine — and it’s a little on the expensive side. One license costs upwards of $300.
How can Dragon Professional help marketers?
Dragon Professional can help marketers work quickly, efficiently transcribe recordings into text, articles, reports, and even emails.
4. Braina Pro
Braina Pro is another popular voice-to-text tool that does a lot more than convert speech to text; it is also used as an AI-powered virtual assistant (like Siri and Alexa).
With Braina Pro, users can automate various tasks, which include the following:
- Set alarms and reminders
- Provide updates
- Manage calendars
- Look up words in a dictionary or thesaurus
- Read emails, articles, or ebooks aloud
- Search files on your computer or via the web, and more…
Furthermore, Braina Pro also offers a mobile app (for both Android and iOS devices) that allow users to interact with their computers from their mobile devices over a Wi-Fi network.
Braina Pro is a Windows-only program, and it costs approximately $230.
How can Braina Pro help marketers?
In addition to leveraging the high-powered voice-to-text capabilities — and without the need for a headset or microphone — Braina Pro also offers marketers the opportunity to finally automate tedious, repetitive tasks easily.
Speechnotes is an online, web-based voice-to-text tool. However, don’t be fooled by its simplistic user interface… Speechnotes is incredibly user-friendly and transcribes speech to text with over 90 percent accuracy. In fact, Speechnotes is the number-one voice-to-text tool used by transcribers.
The best part? Unlike some of the other voice-to-text tools we have looked at in this article, Speechnotes is incredibly accessible. It is a web-based tool, which means you don’t have to install or download clunky or expensive software.
Additionally, Speechnotes also has some other helpful features, including automatically capitalizing the beginning of sentences, autosaving documents, and allowing users to use voice commands and speech to text simultaneously. It also allows users to transcribe files.
Speechnotes is available on Google Chrome for free.
How can Speechnotes help marketers?
We are willing to bet that marketers will easily fall in love with Speechnotes. It is easy to use, accessible, and free, and comes with all the necessary features that marketers can put to use with minimal effort.
For marketers that spend a lot of time producing content from client interviews, brainstorming sessions, or content-related calls, using Speechnotes to transcribe files will easily save them a ton of time, money, and resources.
This e-Speaking voice-to-text tool focuses more on voice commands than converting speech to text (although it does that, too…) e-Speaking uses Microsoft’s Speech Application Program Interface and .Net Framework to allow users to leverage over 100 built-in voice commands that control computer actions, perform tasks, create documents and emails, and even read text aloud.
Furthermore, users can also train e-Speaking to learn words, add commands, and perform other tasks.
e-Speaking is free to download, but with limited functionality. For users who want the full e-Speaking version, it is only $14. e-Speaking is only available on Windows systems.
How can e-Speaking help marketers?
e-Speaking can help marketers boost productivity by leveraging various commands, performing various tasks, and even creating content.
7. Voice Finger
Voice Finger is a voice-to-text tool that was originally designed to help people with disabilities or injuries to use a computer. However, as voice-to-text tools become more commonplace, more users are leveraging Voice Finger to perform various tasks.
Voice Finger controls your mouse and keyboard for you. By using Voice Finger’s voice-activated commands, users can speak and tell the tool where to click, where to drag and drop items on a screen, and even use certain keys on a keyboard (without manual intervention).
Voice Finger is available as a free download for Windows users with limited functionality. Users can also download the full version of Voice Finger for only $9.99.
How can Voice Finger help marketers?
For marketers who love to and are exceptionally good at multi-tasking (which is most of them…), Voice Finger can help them to perform many different tasks, and in half the time.
From performing basic computer tasks, moving applications around on a screen, and bouncing between tabs and application windows, Voice Finger can do it all just by the sound of your voice—and at a rapid speed.
8. Apple Dictation
We have reviewed many voice-to-text tools that are designed for Windows and avid PC users, so of course, we had to add an Apple voice-to-text tool to the list…
In fact, Apple is one step ahead of the game… Apple Dictation is already built into Apple devices, including laptops, iPhones, iPads, and even the new Apple Watch.
In combination with using Siri, Apple Dictation can convert up to 30 seconds of speech at a time while connected to a high-speed network. Apple Dictation can be used seamlessly with the Apple “Pages” word processing application and has over 70 different voice commands.
To enable the Apple Dictation feature on your Mac or your Apple device, click on the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation.
How can Apple Dictation help marketers?
For marketers who need to quickly get their thoughts or ideas “down on paper”, Apple Dictation is a must. However, if you want to create more longer-form content, the Enhanced Apple Dictation application is the better way to go.
Enhanced Apple Dictation is available with all Apple operating systems, OS X 10.9 or later. You can enable this feature by following the same steps above, and selecting the Enhanced Dictation option.
Voice-to-text tools are the future of marketing
Of course, voice search, voice recognition, and voice-to-text tools are far from perfect, but they have already proven their worth. Furthermore, voice-to-text tools can also help marketers practice thinking about how customers would ask a question verbally instead of typing it in a search bar. This allows marketers to create content that is better optimized for voice.
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