According to TechCrunch, over 100,000,000 Amazon Alexa devices have been sold around the globe. If you’re like most business owners and have limited time and marketing resources – go grab a coffee, sit back and take a couple of minutes to learn why this may be the perfect opportunity for you to reach your key audiences with minimal effort!
Adam Migacz of Adam Tech Software joined me over at Social Media Questions to talk about custom Amazon Alexa skills and Flash Briefings. If you feel like this stuff is totally over your head, join the club. But Adam broke down the critical components and this exciting opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to gain an edge.
What is voice marketing?
“Voice marketing deals with the varied approaches required for the many kinds of voice interactivity available with voice technology in the home and mobile space. Consumers are adding voice to their shopping cycle using voice agents and interfaces like voice-enabled virtual assistants, voice search, and smart speakers. Brands and marketing professionals are finding innovative ways to respond to these newly opened channels.” [Source: Humans For AI]
What is Amazon Alexa?
Amazon Alexa is a voice-activated, AI bot that can dish up information through voice activation. Now, instead of the consumer googling a question and visiting a website, they can ask Alexa. Alexa comes with basic skills such as music, weather and anything connected to websites.
For example, you could ask Alexa something like this: “Alexa, what is the weather in Calgary?”
(By the way, the answer is COLD, very COLD)
What Are Alexa Custom Skills?
Adam explained Alexa skills in comparison to apps. Essentially, you can give Alexa more abilities through custom skills, such as connecting to your smart home through lights, shades, heat, televisions.
For example: “Alexa, turn off the outside lights.”
What is a Flash Briefing?
Essentially a Flash Briefing is a form of audio content developed to provide a user with quick snippets of information. A user can enable Flash Briefings on their device in order to get highlights and other brief content. Currently, most major news stations have their own briefings.
For example: “Alexa, what are the headlines in Calgary?”
(Currently, when I ask Alexa about news in Calgary we’re dished up news from CTV Calgary out of Toronto. When you ask for specific outlets – e.g.: Global News Calgary – we get information about British Columbia.)
Who can create a flash briefing?
Why are Flash Briefings A Marketing Opportunity for Businesses?
“When you create a flash briefing skill, you have a chance for your original content to reach customers daily.” Adam recommended updating content frequently, but keeping the content between 2-5 minutes. For small businesses that have limited time and resources, this is a sustainable and efficient way to stay top-of-mind among customers.
We know that people are consuming more audio/visual content.
And we also know that creating other forms of content like blogs, infographics and vlogs typically require a significant investment of time and resources, but you can easily put together audio content for Alexa if all you have is a phone!
In many cases the algorithms that exist within social channels limit the amount of content delivered by businesses to followers and fans. When you create a briefing, you also establish a direct line of communication to your followers, which helps you increase reach.
Audio activated devices are not a fad. If you get a start now, you have an excellent opportunity to carve out your own corner and reputation online in a unique way.
Keep them short and concise. Adam recommends 2-5 minutes.
Interesting + Unique Content (easy, right?)
Try cliffhangers. (Leave listeners wanting more!)
Adam gave us a friendly reminder that Flash Briefings are not a podcast and advised us to keep it under 10 minutes.
If you offer services, consider making promotions only available via briefings. For example, a restaurant could offer special promotions and discounts only via Flash Briefing. This gives the audience a reason to tune in and follow the restaurant.
If you’re actively attending or hosting events, you could use the Flash Briefings to give your audience a taste of the sights and sounds in a way that a blog recap wouldn’t allow.
Repurpose good content that others can benefit from. If you’ve already put effort into creating a blog, strip it down and create an audio highlights reel. In many cases, blogs don’t get read (despite the value they offer through solid ideas and research) because, quite simply, people just don’t have the time to sit down and devour it.
Some other ideas Adam suggested was saving your Instagram stories, Facebook and LinkedIn videos and editing them down so that they’re easily consumed and valuable to the listener.
Learn more about currently enabled Alexa Skills available at the Skills Store.