In today’s busy world, people value pithy pieces of content, delivered in just the way they like, on their timetable. That’s what makes Amazon Alexa’s flash briefings so popular. They’re bite-sized, easily digestible, 4-8 minute segments of news or information.
If a parent doesn’t have time to listen to a full podcast before taking the kids to school, he or she can say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing,” and enjoy several minutes of thoughtful discourse or news items. If a professional needs a 10-minute brain break from a project or something to listen to on the way to work, a series of customized flash briefings could be the answer.
How can Alexa flash briefings help you in your marketing efforts? Besides providing you with much-needed amusement or useful information, these briefings can actually assist you with expanding your company’s audience.
Discover 10 ways to use Alexa flash briefings for marketing:
1. Get into your target audience’s homes every day.
According to TechCrunch.com, over 39 million Americans now own a smart speaker— and 11% of them own an Amazon Alexa device. That puts Alexa in the lead for the biggest share of the market, with Google Home lagging behind at 4% of those 39 million users.
What would it do for your business if you could speak to those users, right in their homes, every day or every week? Imagine the influence you could have as a personal, familiar voice, speaking to your target audience on a regular basis via flash briefings. If you have the right content to share, it’s too good an opportunity to pass up!
2. Increase your brand’s likability.
When you’re making new friends, you need to be likable, right? You need to be a good listener as well as a good conversationalist and storyteller; you need to be pleasant and cheerful and fun to be around. The same principle holds true when you’re building a larger audience for your brand. Your company needs to be likable, and you can use Alexa flash briefings to facilitate that image.
Danny Goodwin phrased it well in his article “6 Steps to Building an Audience with Content.” He says, “If you’re serious about building (and eventually monetizing) an audience, the real secret is patiently building an audience that knows, likes and trusts you. You do this by publishing compelling, relevant and audience-centric content that people want to consume — because your content is valuable and useful.”
3. Build customer loyalty with supportive content.
An audience that likes your content offerings and finds your brand image appealing will probably keep listening to you. Eventually, those audience members will become buyers; and once they do, it’s important that you don’t leave them in the lurch, so to speak.
Your content needs to be audience-centric for both newcomers and regular customers. That means including how-to’s, guides, and lists of new or different ways to use the products your customers have already purchased from you. Those practical bits of user-centered information will not only support your current customers, but may prompt new ones to make their first purchase.
4. Diversify your marketing efforts.
The more channels you use to market your brand and your products, the more people you’re likely to reach. Some of your customers are probably avid Facebook users; others prefer Twitter or Instagram; still others are dedicated podcast listeners; and the list goes on.
When you add the flash briefings option to your marketing channels, you’re creating diversification in your content strategy. You’re adding more ways for people to connect with your brand on their terms. As long as you have the time and resources to handle all those channels well, this diversity is a good thing and enables you to reach a broader audience.
5. Reuse evergreen content to increase ROI.
Maybe you have some really exceptional content that was published on your company’s blog months or even years ago. As long as it’s still relevant and accurate, you can reuse that content for your Alexa flash briefings.
Choose pieces of content that enrich your customers’ connection to your business or their understanding of your products. Since the content already exists, your investment of time and money to create the flash briefing will be minimal, and you’ll get a good return or your original content investment.
6. Gain additional exposure for new products.
Nobody wants to hear a lengthy sales pitch instead of the bits of interesting news they expectesd. So it’s important to fill your Alexa flash briefings with interesting facts, cool statistics, and hot news items. Still, there’s definitely room for the occasional product push. As you introduce product information or selling points, consider these guidelines:
- Keep the content newsy, rather than salesy.
- Maintain a customer focus, instead of a product focus.
- Use simple language and a light, entertaining tone.
- Offer a link or destination for more information.
Don’t do a product push every time you offer a briefing, or your customers will start dreading the sales pitch they know is coming.
7. Produce fresh, fascinating content that attracts more listeners.
The more listeners tune in to your Alexa flash briefing content, the better chance you have of reaching them with your message, building brand loyalty, and seeing those profits roll in. How do you increase your audience with this channel? By giving them what they want to hear.
GeekWire.com quotes Jennifer Strachan, Chief Content Officer of KUOW, saying, “The biggest hurdle for anyone developing content for this platform is to understand what the audience wants from us in this space. Right now we have little data on how voice interaction changes the choices you make, particularly when it comes to news.”
It’s not easy to determine what your listeners want, which makes it tricky to enter this marketing arena. Take time to familiarize yourself with what your rivals or other companies have done, so you can gain a better idea of what kinds of news feel natural and appealing to your listeners.
Once you’ve tested the audience with some existing content, repackaged for the Amazon Echo device, you can move into the creation of fresh content, including of-the-moment news items, questions and answers, quotes of the day, or product tips.
8. Hold the customers’ attention.
Alexa plays a user’s selected flash briefings in a row, one after another. If a user doesn’t enjoy the briefing that’s playing, he or she can tell Alexa to skip it. You don’t want your company’s briefing to be the one that gets skipped!
To make your flash briefing more appealing to listeners, choose a speaker with a pleasant “radio voice” and good verbal skills — and if there’s no one like that at your company, hire someone to be your brand’s voice. Start the briefing with a thought-provoking question, a joke, a quotation, or an announcement. That way you’ll keep your audience’s attention long enough to draw them into the core of your content.
9. Offer a destination for more information.
Always, always include a simple, easy-to-follow link at the end of the flash briefing. Your customers need to know where to go for more information, for follow-up questions, or to purchase a product.
If you drew your flashing briefing content from a blog post, tell them where to find the rest of the post. If the content was pulled from a longer podcast, include the podcast link. Every time you talk about a product, tell them where they can go to buy it or to learn more. Keep the URLs short, simple, and easy to remember.
10. Review the metrics.
The most important metrics related to Alexa flash briefings are the subscription numbers. You’ll start small, with a handful of subscribers; but if you’re doing things right, your numbers should climb slowly. You can tie your flash briefings to promotions on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, or other social media channels to boost those subscriber numbers — or you can wait to let them grow naturally and see how many people find your flashing briefing on their own.
According to Michael Stelzner, writing for SocialMediaExaminer.com, “Amazon provides few stats, but the ones they do provide include unique customers, number of plays, maximum per hour, and average per hour. With these metrics, you can begin figuring out who’s paying attention.”
Are you interested in getting started with Alexa flash briefings? It’s fairly easy if you’re tech-savvy, and there are plenty of guides to help you through the process. Check out my previous post: DIY Guide: Build Your Own Alexa Flash Briefing Skill in Under an Hour.