ROI: How do you measure your voice marketing efforts? Four ways to determine success in the voice space, focusing on Alexa Skills.
Before you start any of the below tactics, benchmark where you are now - what gets measured gets managed.
Record how many listeners you have using the Amazon Developer measure tool.
Then track the increase you’ll see over the next month as you implement these steps.
Read on for the best ways to grow your Alexa Flash Briefing audience.
Alexa Flash Briefing Terminology
Alexa: Amazon’s virtual voice assistant which powers millions of devices like the Echo family of devices.
Skill: Like apps on your phone, Alexa provides skills enabling customers to create a personalized experience. Skills provide weather, traffic, news, trivia, cooking, exercises, etc. There are now thousands of skills from companies and organizations like Domino’s, Starbucks, NPR, and Uber and individual creators (like you).
Flash Briefing: A quick overview of news and other content such as business or financial advice, music, comedy, podcasts, and sports. Customers hear their Flash Briefing by asking their Alexa-enabled device, “Alexa, Flash Briefing” or “Alexa, tell me the news.” Flash Briefing comprises at least one Flash Briefing skill.
Flash Briefing Skill: This is a type of skill. It provides content for a customer’s Flash Briefing (typically composed of several Flash Briefing skills). Anyone can create a Flash Briefing skill. In this post, I often refer to a “Flash Briefing” to mean your particular briefing (AKA skill) because this is how most people talk about it.
So, how do you get people to listen to your Alexa Flash Briefing?
Cadence and Content
Publish your Alexa Flash Briefing daily. Amazon wants more content. If you only publish weekly, that’s okay, but aim for daily if possible. (You could always reduce the frequency later, or split the baby and update three times per week.)
Tip: Batch recording sessions. Come up with fifteen content ideas, then record them in one sitting. Batching is an effective way to be more productive because it lets you avoid task switching costs.
Keep it under two minutes. This is the listener sweet spot. Not only will they appreciate brevity and listen all the way through, but it’s also likely Amazon will reward briefs whose listeners don’t skip ahead or become bored and exit. (Much like YouTube rewards videos with the most watched minutes and those that keep users on the platform longer.)
Optimize Your Skill Title and Keywords
Just like a product listing on Amazon, take advantage of every field on your Alexa Flash Briefing skill’s page (it’s essentially a product detail page as far as Amazon SEO is concerned).
Title – Name your skill with a short, clear name that tells users what it is and contains at least one top search term. For example, if your brief is about local news, the title should contain your city name. This is almost better than containing “news” because you may appear in search results for anything related to your city – not just “news”, which is much more competitive.
Keywords – You can select up to thirty single words as your descriptive keywords. These and your description are important real estate. Do some keyword research and include terms that people search for related to your content or industry. If you’re lazy, type the first few words of a typical search query into Google and look at the suggestions that appear.
Share Your Skill on Social Media
Sharing on social has the best ongoing effort-to-reward ratio (it doesn’t take much time and can reach lots of people). Try it two ways:
Share with your social network (existing connections).
Write five different social posts that promote and link to your skill. Schedule them in advance with a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite. Don’t overpost, maybe 1-2 times per week on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. For Pinterest, pin once to the keyword-rich board(s).
Track post-performance. Determine which posts receive the most engagement (e.g., Twitter shows each tweet’s impressions and engagements). Keep top performing posts, reschedule them, and continually iterate by tweaking words and length to find the most effective language.
Entice. When you publish new Flash Briefings, post teasers on social. Create curiosity! For example, here is a post which creates curiosity and provides clear instruction:
“Tune into today’s Flash Briefing to hear about the greatest marketing trick of the century. How to listen: 1) Enable the Skill here: [LINK TO SKILL]. 2) Say “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing? on your Echo or in your Amazon app.”
And that last part: yes, bonus! Users don’t need an Echo to hear your brief.
Anyone can turn their phone into an Echo device by downloading the Amazon shopping app.
The circle in the top right of the app activates Alexa. Try it!
(Smart move, Amazon - now everyone with the shopping app has Alexa, Echo or not.)
Join and Share with Interest Groups
Reddit hosts communities with people who have an interest in Amazon Alexa and Echo.
Publicize your skill in a few of the top groups.
But remember, don’t just self-promote.
First, help others. Try their skills then leave reviews on Amazon.
Interact, introduce yourself, and ask people to enable your skill and provide feedback.
Here are some general Echo and Alexa groups on reddit:
Find niche groups based on your topic. For example, if you focus on meditation, you could hang out here.
Look for similar interest groups on Facebook. Then rinse and repeat.
Make it Easy to Share
Create a shortlink to your Alexa Flash Briefing Skill (use bit.ly, Googl, or a custom-branded one, which is even better). Try Plink for an automatic 1-click podcast listen experience (if your briefing is available on podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts and Stitcher).
Do this immediately to reserve the shortest and clearest custom link.
Make the shortlink easy to read using words that easily separate. Make it easy to type and use all lower case (shortlinks are case sensitive). For example, mine is bit.ly/beetleflash (for Beetle Moment Flash Briefing).
You can then easily share the shortlink:
In your social bios (i.e.-Instagram, Twitter, and your email signature)
You can do this verbally if you plug yourself on a podcast or other interview. Save new listeners from searching – make enabling your skill a one-step shortlink process.
Share Archived Briefs
Use the same formula from above and give people an accessible, easy way to hear your content anytime.
Copy any MP3 URLs from your past briefs and add to blog posts with clear titles and ideally a bit of introductory text.
Ratings and Reviews
The faster, the better.
Begin to rank for your keywords before the Alexa ecosystem becomes more crowded.
Join a Facebook group related to Flash Briefings. If you want to join our private #FlashBriefing Slack channel, contact Emily and send a link to your briefing.
Or use reddit groups to connect with others who might review you.
We all operate on the reciprocity norm.
Leave reviews for new contacts from these groups or fellow creators you’ve found on Twitter.
It’s easy to reach out to almost anyone through Twitter or LinkedIn.
If you enjoy a briefing, tweet the creator and let them know. That puts you on their radar, and they’ll be more likely to return the favor after seeing your review.
Archive and host past briefings on your website or blog. I recommend Pippa to make embedding audio on blogs and social easy. (Get a $25 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for a year of Pippa hosting for your Flash Briefing or podcast here.)
Benefits of doing this:
An evergreen place to send people to hear your content
Your hard work won’t disappear
A convenient way to entice reviews. End with a CTA like this: “Please rate and review so others can find this skill! [LINK TO SKILL]
Have a page of your website called Alexa Flash Briefing and post each brief or a handful of your best ones.
For example, here’s my Alexa Flash Briefing page with some of my favorite briefs.
If you publish daily, this could get cumbersome, so feature the top ten.
Put a big clear button or link to “Enable this Flash Briefing Skill” at the top and bottom of the post(s).
Use your skill icon, make it clickable to your Amazon skill or your episode archive like mine below, and you’ll be on your way to showcasing your Alexa Flash Briefings and gaining a wider audience.
This post originally appeared at spinsucks.com in August 2018. It was updated for this blog in May 2019.
Do you know what Venmo is doing right with sound in their app? Facebook and Instagram have some catching up to do. Press play for this 1-minute Flash Briefing:
Never miss a daily briefing about voice marketing and more!
Say, “Alexa, Flash Briefing.”
Don’t have Alexa? Get Daily Beetle Moment on Google Home (Google Play Music) here.
🔊 SOUND ON 🔊
00:00:02.506 --> 00:00:06.806
Facebook has no sound. Instagram has no sound of their brand.
00:00:07.126 --> 00:00:08.426
This is a huge miss.
00:00:08.766 --> 00:00:14.752
There should be an audio mark that plays when certain things happen or even at least when you open the app. Let's talk
00:00:14.803 --> 00:00:17.566
about just Instagram for a second. If you think about Venmo:
00:00:18.306 --> 00:00:24.375
There's a cash register cha-ching sound when you receive money. And you actually have a physical reaction to that where you get a
00:00:24.425 --> 00:00:28.306
little dopamine rush, you feel good, it's a positive sensation - good association - with
00:00:28.626 --> 00:00:29.026
00:00:29.766 --> 00:00:30.266
Facebook and Instagram
00:00:31.106 --> 00:00:38.070
have a lot of things going on in our body, a lot of reactions in our brain, major hormonal and neurotransmitter shifts
00:00:38.131 --> 00:00:44.006
happening as we scroll and like and see comments and get those emotional strokes (ego strokes).
00:00:44.686 --> 00:00:48.286
But there's no sound to it. Huge miss.
In 2018 we began working with Ritholtz Wealth Management on a voice marketing strategy to get their foot in the door of the Alexa ecosystem. As trailblazers in blogging and social media in the finance and investing space, “Downtown” Josh Brown and the Ritholtz Mafia wanted to beat the crowd to voice, too.
Top Flash Briefing about Stock Market History & Investing
Market Moment is an Alexa Flash Briefing we created with Ritholtz Wealth Management, a New York City RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) run by two of the most online-savvy and established advisors in the industry: Barry Ritholtz (Masters in Business podcast and Bloomberg columnist) and Josh Brown (The Reformed Broker). Josh and Barry wanted to be first and best in voice in the investing space - and now they are.
IN ITS FIRST MONTH IN 2018, MARKET MOMENT BECAME THE FASTEST GROWING BRIEFING IN THE ALEXA BUSINESS & FINANCE CATEGORY … ORGANICALLY ($0 MEDIA BUDGET).
Based on the popular “Today In Market History” tweets from @RitholtzWealth, Market Moment hosted by “Downtown” Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) is a 5-star briefing packed with great information about business and the market.
The Ritholtz team has been a blast to work with. They’re hands-on, ahead of the curve, and excited to invest in voice branding.
Having vision in 2008 that social media would explode helped Josh and his team get millions of followers. They’re doing the same thing with voice. Check back in a couple years and see who in finance-related content marketing had the head start voice.
We took care to choose keywords, title, and description for Amazon SEO (search engine optimization). Through monitoring and tweaking these fields, we have been able to climb the rankings for our top search terms, including investing, stock market, and financial advice. For example:
Improving Alexa Skills store page rank (SEO):
After eight weeks, with $0 spent on promotion:
We improved from position #75 to #20 for "investing", a 73% improvement. I.e. we were #75 of total results and now we are #20, on page 2.
We improved from position #24 to #8 for "stock market" (and to #7 a week later, below):
In March 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind custom voice skill and mini podcast about investing based on The Compound YouTube channel.
What if you could listen in on regular conversations between professionals working in money management today?
I invented the mini-podcast. All the financial industry and investment-oriented podcasts are an hour long or more. I think that’s because the person whose podcast it is feels bad about asking a guest to come on and then cutting them short. Some podcasts should be an hour – Patrick O’Shaugnhnessy interviewing Michael Mauboussin, for example, or Barry Ritholtz interviewing Ray Dalio, or Michael Kitces interviewing Ric Edelman.
But most podcasts are too long and not every guest has an hour-plus worth of stuff you want to hear. However, the format persists. I think it’s just something that’s become a tradition – to interview each guest for an hour and change – even though that’s not what the listener actually needs or wants from every conversation.
Click here to enable The Compound Show on Alexa then say, “Alexa, open The Compound Show!”