the complete guide to alexa flash briefings. and 10 marketing tricks

Starting an Amazon Alexa flash briefing in 2019 is kinda like starting a YouTube channel in 2006…

How much money would that channel be making you today?

Think about the multiple potential revenue streams…

From product sales to ad revenue to affiliate marketing and more…

Your YouTube channel would be generating well over 7 figures a year, potentially 8 figures, or more…

This is what starting an Alexa flash briefing in 2019 can do for you…

By 2020 over 100 million American households will own an Amazon virtual assistant. How people consume their content is changing rapidly.

And these put Amazon flash briefings in a position to explode.

This post is everything you need to know about Amazon Alexa’s flash briefings. Including how you can use flash briefings to start your new business or explode your current business. And Marketing strategies for flash briefings in 2020 and beyond.

This guide will also provide all of the tools that you need to record, host, and set up the feed for your flash briefing.

At this point, you might be curious about this new flash briefing thing. So let’s get started by covering what a flash briefing is.

What Are Amazon Alexa Flash Briefings?

Amazon Alexa flash briefings are short pre-recorded audio clips, kinda like a mini-podcast. They are delivered via an Alexa enabled device typically daily or weekly.

Users subscribe to flash briefings through the Amazon website. Giving flash briefing hosts access to the largest online store in the world.

Flash briefing users can ask Alexa “What’s the news?” or “What’s my flash briefings?” and your echo, dot, or spot will then read you the news that is in your feed.

Flash briefings are considered “short form” audio clips. This means the clips need to be less than 10 minutes in length. Amazon recommends that you keep your flash briefing to between 2 and 6 minutes.

In 2019 there are 440,000,000 Blogs. More than 24,000,000 YouTube channels. And more than 700,000 podcasts. Even though there is still a ton of room for growth in these marketing channels…

They are still what you would call “red oceans”. Meaning there is already a large established market. Attempting to break into these markets are going to be met with resistance.

Geek Wire reported that there are only 5,000 flash briefings as of their post in 2018. From only 250 content providers. Although the number of flash briefings has grown it is still in the infancy stage.

Gary Vee the marketing genius has skyrocketed to star status. Because of his in your face marketing tactics and strategies. He dedicated a chapter in his book “Crushing It! to flash briefings.

Gary Vee compares flash briefings to “joining Instagram in 2010”. Gary Vee said that voice-first technology like Alexa “will transform how the world consumes content.”

Amazon Alexa flash briefings are what you would call “blue oceans”. There are no sharks in the waters yet. You are creating new demand, rather than fighting to enter a market that is already saturated.

At this point, you must be saying “Ok, how can I create my own flash briefing?” Let’s discuss that right now.

How To Create An Alexa Flash Briefing?

how do you build an alexa flash briefing

Setting up your own flash briefings are simple. It will take you less than an hour. There are a few different ways you can do it. And I am going to provide you two different options.

Do not worry even if you have no technical knowledge at all. Both of these processes are super simple and you do not need to be a tech guru. The hosting services make it so simple. And you do not have to have any programming knowledge or create any code.

1. Amazon Developer Console

To set up your own flash briefing on Amazon you can go to Amazon Developer Console. This is about a ten-step process that is relatively easy to figure out.

First sign in. You will then create the name of your briefing. This is the title of your flash briefing. It is how your audience will find you in the Amazon store. The name of the flash briefing should create curiosity. It should be aligned with the industry. And unique to you.

Then create an error message. This is a message that will play if your flash briefing is not available. It should sound something like “(insert name of flash briefing) is currently not available.”

Finally your preamble. Which is limited to 70 characters maximum. This what plays before your briefing airs to your listeners. “In today’s industry news…” is an example of a great sounding preamble.

Once you have created your Amazon Developer account you will need to link your RSS feed to it. Sound Up Now is the hosting service that I recommend and it is simple to use.

RSS Feed

One of the top hosting services that I recommend you use to create, record, and host your flash briefings is Sound Up Now. I am an affiliate of their product because, I personally use it and it is one of the easiest to use hosting services available.

Sound Up Now will give you the RSS feed URL. It will then push your flash briefings to Amazon Alexa daily. And it allows you to schedule your flash briefings. This is nice because you can create all your flash briefings in one day and then schedule them to air on different days.

2. EFFCT.CO

Effct.Co is a robust hosting service that syncs directly with Amazon. It is a “freemium” model service that offers premium paid versions that add additional features like scheduling.

Once you sign up it integrates directly with the Amazon servers and walks you through the process to create your flash briefing.

I believe Effct.Co makes the process to create a flash briefing even simpler. And the free version really is all you need if you are bootstrapping your business and operating on a limited budget.

Amazon AWS, Effct.Co, and Sound Up Now are all viable options to provide lightning fast servers for hosting.

A future article will act as a comparison between the different hosting services. Highlighting the pros and cons of each service, comparing ease of use, and more.

3. Audacity

Audacity is a free and open-source audio editing and recording software. There is no reason to invest in a more expensive recording software with all the features and functionality you get with Audacity.

Whether you are bootstrapping your business or not. There is no need to buy a premium audio recording software.

Your resources are better spent elsewhere with how comprehensive of a tool Audacity software is.

These are all the tools you need to set up your own Alexa flash briefing. Then it is all up to you to create valuable content to give to your audience.

Like all things, it takes consistent effort but the law of compounding eventually comes into play and you will grow your audience and grow your business.

Now let’s explore how you can measure and analyze your flash briefing data.

How Do You Measure And Analyze Your Flash Briefing?

how do you measure and analyze your flash briefing?

The resources for measuring your flash briefings performance is limited in comparison to the comprehensive tools available for traditional search. But the Analytics page in the Amazon Skills Kit Developer Console provides insight into who’s listening to your flash briefings.

Amazon Developer provides this article View Skill Metrics that offers a deep dive into the analytics page in the developer console.

As voice-first tech grows the analytics, measurement, and insight tools will grow along with it. Eventually, the tools and resources available to gain insight into your audience will increase.

10 Tactics To Grow Your Alexa Flash Briefing Audience

Creating the flash briefing is only half of the battle. To reach your audience you will need to market your flash briefing. The aphorism of “if you build it they will come” is not relevant here.

To grow your audience quickly having a solid marketing plan is necessary. I am going to give you 10 tactics you can use to create your marketing plan for your Alexa flash briefings.

1. Posting On Social Media

Posting on social media is an obvious tactic to get more listeners. Depending on the size of your ad budget your reach could be limited on these channels.

Your followers can help spread the message. So it can be extremely helpful if you have a large audience of individuals that are interested in what you are sharing.

You can also use your flash briefing to create engaging content for your audience on social media. You can then turn your flash briefing into a series of 3 or 4 social media posts. This Omni-level approach to marketing can be very powerful.

2. E-mail list

What do you think the number one tactic for getting new customers is? That’s right e-mail marketing.

But the size of your e-mail list can vary drastically depending on the size of your business. If you are just beginning (or are already operating) and have no e-mail list, that is ok.

Starting an e-mail list can be the difference-maker for your business. If you have questions about how to get customers to give you their e-mail, you can read my blog post on how to create a sales funnel that will have your customers saying “Yes please here is my e-mail! Thank you.”

E-mail marketing needs to be a core marketing strategy for any business that wants to succeed online in 2019 and beyond.

Letting your e-mail list know about your flash briefing show can help you gain listeners quickly.

3. Posting To Reddit Groups

Reddit is its own unique community. With 330 million active monthly users this is a thriving community. Posting in channels that are targeted toward the content you are creating is a great strategy to get in front of your listeners.

If you have a flash briefing on meditation you could post your flash briefing in this channel.

Or if you have a flash briefing on running in Portland, OR. you could post in the Portland channel.

These are just a couple of examples of how you can use Reddit to grow your audience.

4. Word Of Mouth Marketing

If you are saying “Ya but, how is it going to go viral.” I understand but hear me out. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies for 2020 and beyond.

As we become more and more interconnected with the digital world, relationships is something people value deeply. That is why word of mouth marketing influences up to 90% of purchases your audience is making.

If you are active in any networking groups such as BNI this can be a great avenue to reach your ideal customers through word of mouth.

The bottom line word of mouth is a powerful tactic that can help grow your audience.

5. Omni-Level Marketing

Here is something really cool about creating your flash briefings. You can then take your flash briefings and turn them into a series of social media posts. Create a blog post. Or even a record a YouTube video while you are hosting your flash briefing.

This is what Neil Patel calls Omni-level marketing and he believes it is one of the best marketing strategies for 2020.

On his podcast marketing school, he shares that a business needs to use multiple marketing vehicles to get in front of their customers. This is the only way to establish your brand and build yourself as an expert.

6. Facebook groups

If your flash briefing is in an established niche or market. There are more than likely quite a few FaceBook groups out there.

My wife personally loves FaceBook groups. Each time she gets interested in a new subject she joins a few different groups around that subject.

People join groups because it can give them a sense of purpose working towards a larger goal. People also join groups that align with their passions and interests.

If your content aligns with their interests and passions or connects them to their bigger purpose you can gain many listeners through the all-powerful Facebook groups.

7. Guest posting or guest hosting

What blogs do you read that are in your niche? What flash briefings are in your niche? Contacting the blog owners and other flash briefings hosts and offering to guest post or guest host can help you get your content in front of more eyes.

Backlinko offers this comprehensive guide on generating backlinks and I highly recommend you read this article.

Secret tip… if you contact the blog owners and offer to provide them something of value such an infographic or case study this can 10x your guest spot opportunities.

8. Your own website

If your website is already generating traffic through blog posts or organic search. You should be promoting your flash briefing to your readers. If your readers then also turn into listeners this will strengthen your brand and reaffirm you as the industry expert to your audience.

Prominently promoting it “above the fold” on your homepage can help increase awareness. Creating Links to your flash briefing Amazon page to simplify the customer journey. Both of these are excellent tactics to grow your audience.

9. Flash briefing optimization

Optimizing your keywords is one of the best tactics to gain listenership. Amazon allows 30 words maximum, aligning your keywords with what your audience is looking for will help you to gain listeners.

Expert-level hack… if there are other flash briefings in your niche that already have a large audience. You can reference their flash briefing in your keywords so you will appear when their customers search for them.

Optimizing the name of your flash briefing to appeal, inspire, or make your potential listeners curious is important to a winning marketing strategy.

10. Guests

Yes, Alexa flash briefings are micro-podcasts that ideally are only a few minutes long. If you have guests on your flash briefings (which I highly recommend) then you can cross-promote each other’s brands.

For flash briefings that are an interview-style briefing. Cross-promotion can be one of the most powerful marketing strategies for growing your listenership.

Even if your flash briefing is not an interview-style audio format. Occasionally featuring guests is an excellent technique for additional marketing exposure and it can reinvigorate a podcast if it has become stale.

Well there you have it 10 proven marketing tactics for Alexa flash briefings for 2020 and beyond that can help catapult your fanbase. Let’s dive into 5 tips for creating great Alexa flash briefings.

5 tips for great flash briefings

You may not become an overnight success immediately after starting an Alexa flash briefing. But eventually, the law of compounding returns kicks in and your audience will grow and your business will accelerate.

You at this point have all you need to know about Alexa flash briefings to kickstart and skyrocket your business. But let’s go over the top 5 tips you need to know to create Alexa flash briefings.

If you would like a comprehensive guide on tips and best practices. Then Amazon provides a great resource in Tips For Creating A Great Flash Briefing Skill.

1. Update flash briefings frequently

What does your typical day look like? When are you interacting with your Alexa? (assuming you own an Alexa device) In the morning when you wake up? At night after you get off work?

Those feel like typical times your audience will be interacting with their voice assistant. That would mean your listeners are using these devices at a minimum of two times a day.

The more frequently you are updating your flash briefing the better. Amazon recommends updating your flash briefings at least daily.

Because it is so easy to schedule flash briefings you could produce morning and night episodes of your flash briefing. This can also be a great tactic to help separate your flash briefings from others in your niche.

2. Fast & reliable servers

If you have the most interesting and engaging flash briefing in your industry. It does not matter if you do not have a fast and reliable server to host your flash briefings.

Sound Up Now and Effct.co are two reliable, easy to use, and fast flash briefing hosting services. Amazon recommends its own AWS cloud services which are free for 1 year.

All of these provide a reliable hosting option. You should use the hosting service that you feel most comfortable with (some options require you to be more tech-savvy than others).

3. Engaging and awaiting

Make content that your listeners look forward to hearing. It is very simple for them to ask Alexa to remove your flash briefing. Give users a reason to look forward to your content.

Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow (here is a free digital copy). Conveys how important it is to create remarkable experiences. How can you do this on your flash briefing?

Differentiating yourself through unique content will help you grow your audience quickly. Mapping your customer’s journey and creating clear buyer personas can help you create your own purple cow.

4. One show in your feed

Every time you post a new show remove the previous flash briefing from the feed. Keeping only one show in your feed will make the best listening experience for your audience.

Flash briefing will automatically play the 5 most recent items in your feed. You will need to manually remove the previous shows if you only want one to air one flash briefing at a time.

Amazon recommends that you remove stale items from your feed. Think of the experience from your user’s perspective and try to create an enjoyable experience.

5. Consistent volume

When recording there should be no background noise. Your content should keep a consistent volume. Having high peaks in volume or low valley’s where your audience struggles to hear you, create a bad user experience.

Although it seems trivial and insignificant. Failing to do this can have your audience’s attention being pulled in the wrong direction. Or worse yet unsubscribing to your show.

Conclusion

Well. there you have it. You have learned all you need to know to crush it with Amazon Alexa flash briefings in 2020 and beyond.

The knowledge you have right now about Alexa flash briefings is probably within the top 5% of the U.S. That is something to be very proud of. Here is a quick recap of a few of the items that we covered in this blog.

  • What an Alexa flash briefing is. And why it is expected to blow up like YouTube.
  • You learned how you can create your own flash briefing. Including all the tools you need to record, host, air, and analyze your own flash briefing.
  • How to market your flash briefing and grow your audience. In addition how you can leverage your flash briefing content to create content for social, video, and more.
  • 5 tips to create world-class flash briefings. Valuable guidelines that will help you create consistent and remarkable experiences that help launch your flash briefing audience.

Great job you are now a voice-first expert and champion. Go share your newfound knowledge with the world and spread your message.

Thank you for letting me serve you. I learn just as much from this process as my readers and I am forever grateful to be on this journey with all of you.

Cheers, 
Michael