Here’s how to create an awesome Flash Briefing Skill for the Amazon Alexa in just a few minutes, using Shoutworks.
Here’s a summary of this article:
- There are over 200 million Alexa devices in the US and 4 billion Alexa-ready devices worldwide. This platform is ripe for conquering!
- The top Flash Briefings have gotten 100,000+ reviews and ratings on the Alexa store altogether, making this one of the most popular Skill formats out there.
- A Flash Briefing is like a more interactive version of a podcast. They are a great way to become a part of someone’s daily or weekly routine. For example, you just say “Alexa, Make Me Smart!” and it plays the Marketplace finance podcast!
You type and Alexa reads…
There are a lot of Alexa devices out there. The latest stats show that consumers have over 200 million Alexa devices, in over 80 million homes in the US alone—and those numbers have only grown in the year since.
What’s even better for the aspiring voice marketer is that almost all smartphones and laptops out there are Alexa-ready, meaning they can run the Alexa app and let you access the full Alexa Skill library on-device. That’s over 4 billion devices!
Still, the most popular Alexa Skills are simple to make and to use. You could be broadcasting your weekly newsletter for anyone to listen, announcing updates about your business, or even sending out game summaries of your kid’s little league games to your neighbors. The possibilities are endless!
The reality is that until now, actually making a Skill has been pretty tough. You needed technical knowledge and persistence. That’s where Shoutworks comes in, making it as easy as typing into your WordPress admin panel.
So now that the road is wide open, the question is: What to make?
One of the top Skill types: The Flash Briefing
One of your best options is the Flash Briefing. It’s a simple concept that’s formed the base for some of the most popular Skills to date. What is a Flash Briefing, why do people like it, and what are some good examples to use to build your own?
First, there is no disputing that Flash Briefings are popular. The top 10 have more than 100,000 ratings combined!
NPR’s top Flash Briefing Skill, for example, has over 26,000 reviews on the store, most of them five-star. Why is that? Because they’ve created a great experience of listening to content people want to hear through Alexa. Not only that, but they let you navigate through to find your own member station, or find your favorite program, all just using your voice.
The best part is, it’s not just NPR. Not only Reuters, or Marketplace, or the big news outlets. There are tons of Skills targeted at niche user bases too!
Like the Everyday Positivity Flash Briefing, for example. Every day, its host Kate Cocker shares real-world, practical optimism with her listeners—having a big impact on them and their lives. Everyday Positivity has almost 400 rave reviews on the Skill store, and many more avid listeners.
Shoutworks makes it possible for you to do the same. What kind of Flash Briefing will engage your people every day, or every week?
Getting Started: Building your first Flash Briefing
Here are the steps involved in creating an amazing Flash Briefing that will engage your people and keep them coming back for more.
- Decide on the content for your Briefing.
- Put your content into Shoutworks, preview, and publish.
- Promote your Skill to the world!
Decide on the content of your Briefing
What would your people want to listen to every day or every week? What news, tips, ideas, or stories could you share on a regular basis to give people something of value in their day-to-day lives? Here are a few examples to get you started:
- NPR’s Up First
- Word of the Day Flash Briefing
- Make Me Smart by Marketplace
- This Day in History
- Guided Meditation
What else could you do a Briefing about? Marketing tips, travel inspiration, favorite recipes? The only limit is your imagination!
Put your content into Shoutworks, preview, and publish
Go to our Quick Start Guide for a step-by-step tutorial on how to put your content into Shoutworks, and test and publish your new Alexa Skill. Remember to keep the Flash Briefing box checked on the Engage tab, as seen below. If you want your Skill to be a Flash Briefing and nothing else, be sure to un-check all the other features (even on the Sell tab), then press Update!
Feel free to use content you already have, and repurpose it here. For instance, if you have a newsletter, you can just copy-paste the content directly into Shoutworks to create your new Skill.
If you are creating your Skill’s content from scratch, you can write it directly into your WordPress admin panel, in the Shoutworks plugin. See the Quick Start Guide for how to do it!
Promote your Skill to the world!
Once your Skill is up, now everyone can start using it! They’ll be able to find it themselves on the Amazon Alexa Skill Store, but why wait for them? You can begin engaging the Alexa users in your audience today through your new Flash Briefing. Tell people to ask Alexa about your new Skill, or send them the link to your Skill’s page on the Alexa store.
Last but not least, be sure to put the Shoutworks “Live on the Alexa” button up on your website where every visitor can see it. It will show them how tech-savvy you are, and that you’re committed to delivering them insights and value wherever they are. That button can be found on your Downloads page, down at the bottom.