Imagine a potential customer waking up, brushing their teeth, and listening to their customized morning updates on their Amazon Echo. They hear NPR’s latest news and get their local weather report, and oh, wait, they also get wedding tips from you. This continues for three months, and now your business is part of their morning routine.
After three months, they find themselves struggling to find the perfect florist or wondering about the process of booking a wedding caterer. They recall a tip from their morning updates; it was something they hadn’t even thought of but saved them time and money. Over time, they’ve learned to trust your business, and now when they are researching vendors, your business is at the top of their mind.
Welcome to the world powered by voice. Technology continues to change the way people consume content. The latest innovation is voice-automated technology, such as the popular Alexa by Amazon. People are using Alexa on their mobile devices, Echo/Echo Dot, and computers daily. More than 10 million people have downloaded the Alexa app, and in just seven months the app went from 5 million users to 10 million. That’s unheard-of — and tells us that this technology is here to stay.
What Is Alexa
Alexa is a voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service. People download the app on their phone, tablet, Echo Dot or computer, and customize their content experience with a variety of functions such as music, videos and skills. One of the most used skills is a Flash Briefing.
What Are Flash Briefings?
A “Flash Briefing” is a function of Alexa that delivers customized audio content such as news, comedy, interviews and more. People merely enable (follow) the channels like on YouTube, and ask Alexa to play their briefings by saying: “What’s in the news” or “What’s my Flash Briefing.” Then Alexa plays their briefings.
The briefing is taken from the channels the user enables. The most popular channels range from news outlets like NPR to businesses like Fazoli’s (with voice-enabled ordering.)
Voice is an evolving space, much like SEO was a few years ago. Audio platforms like Alexa enable consumers to curate their content, discover new businesses, and listen to their updates on-the-go or at home. Consumers love this personalization and control, and companies are taking advantage of building communities early on platforms like Alexa.
We predict that this space will continue to grow, so if you are looking for an innovative and cost-effective way to delight your customers and get in front of new people, this may be the solution. Here are five ways a flash briefing can help you grow your small business.
Five Ways Flash Briefings Can Help Your Business Grow
- Consistent updates keep your brand on people’s minds. When consumers are ready to purchase, they will remember your brand and reach out.
- Valuable content delivered consistently builds trust and credibility for your business.
- Referrals! People love to share their latest and greatest find. When you have consistent and valuable content that people like, they will share it with their friends and on social platforms.
- You can reach new people where they want to be reached. More consumers are choosing to interact with content on their phones and tablets. Be where there are, and take advantage of their preference while on-the-go.
- Create content for your website, social media, email marketing and more. Not only should you promote flash briefings on all your platforms, but you can also integrate this channel into your marketing mix and have some fun with it!
From tips to inspirational quotes, there is content that you — the expert in your field — can leverage to grow your business. For example, Eagle Realty’s briefing is: “The Myrtle Beach Real Estate Minute.” This briefing delivers price and inventory updates and shares investment and home buying opportunities in their market.
Another local business has a briefing called, “A Dose of Positive Energy.” This is what the business owner had to say about it:
“It has opened many doors for my business, including being discovered by a local radio station that wants me to do a SHOW, connecting to new clients and so much more!”
How Easy Is It To Do?
Let’s start with the financial numbers: the cost to businesses of having an Alexa skill is basically zero. Once the skill is created and implemented, there is practically no overhead involved with maintaining it or distributing it to your clients. All it takes is for a user to activate the skill, and it automatically plays during their Flash Briefing.
Depending on your line of business (and your imagination), your skill can be practically anything. For example, one digital marketer created a skill for an Arts Organization that highlights arts & culture events in the area. The skill essentially reads the organization’s events calendar back to the end user.
Another small business asked the digital marketer for help coming up with a quiz game. As an organization dedicated to revitalizing a historic theater, they wanted an interesting and innovative way to engage their target audience. The Pink Pig Events skill dishes out a fun party planning tip to users every day.
You might be wondering, “How does this help me make a sale?” An Alexa skill with your brand’s name is not going to be the only reason a customer makes a purchase. However, it might be the reason they walk into your storefront, or visit your website. By hearing your name over and over, recognizing your willingness to take on the new, fun, and cutting-edge ways they want to be reached, and by engaging in your skill on a daily basis, your business name will be at the forefront of their minds as they make everyday decisions on purchases or investments.
Consumers love interacting with new technology. Some apps are trendy and disappear within a few months, and some, like Alexa, become part of people’s daily lives. You’d be surprised at how easy this is to manage and how much business awaits.