The modern business and industry world is all about competition and rivalry. In an age where technology and digitization plays such a critical and central role in the daily routine of almost every other individual, it is extremely important for you, as a business entity to come up with relevant, contemporary, digital solutions that will appeal better to your customers and go a long way into developing an impression on them. Not only that, but modern technology can also help make your work as a marketer or business owner much easier as it adds an entirely new and welcome dimension to the way things happen in your workspace.
You may be surprised to know but Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot devices, equipped with the handy assistant Alexa, can do much more than simply act as your housekeeper or manager. Were you aware of the fact that you can actually use Amazon Alexa to set up a flash briefing for your customers? Using this flash briefing feature you can always keep your clients up to date on the latest info regarding your products, services, events, and other content, always keeping them engaged in what you and your brand is doing at any given time.
If you are still wondering what a flash briefing actually is, here is the answer to your question. A flash briefing is basically an audio recording of some kind of content pertaining to your products that will be delivered to your customers on a set schedule, such as daily, weekly, or monthly, via devices such as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot that operate on voice command and give audio output.
But how exactly does the briefing play on a customer's device? Do you send it out and it plays immediately after on their Amazon Echo or Dot without any prompt? How it works is that you create a briefing and put it on the Alexa Skills store. Users can then install or download the briefing on to their systems as one of the skills. As such, whenever they would ask Alexa to play their flash briefing, it would say your message out loud.
The flash briefing can be up to 10 minutes long and contain any content related to any expert tips, quotes, insights, news, event information, updates, product announcements, offers and discounts, or anything else you would like to communicate to your loyal customers.
So how exactly do you set up a flash briefing? Let's take a look at the process step by step:
The very first step that you need to cover is to create your very own RSS feed. This feed is basically the platform where you will be uploading your audio content for the flash briefing. You can pair your feed up with AudioRSS.com which is a tool that makes scheduling self hosted audio files extremely easy. Collect your feed URL from under the Flash Briefing option in the My Feeds tab and use this link on your Developer Console.
The next step is to become an Amazon Developer by creating an account. You can do so by following this link: https://developer.amazon.com/. Look for the Developer Console option in the upper right corner which will ask you to sign in to your Amazon account. You will then need to provide your contact info as well as company info to get your account up and running. Click on Save and Continue, accept the Terms and Conditions, and then decide whether or not you wish to monetize your content, after which you will have set up your dashboard.
On top of your dashboard, you will see an Alexa tab. Click on it and then click on Get Started. Then click on Create Skill, type in the name, and move on by pressing Next. you will be offered the option to use a pre built model skill or create your own from scratch. You can start off by selecting the Flash Briefing option.
Firstly, you will set up an error message which is basically something Alexa will tell your customer if there's an error in delivering your content to them. You can also hear a preview by clicking on the play button right next to it. Next comes the rest of the information about your briefing. Preamble constitutes a brief introduction about your feed, about 70 words. You can also add an identification name for your feed and determine the frequency of updates (daily, weekly, or monthly). Specify Audio when it comes to the type of content. You can also select a category from a drag down menu such as Business or Technology. Among other things, you can also add an icon for your feed as well as add the URL of your RSS feed to connect them. Click on the Add button to finish up with configuration.
Next step is to check out how your skill will show up in the Alexa Skills store. Click on the Launch tab on top of the page and enter the skill name you want the app to show as the Public Name along with a short, one sentence description. You can then write out a more fleshed out description in the About This Skill section including any requirements the user should know about before installing the skill. You can also upload small and large icons as well as determine an ideal category for your skill. Click Save and Continue once done.
The next step asks you to answer a bunch of questions pertaining to privacy and availability among others. You will be asked regarding compliance issues as well. Once you are finished locking in your choices, click on Save and Continue.
The last step before you are ready to get your briefing in is to run a validation check. Amazon will go through your flash briefing and let you know if there are any changes that need to be made before posting. After you have checked off everything on the given list, you can submit it for further review from where it will be forwarded to Amazon for final approval.
Once your feed is all up and ready, it is time to record your audio content. You have a limit of ten minutes. The audio can be recorded through any medium as long as it is in the form of an MP3 or an MP4 file. Upload your file to Auditors.co when you are done and click on Add New Briefing to carry on. Type in the name of the briefing as well as the date you want it to be published. You can then upload your audio by clicking on Choose File and then Save New. Your briefing has been scheduled for publication.
Measuring and keeping up with the analytics of your briefing in order to judge its performance is a crucial component of the process. You can access it by going to your Developer Console and clicking Measure. You can determine the time interval for which you wish to view the analytics and also decide whether you want to view the data as a graph, chart, or a grid.
The final step is to get those ears to tune in to your flash briefing. All you have to do is head on over to the Alexa Skills store, go to your skill, and click Share. You will be enabled to share your briefing through email to your subscribers, send links, as well as post it on to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
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