Create an Alexa Flash Briefing

Want to grow your audience with Alexa Flash Briefings?

Then, get excited. Today, you’ll learn how to create an Alexa Flash Briefing in the easiest and fastest way so that you can focus on growing your audience.

Ready to get started? Here we go.

What is an Alexa Flash Briefing?

Let’s start with the basics:

What is an Alexa Flash Briefing and how do you use Briefings to grow your audience?

Great question! That’s what we’ll look at here below.

How do you use Alexa Flash Briefings?

The simplest way to describe an Alexa Flash Briefing is this:

It’s audio that people can subscribe to. Think of a Flash Briefing as a mini-podcast or mini content. With their Alexa devices, your audience then listens to these “briefs.”

And whether you’re in real estate or fitness, Flash Briefings work great for your audience.

Think about it: People listen to your content straight from their living room… Every day! It’s simply one of the best ways to build a relationship with your listeners and customers.

With your Briefings, you can share content like daily real estate listings, fitness tips, motivational quotes, interesting facts, or summaries of your latest blog posts.

Now, are you wondering what Alexa Flash Briefings look like on Amazon? Here are just a few examples of real Alexa Flash Briefings:

Alexa Flash Briefing example

Alexa Flash Briefing example

Why should you create Alexa Flash Briefings?

One of the main reasons content creators (business owners, marketers, podcasters, bloggers, and more) use Alexa Flash Briefings?

Simple. With their Briefings, they can reach their audience in the comfort of their homes.

And because Briefings are usually published on a daily or weekly basis, they can do so every day. As a result, content creators stay top of mind for their target listeners and customers.

Not sure if your audience listens to Alexa Flash Briefings? Well, 20% of Alexa users already do. As Alexa devices become increasingly popular, so will Flash Briefings.

Plus, Alexa Flash Briefings are still relatively new. By getting started now, you’ll get a first mover’s advantage.

Now that you know what Alexa Flash Briefings are, let’s move on and look at how you create them in the easiest way.

How to create an Alexa Flash Briefing

So, what is the best way to create an Alexa Flash Briefing?

You can either create your Briefing manually or use a content management system that lets you automate a big part of the process.

Here below, you learn how to do both.

Manually create an Alexa Flash Briefing

How do you create a manual Alexa Flash Briefing?

First, to create a Briefing, you need to create a skill.

And what’s a skill? A skill is like an app. It’s a voice-driven Alexa capability that powers your Flash Briefings.

The easiest way to manually create a skill is to use the Alexa Skills Blueprint, which basically offers templates for your skills.

Alexa Blueprint

One of these templates is the Flash Briefing blueprint. That’s the blueprint you should use for your Flash Briefings. Other options are the Blog blueprint for bloggers, the University blueprint for universities, the Spiritual Talks blueprint for religious organizations, and so forth.

And how do you use the Alexa Skills Flash Briefing blueprint to create your own Briefing? Here are the steps you need to take:

Step #1: Upload your content and create a skill

Go to the Skill Blueprints page.

Once you’ve chosen “Flash Briefings” on the Blueprints page, you’ll be asked to give some basic details about your content.

Flash Briefing Blueprint

Choose a feed name, a category and an introductory message. You’ll also need to insert a name.

Then, upload your content or add it as an RSS feed or text.

Once you’ve done all that, you’ll be asked to create a skill. Click on “Create skill” and you’re done.

Step #2: Publish your skill to Alexa Skills Store

Now you have your content and a skill, but it needs to be published.

How? When you’ve created your skill, click on “Publish to skill store.”

You’ll then be redirected to a page titled “Name and Test.” Now, you’ll be asked to choose an opening phrase and a name.

Alexa Blueprint name and test

When you’re done, go to “Details” to fill in information such as your icon and keywords for your skill.

Then, submit it to Amazon to be published in the Skills Store. Your skill will be reviewed before it’s published.

And you’re done!

However, note that manually creating Flash Briefings has a major shortcoming. There’s no way to schedule your Briefings, so you need to add your Flash Briefings every time you want to publish them. In other words: You’ll have to go back every day to change your content, which becomes time-consuming fast.

If you want a more efficient system that lets you host, create, and pre-schedule your Briefings, read on. That’s what you can do with a content management system.

Create an Alexa Flash Briefing with a content management system

The other, simpler, way to create an Alexa Flash Briefing is to use a content management system (CMS), like our own CMS, Flashtalk.

Flashtalk

By using a CMS, you don’t have to take the manual steps above. Instead, a CMS works like Soundcloud for podcasts. You can host your content on the CMS platform and instantly create your skills.

You start by uploading your audio to the CMS and from there, it’s published as a Flash Briefing. With Flashtalk, you can also upload text, which Alexa then translates to audio.

One of the best things about a CMS platform?

You can schedule your Briefings. That way, you can batch your Briefings and add them to be published at a set date (as opposed to uploading them manually whenever you want them to go out).

Want to know how you can upload and publish your skills using a CMS, like Flashtalk? Take these steps:

Step #1: Upload your audio to your CMS

On Flashtalk, we make it easy to create a skill in three steps. We call this the Wizard:

You’ll first be asked to add a name and some other information, like the type of content you want to upload (audio or text) and your scheduling options.

Flashtalk options setup

On the next page, you’ll upload your content.

Upload content

Once you’ve done that, you have a skill. On the third page, you can choose to test your skill and see how it works on Alexa. Simple, right?

Test skill

But there’s one more step you need to take. You need to publish your skill.

Step #2: Create an Amazon Developer Account to publish your skill

To publish your skill, you will need to create an Amazon Developer Account.

How do you do that? After you’ve uploaded your skill, you’ll be asked to connect your account.

Connect account ADA

First, go to the Amazon Developer Portal. Fill in your contact details and a developer or company name (this will be displayed as your creator name when you publish your skill).

Next, you’ll be asked if you want to monetize your content. (You can change this setting later.)

Once you’ve filled in these forms, you’re done.

Now, go back to your Flashtalk tab.

Click on “Connect to Amazon” and sign in to your Amazon Developer Account. Now your Flash Briefings are linked to Amazon and can be published at your chosen time and date.

Step #3: Schedule Briefings

Want to make Flash Briefings as easy as possible?

Then, you’ll love the options you have in your CMS. You see, a CMS makes it easy to schedule all your Briefings.

You can choose to publish your content a year in advance or automate and publish it randomly.

And once you’ve scheduled your content, you’re done. You’re ready to start growing your audience with Flash Briefings.

IMG_Flash Briefing published

Next, let’s look at how you can do that strategically.

How to create successful Alexa Flash Briefings and grow your audience

Now you know how to get your Alexa Flash Briefings up and running. But how do you get more listeners, create Briefings people love, and get them to tune in every day? Here’s how.

What content should you share?

First, think about the type of content you put out there. Your Flash Briefings are part of your overall content marketing strategy, so you’ll want your Briefings to work together with all the other content you publish.

For example, can you share daily tips that go hand-in-hand with your blog content? Or maybe summaries of your blog posts to get people to read and engage? Alternatively, maybe you repurpose your emails as Briefings.

Need some inspiration? For example, this Alexa Flash Briefing gives you daily tips on Alexa features:

Flash Briefing Alexa

The Wall Street Journal provides daily news Briefings:

Flash Briefing WSJ

And then there are Flash Briefings like Word of the Day, which teaches you a new word every day:

Flash Briefing Word of the Day

As well as The Daily Show, which gives you the most important headline of the day:

Flash Briefing The Today Show

Flash Briefings are supposed to be short (like mini podcasts), so keep them brief and to the point.

Plus, as with your overall content marketing, your Briefings should primarily give value to your audience instead of promoting your products and services.

How to get people to take action

Now, you might be wondering… If your Briefings aren’t supposed to be promotional, how can you get people to act (and eventually buy from you)?

Simple. At the end of your Briefing, ask them to take the action you want them to take (for example, go to a webpage to sign up for your email list or buy your product). Alternatively, you can ask them to watch a video or read a blog and that way, engage them further.

Also, with Flash Briefings, you can insert a link for every piece of content. When listeners want to have more information about the topic, they can find the link in the Alexa App, click it and come to your site.

For example: Let’s say you share daily recipes with your Flash Briefings. Your link can redirect people to the recipe on your website or a PDF they can download by signing up to your email list.

What tech tools do you need to create an Alexa Flash Briefing?

Think you need a pro-level microphone and fancy editing software to create your Flash Briefings?

You don’t. Your phone and the recording apps on it are enough. For example, your iPhone allows you to record voice memos. They work great as Flash Briefings!

And if you want to edit recordings, you can use a video editing software like Audacity.

Now, you CAN go pro if you so want to. But the point is this: Your Alexa Flash Briefings can be made very simple.

Excited to start promoting your business with Alexa Flash Briefings?

There you have it. Now you know how to create an Alexa Flash Briefing in the easiest way possible.

I’d love to hear from you:

What’s the first Alexa Flash Briefing you’ll create?

Leave a quick comment below and share your ideas!