Tuesday, June 25, 2019

AirKast: Tips for promoting your Alexa Skills from Amazon!

Amazon recently released some best practices to market your Alexa Skills.  

Here are 7 steps to achieving greater distribution:

With so many skills for customers to choose from in the Alexa Skills Store, developers are vying for their attention and seeking ways to increase engagement with their skills. And now that developers can earn money for eligible skills that receive the highest engagement, it’s an even more exciting time to optimize your skill and its presence to reach more customers.
Ensuring your skill is engaging and aligns with consumer expectations for voice-first experiences is the first step to creating a top-performing skill. The next step is coming up with creative strategies and using the right tactics to promote your skill to eager Alexa users. Here are 7 things you can start doing to make your skill more discoverable both in the Alexa Skills Store and through your existing network.

Add the Right Finishing Touches 

In addition to delivering a consistent and engaging skill, you want to think about your skill’s finishing touches to help attract new customers. 
1. Optimize Your Skill Name and Invocation Name
Give your skill a clear and intuitive name that speaks to its purpose and value. The name should set clear expectations on what your skill can do and what the customer experience will be like. For example, when you hear the name for a skill called Twenty Questions, you immediately know what the skill will do. Also, make sure your skill name doesn’t overpromise and set false expectations. If, for example, you name your skill Email Manager, make sure it enables customers to send and receive emails by voice.
Your skill name should also be easy to remember so customers can recall it when they are ready to activate your skill. One good way to test memorability is to say your invocation name aloud in context, just as a customer would. With a skill like Twenty Questions, it’s easy for a user to simply say “Alexa, play Twenty Questions” when they are ready to begin the game since the skill name is short and intuitive. Also, try to avoid names that are long, hard to pronounce, or hard to remember.
2. Write a Clear, Value-Rich Description
When customers visit the Alexa Skills Store, they have tens of thousands of skills to choose from. Along with an intuitive skill name, a well-written skill description will go a long way in drawing customers’ attention and convincing them to give your skill a try.
Make sure your skill description clearly articulates the value of your skill. Share how your skill makes a task faster, easier, or more delightful with voice. Include details and utterances that showcase your skill’s key features and pique customers’ interest. And use keywords that may help customers discover your skill.
If you intend to regularly refresh your skill’s content, include that information in your description. Share how often you plan to update your skill so customers will know to keep coming back for more delightful interactions.
3. Add an Eye-Catching Skill Icon
Along with a description, every skill in the Alexa Skill Store has an icon to help the skill stand out. Even though your Alexa skill is a voice-first experience, the skill icon is important because it will help differentiate your skill from the tens of thousands of other skills in the Alexa Skills Store. Use your beautiful skill icon as another opportunity to grab customers’ attention.
Keep in mind that your icon doesn’t have to be flashy; in fact, some of the best icons feature thoughtful and intuitive design that visually speak to what the skill is all about. As you’re designing your skill icon, keep in mind a few design best practices:
  • Keep it simple. Avoid cluttering the icon with fine detail, which will be hard to see in small sizes.
  • Keep text to a minimum. If you have to include text, make sure it fits in the boundaries of the icon frame, and make it big enough to be legible even at the smallest sizes.
  • Avoid using photographs. They quickly become hard to see at smaller sizes.
  • Make it recognizable. Customers should be able to identify your icon at a glance and have some idea what the skill represents.

Spread the Word

Now that you have an engaging skill with a beautiful skill store presence, you can start telling people about what your skill can do. Here are a few ways you can market your skill to attract new customers.
4. Send an Email to Your Network
The easiest way to attract new users is to let the people you know that you have a new Alexa skill. Friends, family, colleagues and other people in your network will likely want to check out your latest innovation if you let them know. Send your network a quick note with a link to the skill on the Alexa Skill Store along with the instructions on how to enable and invoke it on Alexa.
If you already have customers who are using one of your products, you can also easily let them know about your new Alexa skill. Send them an email or include details about the skill in your newsletter. Include a few sample utterances to pique their interest and help them get started.
5. Add to Your Email Signature and Update Marketing Icons
Your email signature is prime real estate for important products or messages you want to promote. Include a quick description and a link to your skill to build awareness for your skill. You can also include an image of your skill icon and a sample utterance to help users get started quickly as soon as they click to learn more and enable your skill. And now that you have a beautiful new Alexa icon to showcase your skill visually, add it to your social, mobile and other marketing icons.
6. Feature Your Skill on Your Website
Your website is a great location to showcase news and important announcements, including the launch of your new Alexa skill. Once your skill is published, craft a message for your homepage announcing your skill and pointing customers to it in the Alexa Skills Store.
You can also make the announcement and introduce your skill on your blog. Your blog post should outline what your skill can do, why you built it, and how customers will benefit from using the skill.
7. Promote Your Skill on Social Media
Amplify the news about your skill and expand its reach to thousands (or millions) of potential users on social networks. You can post a link to your skill in the Alexa Skills Store or share a link to the blog post you wrote announcing the skill. You can also share your skills directly from the Alexa app.
To create a more enticing social media post, try to take a short video of your skill in action and post it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other social network. Make your video short and engaging, highlighting the most compelling ways customers can use your skill and how to invoke it.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Engagement Factor: The Tale Of Two News/Talk Radio Stations

All Engagement Factors Are Not The Same

Here's a story of two AirKast mobile clients, both owned by the same company, both the same format in different major markets.  Both have award-winning legendary status, both deliver amazing local content and their AirKast "Engagement Factor" is almost identical but what's driving their mobile engagement is entirely different.

The station above is a major market Northeast radio client.  Their monthly engagement factor is driven by their podcasts on mobile with social media close behind.  These are in addition to the streaming audio they deliver.

This station is in the South.  Granted the news content varies by region, you can see how active their social media feeds are on mobile.

With streaming services looking more like traditional radio these days, from music to podcasts, broadcasters need to understand that mobile streaming and social are not silos.  They work in tandem to drive audio engagement.  

Set and keep track of your monthly KPI's, don't waste time on content that isn't resonating.  Take a deep dive into what fans are actually 'touching' in your app and tell your story better.

Use your AirKast "Engagement Factor" as a guide to help you stay informed and share best practices.

Need more staff training...email clientsupport@airkast.com to setup a refresher course.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

More people are engaging with mobile and television time is declining

For the first time ever eMarketer has stated that more people are engaging on mobile devices as their television time declines.  Now more than ever, fans are using mobile for movies, tv, audio, and games.  

Check out the article here.

If you don't have an audio strategy in place, we can help.  From Podcasting to Social Media we give you the tools to drive more fan engagement.  Your brand is more than just streaming music, news, or talk.  Use everything piece of content you can to win.

More importantly, set up KPI's to measure and track your progress through your dashboard analytics.

Email clientsupport@airkast.com for more help.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Hey Siri...Open MY app! (Google does it too!)


Image result for person talking to siri

Apple released a series of announcements at their recent developer conference one that included access to local radio stations using Siri.

As an AirKast client did you know that you can already launch your local mobile apps by voice on your phone?  It works beautifully with Siri and Google Assistant on your phone.  All you have to do is ask them.

Voice activation is everywhere, that's why AirKast builds Alexa Smart Speaker skills for free as a companion to your mobile app, we're about audio everywhere!

We're also working with some companies right now to test voice-ads for Podcasters and new ways to share snackable audio in your mobile apps.  If you're interested in learning more email clientsupport@airkast.com