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What are Alexa Flash Briefings and how can they benefit brands?

Amazon sold 16.5 million smart speakers and smart displays in Q4 2020, followed by Google with 13.2 million (Voicebot).

A consumer survey by Voicebot found that 87.7 million U.S. adults were using smart speakers as of January 2020. Digital voice assistants in use will triple to 8 billion by, and Alexa currently has a 31.7% market share among global voice assistants.

Smart speakers represent a huge distribution platform – and therefore a huge opportunity for brands.

There is a particularly large well of untapped opportunity to be found in Alexa Flash Briefings. Currently, there are fewer than 5,000 results for ‘Flash Briefings’ when searching on Amazon. Compared to the podcast market where there are currently 850,000 active podcasts, the Alexa Flash Briefing market is far from being saturated as these skills are still relatively new. Becoming an early adopter of Flash Briefings could be a great way to connect with new audiences and strengthen long term relationships with existing ones.

Global smart speaker and smart display by vendor Q4 2020

What are Alexa Flash Briefings?

Think of Flash Briefings as mini podcasts, each under ten minutes long. Triggered by the phrase “Alexa, play Flash Briefing”, they are short informational updates that are published regularly (even hourly), allowing brands and businesses to quickly update audiences with their latest news and services.

By saying this phrase, the user triggers a short update that can be personalised from thousands of content options. There are Flash Briefings for every topic, including news, technology, inspirational quotes, and the weather. What is important to note is that people who listen to Flash Briefings do so routinely, usually every weekday morning or evening. They therefore represent a powerful opportunity for your brand’s voice to become part of your audience’s daily life.

You can see here what Merkle’s SEO Flash Briefing on the Amazon UK store looks like. Activating the briefing on an Alexa device is as simple as pressing the ‘Enable’ button:


Merkle’s SEO News Flash Briefing on the Amazon storeMerkle’s SEO News Flash Briefing on the Amazon store

Why the length of Alexa Flash Briefings brings an added benefit to brands

Alexa Flash Briefings should be kept between 2 – 4 minutes long, although they can last up to 10 minutes. By keeping your briefings concise, you’re not just ensuring that your audience hears your full marketing message, you’re also increasing the likelihood that they will be listened to from beginning to end. And, as with YouTube videos, it’s likely that Amazon will reward those briefings that are listened to without being skipped.

How Alexa Flash Briefings can be used as an effective marketing tool

Every marketing channel has its pitfalls. Email marketers face the challenge of getting recipients to read the subject line and open the email. On social media, feeds are so populated that a brand’s message can be diluted or lost amongst the hundreds of other posts competing for their audience’s time.

Alexa Flash Briefings avoid many of these issues. When a person subscribes to a briefing, they are building a much stronger connection to the brand than they would through other marketing channels. No other posts or feeds are visible and competing for their time and attention, and no other messages are popping up in their inbox as a distraction. The audience is requesting and listening directly to that brand’s voice and message on a daily basis.

What to include in an Alexa Flash Briefing?

Alexa Flash Briefings should appeal to both new and existing customers, aligning with the rest of your marketing plan to provide informative content and target your set KPIs. The tone of your Briefings should match the brand voice, and this can easily be achieved by repurposing content. If you have high performing marketing material such as blogs or whitepapers, snippets of these can be repurposed in a way that is suitable for audio and voice technology. If your brand is not producing regular news, batch-recording content will allow you to increase productivity and schedule ahead – particularly useful if you plan to release a new Alexa Flash Briefing every day.

Why Alexa Flash Briefings should be part of your marketing mix for 2022

All indicators suggest that Alexa Flash Briefings are only going to grow in popularity, and there is currently a huge amount of untapped potential in the market.

Becoming an early adopter will provide brands with a competitive advantage over companies who are slower to establish their presence through this channel. As the market becomes more saturated and other companies begin to invest, your brand will already be benefiting from an established and growing audience base that out-performs the competition.

Get in touch today if you want to find out more on how Merkle can help to expand your brand’s reach to new audiences through Alexa Flash Briefings and other channels.