Below are two ways to get started in a world that is quickly becoming voice-first.
Flash briefings are the equivalent of news flashes and are available on the Amazon Echo and through the Alexa mobile app. Just say “Alexa. Play my flash briefings” and individual flash briefings will begin to play one after another.
Every Echo comes with a default set of flash briefings from a few selected media. But briefings can, and should, be personalized to each person. At present, there are 8,600 flash briefings serving approximately 30 million flash briefing listeners.
Your organization can add its own flash briefing. Briefings are typically 2-5 minutes long each – but must be under 10 minutes – and can be on any topic you’d like.
If you already create content in video form, then consider ripping the audio and using that as the source for some or all of your briefings. If you create written content then that can be the basis for someone speaking the equivalent into a microphone.
If you’re not currently creating content, then this could be an opportunity for you to tell your story, document the journey of building your organization or conducting quick interviews with industry experts.
Once you have the flash briefing, you can also distribute the same content via a daily podcast on the major podcast platforms. That’ll kill multiple birds with one stone.
Major brands either already have, or are rolling out, sonic brands. A sonic brand is the equivalent of a visual logo but in auditory form only. A good example of a sonic brand is the Intel jingle that you hear as the logo is drawn on the screen.
Most big brand TV commercials feature sonic brands – aka jingles – while their logos are drawn on the screen. What’s different about a sonic brand is that those big brands are now using just the jingles on voice-first platforms such as smart speakers. MasterCard just recently gained publicity by rolling out their own new sonic brand and accompanying voice-first features.
Wanting our own sonic brand, my company brainstormed on what we’d sound like. We quickly realized that we’ve used a typing keyboard sound in conjunction with an animated version of our logo in video format for the past two years.
That short video clip – aka a “bumper” video – served as an introduction to all video content that we create. We isolated just the audio from the bumper and what we had left was our new sonic brand.
If you have a bumper video, consider doing the same thing. If not then you can scour the internet for audio that you can commercially purchase and use for your own purposes. Look for a sound that is 2-3 seconds long. Once you’ve found it, and acquired the rights to it, use it everywhere: at the beginning of videos and voice first audio, and at company meetings. Over time people will begin to relate that sound with your brand, the same way they relate a logo to your brand.
Erik J. Olson is the Founder & CEO of Array Digital—a marketing agency that enables its clients to achieve their dreams, fulfill their missions, and impact more lives with their services.