Get New Listeners And Engage Them Everyday With Alexa Flash Briefings

alexa Podbean

Podcasts are on fire!

Everybody’s talking about podcasts these days. But along with that excitement comes a lot of competition. There are now over 500,000 podcasts on iTunes. Think about that…over a half-million other podcasts are competing with you for new listeners.

So how are you going to stand out from the crowd? How do you make sure your podcast is the one they listen to and then click the “Subscribe” button in their app?

One way might be Alexa Flash Briefings.

What the heck is an Alexa Flash Briefing?

A Flash Briefing is like a “mini-podcast.” It’s a daily, 1-minute informative “briefing” for owners of Alexa devices, like the Amazon Echo. Listeners hear Flash Briefings whenever they say, “Alexa, give me the news.” or “Alexa, give me my Flash Briefings.”

When prompted, Alexa will provide a 1-minute package from Reuters of the top headlines and local weather. She will then begin introducing each Flash Briefing, such as:

“From Pete Blank, this is Pete’s Points – Leadership Strategies”

Then that day’s episode will play. Here’s an example of what one of the episodes from Pete’s Points sounds like:

Listen to Pete’s Points

In my experience working with my clients, we’ve found the formula for the perfect Alexa Flash Briefing to be:

  • Minute long,
  • Time per day,
  • Valuable piece of content,
  • Call to action,
  • Person asked each day for a review.

Why should this matter to a podcaster?

There are four reasons every podcaster should add an Alexa Flash Briefing to their existing production schedule.

So Many Listeners

As of September 2018, there are over 50 million Alexa devices in homes. It’s the fastest any device has ever reached an installed base of over 50 million…even faster than the iPhone. Imagine how much that number will jump by Christmas 2018. Many analysts over 10 million new Echoes will be under the Christmas tree this year.

Very Little Competition

While there is a huge audience out there, as of the time of this writing, there are only about 6,000 Flash Briefings. That imbalance can create a flood of new listeners for each new Flash Briefing.

The averages I see with my clients’ Flash Briefing launches are about 100-200 downloads the first few days and about 1,000 the first month, although one client saw over 10,000 downloads his first month!

Less Friction & Easier Subscribing

Last week, I was talking to a podcaster who’s had a popular show for about 4 years. He said, “Getting a new listener has become a huge challenge. Then it’s just as much of challenge to get them to subscribe or listen again if they like the show.”

Flash Briefings make that easier for your listener because must subscribe to your Flash Briefing before they can listen. But that’s not perceived as a huge requirement because you’re only asking for a minute of their time, instead of an hour. Then instead of needing to take action to subscriber after listening to your show, they have to take action to stop hearing you. The fact that Alexa turns that subscription/listen dynamic around is a much bigger deal than it might seem.

And remember the “call to action” I mentioned in the formula for a perfect Flash Briefing? This is the time you would direct your listeners to your long-form podcast. They’ve heard you, they like you and they might want to hear more. But you now have the opportunity to engage them daily and ease them into giving you an hour of their time.

Easy To Add To Your Existing Production Workflow

You record Flash Briefings with the same equipment you currently use, and store the files on Podbean, just like you do now. Flash Briefings also work on iTunes, Google, Spotify, and the rest, giving you additional audience opportunities.

But since they’re only a minute long, you can batch record and schedule them in Podbean for publication. It only takes about 2-3 hours to record, upload and schedule 30 episodes. Then you don’t have to worry about it again for a month.

How to add a Flash Briefing via Podbean

So, if you’d like to try this, you’ll need to set up a new account with Podbean (or a new channel, if you’re on the Unlimited Plus plan) so that you have an additional RSS feed. You can use this link to sign up and get 30 days free. You can also see all Podbean’s plans on the pricing page. Just as with iTunes, the RSS feed is what makes all the magic happen.

Once you have an RSS feed, creating a Flash Briefing requires an Amazon Developers’ Account and a time commitment of a few hours to a few days to learn to set it up and configure it (depending on your level of tech skills). You can also hire someone to build it for you and spend your time focused on your business. My company, Alexa Guy, does this type of work full-time and there are other companies out there that do the same.

Whether you prefer the DIY route or hire someone to create your Flash Briefing for you, it’s an amazing new tool to build and engage a new audience while also driving new traffic to your existing podcast.

Podbean also offers the ability to record directly from their app, so you can easily produce your daily briefings right from your phone.

About the author

author logo

Jeff Smith is the Alexa Guy. His company helps podcasters, companies, entrepreneurs and speakers build and engage large audiences quickly through Alexa Flash Briefings. He’s offering 15% off his services with the promo code PODBEAN. You can connect with him at:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Email

What Podbean’s Listener Community Means to You, the Podcaster

Podbean app

In addition to providing innovative podcast hosting services, Podbean has a strong listener community. With over 1.5 million installs of the Podbean app and 350,000+ active weekly users, Podbean is increasingly where podcast fans go for their podcasts.

The Podbean app offers many listener-friendly features. It’s also beneficial for podcasters, who can interact with listeners and get exposure. (You can also record and publish using the app!) To improve podcast discovery, the app organizes podcasts in categories and unique topics (like “Scary Stories” for Halloween). Podbean also prominently displays featured and recommended podcasts. The system analyzes users’ behavior to suggest podcasts they might like as well.

The Secret Room Podcast Case Study

Being Featured=An Explosion of Downloads and Subscribers

We always hear from podcasts about their growth in downloads and subscribers after being featured. Today, we’re going to share a case study with specific numbers. The Secret Room podcast was featured in the Podbean recommended banner for a little over a week. Here is what Ben Hamm, co-host of The Secret Room, had to say:

Podcast discovery is an issue that’s been vexing our nascent industry since day one.  Aside from word of mouth, which is perhaps the most accessible and powerful marketing tool podcasters have, getting the attention of media is a powerful audience driver.  The Secret Room has enjoyed its greatest subscriber bumps when we were featured on iTunes and the Canadian Broadcasting Company….and Podbean. 

I’ve been so lucky to receive advice and support from other podcasters.  In return to the community I’m delighted to pull back the curtain on the impact being featured on Podbean had on Secret Room downloads.  People should note that while being featured is a key part of the puzzle, you also have to have compelling artwork to get those click throughs to your show, and great content to retain ears.

Statistics

Average release day downloads: increased 80%

Average daily downloads: increased 200%

Podbean subscribers: growth of almost 400%

Podbean plays: 130% increase

*based on the higher #s of the range before and during the Podbean feature

The Secret Room: a podcast about the stories no one ever tells, can be found on Podbean and on the Podbean app.

 

Organization Podcasting: Educating a Wider Audience

CIA

The Culinary Institute of America is widely known as the premier culinary college. John Barkley is their Director of Strategic Initiatives, Digital Media. He shared his thoughts on why the organization uses podcasting and how it’s contributed to their objectives.

Why did your organization decide to start podcasting?

As the world’s premier culinary college, a non-profit educational institution, one of our core initiatives is documenting and preserving world cuisines.  We started this free video podcast, “Video from The Culinary Institute of America”, as a way to extend our documentaries on global cuisines to a larger audience outside of the CIA classrooms.

What is your primary objective with podcasting?

To share knowledge about food and cooking with future generations of chefs and food enthusiasts.

What benefits have you seen?

It’s great having the exposure we get through Podbean and iTunes. We are reaching an audience that we might never connect with via our traditional e-learning channels.

Have there been any particular features of Podbean that have made it easy for you to implement?

The interface and scheduling aspects of Podbean are easy to use and make podcast publishing simple.

Any challenges you’ve found in podcasting? What future changes or goals do you anticipate?

One of the challenges with maintaining a huge library of video podcast content, is the data storage requirements. In addition, scaling up for the future of 4K video podcasting will bring added data storage requirements and require flexible and affordable cloud-based systems like Podbean.

Organizations like CIA are using podcasts to find new audiences and further their outreach. There are so many creative ways your organization can use podcasting. Podcasting is one of the most accessible mediums, and Podbean makes it easy and affordable. Podcasting can help you reach a wider audience, tell your story in a new way, and reach (and exceed) your goals.

You can find your foodie inspiration on their beautiful podcast at http://cia.podbean.com/. Don’t watch it if you’re hungry!

video from CIA

Easily Share Your Podcast on Tumblr

We’ve added another easy way to share your Podbean podcast far and wide! Now, you can connect Tumblr to your Podbean account for automatic posting to Tumblr. Social sharing is a great way to get your latest posts out to your fans, wherever they like to get their content. This Podbean feature can be a valuable time-saver in your promotional efforts!

share-to-tumblrCheck out this FAQ about how to share Podbean posts to social networks.

How to Automatically Share Podcast Episodes to Social Media

When publishing your podcast episode posts, you may want them to be auto shared to Facebook or Twitter rather than doing it manually every time.

Set-up:

1. Log in to your Podbean account and go to the ‘Settings’->’Social Share’ page. Then click the ‘Connect to Facebook’ or ‘Connect to Twitter’ button. We’ve clicked the ‘Connect to Facebook’ button this time.

auto_share-1

2. Follow the instructions and connect your Podbean account to Facebook. After the connection, the system will show the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts you’ve connected under the ‘Connected Account’ section. Now your post will be auto shared to these connected social media accounts every time you publish (unless you make an exception, as per below).

auto_share-2

Customizing:

If you don’t want something to be shared, you can click the button under the ‘Publish new episode’ section to un-check the selection. You can also customize the text that displays when sharing by clicking the pencil icon.

Autoshare2-20140807

How Can I Submit My Podcast to Podbean’s Directory (and Apps)?

Podbean offers a huge directory of podcasts for listeners to discover. These include podcasts hosted on Podbean as well as many others, in all genres. This directory also populates Podbean’s Android and iPhone apps, which are increasingly popular for listeners to discover new podcasts.

If you are a non-Podbean user and want to put your podcasts on Podbean to gain exposure to a wider audience, you can submit your feed to the Podbean directory for free.

Here are the detailed instructions to submit your podcast:

1. Go to http://www.podbean.com. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Click on “Submit your podcast”.

2. You’ll be directed to the login page. Log into or sign up for a Podbean account (no cost for a free account).

3. Fill in your podcast feed and click on “Submit”. Follow the steps as instructed.

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4. Keep the url and your login information for future reference. Your page will automatically update from your podcast feed. You can also get clickable buttons to put on your site.

* Podbean users with Podbean paid plans are automatically in the directory. For Podbean free accounts, you must verify your account first to be included in the directory. The verification steps will appear in your Podbean account’s dashboard 15 days after your account is created. Your podcast will appear in the Podbean Directory within 24 to 48 hours.

If you are already in the Podbean directory but have not yet claimed your listing, simply go to the listing page and click “claim listing” on the left. This will ensure you are notified of comments and other opportunities.

If you wish to delist your podcast from Podbean’s directory and app for some reason, you can contact our Support team any time to do so. Please note, this means your podcast will no longer be available to Podbean app users.