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December 12, 2017Jennifer King
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.
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:
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.
We’ve created a few templates you can use to create your skill marketing materials. Here are several easy-to-use PowerPoint templates, in addition to Photoshop templates for those with more proficient design skills.
For guidelines on using the Amazon Echo and Alexa brands in your promotion material, check out the Alexa Skills Marketing Guidelines.
Apply these tips, templates, and resources to start attracting more engaged users to your Alexa skill today.
Bring your big idea to life with Alexa and earn perks through our tiered rewards system. US developers, publish a skill in December and receive an Alexa developer hoodie. If 100 customers use your skill in its first 30 days in the Alexa Skills Store, you can also apply to receive a free Echo Dot to help you make Alexa even smarter. If you need inspiration, consider creating a holiday-themed skill to get into the holiday spirit. If you're not in the US, check out our promotions in the UK, Germany, and India. Learn more about our promotion and start building today.