5 Learnings for Alexa Skills development from the NEW PLATFORM MARKETING conference 2017

By: GeraldJenkins

WTF is Alexa? I heard about “her” but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had the opportunity to attend the NEW PLATFORM MARKETING conference 2017 in Hamburg, Germany, last week and listen to the expert Nick Schwab hosting the talk “Early Days Alexa Skills Marketing”. I learned the Alexa Skills are the ‘apps’ for the amazon home assistant system.

He already successfully published over 20 different Alexa Skills, which reach more than 250.000 users. Amazon themselves called him the “Alexa Champion”.

If you want to develop an Alexa Skill, he presented some useful tips:

  1. Know your goal! Be sure of what you want to provide to your users. Differentiate between

a. Entertainment: e.g. “Alexa, read out the latest Trump tweets about climate change!”

b. Assistants: e.g. “Alexa, find a free time slot in my calendar for meditation!”

c. Information: e.g. “Alexa, is my ex-boyfriend in a new relationship?”

2. Provide a good voice user experience (VUX)!

A good VUX is composed of:

a. A catchy name: Make sure you find a name that is easy to remember for your skill. Keep in mind that it should not be difficult to pronounce for all people in your target group.

b. Simple and natural voice commands: The name of the game is to make the daily use of the skill as comfortable as possible. For this, you have to implement simple and natural voice commands. Otherwise the users might feel as if they were captured in an early Star Trek episode trying to tell the computer a joke.

c. Adaptive behavior: To preserve the feeling of a natural handling, include adaptive behavior like: “Welcome back! Would you like to hear more financial news?” Starting every time at the very beginning is very annoying.

d. Contextual help: It should be possible to ask for “Help!” at any time (in the process) using the skill and to return naturally without any trouble.

e. Response variation each Alexa to response in variation: “Good Job!”, “Well Done!” or “Excellent!” are just some examples. Think about what it would feel like talking to a real person and what you would like to hear in that case.

f. Short & simple response/information: This is important for two reasons. First: The users like to have their information quick and simple. And the second reason is also that Amazon is not tolerating long audio files as responses.

3. Ask for reviews!

An important currency in app stores is the reviews. Apps with a good ranking get more clicked, than others. Make sure that you ask for them at the end of the sessions. Reviews are also important because they help you to…

4. …Grow your user-base!

It enhances your visibility in the Skill store, if you’re featured in trending collections like “Top Skills of the Week” or “Top Skills of the Day”. In the end Nick Schwab shared some SEO secrets with us:

x Keywords

x Number of reviews

! Name

! Average rating Skill

! The number of enablers

This is very effective and not hard to achieve, if the number of all skills in your country language is not as high as in the US or in the UK. In relation, 65.4% of all Skills are published in the US, 26.9% in the UK and only 7.7% in Germany, according to Schwab.

5. Exchange with others: Join the Alexa slack group!

Share your experience with other developers and users. This is important to find solutions and to stay inspirited. And this is also the place to get the hottest news. Join here.

>>> If you are already an Alexa Champion too, let us know if you agree in the comments. And if you’re a member of an Alexa champion Startup-Team become a member of our next batch applying here.

We are looking forward welcome more startups working with AI in our next batches at next media accelerator.