Daniel Hill of Daniel Hill Media, sat down with QuHarrison Terry and I at Project Voice in Chattanooga, Tennessee and discussed how he helps small business owner with Instagram.
He found a whitespace on Alexa where nobody was talking about Instagram. So he created an Alexa Flash Briefing Skill to help communicate Instagram tips and tricks for Small Business Owners.
Now, smack dab in the middle of the Podcasting and Alexa Skill space, Daniel talks to Qu and I about Voice, Instagram, Creating Content, and of course, The Future.
Here is the full conversation transcript:
Paul: Alright, whats up? Everybody Paul Hickey here with Data Driven Design and the Nashville Voice Conference. I’m here at project voice with Qu Harrison Terry from I.H. (Inevitable Human) of course, and Daniel Hill from Daniel Hill Media.
Paul:Daniel, tell us about yourself and what you do and why you’re at Project Voice.
Daniel: Sure,so I teach small business owners how to use Instagram. That’s sort of what I do. I enjoy speaking and teaching people the things they didn’t know about the app. And I noticed that there was a hole. There was nothing about Instagram on Alexa, and I thought that’s a place where I can bring value and do something unique in a space that no one else is doing. So that’s really what I, got me in this in this environment. And so I have the first Instagram Alexa skill. Its a flash briefing and I give people news and updates they need to know about the platform in 3 minutes or less everyday.
Qu: So, that’s actually quite fascinating.
Daniel: Oh thank you.
Qu:Now, I’ve got a question for you. You ready for it?
Daniel: Sure that’s what I’m here for.
Qu: An Alexa skill, I’m talking about the display module. Rock with me Paul. We’re going to use the Voice Designer to make it happen.
Qu: I take like my favorite models feed, you know IG models. There’s a lot of them out there.
Daniel: I see where this is going.
Qu: You see where this is going.
Daniel: We can do this, yes. Let’s do this.
Qu:You can see the future. I like this guy.
Daniel: No, you’re right because you should be able to say Alexa show me, you know, Kim Kardashian’s latest Instagram pictures and all of them show up on the thing.
Qu: Or just give me the flash briefing, like a calendar.
Daniel: It can go either way. The flash briefing is audio content.
Qu: Oh, it’s all audio content.
Daniel: Strictly. At some point, they will give us the ability to make videos.
Daniel: We don’t have those yet, but it’s definitely going in that direction, right? So, I see your point.
Qu: And then what if I like what if I follow the influencer and then they charge me money to get their premium audio experience.
Daniel: And that’s exactly where its going, like on Instagram there’s the close friends feature right?
Daniel: And some famous people charge $5 a month to be my close friend and then you can see the things that not my normal audience sees, but only my super tight, you pay a month, money every month. You can do the same thing on the Echo Show, right? Only the things that you really want people to know about, they pay and they get the video, they get the images, but everybody else just gets audio. I don’t know. You can do it in a variety of different ways, but I think that’s definitely a thing.
Qu: What’s your take on it Paul?
Paul: I love it. I think we are really on to something. We need to play in this space and make some things happen.
Daniel: I’ll be honest with you. I think we really need a good looking person to kind of,not me probably. Probably like somebody, you know, super attractive.
Qu: What?! You’re super fly.
Daniel: Oh I don’t know.
Paul:You’re all well dressed. I mean you’re the most well dressed person here.
Daniel: We’ll thank you. I wanted to wear my jeans.
Qu: With the Bb8s. He’s got the Bb8s.
Daniel: My mother-in-law got me these Bb8 socks.
Paul: He’s humble.
Qu. He’s got the Bb8s.
Daniel: No,but I’m saying I think if you want to see models on Instagram you’re probably going to want to see attractive people on your Echo show. That’s all I’m going to say.
Qu: I mean I hear you, but there’s not just models. I know people that follow cars.
Daniel: No,no exactly yeah, yeah that’s true. That’s true.
Qu: And you know Bradley Metrock, he follows Alexa. He’s got like a whole Friendstagram going - straight up, where it is just like Alexas in different locations. Ask him about it. Be like Qu a... Ask him about it.
Daniel: Wait, Bradley has a Friendsta? That’s what you’re tell me.
Daniel: Alright, I’m going to ask him about that.
Qu: You didn’t know about it.
Daniel: I actually didn’t know.
Qu: You didn’t get invited to the wedding. He got married to Alexa the other week.
Daniel: Wow, this interview is taking a turn. I didn’t realize you were going this way. I didn’t realize you were going this way. Alright.
Qu: The guy started the Project Voice Conference. You didn’t think he was into Alexa.
Daniel: I mean I figured he was into her, but not like, but not like… I ‘m learning. I’m learning a lot right now.
Qu: You know this is the master. He’s the grand practitioner. He’s going to teach you about Alexa the things that I didnt even know. He taught me about APL the other day.
Daniel: Oh really.
Paul: I thought I was teaching him about APL, but then come to find out, he had more experience than I did, but no. APL, I mean we could use APL, Alexa Presentation Language to build some of these skills that we’re talking about doing for the Echo Show right? Follow our favorite Instagram photo people.
Daniel: Now, how would it get in there? Would it follow the feed for us and automatically kind of grab those pictures and content.
Qu: I mean because Instagram has an API. It’s limited because of the election. We wont talk about that, but it is limited.
Daniel: Not everybody has full access because you have to be at a certain level of partner company to get all the data, but could we not scrape the website for some.
Qu: No, that’s illegal. We’re official over here.
Daniel: Oh really. Let’s not. Okay. Don’t try this at home kids.
Paul: But I like your mind. I like how you’re thinking.
Qu: Yeah we like how you’re thinking but we don’t scrape anything. Don’t scrape anything. Paul do you scrape anything.
Paul: No, I don’t scrape anything.
Qu: I don’t. Do you scrape anything?
Daniel: Yeah, I mean I’m scraping stuff. I didn’t know it was wrong.
Qu: Hey man. We’ll cut that part out. No, I’m just messing with you.
Paul: We’re messing with you.
Daniel: Why are your messing with me? But I’m like, who is watching this later who is going to be like what the hell happened to you there.
Qu: I don’t want you getting snitched on. Amazon’s pretty strict. Have you not negotiated with Amazon?
Daniel: I have. I have spent some time negotiating with Amazon. So I know how it goes.
Qu: Oh so you know how strict they are.
Daniel: Oh, I know how strict they are. I’m familiar.
Qu:If they find out that you have the intent of doing malicious activities that could be harmful.
Daniel: Such as… You’re telling me nobody is scraping data into the AWS and they don’t…
Qu: Have you not read the terms of service and conditions?
Daniel: No, I don’t speak terms and conditions.
Qu:Then you would know that scraping data is illegal.
Paul: But he make’s things happen.
Daniel: It’s a gray area.
Qu: Yeah, it’s a gray area. You’re violating someone’s digital rights and that’s going to come back and bite you.
Daniel: It’s out on the internet for public consumption.
Qu: Actually, I like this argument because what side… Where do you stand on it?
Paul: I mean just make things happen. Shot first and ask questions later.
Qu: Okay, so you’re Mark Zuckerberg.
Daniel: I fully support that view.
Paul: Thank you.
Qu: You’re team Zuckerberg?
Daniel: Not in everything, but in this particular case – yes.
Qu: I’m going to be team human here. I know privacy is a lost cause but can I at least keep my zeros and ones, like together?
Daniel: But it’s not privacy. They’re putting it out on the internet. We’re just borrowing it. It’s like photocopying. It’s like when you go to the library and you photocopy a book and then you put the book back. Is that illegal?
Qu: Yes, that’s illegal.
Daniel: Yeah, I know it is, but it shouldn’t be. But it shouldn’t be that’s the point. That is the point.
Paul: It should not be.
Qu: So we just go to your local library and make photocopies or take your Iphone out and take photos of a book. Post it on Instagram. Call this guy and charge $5 dollars a month to any of your close.
Daniel: At Daniel Hill Media. Go ahead.
Qu: That’s what I learned today. You came to...
Daniel: I’ll probably need legal representation after this conversation.
Qu: See you had it before you went into this and now, you know, I don’t know how they’re going to… I can’t speak for your legal people.
Paul: I think Daniel Hill Media is solving problems that need to be solved and I support it.
Daniel: Thank you.
Qu: Now I’m curious on your take on voice that large. Where is it going in 2020? You’re an innovator yourself.
Daniel: Thank you.
Qu: With the Bb8s.
Daniel: Well thanks. I think it’s definitely targeting the older audience - the people who are not used to tapping and typing and swiping. We need to get more of those people using Voice apps so they understand how easy it is and make it so they don’t have to remember complicated invocations. So they can just remember one or two words to get exactly the skill that they want.
Paul: So you spoke on something. Can you elaborate on that because I thought it was super interesting? It was about how to not forget that you invoked the voice app earlier. Can you talk about that?
Daniel: So I have a cat. It’s very fat. We over feed this cat all the time. And when my wife gets home before I do, if she feeds the cat and then she goes out. I get home. I think the cat is hungry, because it looks hungry and I feed it again. So the cat gets feed twice. So I found this skill called Has The Cat Been Fed. And basically when you get home, you say “Alexa, I’m going to feed the cat” and she says “oh, okay.” And then when someone else comes home and says “Alexa has the cat been fed,”- “yes.” So we have a system right?
Qu: Wait, did you make the app?
Daniel: No,no, it already existed and I found it.
Qu: Straight up. This is actually an app.
Daniel: It already exists. This already exists.
Qu: This is the craziest Alexa App I’ve heard all day.
Daniel: Here’s the problem. Here’s the problem. I forgot to use the app and we started feeding the cat twice again.
Daniel: And the reason is, there’s no visual reminder. The fat orange thing in front of me was not enough of visual reminder for me. So really what we need to do is make it so the skills that you’ve enabled, you remember that they exist or there’s some kind of visual reminder to clue you in like you have apps on your phone.
Paul: So what’s the punchline?
Qu: So you remember. Fashion Nova solved this problem.
Qu: Because they got good looking people to wear clothes that nobody wanted to ever buy or wear. And then you started to have this memory recognition which that Instagram habitually locks you into.
Daniel: It is true. You get used to that.
Paul: Which actually the Echo Show devices, when you use them, they will remind you of your most recently used skills.
Qu: Oh they do?
Paul: Oh absolutely.
Daniel: They do? Oh I didn’t realize they do that.
Qu: So yours says fat cat on it all day?
Daniel: We don’t. I don’t have an Echo Show. But what about the millions of people who only have voice devices.
Paul: Yeah, well that’s a question for you Daniel because you presented on that topic today.
Daniel: Well my answer was you have to use email marketing, social media, and listen to the conversations that are happening on social media to find the people who are using your product. Remind them, follow them, engaged with them, become friends with them, and a community, make a community for the users of your application or skill.
Paul: Right, okay, so infuse it into other parts of your life and other things that you are doing digitally.
Qu: So you got to capture all the attention. Now we’re playing Pokemon. You went from Star Wars the Pokemon.
Daniel: I really somehow missed Pokemon, but I’ll tell you. I live by a park and there’s constantly people just stopping their cars and playing the Pokemon Go game in the park and it looks like gangs of people, but it’s just kids just playing that game.
Qu: I mean yeah because they have to catch all the Pokemon like you have to capture all the people’s attention on all the channels and then bring it back to voice.
Daniel: Is this a Pokie spot? Is this a Pokie gym? What is this a…?
Qu:I mean whatever Paul wants it to be. I’m here to support Paul. So Paul is this a Pokie spot?
Paul: I think you have to come by the Data Driven Design booth and play to find out, right?
Daniel: This is the Data Driven Design Booth.
Qu:Come to Data Driven Design in Chattanooga, in Nashville, digitally, on Alexa.
Paul: That’s right. Alexa.
Qu: You’ve got an Alexa skill.
Paul: Absolutely. Ask Data Driven Design.
Qu: He even has a box full of Alexas that I don’t know if I can talk about yet.
Paul: I’m just happy you think Bradley married Alexa and not me. I mean I’m glad that you went that route. You didn’t pick on me.
Daniel: Guys this has taken a turn.
Qu: It was great. It was a pleasure.
Daniel: It was a pleasure.
Paul: We appreciate your time. It was a lot of fun.
Qu: We will catch you and us in the future.
Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC and founder of The Voice Event, and The Voice Designer, has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 15 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing, Email Marketing and most recently, Voice App Design and Development – Alexa Skills and Google Actions. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.