Tick Yes Blog

Category - Content Marketing

Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

Can you imagine speaking directly to a captive audience of potential customers? I’m not talking about the room of people you might find at a conference or seminar, but potentially tens of thousands of prospective...

Personalised Content: The Best Way to Engage with Customers

With the incessant growth of digital communications, newspapers and other publishers have been forced to come up with new ways to tell stories.
Companies that are not in the publishing business, but use content as a part of their marketing strategy can learn a lot from these emerging storytelling tactics.
When it comes to personalised content, gamification is king. The more you can learn programmatically – primarily using data for better targeting – about your customer or audience member, the more personalised your content will be.
Here are some actionable tips on how you can incorporate personalised content into your content marketing strategy:
Quizzes Drive Content
Digital publisher Buzzfeed is famous for creating content based on user feedback. They collect feedback from visitors to their pages via a customised quiz and then release content based on the results. For example, they just released an “Add Yours” quiz calling all readers to add their favourite celebrity cookbook to their survey. Later, they’ll release a round-up of the top answers submitted.
This content is personalised to a group of your audience members, and is effective for two reasons:

It allows you to know that your content is of interest – the rationale being if people complete your survey, they’re interested in the topic
It’s user curated and your audience feels like they are taking part in your content.

Consider doing a survey round-up of a product, hobby or service that your audience might be interested in to drive a bit more engagement with your pages.
Story based on Personal Info
Another way to create personalised content is to sort your content by certain parameters that pertain to your customer. For example, this article from the BBC explains the changes that have happened to the planet during your personal lifetime.
While this type of content is still personal, the reader does all the customisation work as it’s self-selecting. The content is segmented and personalised, but is easy to create because it’s still general when being created.
Consider segmenting the history of your company, campaign preferences based on age, or maybe interests as another angle for your next content release.
Gamified Conversion Funnel
Finally, when it comes to getting your content to convert, the best way you can do so is to gamify the process. When people feel like brands really want to get to know them, they’re more likely to provide them with information about themselves.
For example, the clothing services Bombfell and Trunk Club have long conversion funnels, but they’re getting as much information as they can from their customers so they can better style for them.
Plus, the conversion funnel is fun. Customers get to pick styles, brands and clothing items that they think help define them.
The bottom line: personalised content boosts engagement with your audience, and makes them more mindful when they interact with your brand.
Image Source

Shutterstock
Bombfell

How to Make Your Content Actionable

Content is not a magical formula that will make your target audience find your product and then breathlessly buy from you.
The power of actionable content comes from your ability to attract the right audience, enabling them to interact with you and then to elevate that relationship to the next level i.e. for them to become a customer.
So, how do you make your content actionable? Most importantly, you must give the reader, viewer or listener a sense of how they can – and should – apply that information to their own problems and experiences.
To begin your journey towards making your content more actionable you need to start by understanding what actionable content isn’t. It’s not condescending, it’s not obvious and it’s not something your reader can easily Google and find somewhere else. Actionable content gives your reader assurance that they best know how to use the information you’re giving them.
Content, of course comes in many styles, shapes and sizes but the most important thing to remember is that it has to be useful. Check out this great example for marketers, helping them build a comprehensive strategy, step by step.
At its core, actionable content has a few key steps that give you the best possible chance of succeeding every time.
Get your story straight — create and keep a good narrative.
Good writing is essential to all content, of course. The trick to making your content actionable is taking your good writing a step further and framing a narrative for your readers.
The proof is in the science. Researchers at Washington University in St Louis found that instead of just being able to produce facts presented to them, listeners of a story were living the narrative right alongside their protagonist.
This is a powerful tool for brands who want customers to understand how their product fits into their audience’s own narrative, not just communicate what they do.
You can differentiate yourself through your voice, relatability and the delivery of useful content.
The Humane Society of Silicon Valley had this dog adopted by telling a, yes humane and entertaining story about him—shaping a narrative instead of the traditional sad angle taken by most pet adoption societies:

Here’s what some of their readers had to say:
“[I]f you’re looking for a floor-sleeping, speed bump of a dog that minds his own business, strike Eddie clean off your list.”
“Actually he’s kind of a jerk. But he’s a jerk we believe in. We’re not expecting you to want to meet him but if you must, we really can’t deter you.”
This organisation urged their readers to take action through their narrative, and accomplished their goal because of the way they framed their content.
Speak directly to your customers and prospects.
If you’re wondering how to make your audience act, look no further than those who already have. Tapping into the minds of your customers and prospects is the perfect place to start, as many of them have already taken the action you’re looking to obtain from others.
Lean on your customer service and sales teams and find out what experiences they’ve had with your current customers. What questions do they ask? What problems are they facing every day?
Directly addressing these concerns is a powerful step towards making your content actionable.
Barry Feldman of Feldman creative told Forbes how this has worked for him:
“A client asked me to give her and her staff an SEO 101 in 15 minutes. I responded with a post that did exactly that and it caught fire and became one of the biggest drivers of traffic to my site ever.” — Barry Feldman, Founder, Feldman Creative
Getting to the right pain points and questions is just the first step. To make your content actionable, you must know how to ask them what you should do next. And then do it.
Get your audience to connect with you in person, not just through an email newsletter.
The most common call to action that marketers use in their content is a mechanism to get the reader to fork over their email address. They ask prospects to sign up for an email newsletter, subscribe to a blog or possibly another content series.
If you’re looking to connect with your audience on another level, try getting them to meet you online at a specific time and place.
There, you’ll be able to interact with them directly, and create a platform that will better allow you to drive the conversation towards moving them down the funnel.
“Trish Witkowski the Chief Folding Officer at Foldrite invites website visitors to sign up for her 60 Second Super Cool Fold of the Week every Thursday afternoon. She’s set an expectation for her audience and delivered on it every single week for years. And it works.” — Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships told Forbes.
Think about promotion first.
The last step should be your first. Before you even begin writing, designing or recording, you need to think about how you’re going to get this piece of content in front of your audience.
The #1 downfall of brands when trying content marketing is producing excessively promotional content. Boring. No one (and I mean no one) wants to promote your product unless you make it relevant to them.
Start by researching different publications that your customers frequent—find out who the industry experts are and build relationships with them. Shape content that they might want to share.
Another tactic is leveraging social media listening for topic distribution. Spend a day or two on different social media groups, hashtags and topics to find where your content might fit best, or find the most traction.
The goal is to create a long-term relationship between the content creator and content consumers.
To transform your content from bland to actionable include strong narratives, direct customer/prospect feedback, in-person call to actions and a rigid distribution strategy.
Images:

bannersnack blog
Humane Society Silicon Valley

Patience Makes Perfect Content

Those advertising types have it soooooooooo easy! If you have the money you can shout wherever and whenever you like: ‘BUY NOW! 99% OFF! GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU IRRESISTIBLE TO THE OPPOSITE SEX!’ And then the...

How to Create Brand Loyalty in a Disloyal World

While ‘change is the only constant’ is an old quote, its manifestation has never been more obvious than it is today.
Our expectations and in turn our behaviour has changed dramatically in the past decade.
Consider this: we can now make more decisions and select from more options than we did previously. We are in charge of so much now that was out of our control before.
Instead of maybe half a dozen radio or TV stations available to us, we can choose from literally thousands from around the world. Instead of focussing all your energies on the girl next door or the guy in your 11am uni lecture you can choose from hundreds of single people who are in a 1 kilometre radius right now!
Want to buy a diamond ring? Try searching on Google and you’ll find hundreds that look like the perfect one.
The internet has changed the way we think and act forever. If what you currently have isn’t perfect, there’s no end of alternatives just a few clicks away.
Isn’t that fantastic! The world is now a wide, open and accessible place. No longer do I have to put up with ‘good enough’! After all, I deserve the very best.
You do.
There’s only one problem: how do you know that you actually have the best when there are so many alternatives?
It’s now easier to say “NEXT!” when there are troubles in paradise rather than work it out with your current choice. The end result is that relationships with partners, brands, services, products etc. are more disposable than they’ve ever been before.
A female friend was once told me that men are like buses; if you miss out on this one there’ll be another one coming along soon enough.

How can we establish deep, meaningful foundations that allow us to recognise true quality if we’re all too ready to move on when we hit the first hurdle?
It’s difficult but not impossible.
It doesn’t mean that you need to be loyal if your hairdresser gives you a bad cut or your accountant’s mistake sees you being audited by the tax department.
What it does mean is that if you’re establishing or building a brand, context is more important than it has ever been. Comparisons can be confronting but if what you’re offering stacks up favourably to your competitors it’s the best foundation to have.
Then it comes down to good old fashioned marketing. Giving plausible and relevant reasons as to why consumers should buy what you’re selling. As with most elegant solutions, it’s not easy but it’s simple.
If there’s one thing that the “NEXT!” generation has a hunger for it’s information. Walk down any city street and see how many people you almost bowl over while they’re absorbed in their mobile phone.
Rather than slashing your prices or upping your ad budget, try giving your market what they want: more information to read, watch and listen to.
Of course, it’s unlikely that the mobile zombies are absorbed in your video on the latest washing machine or hamburger. But remember how the internet offers lots of alternatives to what you’re marketing? The other side of that is that it also offers you even more potential new customers and influencers.
You need to know how to find, woo and win them of course but they’re there. And many are saying “NEXT!” to your competitors and are looking for what you have to offer.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Marketing Content the Right Way

At Tick Yes, we’re marketers first and content creators second. If you’re looking to achieve commercial objectives by leveraging blog posts, articles, White papers, social media updates, videos or infographics THAT’S the way you need to look at content development. Many companies don’t and find themselves staring into the vortex of creating content for the sake of it and wondering what this content marketing fuss is all about.
This doesn’t have to be you.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 
 

Charging a premium when everything else is FREE

Everyone loves free. Free beer, free love, free samples; it gets our attention and it appeals to our desire to nab a bargain and be a winner. Then there’s the “I deserve this!” inner voice that says that while you may not need what’s being given away, you want it because it’s FREE!!!! If you’re in Asia, go to the food section of an up-market department store around lunchtime and feast on the endless array of free samples. I challenge you to walk out of there hungry.
But there’s always a price to pay. Someone, somewhere has you in their sights to convert to you to becoming a paying customer. It’s fair and equitable when you think about it: I give you something; you give me something else in return. As long as everyone is happy enough to accept that, all is fine and dandy.

Free everything has been the cornerstone of the internet’s appeal since its inception. Back in the good old days, or at least the old days, there were finite TV and radio stations, newspapers and magazines. The owners of those mainly local mastheads were invariably rich and powerful and had built up their titles over several decades or even centuries.
Today, anyone with an idea and a half decent smartphone can create a massive global audience within six months by pumping out free content.
So what’s the price to be paid due to the relentless consumption of this readily available digital content? For a start traditional content creators like journalists, cameramen and radio announcers have been confronted with diminishing audiences – and jobs – for years.
The other rather subjective price to pay is the quality of the content that’s being produced. While there are almost 5 billion videos streamed on YouTube PER DAY, approximately 22.2 billion blog posts and 750.000 active podcasts, quantity does not necessarily equal quality. With so much ‘noise’ it has never been harder to work out what’s good and what’s not.
This has created an enormous conundrum for those of us looking to promote and differentiate any type of premium/paid product or service: how can we create enough value that people will be willing to pay for it?The answer is simple. It all comes down to a marketing fundamental: identify a market need and fill it. If you fill that need uniquely and in a compelling way, you get rich. Fail to do that and the best you can hope to achieve is to excite people by what they don’t have to pay you for.
Here are some of the ways you can upgrade your FREE offer using these enticements:
Offer Exclusive Content and Features
How do you get people to pay for your content? Easy, you make something good, that no one else has. Quality exclusive content is the easiest way to make sure people come to you when they need something. Companies like Netflix, Stan and Amazon, are making exclusive content which is only offered and made available on their platforms. Meanwhile the dating app Tinder, while initially free, does then offer exclusive premium features via Tinder Gold – available only with a purchase upgrade.

Offer a Trial Version
Free or trial versions can be a good way to give people a taste of your product. They will be more likely to buy the full version if they are familiar with and like the products you are offering. Examples are Microsoft Office and Xbox games. Xbox games offers a demo to a game and then requires players to pay to unlock successive levels.
Provide a Commercial FREE experience
You Tube’s videos and Spotify’s music are free, but users have the option to upgrade and eliminate annoying advertising pop ups on the site and in the videos. Users can upgrade to YouTube Red and Spotify Premium to have a better user experience when upgrading on these platforms.
If you are looking to upgrade your customers then looking closely and creatively at ways to offer your FREE enticements will certainly help to make that new product launch a success. Importantly ensure that you have both quality content and a compelling content plan to drive those sales for success.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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Getting it Wrong Goes Viral

According to Dale Carnegie, author of the classic book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ a person’s name is the sweetest sound in any language.
It goes a long way to explaining why this video about a so-called Starbucks barista writing customers’ names incorrectly on their cups has gone viral. Over 8,000,000 views and counting reinforce the old (well internet old) maxim, that to go viral online you need to be very funny, rude or quirky. Or a combination of all three.
Add in a dash of social media and BOOM: a viral sensation!
Now if only we could do the same with our latest 30 second TVC on spark plugs! My wife thinks it’s really entertaining……

 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 

Rewards or Relationships

You have thousands of customers. They spend millions of dollars on your goods/services.
Collectively, these people add up to the financial and market share reports you pore over every day.
Individually, however, they’re a pain in the neck.
Whenever they write, ring or, heaven forbid, visit you, it’s invariably to complain about something.
You then have to deal with the fall-out when one of your 18 year old customer ‘service’ representatives was rude to them.
Social media has allowed individual customers to pass judgement on what you sell and how you sell it. Unless those customers post something funny, clever or outrageous however, it’s a faint cry in the wilderness.
In the early days, you were worried about social media disasters but time has shown that the chances of something going wrong are pretty slim.
Of course you value your customers. That’s why you created your Fly / Rewards / Advantage / Club loyalty program. Throw them a few points with a little bit of perceived value every time they buy something and bingo! Loyalty!
Your clever program does the heavy lifting of keeping your customers happy, leaving you free to focus on the big picture i.e. the fun stuff.
Don’t you think there’s something a little soulless about this scenario?
Giving customers small ethical bribes to keep them using your product/service may work in the short-term but it does nothing to emotionally bind customers to your brand.
We don’t buy Nike running shoes because of the extra pair of laces they throw in for free. We buy Nike because of how they make us feel and how they can help us to become the athlete we emotionally want to be. Logically, we know this is nonsense but it’s Nike for goodness sake! When I pull on my pair of Nikes, I CAN do it.
No matter what you sell, being trapped in a purely transactional vortex with your customers is not where you want to be.
Loyalty programs may keep the cash registers ringing but there’s a problem with that strategy: if that’s your main customer relationship play you will always be vulnerable to someone who comes along with a bigger, better or shinier ethical bribe.
Invest in unique and unforgettable experiences. What’s your brand’s equivalent of a book-reading with tea and scones at your local bookshop?
Create authentic and engaging content that customers can relate to. Done well, content can be a key asset and competitive advantage.
We’re not saying that you should discard the idea of launching a loyalty program; for some customers, companies and markets they can work incredibly well.
What we are saying is that we marketers need to engage the heart of our customers before moving on to the head.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

The Creativity Problem

You may not be the content developer in your business, but chances are that creativity is as much of an issue for you as for writers and designers.

It is easy enough to demand three blog posts a week, countless tweets and new, fresh ideas on how to improve business – but let’s face it; creativity is not a constant – it’s a muscle that can be trained to flex at will. But like the muscles in your arms and legs, creativity needs to rest as well.
Coming up with great ideas sounds easy enough – haven’t we all at some time in our lives come in contact with a great tune, smart design or brilliant ad and thought “why didn’t I think of that?” Coming up with the idea is often considered the easy part, but it’s quite the contrary.
In this day and age, with the Internet and countless digital solutions, we have instant access to most if not all of the worlds’ past creations. Bell invented the phone, but Elisha Gray almost beat him to it. It’s hard to come up with something that is truly “new” as we’re no longer inspired by our direct environment, but by other artists and creators. We borrow and steal a lot, and if you watch this highly recommended TED video, you’ll see that a lot of what is new are just remixes of what has become old (but quite often timeless).

So how can we get ideas? How do we evolve from simply copying others? The fact is that we can get away with quite a lot of “copying” – you may have noticed that a lot of new movies are updated versions of the classics, or modern takes on old series. That new book is mainly based on an old book and the lyrics to that new radio hit is at least ten years old. The trick is to add new value to what is already known. Those complete newborns, the ideas that turn people into billionaires, are few and far between. They are the holy grail of pretty much anything, but more often than not a result of freak chance. If you could plan for these things then you’d already be rich.
Anyway, here is some quick advice to get you started:
Don’t focus too much on originality. It has all been done before, and as we’ve already mentioned, great ideas are usually variations of old ones. Don’t go for completely new; remember that you have to first be inside the box in order to think outside of it.
Don’t stress it. Staring at a screen, trying to come up with a killer idea isn’t always best practice. Go for a walk or get some exercise. Studies show that you will be at your creative peak when you’re the least alert. If you’re a morning person you should try to come up with ideas in the evening for instance. Sometimes sleeping on it might be the best solution.
Mix it up. It’s all about psychological distance. Thinking of something in another way, maybe from the perspective of another person, will allow for great creative ideas. Thinking of something very concrete in an abstract way is another thing you can try – coffee isn’t just a hot beverage that keeps you awake throughout the day, it’s also an important part of the world economy and a great part of our culture.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy: chiefexecutive.net, crainerdearlove.com