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Tag - customer acquisition

Case Study: How Digital Marketing Took a Business to the Next Level

Having an effective digital marketing strategy is central to creating a successful and recognisable brand in today’s digital age. With so many markets in a state of flux, being able to pivot in real-time to adapt to changing market needs is one of digital marketing’s key benefits.
SolarQuotes is a company that used digital marketing to do just that. The company helps Australians buy solar power for their homes and business.
Finn Peacock, CEO and Founder, started SolarQuotes with just $500 for Google Ads using the free wi-fi at his local public library. The company’s website now contains over 17,000 reviews of solar installers, solar panels and inverters.
Thanks to a strong digital marketing strategy, SolarQuotes now turns over about $3 million per year. While still a small business, there are several valuable lessons brand owners can learn from SolarQuotes’ success.
Invest in Valuable Content.
To build those first Google Ads, SolarQuotes needed something to advertise. Over time, the company has built up an arsenal of articles, blog posts and practical tools to help its users navigate the solar market.
These types of articles aren’t just general information about the industry, they contain useful and actionable advice and tools for their audience. You can read about how a specific product like The Sonnen Battery has an unclear warranty or about how leaders in the industry, like Tesla, are faring.
These articles highlight the key thing your content needs to perform well both organically and with paid ads: real value for your target audience. Don’t get too excited though—it’s not enough to just provide value. Your content must end up in front of the right eyes.
Leverage PPC ads wisely.
For SolarQuotes, these paid ads came in the form of Google Ads. There are many other options, like working with advertising technology that re-targets prospects, or social media ads that find a home for your content in already built niche audiences.
The SolarQuotes team has spent six years building up their Adwords account into a “highly optimised machine,” and therefore can rely on their ability to successfully target the market.
That initial $500 I told you about earlier—that went towards design, coding and the cost of clicks.
Peacock explained his strategy to The Sydney Morning Herald:
“I put up the website, tested the concept and when it looked like it had legs, I started spending on the credit card.” His next outlay was around $3,000 on advertising. “I only did it after I was confident that I would get a return,” said Peacock.
These Google ads helped him drive traffic to his website, but once these audience members were there, he had to figure out a way to keep them there.
Grow your Audience and Keep them Happy.
The company kept their audience with organic (in other words free) strategies. In addition to its website, SolarQuotes has several social media channels for which they have built a pretty robust following.
Their Facebook (26,000 likes), Twitter (791 followers with tweets every day), Google+ (423 followers), RSS, YouTube and Pinterest accounts all work toward distributing their content and allowing them to engage with their highly-active audience.
Build Media Relationships.
They didn’t just stop with content. SolarQuotes developed a mobile strategy that would allow them to harness the power of technology via apps.
The company featured several ‘Current Solar Incentive’ apps on various media websites like The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, Weather Zone and more. They didn’t just talk about their product either, they grew their audience by talking about their success story, and putting a face behind their brand.
Customer Testimonials
Most importantly, SolarQuotes saw huge digital marketing success with their customer testimonials.
Their website features numerous testimonials from real customers and includes a blog that focuses solely on solar panel issues that customers may experience.
These testimonials and articles help build trust with new prospects that find SolarQuotes on the web and drive more leads for their business every day.
SolarQuotes’ success makes for a great story, but it isn’t unique. Businesses across the world are finding success by taking their digital marketing strategies to the next level.
There is one thing you can do to ensure your digital marketing success—ensure that the content, messaging and media coverage you promote is valuable to your audience. It’s through them that your business will inevitably grow.

The Console Wars: PS4 vs Xbox One

Remember Contra, the 80s 2D commando video game that was the best thing that’s ever happened to Nintendo? Or Super Mario, who made us believe that princesses were real and eating vegetables will really make us grow?
 
Those video games were our best friends, and Nintendo and Sega were the only Japanese words we needed to know.  Today, there are more gaming options for children, and wannabe children, to choose from. Consoles have also evolved into virtual reality. Notably though, after all these years, our society’s love for video games has not died. And with this, more companies continue to supply our demand for virtual entertainment.
Over the past years, several gaming platforms have emerged. Even social media sites now offer games online. Facebook has introduced a number of online games that have been hits, greatly helping their digital marketing strategy. However, in recent years, only two companies have really stood out in the platform competition: Sony and Microsoft.
Both companies have announced that they will be releasing their next generation gaming consoles, namely the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One, by the end of the year. Debates have since swirled as to which system is better, we take a look to see what it takes to make the best plea for customer retention or even acquisition.
PS4 vs Xbox One
Specs
For heavy gamers, specs will always be a strong persuasion for them to bag the item. According to TechRadar, both consoles run “very similar” eight-core processors made by AMD. Graphic Processors are also said to be similar and are also created by AMD, although from experience, Sony has never failed in this part.
The PS4 and the Xbox One also have Blu-ray/DVD optical drives, cloud storage, motion control capability, web connection and live streaming, among others.
Bundle Device Add-ons
Microsoft has announced earlier that it will include the Kinect in its console bundle. The device works as both a motion controller and a camera. However, Xbox One will fail to include a headset in the package.
On the other hand, Sony has cut off its PlayStation Eye and PlayStation Move in the console bundle to make the price cheaper. According to TechRadar, the PlayStation Eye and Move bundle will be sold separately at $59.  However, IGN also noted that Sony will include a wired mono headset to optimise gameplay.
Game Titles Available
Several game titles are already confirmed to be released in both platforms, including 2K Sports’ NBA 2K14. However, to make the battle a little more interesting, both camps will have games that are exclusive to each console.
A perfect example of great content marketing, the PS4 will carry the titles Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886; the Xbox One users can exclusively play Halo, D4 and Forza Motorsport 5.
Price
If anything, price is one of the main bass for choosing a console. Too bad for Microsoft, but Sony beats them hands down in this category. Microsoft has tagged its next-gen console at US$499.99, while Sony was too genius to make the PS4 $100 cheaper at US$399.99.
 
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Is Samsung’s S4 a Disappointment?

The smartphone battle is almost reminiscent of World War II: bombs thrown at both sides of the opposing camps and each one working on artillery and armor that can blow off the other. And much like any warfare, each battalion is working towards only one goal: power.
 
As for the smartphones battle, power is that of a bigger market share. A bigger bite in the pool of consumers means more money!
This has exactly been the story of mobile phone manufacturers Apple and Samsung. Over the past years, the two companies have been on each others tail, trying to push the other off the running for the top spot in the smartphone market race. They have taken strides to work on customer acquisition and customer retention in the hopes of knocking off the competition. Their best effort, however, in winning this battle is by releasing new and more technologically forward devices.
Apple has led the smartphone battle for some time before Samsung took over the lead with its greater range of smartphone. Using a distinct digital marketing strategy, the South Korean company has led the race by offering the market a distinct handset for every price range and demographic. However, it seems that Samsung is following the footsteps of its rival.
Is the Galaxy S4 Samsung’s Achilles’ heel?
Samsung released its newest flagship smartphone, Galaxy S4 earlier this year, and so far it was received with open arms. Everyone in social media was raving about its new features, and the electronics manufacturing company continued to provide consumers with updates and highlights of the phones features on both Facebook and Twitter. However, the sales didn’t reach expectations.
According to Bloomberg, Samsung’s operating costs for three months which ended in June was at 9.5 trillion won ($8.3 billion). While this may post great numbers, it still fell short of the 10 trillion won that was originally estimated for the brand by more than 30 analysts. This also caused the stocks of Samsung to drop the most in a single month.
Now, investors are worrying whether Samsung has already reached its peak and are now on their way down. However, a Samsung share-holder doubts this analogy.
“Is Samsung’s smartphone story now over? Not quite yet. Its growth is indeed slowing due largely to disappointing sales of the S4,” Jung Sang-jin, fund manager at Dongbu Asset Management and Samsung share-holder, told Reuters.
“Yet I think Samsung has some exciting stuff up its sleeves. The problem is no one is sure whether these products can really wow investors and consumers.”
Low-end the New Trend?
Reports also say that Samsung is not solely to blame for its slump, but that the market is already changing. According to, the high-end market is slowly becoming saturated and fewer consumers are choosing phones for their specifications as opposed to their price. The report also noted that a new niche in the smartphone market is slowly emerging, with users preferring low-end smartphones.
“This has typically been an area where Samsung has not been quite so successful,” IT Pro Portal wrote. “A growing demand from China for low-cost smartphones puts a little pain on Samsung’s profit margins.”
With all these in mind, Samsung should return to the drawing boards and get its mobile marketing strategies in full swing if it wants to keep its crown as smartphone leader.
 
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Mozilla to Launch Smartphone

As if the smartphone market isn’t saturated enough yet, Mozilla is looking to join the party soon…
 
According to several reports, the web browser developer will soon be rolling out its very own smartphone operating system, Firefox OS, as it looks to push its customer acquisition. This means more options for the ever growing number of smartphone consumers.
But what will make the Mozilla-powered phone better than an Android or an iOS?  Mozilla’s newest OS is set at an almost-unbelievable price tag of just $50, putting pressure on the two leading systems in the market.
“We see huge opportunities in the emerging markets where the customers and carriers crave for affordable smartphones,” Mozilla Senior Vice President of Mobile Devices Li Gong, said as reported by the Wall Street Journal. “We focus on the low-cost segment because it is underserved.”
With this move, Mozilla is looking to focus on the 10% of people in the global smartphone market who are settling for cheaper phones. Gong notes that its goal is to get over 2 billion of its devices to first-time users in countries like China and India—nations with a growing number of smartphone users.
“We will see it happen soon with more low-cost smartphone reference designs coming from our manufacturing partner Foxconn and Chinese chip-design house Spreadtrum [Communications Inc.],” Gong told WSJ.
Foxconn is known for manufacturing hardware for Apple products like the iPhone and the iPad.
Working toward building a strong relationship with its clients, Mozilla has already started its digital marketing strategy by posting an open invitation to operators, developers and phone manufacturers on its website.
“We’re enabling operators, phone manufacturers and developers to manage, customize and improve relationships with their customers directly through our mobile products: Firefox OS, Firefox Marketplace and Firefox for Android,” Mozilla wrote on its site, followed by a “Partner with Us” button.
Initially announced last February, the Firefox operating system also boasts of using HTML5 and other open web standards. With this, the OS is “free from the rules and restrictions” proprietary online platforms its site noted.
According to Mozzila.org, Firefox OS offers:
• A level playing field against other OS and marketplace providers
• Greater participation in the value chain
• Ownership and control over relationships with customers
• Customized phones that meet the specific needs of various target markets
“Our Web-based mobile software is lighter and consumes less power and memory compared to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. It offers the same performance at a lower cost of hardware,” the Mozilla VP said. “Another advantage is that Mozilla is a truly open mobile ecosystem. Our Web-based applications can run on any mobile devices, including iPhones and Android phones.”
So far, 17 companies have also shown support to the company, promising to be carriers of the OS all around the world. Also, LG, Alcatel, ZTE and Huawei have already signed up to provide communication platforms of the system.
While the company continues to expand its campaigns to spread the word about Firefox OS, it will still be up to the consumers whether they’ll purchase a $50 smartphone or not. So better do good Mozilla!
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 

How Social Media Can Help or Hurt

Many businesses now use social media and its various applications as tools for business. What’s not to like?
 
It’s a form of advertising and helps you keep track of the general sentiment for or against your company and acquire customers, among other things. But just like everything in this world there is a downside to social media. Aside from helping your business it can also hurt your business as well.
How social media can help your business
It can advertise your business. Yes, you can advertise with social media, and at a fraction of the cost of a TV spot too!  In some ways you can actually say it is better than a broadcast ad. While the broadcast ad lasts for only a few seconds up to a minute over the airwaves, your ad will stay in a webpage indefinitely.

It helps you find potential customers.  And you don’t even have to do anything! Okay, maybe you have to do something. Social media is the new grapevine and with today’s technology you can be sure word will travel fast. Happy customers will report of their satisfaction with your product or service to a friend, and that friend might think about trying you out. The thing you have to do is keep your customers satisfied, but isn’t that what you are supposed to be doing anyway?
It informs you about the competition. With a little “research” you can actually learn about your competition by what their customers talk about.  What you do with that information is up to you, of course, but we recommend using that info to optimize your business any way you can.
It’s a feedback tool. You can keep track of what people are saying about your business in Twitter or Facebook. Learn what you are doing wrong, what you are doing right or even defend yourself from any baseless troll comments. Do this with diplomacy and restraint, of course.
It can be an education tool. For any business to stay on top it has to innovate, keep up with the trends, the changes and the industry standards. Don’t expect your competition to give up their trade secrets. Try using social media to keep informed of the latest happenings in your trade.
How social media can hurt your business
If a well-managed social media campaign can bring your business success, a poorly managed one does just the opposite.
Having no original site content. Sure it’s just tempting to copy-paste content from somewhere and put it on your site, but avid surfers might notice they have read this somewhere else. No one wants to read something at a website which they have read in another website before.
Putting the wrong person in charge of the social media account.  This is not one of those positions to just let people ‘try’. You must have someone who is familiar with how it all works in charge. There are a lot of social media managers for hire nowadays it’s just a matter of finding one who fits with your team.
Lack of consistency.  This may be a result of having the wrong person in charge of managing your social media account. Maybe he or she started something, a feature, a contest, a program, a gimmick – that suddenly just stops for no discernible reason. That may give users the impression that you are not willing to follow through on anything you commit to once it becomes too hard.
Ignoring followers and fans.  So they were disappointed about that short-lived program and now they are complaining or asking questions about it. What do you do? You have to give them an explanation. You cannot just take the Hollywood approach and lay low, hoping it will soon boil over.
It should also be mentioned that you don’t have to wait for complaints just to answer fans or followers. Many of them might have a kind comment or constructive idea or even a query. Make sure you answer them, it makes for a good relationship.
Using the wrong online platform.  What works for one social media platform does not actually apply to another. Plus there are other social media platforms out there aside from Facebook and Twitter. While you may not be familiar with them, a competent social media manager would be and knows how to exploit them.
Using social media to attack your competition. While this may be tempting to do, in the end it will only look bad on you, not the competition. We’ve all seen how ugly an online exchange of heated words looks like. Sure, use social media for an occasional critique or two, but using online communication for a vendetta is just getting way too personal.
 
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Twitter for Business Re-Launched

Twitter has re-launched its business site, Twitter for Business, with a new look and some new content.
 
The social media’s business site, originally launched in 2011, is meant to help business owners build a successful online presence by learning how they can integrate Twitter into their operations and marketing efforts.
The site provides users with tutorials on practically everything they need to know including the basics like opening a Twitter account to building a community, to the more advanced ones like how to use Twitter Ads self service function.
For those who are still having second thoughts on working with Twitter, the site also has a wide variety of business success stories made possible by Twitter, arranged by the type of industry and the size of the business.
Much of the content of the new site is similar to the original Twitter for Business webpage launched by the online platform in December 2011, although the new site is now more organized and easier to browse through.
How Twitter can Help Your Business
Unless you have been living under a rock, you should have at least probably heard of Twitter. This micro-blogging site and online social network lets users send real-time messages of up to 140 characters which are now known as Tweets. Like many social networks out there it was originally intended for communication between friends and acquaintances, but businesses were quick to realize its potential as a business tool.
Because you can see what others are tweeting, this becomes a good way to monitor or keep track of when your business is mentioned. You can also read the conversations where your business was mentioned to know what is being said about your business. This provides an excellent (and legal) way to gather data that can be useful for formulating strategies for customer acquisition and customer retention.

And with 200 million people all over the world exchanging around 400 million Tweets per day, gathering the information you want should not be that hard. 

But this is just one aspect, you can also advertise with Twitter.  The social media site touts to be able to send your ads to the people you think will be more interested in it. A targeted  concentration of content marketing to the right people based on your chosen demographics, rather than a spread ad campaign to a wide group of individuals, so to speak.
Twitter Hoping to Overtake Facebook
Despite having over 200 million people a day use their service, Twitter is still behind the undisputed social networking leader, Facebook, when it comes to business adoption. A study suggested that business owners were more likely to choose Facebook over Twitter, a fact that Twitter wants so badly to reverse.
This site re-launch is the latest in a series of recent innovations by Twitter to make it more attractive to small business owners. Just last January Twitter added its new Vine App, an application that lets you capture short movies (6 seconds or less) and share them with others. It has also launched an analytics tool for Vine so you can tell who is watching your videos and a new application programming interface so advertisers can easily manage their ad campaigns with Twitter.
A new tool that generates business leads is also reported to be in the works.
 

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