Tick Yes Blog

Tag - online platforms

How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

Digital marketing has changed the media landscape forever and marketing budgets are being spread across channels – mainly digital – that previously didn’t exist. The problem is that optimisation is not as simple as it was before; if you’re not careful, your spend can get out of hand.
By optimising each of your channels, you can reduce your media spend and achieve better results – all the while proving a positive return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you spend.
We have tips to help you optimise each of the most popular channels draining your media budget. One tip is important for all of them:
Stay in control of budgeting and targeting. If you’re new to a channel, keep watch on your audience and don’t scale until it’s profitable.
Here’s how you’re going to achieve better results without breaking the bank, and figure out the right time to scale for each campaign.
 
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google Ads are considered a staple in the marketing world – simply because they work.
A recent study shows that integrating SEO efforts results in a 25% increase in clicks and a 27% increase in profits. Because of this, marketers are increasing their spend in SEO.
According to MarketingProfs, nearly half of digital marketing budgets are spent on search, with 31% on paid search and 18% on SEO. U.S. spend alone will top $45 billion by 2019.
If you’re one of those marketers spending nearly half of your budget optimising for search, measuring success by click isn’t going to be enough.
#1 SEO Tip – Always run campaigns with conversion tracking.
You’ve got to know what happened after a prospect clicks. If it led to a product purchase, then which keyword, ad group or campaign triggered the conversion? Conversion tracking will show you which ones are – and are not – worth bidding on.
 
Ad Retargeting
Search engine marketing (SEM) retargeting means targeting website visitors who did not convert yet, often through a third-party vendor. It’s effective, but is an area where media spend can get out of hand.
Research showed 56% of customers retargeted after visiting the cart, didn’t want to make an immediate purchase. Marketers then invest in bringing them back to the cart – what a waste.
In fact, over two-thirds of visitors who intend to make a purchase never make it to the checkout cart. This suggests that marketers are failing to create campaigns that are tailored to visitor intent.
# 1 Ad Retargeting Tip – Use conversion analytics to figure out customer intent – specifically, why some customers aren’t completing their checkout, or converting.
Once you identify the group that doesn’t have the intent to convert, you can stop spending your budget retargeting them, and reallocate to maximise results from those that do.
 
Content Syndication
Content syndication packages can be highly effective if you’re generating top-quality content, but are hard to pin down in a budget since pricing packages vary widely depending on the media outlet you’re syndicating with.
They’re very effective for generating leads, as according to Inc, 70% of people want to learn about products through content versus through traditional advertisements.
The trick to reducing your syndication spend is to be very picky when choosing media outlets.
#1 Content Syndication Tip – Focus on the right media outlets, and once you find them, don’t keep spending if you’ve stopped seeing a return.
Keep an eye on results from certain media outlets, and continue reallocating budget to those performing best.
 
Social Media Ads
In 2015, global analysts predicted a 33% increase in spending for social media ads. This is because over 50% of (business-to-business) B2B marketers rank social media as a “very” or “somewhat” low cost ad option.
Social media can be low cost, and can drive unprecedented amounts of engagement if targeted correctly. Avoid this one common mistake – spreading your budget across every social media channel out there.
#1 Social Media Ad Tip – Choose the right social media platform.
Which platform is converting the most leads? As an example, a bakery is going to perform much better on Pinterest than the latest cloud security software.
 
The key to reducing your media spend while increasing your results is to find where your audience wants to see you the most. With robust conversion tracking and by following industry best practices, you can make your marketing budget stretch farther than you ever thought you would.
 
Image: Shutterstock Australia
 

Why to Invest More on SEO

The age of social media continues to flourish as the different sectors in society take part in this growing network. From what used to be a simple online platform for families and friends to connect, it has grown to become an industry on its own.
 
Aside from the greater population of mere mortals who use social networking—students, regular employees, parents, junkies and the homeless—both the politics and the business sectors have also adopted the trend. Notably, even schools and the church have taken part in this movement. Now, you can simply follow the Pope and Barrack Obama on Twitter, or be friends with Harvard University and Nike on Facebook.
“You Rock, Barack!” can now be sent straight to the president of the United States, thanks to social networking.
It has also been proven that social media marketing has been very effective not only with businesses and brands, but also with campaigns, movements and even fund raising. As a matter of fact, it’s almost unbelievable how a simple Facebook page or a Twitition can reach so many people, raise millions and make dreams come true. Notably, online ads have also been very effective in boosting brand presence, familiarity and in the long run, revenue.
Facebook Marketing
Advertising through social networking sites like Facebook have been widespread since the site allowed ads. According to International Venture Capital Post, marketing through the site is one of the easiest ways to reach millions of potential customers and clients. Facebook also notes that over one billion people like and comment on an average of 3.2 billion times a day. With these figures, it is almost important for brands—especially with Facebook’s diverse demographic—to have a strong presence on the site.
Notably, with the social networking site’s new “hashtag” feature, your brand will be able to stir public conversation that can help point back to your brand or service. With the help of a social media agency, such services can be used fully to the best of your business.
SEO and You
The International Venture Capital Post also noted that more and more businesses have been using SEO to help bring the limelight on their brands. A report by Econsultancy and Netbooster reveals that a great number of UK companies spend 18% of their marketing budgets on search engine optimization.
While there are a number of reasons why you should also consider using this service, one simple reason would be that it does the dirty work for…well, at least the hard work. In a nutshell, SEO helps your brand pop-up on searches related to your business. With billions of people using Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines every day, it’s almost stupid not to include this service in your digital marketing strategy and just pass up the opportunity for your brand to be seen by billions online.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 
 

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 to Avoid Social Media Fatigue

We’ve all come to be familiar with social media.  Even those on the marginal fringes of technology have heard of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Google+ at some point in their lives.  Those on the opposite end (or at least the other side) of the spectrum more or less interact with social media daily.
 
We use it to keep track of friends and what they are doing and share with them the same information. Some of us, while they are loath to admit it, actually have no lives outside of social media.  But too much of anything is a bad thing, so is there such a thing as social media fatigue?
Quitting users
In Australia the number of active Facebook users fell from 11.8 million users as of December 2012 to 11.5 million users as of April 2013. That’s around 300,000 users straying, although a spokesperson for Facebook Australia said the number, gleaned from ad tools used by marketers and developers, was only an estimate.
According to a Piper Jaffray survey, interest in Facebook has been sliding down among US teens since last spring up to recently. At least ten percent of 5,000 teens surveyed said they no longer consider Facebook the most important social media. The same survey showed teen interest waning not just with Facebook but also other online platforms like YouTube, Tumblr, Google+ and Twitter.
For Twitter, the current number of users stands at 500 million, but recently only about a third are active tweeters, the rest are just content to read what others are tweeting about without posting tweets of their own.
So is there such a thing as social media fatigue?  Yes, yes there is.
“People want more meaning in their lives,” Marcia Scherer, a psychologist and president of the Institute for Matching Person & Technology in Rochester told Hispanic Business. She added more and more people are using social media not just for the socializing and relationships but as a strategic means to meet specific goals.
What makes social media tiresome?
The obsessive need to check on updates – Users who have opted for “digital detoxification” said they were tired of constantly checking their social media accounts to see what was new. Most of laptop users said they found themselves spending until the wee hours of the morning just browsing through accounts of their friends, their friends’ friends and then the friends’ friends’ friends.
It was worse for those with mobile devices, as they could just whip it out anytime they want and see what was new. It did not matter if they were lining up for groceries, waiting to cross the street or in a cab, they just had to check, or else they would be left behind.
The need to update – When users see a new message from a friend their immediate reaction is to respond, or post something better. This usually starts a twisted endless cycle of stimulus-response in the social media world.
The voluminous ads – Want to have a bigger…well, you know the rest. Ads have been hounding us since the days of radio, they followed us into the movies, then analog TV, then cable TV, now the Internet. And more companies are now advertising with social media agencies. We pay attention to the interesting ads but even they get tiresome if we see them everyday. It gets even more tiresome if we are targeted by the wrong ads.
Loss of privacy – We don’t just mean yours. Some things are just meant to be kept private, or at least not broadcast. Yes, we know what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we know where you are, where you are going, who you are with and who you met. Enough information please!
For some it was the choice between the digital life and the real life. Actor and part-time bartender Frankie Delessio also told Hispanic Business that Facebook “is like watching too much TV. Sometimes you don’t want to watch someone else’s life, but live your own.” He reports he was able to write a play with the time he spent off social media.
Despite the mass migrations, other experts said not to expect social media to go belly up anytime soon. A big factor to consider here is that social media is just no longer for socializing anymore.
While there are people quitting the social media, scene small businesses are realizing its potential as a business tool to keep in touch with customers and keep tabs on rivals. Corporations are discovering it can actually serve as an internal communications system and is useful in formulating online strategies.  HR departments are now using social media to keep track of its employees and find prospective ones.  Parents are also discovering it is a good way to watch over their children.
Avoiding social media fatigue
We all reach a saturation point for anything eventually. If you feel social media has taken over your life, and not in a good way the best thing to do is to back off, at least for the meantime. Disable update features on your mobile devices, limit yourself to observer status on social media, go out on your free time and have a good time with friends.
If you feel that backing off is not enough and you have to totally disconnect from all social media entirely then the choice is yours.  Remember that while you can deactivate your account, you can also reactivate it anytime you want.  Many of those who opt for digital detoxification actually just deactivate their accounts then reactivate when they feel like it and return to them later.  One of the nice things about social media is that you can just drop it off anytime you want and pick up where you left off anytime you feel like it again.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 

Social Media Advertising on the Rise

Companies are now realising they can use social media to their advantage when it comes to business.
 
One such aspect is advertising. This goes double for small companies that cannot rival big ones when it comes to widespread advertising campaigns, and by the look of things, advertising with social media is just picking up.
By the numbers
Global revenue for social networks was estimated at $7.7 billion last year.  It is estimated to hit $10.2 billion this year and $11.8 billion next year.  This year 64% of advertisers are expected to increase their social media budget, in the US alone this figure is estimated at $4.1 billion.
Of a number of business owners recently surveyed, 97% said they are currently using social media to advertise.  The numbers are lower for small businesses, with only 66% saying they are advertising with online platforms.
“It’s encouraging that a majority of small businesses recognize that their customers are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to find information, look for deals and even to make purchases,” Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Constant Contact told Fox Business.
There are still those who feel social media should stick with relationships and be kept away from business.  The remaining 34% of small business surveyed said they have plans to turn to social media as part of their business strategy.
“Generally speaking, small business owners have very little spare time on their hands, so learning how to use mobile technology for their business is not necessarily tops on their to-do list,” Hughes further explained.
The current undisputed king of social media, Facebook, is taking most of the social media advertising budget with an estimated 57% followed by YouTube and Twitter both sharing 13 percent, Pinterest is at 2% and the remaining 15% shared by other social media.
What social media ads can do
What are the benefits to advertising with social media anyway?  There are several, but the most important one that experts agree on is its ability to target specific audiences.  Unlike traditional print, TV and radio ads where the message is cast across a wide audience, social media sites have information on niches of interest where their users are concerned.  In short, social media agencies can send the right ads to the people with the highest likelihood of interest in these ads.
Mobile marketing to fewer but the right people is more strategically sound than raining a ton of ads on many people who cannot relate to or have no particular interest whatsoever for that product.
Here are some of the most watched ads on YouTube last month.
• Nestlé – Learning to share.  A Spanish ad about a boy and his grandfather learning how to compromise and sharing everything from the TV to food at the table.
• Sauza Tequila – Make it with a lifeguard.  So what does being a lifeguard have to do with tequila?  Nothing really, it’s just the fireman of the last tequila ad posing as a lifeguard and telling us how awesome that tequila is.
• Old Spice – Shower.  Use Old Spice shower bar. It’s so fresh it’s like you never left the shower even after your bath.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look.
• Call of Duty Black Ops 2 – The replacers.  Need more time to play CoD BO2?  Two guys have been sent by “mutual friends” to take over your daily life so you can have more game time.  The things these two end up doing are hilarious.
• Pepsi – Mirrors.  Beyoncé rehearses for a gig then takes a Pepsi break, only to be joined by different concert personas of herself in each of the mirrors she has been practicing in front of.
• Dove – Real beauty sketches.  An artist sits down to draw some women he never sees, only working by their description of themselves. Then other people are called in to describe same said women for another drawing. The drawings are then placed side-by-side. Reactions of said women are priceless.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

 

The Siri Killer is Here… or Is It?

Google launches its new app “Google Now”
 
When Apple’s Siri saw wide distribution in 2010 it was a godsend for the tech-savvy who were still not savvy enough to organize their lives, remember dates in relationships or ask for directions. The app was like the pocket personal assistant they’ve always wanted. It could remind users of whose birthday was coming up, answer questions, and make recommendations like what restaurants or shops to go to.
But now Google has come out with their own version of a PA, they call it the Now. Now has functions pretty much like Siri;  it’s voice-activated and can remind you of appointments and important dates and point you in the right direction.

However, it has one crucial difference.  Now is being touted as a step above Siri because it supplies data relevant to the user even before the user thinks to ask for this information.
Siri v’s Google Now

What do these two have in common anyway?
Both are PA-type voice-activated apps.  While not online platforms, they still need internet connection even for tasks that do not need online intervention like setting an alarm… let’s just get that out of the way first.
Both can supply information on demand, although Now may supply some information ahead of your asking.  The questions you can ask can vary from the weather, the nearest movie theater, the latest stock market figures or scores of a particular NBA team during a recent game.
The similarities seem to end there. The two have different “personalities” so to speak.  While Siri is chatty and offers witty remarks, Now is straightforward and no-nonsense, kind of like the contrasting personalities of Kirk and Spock on Star Trek.
A user took both Siri and Now on the iPhone and asked them for the PA’s name.  Siri replied “My name is Siri, but you know that already.” Google responded with the phrase “What is your name?”
When it comes to restaurant choices Siri has a slight advantage because of Apple’s partnership with review site Yelp and the restaurant reservation service Open Table.  When it comes to travel, especially in places you are not familiar with, Now may be a little bit more useful.
“I’ve found it particularly useful while traveling.  As soon as my plane landed in Orlando, Florida, Google Now offered “cards” with details of my hotel and my car rental, based on confirmation emails sent to my Gmail account.  Clicking the hotel card got me turn-by-turn directions to the hotel using the Google Maps app.  On the way home, Google Now gave me the gate number for my connecting flight in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the first plane taxied from the runway,” AP Technology writer Anick Jesdanun told USA Today.
It turns out you might have to give up a bit privacy to be able to use Now. You must allow Google mto scan contents of your Gmail account, calendar entries and information on recent Google searches and email marketing, all the more to be able to anticipate what information you are looking for and display the necessary data even before you ask for it.
Now also has another unusual advantage, it is available for phones running Android or iOS. Just what were they thinking arming the enemy with their own weapons?  Pundits are still undecided whether the online strategy of making an app available to a rival network is a stroke of genius or a deathblow.
But rather than have one over the other, experts are saying the two apps actually complement each other.
“Siri is the better of the two—as a voice assistant. She’ll always respond with something, even if it’s to seek clarification…Where Google Now shines is in anticipating your questions.  Open the Google Search app, and you’ll see cards fill the screen with useful information,” Jesdanun added.
One PA is cold, hard logic, the other cracks jokes and witticisms.  One is good for finding the best places to eat, the other to help you in a place where people do not speak the same language as you do.  One waits for you to ask, the other tells you what you want to know ahead.  Why not have them both?  Don’t Kirk and Spock always go together anyway?
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

PAYG YouTube?

Would you be willing to pay for YouTube?
 
When YouTube said it was running a competition to determine the best video submitted online, it was meant to be a joke for April Fool’s Day.  But when YouTube recently announced it was coming up with a paid subscription plan for some video distributors, they were not joking this time.
Recently YouTube finalized some channels which will now be available for subscription over YouTube.
“Starting today, we’re launching a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month.  Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates.  For example, Sesame Street will be offering full episodes on their paid channel when it launches.  And UFC fans can see classic fights, like a full version of their first event from UFC’s new channel.  “Once you subscribe from a computer, you’ll be able to watch paid channels on your computer, phone, tablet and TV, and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices,” read their statement on the official YouTube blog.
YouTube will have 54 channels available for paid subscription; the list includes a wide variety of channels like the kid-friendly Treehouse Direct and Baby First Plus, music channels like Rap Battle Network and sports channels like PGA Digital Golf Academy, TNA Wrestling Plus and UFC Select.
As expected, there were immediate negative reactions from the public.
“No to paying a YouTube subscription fee.  No to pay-per-view.  We already pay for cable TV and select news-related companies.  Are institutional investors and hedge funds pushing this business model on the tech industry?” said PV of Hudson, Wisconsin.
“Where does it all end?  Increasingly, the Web is the source of virtually everything we do: news, books, magazines, video, music, weather, shopping, banking, socializing, everything.  The days of printed books and physical media are numbered.  DVDs and blu-rays are going the way of VHS tapes.  The new business model wants to stream everything to us, and wants us to pay for it not just once, but over and over again,” said Gemli from Boston.
Others were more understanding of the digital marketing strategy.
“I don’t mind paying for something I’ll use, especially if I can cancel at any time; however, I will not pay for anything that I cannot pay cash for.  Unless Google comes out with credits that come on cards with pre-determined amounts that I can pay cash for, they will not be getting my money,” said CSR Chad of Davenport City in Iowa.
Note: There are now pre-paid cards available
“I think this makes perfect sense.  The traditional TV format is outdated and what YouTube is proposing very attractive.  I’m not opposed to paying especially if I can cancel my cable subscription, and get access to what I really want to watch.  Plus, with original content making its way to streaming (ie. Netflix) it’s only a matter of time before producers and advertisers want in on this new format,” said Chris of Chicago.
Remember that this is still a pilot program and YouTube can cancel it if it goes badly.  But if this catches on, YouTube will have another source of revenue apart from ads.  The online strategy is also seen to put pressure on the cable TV industry which is already under assault from video on demand available in online platforms.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

 

Social Media Levels the Playing Field

There are many ways social media can help businesses nowadays, especially the smaller ones, here are some of the more obvious reasons.
 
Social media can advertise your business cost effectively

When big businesses want exposure they start off with a TV spot blitz, then a newspaper ad blitz, then a radio commercial blitz, it’s all so complicated not to mention expensive.  But small businesses do not have a huge corporate budget to wage a wide media campaign. What’s the next best thing to do?  Advertise with a social media agency.  Advertising with social media can reach more prospective customers as more and more people today would rather go online for news and entertainment than open the TV or read the newspaper. An ad online does not have the perishability of a broadcasted ad, it will not last just a few seconds over the air, it will stay put in a webpage and people will be able to see it repeatedly. Even the mere act of seeing the ad again and again is enough for some viewers to develop brand recall, and that is a good thing.
Social media is an excellent feedback tool
Public relations is important for business, and for good PR you need feedback and someone who can handle that feedback. If you cannot afford a flashy PR firm then you can have a social media manager to run your PR.  Constant communication is a great way to retain customers and get in touch with prospective ones.  Learn what you are doing right about your business, what you may be doing wrong, what can be done to improve service, or other concerns.  People would rather deal with a person they can easily reach and converse with. Email exchanges and phone conversations have their limits, and in the case of the latter, costs.
Social media can help you find customers
The best part of this is that it will mostly be the doing of your customers. While word-of-mouth has largely been replaced by online communication these days the principle remains the same. Some of your customers talk about how good your services are, in addition to your excellent PR and feedback system, and others may get curious enough to try your services. In turn they spread the word about their good experience.
Social media can be used as your own education tool

For any business to stay on top it has to be innovative in its field, keeping up with the latest developments, trends and even industry practices. Many business owners offer refresher courses amongst themselves and their people, but not all businesses practice this and you can’t expect competitors to give up trade secrets. Online platforms are a good source of staying informed.
Social media keeps you updated about the competition
Admit it; you’re curious about the competition.  Many a businessman has read Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and treat business like war; the more you know about your enemy the better you will be in a position to outmaneuver them. Or in this case, the more you know about your competitors, what online strategy they are employing, strengths and weaknesses, the better you will be in a position to counter what they have and exploit what they don’t.  Of course you can’t expect to get all the information about your competitors via social networks, but it’s a good place to start looking.
The list of ways social media can help your business is long.  If you are not exploiting social media to the advantage of your business, then you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.