The New iPad is Coming: Time to Ante Up to the Tablet?

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Much like the arrival of brightly-colored tulips and little fluffy bunnies, spring also has brought a shower of iPad publicity and speculation for the last two years — and this spring is no different. The secret ninja announcement from Apple has been shrouded the usual rumors and questions: Will the iPad 3 be the first tablet in HD? How different from the iPad 2 will this third incarnation be? And some are wondering if it even is going to be called the iPad 3. While all of these are fascinating pontifications, we as online marketing specialists have another burning question: Does the iPad 3 (or whatever it ends up being called) signal the arrival of tablet marketing?

Mobile marketers have been pacing back and forth about this “tablet thing” for months. Now that every company big and small has a tablet or pad or book of its own, it appears the moment has arrived. Back in the fall, Paul Cushman of Yahoo! told Mobile Marketer, “Tablet marketing is just one element of a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy, which should aim to connect with consumers on all four screens — mobile, PC, tablet and TV. Agencies should be thinking about how they engage and move consumers to interact with brands across each of these screens, ultimately driving them from the PC, through the tablet, to the store via their smartphone, and then back again for customer-relationship management.”

Over the last few months, we’ve seen magazines and lifestyle brands push out tablet products at a breakneck pace. While not every online business can pump out slick iPad-friendly layouts and tablet-only apps, every site can get on the tablet party. The easiest way to cater to the tablet crowd is to continually pack your site with fresh content. Blogs are hotly-read on tablets, so the fresher and more timely the post, the more likely you are to keep readers. Also, by using a strategy similar to making your website mobile-phone friendly, formatting is a breeze and nothing will get lost in translation. Yet the main benefit of marketing for tablets is the creative possibilities. Brands are already coming up with one-of-a-kind games, cool interactive shopping features and image manipulation tools that are perfect for tablets’ unique tactile and motion sensor capabilities.

So let’s hear from you, smarty-pants readers: Is the era of tablet marketing officially upon us? Sound off below!

 

 

Brandsplat Report-FaceBook Advertising, Video Tips and Pinterest Hate

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Brandsplat Report-FaceBook Advertising, Video Tips, Pinterest Hate from Enzo Cesario on Vimeo.

Enzo F. Cesario, Brandsplat’s CCO shares his thoughts on FaceBook Advertising, Video Tips and Tricks from Google WebMaster and Pinterest Hate. Check it out! Or click here for more Brandsplat vids

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Tweet, Tweet Again

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Twitter is essential to any blogging marketing plan. In fact, most bloggers stick to the following strict Twitter marketing routine:

*Write amazing, informative blog (points for bringing the funny — appropriately, at least).

*Tweet aforementioned brilliant blog.

*Watch said tweet get lost in a sea of other tweets.

*Question this tried-and-true method but proceed with it the next day anyway.

So if we all do this while still wondering if it’s working, what’s a blogger/tweeter to do? Why, tweet again, of course.

Twitter isn’t really “set it and forget it” marketing. The chatty, chirpy social media platform takes time and needs to be checked on throughout the day. Some research of Bit.ly backs this up. The company found that 3 hours after a blog link has been posted, traffic to the blog and the tweet itself are practically non-existent. On its blog in September, Bit.ly explained the phenomenon of the short “half-life” of a tweeted link.

“We can evaluate the persistence of the link by calculating what we’re calling the ‘half-life:’ the amount of time at which this link will receive half of the clicks it will ever receive after it’s reached its peak,” Bit.ly writes.

As usual, it’s our collective lack of attention span that accounts for the 3-hour life and death of tweetable links.

So thank heavens for second chances. The new Twitter marketing norm suggests that you post links in tweetss to new blog posts but then post another link to the same blog later in the day. But why stop there? If an older post from last month, for example, didn’t really rope in the readers, why not tweet it again? Can’t hurt — and, according to Search Engine Land, the life span of a blog increases the more it’s promoted.

“On our @sengineland Twitter account, we tweet a story as soon as it’s posted. However, many of our Twitter followers might easily miss this, if they’re not online, busy and so on. That’s why we schedule a ‘second chance’ tweet for most major stories to go out a few hours after they originally get tweeted,” Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan writes. “Typically, we receive about 50 percent more traffic from Twitter from our second chance tweets as from the original ones. In other words, by simply tweeting a story again, some hours after the ‘half-life’ of the original tweet has expired, we pick up 50 percent of the traffic that the original tweet generated.”
So who cares if they read you the first time? Get out there and tweet it again! And speaking of Twitter, follow us on the little bird right here.

Andrew Breitbart Personified the Power of Blogging

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When you’re caught up in the daily blog writing whirlwind and focused on churning out fresh content, it is hard to see the impact or potential impact your words might have. Yet a breed of outspoken bloggers from all parts of the political landscape have proved that messages with passion and conviction will eventually find an audience. Andrew Breitbart, who was died last week, was one such blogger who turned his opinions into a media empire.

Love or loathe Breitbart’s methods and message, it cannot be argued that the 43-year-old former Huffington Post researcher had guts. Breitbart’s blogging star exploded with the famous whistle-blowing exposés on Shirley Sharrod and Andrew Weiner. But the journalist and publisher saw the power of blogging and blog marketing long before many of his contemporaries. In his memoir/manifesto Righteous Indignation, Breitbart describes himself as “reborn” after tirelessly researching the Internet in 1994. He then set out on a lifelong mission to turn the platform into a stage for his own beliefs and brand. After blogging for highly-read sites like the Drudge Report, he launched his own blogging empire which includes Breitbart.com, BigHollywood.com, BigGovernment.com, BigJournalism.com and BigPeace.com. Breitbart’s brand was built on his raging, loud and unbridled persona that most recently could be seen in a YouTube video where he screamed at OCCUPY protesters “stop raping people.”

While many (this blogger included) found his theatrics to be over-the-top, misguided and bombastic, his popularity can’t be disputed. His book was a No. 1 bestseller and is currently skyrocketing once again on Amazon.com, while the blogging conglomerate he owned and operated included some of the Internet’s most-visited conservative websites.

What normal blogging for business schmos like you and I can take away from the life and career of Andrew Breitbart is persistence. When it comes to blogging, every day counts. Small companies and brands only have a limited time to get their message across, and capturing the interest of fickle blog readers is tricky at best. Breitbart’s impressive content output, coupled with a strong narrative, is an example of how to keep audiences continuously on their toes and coming back to your blog.

Advertising on Facebook Just Got a Lot Easier — But Should You Do It?

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Hey, Facebook marketing geniuses: Already sick of the constant online badgering to advertise on Facebook? Then you’d better brace themselves. The social media megasite is now offering all sorts of advertising innovations and incentives to make putting your brand on the planet’s biggest social network a whole lot easier. But the question remains: Should you do it?

Paid advertising on Facebook is one of those online marketing techniques that has fiercely divided folks in our industry. Facebook advertising fans are steadfast in believing that paying for ad space on Facebook can only bring good things when considering how many people visit the site daily. On the other hand, social media marketing conservatives are apt to prefer a “wait and see” approach when it comes to paid Facebook advertising. Now the company is hoping to unite both sides of the discussion with a variety of new advertising products. Mobile is the first place where Facebook promises to take ads where they’ve never been before. In previous apps of the network, ads have been tiny or non-existent. Facebook has now tweaked the mobile version and apps to accommodate brand messaging from companies, big and small.

Still, critics of the program say Facebook has missed a major mobile marketing opportunity.

“There is a huge opportunity for someone with Facebook’s size, reach and mobile expertise to develop a killer mobile advertising strategy,” GigaOm.com says. “Unfortunately, what Facebook rolled out Wednesday falls short of that goal.”

So should the increased mobile visibility finally make you take the leap into Facebook advertisements? We remain members of Camp Cautious. Great Facebook page campaigns don’t need to cost a thing, regardless of how many times the company tries to make them colder and less easy to use. Another new version of Pages is coming, too, which is said to come complete with that Timeline look so many love to hate. As far as that goes, we think smaller companies would be just fine if they hung onto their current grassroots Facebook efforts until advertising on the site is even more easy, more affordable and more cutting edge.

Low & Slow: Barbecue Blogs Are Finally Ready To Serve

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We love it when some kick-butt blog creation and smart blog marketing catapults a normal, well-read blog into the big-time publishing atmosphere. And that’s exactly what’s happening in the world of Texas barbecue.

Laugh all you want, but blogging about which Lone Star State establishment has the best ribs is serious business for barbecue bloggers. Since 2008, a crowd of proud “barbecue nerds” have put Texas back on the culinary map.

“When we first started out there was no real chatter or blogging going on about barbecue,” says Drew Thornley, founder of BBQ blog ManUpTexas. “Now there’s a wave of enthusiasm sweeping Central Texas, and we’re riding that wave.”

Thornley even believes the state is in the middle of a “barbecue renaissance” — and judging by the response of the publishing world, he may be right.

Daniel Vaughn is another Texas barbecue blogger with credentials that are nothing to sniff at. Even Anthony Bourdain calls Vaughn “the Yoda of Barbecue.” For years, Vaughn has chronicled his love for barbecue —along with his every meal at Texas smokehouses — for readers of his blog, Full Custom Gospel BBQ. His blog leaves no stone unturned as he visits and reviews hundreds of BBQ joints. Now under the curation of Bourdain himself, Harper Collins imprint ECCO will publish a comprehensive guide to Texas barbecue restaurants as written by Vaughn. His book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat, is a “passionate full-color tour through and definitive guide to the best of classic Texas barbecue” which features reviews on 450 restaurants, recipes and fool-proof techniques.

Thanks to social media, blogs like Thornley’s and Vaughn’s are highly-followed glimpses into Texas barbecue culture. A documentary and two more books on the subject are due out in the next few months as well.

Amidst the talk of sauces and smokiness, these blogs are proof of what we preach here often: Be passionate for what you blog about and the rest of the world is bound to eat it up.