Email blasts may seem like the out-of-touch old fogey of online marketing, but there’s a reason they keep hanging around: They still work. But that doesn’t mean most businesses understand how to get the most out of them. One of the biggest, hardest-to-answer questions has always been: When is the best time to send out messages?
Social media is pervasive in the U.S. and is becoming increasingly integrated into the entire media landscape. From a consumer point of view, people use social networks in a few primary ways:
Connection: Facebook is far and away the most popular social platform; as it’s grown over the last 8 years, Facebook has gone from connecting college classmates to being the central social network. Facebook’s wide reach means many people are becoming more selective about what they share, and have higher standards for what they consider relevant or interesting on the platform.
Nicheworks: More active social users are turning to what we call “nicheworks” that have a more specialized interest or functionality and smaller circle of sharing. Sometimes this means sharing similar information, but more in-depth or with a different audience (for example, professional information on LinkedIn). Other platforms, like Instagram or Pinterest, are focused more on image sharing where users upload and post content based on certain topics – like recipes, crafts, travel, or other hobbies and interests.
Discovery & Sharing: Twitter is the most open information platform and has become a cascade of data consisting of personal updates, news and politics, and TV. But it also tends to be the sharing platform of choice for users of nicheworks: when those users create or find something cool, they share it more broadly on Twitter. As Twitter has grown both as a “pure-play” social medium and as a distributor for many smaller networks’ updates, it’s become a microcosm of what’s happening across nearly all of social – and traditional – media.
What do consumers think about brands using social media to reach them? What challenges do brands face in the U.S. when using social media?
Consumers are tolerant of brands but tend to be somewhat transactional in terms of what they want in exchange for their “likes” – they want something back for their attention. Ultimately, almost no one voluntarily wants to interact with ads, so it’s up to brands to change their messaging strategies to offer something genuinely interactive and interesting. This also means brands must have a much stronger arsenal of content at the ready, and they need to be limber and experimental in how they deploy it.
When it comes to your business’ branding strategy, establishing your company’s logo is one of the most critical tasks. Your logo will be pervasive throughout all of your marketing campaigns, and it’s one of the most prominent branding elements that people will think of when someone mentions your company. Your brand’s logo should be memorable, versatile, and consistent, all the while giving your audience a sense of what your brand is all about. Unfortunately, many companies haven’t exactly done a great job of keeping those goals in mind when establishing their logo, learning the hard way what it takes to create a positive brand experience through their logo.
Not sure what it takes to create a killer brand logo? To give you a better idea, here are some companies that have either failed or flourished in the logo department.
KFC’s Unique Logo Redesign & Launch
In 2006, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) launched a new logo, changing the Colonel’s appearance so he was pictured with a new, red apron. This was a big deal for the company, as its logo hadn’t been changed in over a decade. So why did they make the decision to revamp their logo? They wanted the image of the Colonel to be clearer and more energizing. The new, rejuvenated logo demonstrated an excitement and readiness to cook and serve.
Gap’s Logo Redesign Disaster
In 2010, Gap decided it wanted to change its logo into a more modern version and abruptly announced a new logo. The clothing company was greeted by backlash from thousands of angry customers in social media, who were attached to the recognizable blue box with ‘GAP’ written in the center. For Gap, the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” would’ve been sound advice. Its customers were already loyal to the original logo.
Apple’s Perfect Logo Rebrand
Today, we think of the Apple logo as a simple but sleek design, representative of the Apple brand. But it wasn’t always that way. The logo originally had a picture of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Eventually, it was changed into a rainbow picture of an apple. And finally, it changed into the logo we know and love today.
Google’s Successful Rebellion Against Logo Design Best Practices
Surprisingly, the Google logo actually goes against a few standard branding rules. It uses colors that seem to clash with each other. There is a slight drop shadow, which is something logos aren’t supposed to have. It even uses a serif font, which is hardly unique, and very rare for a logo to have.
Starbucks’ Confusing Logo
The Starbucks logo has always had the text “Starbucks Coffee” surrounding an image of a twin-tailed mermaid, also known as a siren in Greek mythology, which is indicative of the company’s heritage from the Pacific Northwest. For those who are unfamiliar with the Starbucks logo, the addition of these words has always helped to explain what the logo represents. However, in 2011, Starbucks updated its logo to get rid of the words and leave the mermaid, in hopes that they had enough brand recognition.
Pepsi’s Boring Logo
Over the years, there have been quite a few changes to the Pepsi logo. Most recently, Pepsi removed the company name altogether and left the image of the ball.
Just 22% of the top 50 retailers in the country have an iPad app. Yet the iPad is the fastest-growing consumer computing device on the planet. Why haven’t brands embraced it as quickly as they have the iPhone?
Clearly, brands have been slow to launch apps for this device – and other tablets – for a combination of reasons. Many marketers have already sunk millions into creating iPhone apps and assume these apps will works just fine on the iPad. Sometimes, this strategy works. After all, some apps offer an almost identical experience on the iPhone as the iPad. But to really get maximum marketing impact, brands do need to create iPad-specific apps that take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and tap into the unique frame of mind of an iPad user.
There are some hurdles to overcome, like where to start, and whether a brand should go with a native app, a web-based app, or a hybrid app? The short answer is that a lot of this depends on the company. But there are some basic best practices to keep in mind when coming up with how to market your business on the iPad. Here are five tips.
1. Content is King, Context is Queen
People are only interested in the things they are interested in. This means marketers should use the iPad to reach target audiences based on their specific interests. The first step is to not create a one-size-fits-all app and then flood app users with tons of irrelevant content. Instead, plan for user segmentation so the content you deliver to individual users appeals to their interests, needs, and wants. It’s the same segmentation methodology brands are using for email marketing, just applied into the iTunes distribution model. Aside from letting users choose what type of content they want to view, always give them ways to revise their selections.
2. Invest in the Right User Experience
You can create fantastic content, but if users have a bad app experience, they won’t continue to launch the app. That’s why it’s critical to invest in UX testing as you develop iPad apps. Take a look at how Flipboard created a great user experience for content aggregation, or how an iPad app like Collarbone displays content and photography.
3. Focus on the Long Term
An iPad app is like a baby: It needs constant care and feeding. You can’t launch it and forget it. Invest in maintenance, content updates, testing, and optimization. The best way to ensure your iPad publishing app gains and maintain users is to create an editorial team much like magazines do. Hire writers, photographers, videographers, editors, and other creative types to constantly focus on it. They can be freelancers or contractors, or in-house, but everyone must meet regular deadlines. And there will always be iOS updates, so ensure you continue to optimize your app in that way as well.
4. Open the Door to Adjacency
Consumers may love your brand, but they also love other brands. Think about other, non-competitive companies also in your category. These partners can help enlarge the audience for your app if you keep them close. iPad publishing apps are a great potential advertising platform for partner brands. For example, if you develop a monthly iPad magazine full of branded content, let adjacent brands advertise within your iPad magazine to generate increased partnerships and/or ad revenue.
5. Get Your App Found
Consumers don’t just stumble upon apps. You know you’ll have to promote your iPad app. The question is how best to do it among your target audience. One of the best ways to promote apps is through links in paid advertising. For example, tag or promote the brand’s iPad app in print, TV, and display ads. But brands can also gain an audience for their app by promoting it through in-store signage and kiosks, search engine marketing, and social media. The North Face experiences a spike in downloads for their Snow Report and Trailhead apps each time they are featured in a print ad.
The iPad may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for marketers. Brands that can win hearts and minds on the tablet will be ready for the major shift away from the laptop and PC that’s sure to happen in the next decade.
On June 30 2012 at 23:59:60 UTC a leap second will make the day one second longer. The leap second is inserted between 23:59:59 and 00:00:00 UTC to compensate for variations in the rotation of the Earth.
Most clocks will just ignore the leap second, but Time.is will count all the way up to 60 seconds!
The leap second does not occur on June 30 everywhere! The date and time depends on your time zone. In Trabzon the leap second will occur at 02:59:60 1 Temmuz 2012, Pazar. To check other locations, use the search box above.
Remember to set your clock one second back after the leap second! http://time.is/leapsecond2012
I believe this motto or I want to believe in this, this is a given extra second! So I ll make a wish for a better world, please share this !
Keeping a to-do list or project list is a great way to get a grasp on your day, but if you’re looking for way to better define where you’ll end up app developer Dave Lee suggests starting your week with a list of three desired outcomes and working from there.
The idea is that people in creative jobs might have a hard time working within a productivity system, but defining a list of desired outcomes creates a weekly goal while still maintaining a sense of order. Lee’s task system has ten parts, but two relate to how he breaks down a week and a day:
2. I choose my three most desired outcomes for that week. This gives me a goal and vision for my week.
3. I choose my three most desired outcomes for the day at the beginning of the day. All three outcomes should be related to your focus of the day.
For creative types it’s an interesting way to formulate a plan to work toward a goal that you can break down into smaller parts if you want. Head over to Lee’s blog to see the full breakdown of his system.
Marketers spend so much time creating content, building landing pages, and generating leads. As they should!
With a boatload of leads, you can also send a boatload of amazing email marketing messages to nurture those leads into customers.
Problem is, the enthusiasm your email subscribers once felt can dwindle. And sometimes, no matter how amazing your email marketing is, some recipients will stop clicking, stop opening, and eventually unsubscribe.
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