Trends and Technology: Ten things tablets mean for your marketing...
It's sometimes hard to believe that Apple's iPad was only released in April 2010. But the impact since then that iPad, and other tablets have had on mobile computing, and the way content and marketing messages work has been profound. IDC, the International Data Corporation, revised its forecast for 2013 upwards to 142.8 million units worldwide. And if, as expected, Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market tomorrow, tablets are going to be even more important.
For me, the success of tablets is that they put information in your hands and let you move things around intuitively, and you just point to what you like to get more. The underlying technology becomes unimportant - the experience is what drives the use. Add the fact that they are lightweight, easy to hook up to wifi, and can be used for hours, and you've changed they way that people interact with a computer quite fundamentally.
1. Your stuff needs to look good.
Look at Pinterest. Images. Look at the way content appears in Flipboard on an iPad, and the way that the savvy marketers have always combined quality content with great design and attractive imagery. Witness the changes that have come to Facebook with its timeline, to LinkedIn company pages and soon to LinkedIn profiles. It's all about visual stimulation. Once you've seen content presented well, you won't want to settle for second best - you'll simply overlook it.
2. Your stuff needs to be easily shared.
I only have the patience to click once to share. Don't make me have to login, register or jump through any hoops. One click, and I'm done, or I'm not going to bother.
3. Your stuff needs to be useful.
Is this going to make me look clever in front of my boss? Is it going to help me do my job? Is to going to provide me with an insight into marketing rends and technology?
4. Your stuff needs to be authoritative.
If you know your stuff, let people know how good you are. Show your swag, link to references that you cite, and do not hesitate to refer to other examples of your insight.
5. Your stuff needs to be in a feed.
If I come across your stuff, and I like it, I want to be able to get more of it, with as little friction as possible. Make sure that RSS, Twitter, Facebook, email delivery or your app are always easy to get to. One click, preferably.
6. You stuff needs a good avatar.
How do you look at 16 x 16 pixels? If it's not clear, it needs to be. I need to be able to recognise you quickly amongst the clutter. Your colour, shape, and character need to be distilled into something small and unambiguous. Yes, it's difficult. But you'll be invisible otherwise.
7. Your stuff needs to be categorised.
If I don't know you, I want to know your category. Are you news, gossip, sport, business, tools, lifehacks? If I can place your organisation or your content in a category, I can assess your relevance and context far more rapidly.
8. Your stuff needs to be remarkable.
Why would I share it with my associates if I didn't think it was going to start an interesting conversation? Do you think I'm going to bother to pass along something bland?
9. Your stuff needs to be tagged.
I like to follow a thread and link ideas images, people, companies together. If you've tagged your content cleverly, it'll help me to put you into context, and associate you with other useful, important and relevant information.
10. Your stuff needs to tell a story.
Nobody who does not have to will read a press release from start to finish. But everyone likes to hear, and to share, a good story about real people in real situations. It's the Facebook timeline, the simplicity of an Instagram image with an informative caption, the reality of a customer with a problem having that problem resolved by an outstanding individual working for an amazing organisation.
So. How does your marketing work an a tablet?