With the launch of the iPad on March 12, 2010 Apple started a new era in online content marketing.
Ever since the iPhone appeared Steve Jobs and Co have been getting you used to the idea of reading on a digital device, of having access to the Net in the palm of your hand, of reading online newspapers and magazines in the browser and books via Kindle iPhone app. Just ask the 33.75 million who’ve bought them.When Apple ships the first generation iPad on April 3, that reading experience is going to get a whole lot more slicker. Marketing strategy folks around the world will no doubt sit up and pay attention.
As more people adopt the iPad, and Apple competitors come out with cheaper clones, we’re likely to see a massive growth in the number of people reading digital content in the palm of their hand.
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What the iPad Means to Marketers
With more and more people reading on digital devices like tablets â€“and this will come given our increasing preference for (mobile) digital over printâ€“ there’s a wonderful opportunity for your business to provide customers and prospects with a variety of excellent digital content.
Blogs and websites are great to read on a computer and we’re pretty happy to do so. And I’m sure they’ll be just as popular on tablet PCs like the iPad. But I think ebooks will boom in popularity.
For starters, the landscape delivery of well-designed ebooks (Joseph Jaffe’s latest offering The Customer Service Manifesto is simply gorgeous) makes for a better reading experience. I expect that to improve even more when the iPad lands.
Then there’s the launch of the iBook Store. This will probably do for text what iTunes have done for digital music. Imagine if you can get the latest copy of your favourite magazine from the iBook Store. No more queuing in the newsagents. No more paper to recycle. That’s a whole market waiting to explode onto tablet screens in homes all around the world.
Ebooks and Digital Marketing Strategy
Publishers of ebooks (and that should include your business!) will be able to factor in calls-to-action and links to landing pages into ebooks and, if done elegantly and with panache, ebooks could be an important factor in generating sales for your business.
For example, if I was a manufacturer of dog food (go on, allow me a moment’s fantasy!) I’d make sure there was a monthly ebook for breeders who buy my kibble. I’d darn well make sure every month readers have a glossy ebook to enjoy on their iPads (or similar) with lots of nice pictures of dogs (faster load times than on the web), great copy and features about top breeders.
The ebook would be a strong communication tool in developing a dialogue with my customers and, unlike a paper newsletter, would have active links to sales pages and landing pages on the Net.
Oh, and for busy breeders, I’d make sure there was an 18 minute podcast too (18 minutes is the average time people spend commuting each day) to listen to after they’d browsed my newsletter.
There’s Never Been a Better Time…
to develop your blog, Facebook Fan Page, website and other digital media either! With the iPad (and all its clones) flooding the market we may be on the verge of the next major shift to digital, canibalizing even more of print media’s space.
Are You Pre-ordering Your iPad?
I’ll personally probably hold off until the second generation iPad comes out. Right now I’m happy reading on my MacBookPro and iPhone, and I’d like the price of a 3GS iPad to come down a touch. But I’m already working away on new ebook materials, excited by what the dawning of this new era could mean to my business.
How about you?
Do you think the iPad will change the way you market your business with digital content? Will you be doing things differently? Are you excited by the possibilities tablet PCs will mean for your marketing strategy? Or are you one of the boo-boys?