Apple’s move into iBook publishing, Why brands are struggling with social, and Square’s core branding approach

10 links that point to the future of marketing:

Apple announces free iBooks Author OS X app for publishing books to the App Store

Amazon certainly has a sizable lead in the personal publishing space, but I’ve been more than a little surprised that they haven’t moved faster towards making it much, much easier to create Kindle books. Apple has already proven their ability to take simple UX to large audiences, from musicians using GarageBand to mass consumers purchasing through the iTunes store. If Apple can own the best creative process, they could end up with the best content.

Via @briansolis

Social As We See It: Digital Trends for 2012

A good outline of some top line trends and the apps that are helping make it happen.

Via @postadvertising

55% of Brand Ambassadors Prefer Facebook

Not much info in support of the research methodology, but overall this doesn’t surprise me. In fact, I’d have thought it would be higher.

Via @Britopian

Disruptions: Design Sets the Tone at a New Start-Up

An good example of branding that goes straight to the core of a company. It’s brand building by demonstration.

Via @kdoohan

Twitter Calls on Former Apple Exec for Marketing Help

Per the article, I’m not sure Twitter’s problem is people’s understanding of the service, but it will be interesting to see what issues they address in their move to push media.

Via @Aerocles

Three Men And A Basement: How Carrot Creative Grew

Inspiring story about three guys building a social media agency

Via @socialfresh

IBM’s 5 in 5 – a list of innovations which predicts future technology trends and applications.

Some interesting concepts presented in a branded content video from IBM.

Via @CraigDaitch

Marketers Still Struggling With Social

There’s an interesting thing happening in social media. While marketers are increasing their spending, they’re also admitting they aren’t entirely on top of how to manage the potential of social media. And like it’s always been in marketing, those with the best knowledge will be in a highly-advantageous position.

Via @hicais

Social Networking Stats: Facebook To Reach One Billion Users By August, #RLTM Scoreboard

Some very simple, clear data on why Facebook is driving the boat for most company’s social media efforts.

Via @tamarabarber seeing strong traffic growth

Forbes went through a big redesign recently, and it’s great to see that as well as their content marketing efforts paying off.

Via @steverubel

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