Bre.ad is a free application I came across several months ago, it totes (toasts?) itself as “Add your personal billboard to any link you share.” http://bre.ad/
I was reluctant to write a post on it when I first came across it, because so many start up applications have come and gone. It’s still around, so while I wouldn’t suggest building a marketing plan around it, I do recommend taking advantage of it while it’s around (and hopefully it will be for awhile).
For lodging it has some interesting implications.
Bre.ad gives users the ability to run a display ad, billboard image or photo with text, with a link to whatever you specify, and it displays it to a person clicking on the link either tweeted or linked on Facebook with a quick 5 second splash “flash” screen.
Here’s an example I made up quickly this morning: Check out some of our Inn to Inn Specials bre.ad/075ldu
The interface is pretty straightforward.
- Make a Toast
- Add a Catchy Title and an image and then think about if someone clicks the image what link/url will they go to?
- Then if you click on the home link it will ask you which target link you want to publish with a title. This can go to your home page, a special landing page or any other target you may wish it to go to.
The neat thing about this is you have the opportunity to be either directing people to a current special you have running and the teaser (the bre.ad landing page) can be an add-on special or a quick “this is what’s going on in the area” before they hit the final landing link. Which will also open in a new tab, so your not losing the original link target if someone clicks on the bre.ad link.
Or as an alternative, post something non salesy, a recipe or a link to a photo and have the interim “flash” page be a teaser about the inn.
I would recommend if you use this approach, stay away from the hard pitch. If you have developed a following on twitter that is not a straight pitch approach with your tweets in the first place, you run the risk of annoying people.
So an example using the soft sell approach for the above:
Instead of, “One of our special add-ons is Chocolate Dipped Grand Marnier Infused Strawberries” with a photo.
Alternative: Have a luscious photo of the strawberries and a quote from a guest about them.
The Image only appears for about 5 seconds, so do some testing to see what works visually. I tend to think if you don’t tell people to click, they may not think of it, in the short time the image banner is viewed or may not process that the image is clickable.
The feature lets you post to your twitter account and also to your Facebook account, unfortunately it appears to be only to your personal page and not a fan page, but the way to get around that is copy the tweeted link from twitter and paste into your fan page. This link could also be posted in a blog, on a Youtube branded channel or on Linkedin.
You can use the link multiple times and it does have click tracking.
If you create multiple “toasts”, apparently links can’t be specified for just one posted link, but will rotate amongst created “toasts”. So if you only have one thing you want to promote at a time, you may want to just stick with one toast, and then delete it when you want to run something different. On the flip side, it appears the links get a lot of traffic, so if you have 3 or 4 “toasts” with assorted specials or “teasers” that can be rotated anytime you post something, that can also be useful.
A few ideas of things you can promote/show in the 5 second “flash” that bre.ad gives a viewer before it flips through to a link. (The good news is bread lets the viewer click back from the target link so if someone was really interested in what was shown, they can hit the back button to view it again briefly)
Sample subjects for Bre.ad “Flashes”
- A quick tease to a recipe
- Local events
- Your blog
- Your Facebook page
- Your home page or (recommended) an internal link, so say you just got 100% bamboo sheets in and you wanted to promote it, link to your rooms page after a quick “flash” about the linens.
- Some touches/add-ons, packages
- A photo of some recent happy guests with a short quote.
The list is pretty much endless with what you can do with this app. i.e I could probably write about 30 pages worth but use your imagination!
So if you try this please let me know the links so I can add some examples 🙂