Content

One to Watch: Content Marketing in the Wearable Age

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How much time do you spend with your mobile phone every day? Most of it? Yeah, us too.

In a survey of 7,446 mobile phone users aged 18 – 44, the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that 79 per cent of them kept their phones with them for 22 hours a day. They also found that 80 per cent of people check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up, and a quarter of all respondents admitted being in the same room as their phone every hour of the day.

Now that the Apple Watch (a wearable piece of technology that looks a bit like a watch but largely acts as a smartphone) has been released, we can be even closer to our favourite gadgets – literally connected to the world every minute we’re not in the shower. Apple isn’t the only brand in on wearable tech – we already have FitBit and other such devices serving as extra-technologically advanced shiny limbs. With market watchers predicting industry growth up to $53 billion in revenue by 2019, it’s certainly no flash in the pan.

So, what might this mean for content marketing?

Microcontent

The Apple Watch comes in two screen sizes: 38 and 42mm. While there isn’t a lot of room on there to view content, your marketing may have to be bite-sized in more ways than one. It’s what Co-Founder of Wearable World, Redg Snodgrass, is calling ‘glanceable marketing’. At a minimum, it will mean overhauling the format of emails and other apps, and more importantly, rethinking what people will need and want to see ‘at a glance’. It may not come as a surprise that long-form content is not predicted to be a big hit in the wearable market. That said, it might leave plenty of room for expansive growth in regards to simplicity in design and copy.

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Less click commands

One of the biggest differences with wearable tech is that using it won’t be navigated with clicks and taps. Instead, commands will be given through voice and movement. This means the content itself will need to be compatible with the new controls – will the user be able to flick to the next page with a flick of the wrist? Open a link with a spoken “open sesame”? Another possibility here is that the content itself won’t be in written text form. Whether that means the next few years will be full of more visual elements or even spoken ones remains to be seen.

Personalised content

If wearing the means to receive content isn’t enough to get personal, we don’t know what is.

Content marketing may have to take a virtual leaf out of direct marketing’s book and use some of the information available with wearable software to target consumers. Current personalised marketing goes as far as incorporating names, general geographic locations, past online searches, interests, and device types. Will content marketers soon be able to recognise when the user has just been for a run and send them content on post-workout exercises, sports gear or the name of the closest physio?

Depending on the level of information marketers receive, the opportunities for holding a conversation with the user are huge – bigger than the size of the interface, at least.