The day that companies have been hearing about for years has finally arrived. Now is the time when connected devices have gone from visionary fantasy to market place. Though far from ubiquitous, the Internet of Things (IoT) has clearly joined mainstream. Consumers are widely embracing everything from connected lighting products to intelligent cars. Additionally, the market is forecast to reach $457 billion by 2020
“The shift to smart products and devices will transform marketing in many ways; one of the biggest impacts will be on content, everything from how pieces are distributed to what is consumed.”
There are four things that marketers should keep in mind about connected devices when developing their content strategy:
1. Search behavior will continue to shift
The nature of online search has been changing ever since Google Assistant and Siri were first introduced on smartphones. Today, more people speak their searches than type them.
Ove 20% of Google app searches happen by voice. The number will probably only increase thanks to the proliferation of connected products such as smart remotes and speakers. People expect over half of searches in 2020 to happen via voice.
This is important for content creators. Typed searches and voice searches are extremely different. Research shows that voice searches tend to be longer, incorporating more question words and other natural-language elements. To adapt to this new way of searching, we’ll have to introduce new approaches to SEO. We’ll definitely have to update our existing tactics.
2. New opportunities surface for content consumption
While people think of content creation as zero-sum game, the reality is more nuanced. Emerging technologies can not only alter existing habits, but also spark fresh behaviours. This will increase the total time which users spend with content. These behaviours could include reading on a mobile device while also while watching television, aka second screening.
Connected devices will likely introduce a host of new content consumption opportunities. Examples of this could include small multi-tasking windows, such as recipes presented on kitchen appliances connected to the internet. Additionally, other large swathes of time which were previously unavailable, where businesses could connect with consumers via Internet-enabled, self-driving cars.
Deloitte Consulting, in a paper exploring the future of mobility, posits that smart platforms could soon be turning commutes into lengthy opportunities for consumers to engage with content.
“[Platforms will] extend the media experience to the vehicle, seamlessly integrating content libraries, streaming subscriptions, and social networking into each and every ride.”
3. Content will augment reality
Virtual reality (VR) tends to get most of the buzz. But, augmented reality (AR) – the enhancing of real life rather than the simulation of it – arguably has more potential for content creators in the near-term. The technology is more mature. Expected to grow from $11.8 billion this year to $60.5 billion by 2023, the AR market is growing exponentially. Companies like IKEA and Google already deliver sophisticated AR experiences via smartphones.
The next step in the evolution of this technology will be to expand from smartphones to other connected devices. This is something which people are already exploring with developments such as smart windshields that can display details about surrounding landscapes and directions.
Uniting the the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality has major implications for content creators, enabling information-layering onto real life – including ratings, explanation videos, addresses, related social comments, and prices. Rather than being in siloes, content will be able to integrate into the world around us with the right mapping and user experiences.
4. Contextual targeting will become essential
One of the major challenges content creators will face with connected device is that consumer tolerance for irrelevant pieces could become even lower. While nowadays, people can skim past content that doesn’t interest them on web pages or mobile apps. Ignoring unwanted or uninteresting content will be more difficult when looking at smart objects like helmet visors and shower curtains.
Good contextual targeting will be even more important in this case. The right piece of content, in the right place at the right time adds value. Irrelevant elements will not be forgiven as easily. Content creators will have to become more sophisticated with their data collection and utilization
The rise of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to fundamentally change the way consumers behave, and though adapting to the changes will require hard work and creativity, those who embrace the revolution will no doubt be handsomely rewarded with new and powerful opportunities to engage their audiences.