The Internet of Things or IoT is more than just an entity; it is really a phenomenon which shows you how web connectivity has penetrated our everyday lives. People do not only “access” the Internet any longer; it is because the Internet is omnipresent. So, people are conducting their personal lives and businesses in conjunction with the Internet. Whether it is your car keys or the refrigerator at home, anything and everything can be web-connected. With this infiltration of IoT devices into our daily lives, marketers are getting excellent opportunities to customize their buyers’ experiences. It is now possible for content marketers to deliver the exact content their audience is looking for at that very moment.
The idea behind IoT is to enhance the buyer’s expectations of convenience, and when your marketing strategies fail to cater to this expectation, your buyers will not find the product useful. Smart marketing must therefore connect social data to such online devices. While this may sound absurd, recently a business had experimented with vending machines powered by tweets. So, to buy products from this machine, the users would have to communicate with it on Twitter.
Marketers can never get enough of data. They search for data in everything and keep testing their ideas for even more data. With the introduction of IoT devices the data is also growing in scope and size. It is estimated that by the turn of this decade, there will greater than 13 billion IoT devices. This is why marketers should be prepared to exploit this opportunity. When there is better connectivity, there is more data; which in turn will lead to smart data and more meaningful marketing campaigns which guarantees enhanced customer engagement.
To begin with, the search behavior is likely to undergo a transformation with the launch of chatbots like Google Assistant and Siri for smartphones. Now, searches are going to be spoken out loud by consumers. As many as 20% of all voice searches inside the Google App are performed by voice with the launch of smart remotes and smart speakers, the numbers of IoT devices is only going to increase. It is argued that nearly 50% of searches are going to be voice searches by the end of this decade.
For content marketers, this is an important change because typed searches and voice searches are not identical. Research on this topic reveals that voice searches have to be not only longer; they must also include natural-language elements. So, in short, all the existing SEO strategies will need to undergo a complete makeover, and it may need addition of some new features to make voice searches smoother and more effective.
Content consumption is also slated to experience new developments. The new technologies may change many of the existing habits of customer engagement with content; at the same time, they may also make way for new buyer behavioral patterns. This may indicate a heightened increase in engagement of customers with content. So, the new-age IoT devices may trigger new content consumption opportunities. For instance, you can get useful recipes inside small multi-tasking windows on Internet-connected smart kitchen appliances.
HubSpot recently reported that Diageo, a beverage distribution business, had used the IoT technology to strengthen the bond between children and fathers on the occasion of Father’s Day. The company embedded IoT sensors on 100,000 whiskey bottles which could be sent as gifts to fathers from their kids. When the fathers connected to the Internet, they were provided with personalized videos from their children. This marketing campaign led to a 72% hike in sales in the fortnight leading to Father’s Day.
Content marketing is also expected to augment reality now. Virtual Reality may have been the buzzword till recently, but now it is augmented reality or enhancement of real life. This technology is more mature and content creators are making a beeline for this. It is believed that the Augmented Reality or AR market will grow up to $60.5 billion by another 5 years. Today, both Google and IKEA are delivering advanced AR experiences for customers through their smartphones.
The next natural step would be delivering AR to other IoT devices. The power to blend AR and IoT will spell many changes for content makers. For instance, it will mean layering information of various kinds like prices, explanation videos, social comments, and ratings onto real life. Content is not going to be kept into separate sections anymore; it is going to be integrated.
Content marketers will also need to explore the prospects of experiential marketing. This is definitely not new because more and more brands have been toying with this idea to promote their work vis-à-vis experiences instead of marketing it traditionally. In other words, this transformation will let customers feel instead of simply reading about an experience and this will improve customer engagement.
When you are living in a connected world, you need to know your audience’s habits. Only then can you deliver an experience they can enjoy. For instance, Nike successfully launched the Nike + app which provides personalized coaching for interested runners and keeps them focused. This app became available through wearable devices like the Apple Watch.
Another important change brought about by the IoT devices will be the growing importance of contextual targeting. Perhaps the greatest challenge which content marketers will now begin to face is buyer’s disregard for pieces which are not relevant anymore. For instance, skimming web pages is easy if you are not interested in the content they offer but when you have smart objects like helmet visors, it is a problem. This makes contextual targeting very important.
In short, when the right content is kept at the right instance in the right location it is going to be valued. But, when the place or timing is not perfect the buyer will not be interested. This means that companies will have to be very careful about data collection and optimization.
These are some ways in which the emergence of IoT devices will transform the way content marketers work. Adapting to such changes means a lot of hard work and the ones which can welcome these changes will ultimately be rewarded. They will find newer opportunities to engage their audience. The growth of IoT will bring forth an abundance of information which will allow content creators to give just the amount of content which the audience wants to consume.