Marketing goes where people go. Its history shows that whatever platforms people use to consume news and entertainment – be it the print newspaper, television, radio or the web – marketers will be there to speak to them.
Increasingly, people are turning to mobile devices, including so-called wearable tech – like the sexy smartwatches you often see at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas.
The concept of ‘mobile’ in the sphere of marketing has changed. It used to mean a specific product to push content on – a mobile phone.
But today it is both a variety of products – smartphones, tablets, wearables – and a lifestyle too. As more consumers shift to mobile devices, they start to live in a mobile way, consuming content on the train, on the sofa, at work.
Wearable technologies might still be in their relative infancy, but devices like Google Glass and Samsung Smartgear are set to propel the technology into the mainstream.
Cisco, for example, predicts that an estimated 177 million wearable devices will be sold in 2018, a massive jump on the less than 22 million sold in 2013.
That 177 million might only account for 0.5% of smartphone traffic, but it’s still a sign that wearable tech is moving into the bigger picture.
As such, marketers are changing their strategies, renegotiating how they do content so that they successfully meet the needs and demands of their consumers.
Here are three things we think the rise of wearable tech will bring about:
1. Greater demand for content translation services
Wearable technology is set to fuel demand for translation services. Established economies have taken to internet devices with aplomb. Asia, for example, is the world’s biggest internet market with 1.76 billion users, 591 million of whom are in China.
But people in emerging markets have also acquired an appetite for mobile and internet technology. In India there are 100 million users, in Brazil 76 million.
These figures only represent a small percentage of the countries’ populations, but of course, these markets represent the future.
An improving global economy has seen companies approach 2014 with fresh optimism, and many are planning to expand internationally – whether it’s launching new stores overseas, opening a new office or setting up a new ecommerce platform to tap into global trade.
As companies look to enter new markets, translation services will prove a key focus point. It is no longer acceptable to launch a new website aimed at, say, the German market that features only English language content.
Wherever a company launches, it needs to ensure it meets the needs of the people in those regions and communicates with them in an effective way – and the best way to do that is to offer translated content.
2. Shift to mobile-first strategies
For years the desktop defined the thinking behind advertising and marketing, but now, marketers are starting to think about content, ads, videos and graphics from a mobile point of view.
As more and more people use mobile devices – including wearable tech – strategies for getting the best out of these channels will be crucial.
Five elements of a mobile-first approach:
• Scannable content – it’s unlikely that consumers will read an entire article when using a smartwatch. Offer scannable content, with bolded out key phrases, sub-headings and bullet points.
• Sites that are easy to navigate – consumers have less of an attention span on a mobile device than they do on a traditional desktop. Websites need to be easy-to-use and move around – otherwise people will switch off.
• Video is effective – wearable tech will be a fertile ground for video content. Research by Nielsen shows 28% of online consumers watch video on their mobile devices at least once a day.
• People search differently on mobiles – you’ll need to develop a mobile search strategy that differs from your desktop one. Think about the mobile context of the user and how they behave while using a mobile device.
• Content still needs to be engaging – you have less space, less willingness from your consumer to spend time on a site, but you still need to offer valuable content – the cornerstone of any effective content strategy.
Apps are a great way to bundle-up a variety of content into one easy-to-use package perfect for the mobile consumer. It means you can offer different content types – quiz, FAQ, short feature – but not bombard people with content. When using an app, people are free to choose what they want to read, so they’re less likely to turn off. What’s more, once someone has downloaded an app, you’ve established a channel with them through which you can continue to offer content.