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How will B2B marketers deliver content in a wearable tech world?

Posted by Mark Debenham - June 12, 2015

B2B marketers are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Marketers need time to nurture stakeholder relationships and explain new technology, but audiences won’t give it to them. Buyers have so much information available to them and have to be discerning with what they choose to read. Marketers have had to get into the habit of saying what they need to say quickly, and do so in a crowded space.

And that space is about to get smaller (at least, physically).

The emergence of wearable technology means marketing departments will have to whittle their messages down further to adapt to smaller screen sizes, such as two-inch smart watch screens. Let’s look at how this might affect the way marketers deliver their messages and complex information.

More devices for responsive design

Optimising the layout of online content so that it renders well across different devices is standard practice these days. Many websites and emails are designed to be flexible enough to give an optimal view for various desktop, mobile phone and tablet screen sizes. Forward thinkers were already doing this and Google’s Mobilegeddon update gave everyone the impetus to follow suit.

So a responsive design approach to websites and emails isn’t new. Wearable tech adds more layers to it though – in other words, more screens to cater for.

A number of online tools and software providers let you test how your content will be rendered. For example, see the pics below of one of HubSpot’s features that lets you preview how content looks on different devices.

HubSpot mobile devices preview

We can expect to see smaller screens being added to such preview features. For example, the Apple Watch comes in 38mm and 42mm sizes, and the Samsung Galaxy Gear S is 2 inches.

hubspot device preview options

Wearable tech content and user habits

Marketers are used to taking long messages and adapting them for digital platforms, but wearable tech could see the methods change in order to appeal to audience content preferences.

What level of attention would a person give to smart watch content? Traditionally, a watch just has the job of telling the time so a glance is all that’s needed. A smart watch isn’t a like-for-like replacement though. They have been some reports that Apple employees testing its Apple Watch noticed that it stopped them reaching for their phones as much.

So perhaps users will expect the same kind of content that they get from their smartphone? As smart watches are still relatively new, it’s too early to say, but it’s safe to assume that current formats of content will change. Let’s look at what they might be.

Changes in content…the slow death of text?

content marketing via images smart watchesIn the past, we’ve shared advice on how to share complex information in a short amount of time, and blogged about how to write the right amount for IT buyers, but the smaller screens of smart watches could give rise to a whole new area of best practice.

That could include editing text down further to accommodate the smaller screen size and, in some cases, replacing it with something else altogether.

For example, rather than trying to tell the whole story in fewer words, marketers may find that images are more effective for the device’s platform.

Keeping in touch

From a marketing perspective, one of the most exciting pieces of technology in the Apple Watch is its use of haptic technology.

Pressure on the user’s skin is applied through vibrations such as prods, caresses and rhythms. This nuanced form of communication could become an influential form of communication for brands. Languages could conceivably be born from this and marketers could create their own brand signature rhythms from it.

What to expect from wearable tech

To sum up, here are some possible wearable tech trends that could affect marketers:

  • More tools to help adapt to smaller screens, such as smart watch previews in responsive design tools
  • Patterns to emerge around what users expect from their wearable tech devices
  • A change in levels of content engagement on smartphones
  • Shorter messages
  • More images
  • Maybe even a new, nuanced form of communication via the sense of touch

Download Wearable Tech: A Marketer’s Perspective for more insight on how content marketing will be affected by the wearables market

Download Wearable Tech: A Marketer’s Perspective

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