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Smart data, smart devices, and smart content: many marketers may agree that these are the keys to content marketing for the future. Nowadays, the Internet of Things transforms customer experience and opens up new marketing opportunities. More data is being collected from consumers thanks to smart devices and businesses can use it to market more intelligently and efficiently.
Marketo, a marketing automation vendor, defines IoT as “the interconnectivity of our digital devices that provides endless opportunities for brands to listen and respond to the needs of their customers – with the right message, at the right time, on the right device.” Such connectivity means the availability of more data and, more importantly, smarter data which leads to more relevant campaigns that create customer engagement.
According to IHS, there will be 30.7 billion connected devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 2025. However, Intel predicts over 200 billion connected devices by 2020. With this picture in mind, we, as marketers, need to reconsider the content strategies we create, tools we use, messages we communicate, contexts we consider and metrics we use for measuring our campaigns.
Here are some aspects of IoT which will impact content marketing for the future by impacting consumers’ decision-making process. We will then present some tactics and real-life examples of IoT being used in the field.
Environment and location data
There is nothing extraordinary about using location or environment data to customize messages and marketing campaigns. It has been done for a long time. However, what has changed is the variety of devices that can provide data and how multiple factors can be considered at one time. For example, retailers may send targeted messages based on the interaction of location, weather, and a product by offering what to eat to beat the heat.
Interconnected digital activities
The more interconnected devices in use, the more data is being produced by people who use these items on a daily basis. When a smart device is connected to the internet, it provides insightful information about the location and buying habits of the user. It also enables manufacturers to deliver solutions to issues that the device may have.
More efficient content distribution
It is difficult to keep up with content demands while maintaining a unique approach and addressing the specific needs of the customer. If people are bombarded with irrelevant content, this decreases the user experience and reduces engagement. Due to the in-depth data available through IoT, content marketers can target their messages specifically to those who are likely to engage with the content and purchase the product or service.
With all this in mind, here are some strategies to consider when thinking about content marketing for the future.
IoT Transforms Content Marketing For The Future
As stated in The Guardian, content marketing will now go beyond blog posts, copywriting and social media posts to reach connected smart devices. Content strategies will concentrate on designing systems where hardware, customer habits, and physical spaces intertwine rather than planning the content that drives websites or mobile apps. Content marketing for the future will be all about optimizing the end-to-end experience using smart data collected by smart devices.
For example, if you run out of fresh vegetables, a smart refrigerator connected to the internet could recognize this need and display a customized message on its screen or any other connected device. The content of this message can alert the user to the need to buy fresh vegetables while offering the best deals in town, and even ordering them if the refrigerator company partners with nearby stores. Real-time and location-based data shift the focus from real-time engagement to real-time optimization for customers.
Content Messages For IoT Are Personalized & Customized
With the unprecedented amounts of data generated by IoT devices, we can discover consumer behaviors, desires, needs, and intentions. This allows a content marketer to serve customized, contextually relevant messages at the most optimal place and time. Instead of waiting for interest in a marketed product or service, we can follow the signals from IoT devices and use timely push notifications when consumers need to purchase something. The above-mentioned example of the refrigerator can be used here as well. Instead of publishing an article about the 10 best grocery stores for fresh vegetables and building links to other relevant content, we can build personalized messages with an offer based on the consumer’s diet or other preferences. This way the created content will be shorter and more precise and helpful. It will drive more engagement and create a better customer experience.
Apart from personalized messages and content, special attention should be paid to connected devices. Currently, the focus is mainly on web and mobile. With IoT, several devices will require customization of not only messages but also textual and visual content. These include fitness trackers, security systems and entertainment systems.
Iot Requires Experiential Marketing At Its Best
In content marketing, users mostly consume content by “feeling” it rather than merely reading it. Finding emotional ties and personal connections has always been a major challenge. The latter can now be found in engaging experiences that are personalized and capable of being shared or enjoyed collectively. These experiences will leave a more long-lasting trace in a customer’s memory than a 10-minute visit on a website. IoT’s technology and data provide the most efficient opportunities for this.
IoT marketers focus on constantly improving customer experience through content marketing. Thanks to the analysis of IoT’s big data, we can understand the buying habits and journey of the customer. We can examine the ways consumers interact with connected devices and find out the service issues that need improvements. This helps to raise customer satisfaction.
Let consider a case involving McDonald’s. They took a step forward in their customer service by partnering with a Bluetooth beacon solution called Piper. Customers received a greeting as soon as they entered a restaurant and they were offered surveys, coupons, and special offers, along with other relevant content.
Another example is the Nike+ app which offers personalized coaching for runners and encourages them to stay focused. It became available on wearable devices through a partnership with Apple Watch. The app tracks runners’ speed, distance, time and heart rate as they run. It also prompts them to install Nike+ Run Club. This app provides the runners with a platform where they can share their progress with other users. Such a connected experience helps to build a community. It creates an exciting experience that is collaborative and competitive.
To sum up, content marketing for the future is more personalized, data-driven, precise and adaptable thanks to the Internet of Things. As IoT grows, more challenges will appear but with the right approach and willingness to learn, you can ride the wind of change and embrace new content opportunities.
Do you have any experience with content marketing using IoT? Share them with us on our blog at www.iriscontent.com.
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