Here's the thing, Apple Watch isn't out for a month yet. Sales predictions swing wildly from one million units in year one to one million units on day one. And nobody, outside of Apple, has lived with the thing and formed patterns of use or utility yet. So, should brands harness the world's first significant wearable for first-mover advantage or wait and potentially miss the 'shiny new thing' boat?
Small display, always on (and always 'out'), wrist-activated, seven second interactions, glances, digital crown control, fitness focus, Apple Pay, taptic engine – just what the hell is the Apple Watch going to mean for the world of content marketing? Let's explore what we do know and the impact that this will have for brands and marketers.
HONEY I SHRUNK THE CONTENT
In the beginning there was just content – big books, fat mags, epic movies and paperboy-crippling Sunday papers. In '97 the smartphone arrived and content quickly became ’snackable’; a couple of years later Twitter introduced us to ‘micro’ content and now, at the dawn of the ‘wearable’ age we have ‘glanceable’ content – meaningful information that only flashes up for a few seconds and must fit stylishly onto a 4cm glass rectangle. Tone of voice is about to become something of a luxury as we become experts in distilling down sheer information to its core elements. Yes, brands are going to have to become more disciplined with their messaging if they want to genuinely engage with the new 'Sir Glance-alot' (Ithankyou) generation.
• E-Newsletters need a text version to be seen on Apple Watch.
• Emails must get the the point bloody fast.
• More content, across all channels, will be episodic.
• 'Below the fold' is likely to occur after 15 words.
• Twitter will be the number one news source for wearers.
• Visual tweets will take a back seat though
Even the simplest of apps will need to be super-economical with language and episodic with content.
Beacons Go mainstream
(where did the 'i' go by the way? Did we miss a meeting?)
IBeacons, or just Beacons as they now seem to be called, have been the 'next big thing' for three year now without ever really breaking though. These hyper accurate, hyper local little Bluetooth transmitters were supposed to change the way we shopped, bombarding our smartphone with irresistible in-store offers and info. And here's why the technology hasn't broken through, drum roll, we keep our phones in our pockets and bags.
With the Apple Watch constantly in contact with our skin and only a snap of the wrist away from view, those Beacon alerts might just work. Expect product information, sales offers, up-selling, cross-selling, coupons, loyalty points, free downloads all triggered from in-store Beacons to your Apple Watch.
This personalised, intimate contact with customers is where the biggest opportunity will lie for content marketers. But it has to offer instant benefit. Regardless of the minuscule character count, any content interaction will have to inspire, inform or educate the wearer. It has to be hyper-relevant and pertinent if it hopes to trigger customer action from just a glance. But when it does – the rewards can be instantaneous thanks to Apple Pay. Picture yourself in a cinema with an Apple Watch. You're about to buy your ticket when your Watch flashes up 'Hello you, fancy two free popcorns just by pre-ordering for the new Bond film now?' You press yes, swing your wrists close to the terminal and pick up free munchies having paid for a film you were going to see anyway. You win, the cinema wins, Apple wins! Hang on, that can't be right.
We'll have more, less rambling, thoughts when Apple Watch is launched in April.
Can't wait until then to fool around with an Apple Watch yourself? Then have a play with all the apps right now thanks to the good folk at WatchAware.