How To Leverage SmartWatch Technology For Online Marketing

Apple finally released the new Apple Watch. Today current estimates suggest that there will be approximately 4, 000,000 smart watches sold in 2014. (Cormac Reynolds) Apple has just joined others like Samsung, Sony, Nissan in the wrist “wearables” market.


So, how can you streamline your online advertising to compliment these convenient new devices? We’ve put together a few tips to show you how to take advantage of mobile-wearable technology in your online advertising strategy, and also how to upgrade your website to be more friendly to SmartWatches.


Web Design For The SmartWatch


To state the obvious, Apple’s Smart Watch is square. Oh yeah, and the screen is also tiny (38mm or 42mm to be exact). This is similar in size to many other smartwatches on the market. While it is uncertain if Apple plans to include an internet browsing app for the watch (in addition to Siri), there are already smartwatches that allow this,  so it leaves us with some new design elements to consider.


Here are 5 quick tips to consider when designing for a Smart Watch:


  1. Design with squares in mind. (This is a good idea when designing for smartphones too). Are you listing your features and benefits? Why not place them in cue card like squares that are optimized to stack for mobile? Instead of creating endless bulleted lists, put your content in square containers. We’ve seen several websites that reminded us of the card game “concentration,” where you scroll over a square and it flips over giving you a little bit more info on the back of the card. These quick squares are a great way to optimize for mobile phones and small screen devices like smart watches.7
  2. Keep to a tighter word limit. How much should you cram into a square? Arguably not much. Think of headlines. 7 to 10 words will be the sweet spot.
  3. Integrate multi-media technology. Need more than 7 words to get your point across? Why not include audio or video? Consider features that allow you to tap the square to play a video, or even simply an audio track. This is great for smartwatch wearers, especially while they are on the go. They might want to learn more about your company, without reading or stopping to look.
  4. Keep it simple. This is certainly a common theme in design. The smaller the space, the more important it is to keep things clean. When designing for smart watches, avoid complex bold patterns in any module where there is also text involved. There are exceptions to every rule of course, and if your motivations are purely art based, go to town.
  5. Squares don’t have to be “square.” Consider framing things differently for your desktop website than your smartwatch/mobile website. Thumbnails have been used for a long time to house images. It’s rare that they have been used as a way to group headline text as an integral part of an overall design. I think this is something we might see more of in an attempt to optimize for smaller screens. It’s all about how things zoom and get cropped as it becomes more and more necessary for web layouts to be adaptive to different devices. Use the idea of thumbnails as a guiding principle in new smartwatch compatible website designs.


Location Based Advertising


Location based advertising will be more relevant than ever as wearable technology becomes popular. For example, these devices include NFC technology, allowing users to tap to purchase items. Now with Apple Pay you can store your money safely on your watch and literally purchase items with the flick of a wrist.


Optimizing For Local Listings Is Key

We really can’t stress enough how important it is to optimize your business to be searchable locally. Google has really stepped up their efforts recently to help smaller local businesses become easier to find online. It’s also a fact that Siri uses Google if she doesn’t know the answer to a question. Having the right information included on your local business listing, Google+, Yelp listings, Yahoo and more will allow your business to reach smartwatch users when it counts. Not to mention, it’s a best business practice in general.


Coupon Apps

While the Apple Watch is new, and the app market is still uncertain for this wearable device, predictions can be made about what kinds of advertising to expect. Right now, advertising push notifications to mobile are heavily restricted, and we expect the same for smartwatches. Mobile apps however, are already taking advantage of push notification technology on an opt-in basis. There are more and more coupon apps springing up that let you know when a great deal is nearby. These apps are highly customizable and can pinpoint your location with impressive accuracy. This will facilitate timing-by-radius notifications, and allow advertisers to reach their audience in the right place at the right time to spur spending.


Leverage Email Marketing

SEO, content marketing and email will influence this market. Email is a key feature of the new smartwatches. While email doesn’t have the precision of local targeting, it does have time on it’s side. Sending well timed emails during regular commuting times should be considered as part of a targeted marketing strategy. Growing your email subscription base will be a trend that is set to continue as it can not only reach smartwatches, but also establish loyalty programs and expand a business’ reach substantially.

In order to grow email subscribers, a strong content marketing strategy should be in place to ensure your online marketing is informative and relevant to your target audience. It’s essential that your content is providing interesting, newsworthy information that they are happy to receive via email, or in this case, their wrists. And of course, a strong SEO and social media strategy will help them come across your great content in the first place.


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