The IoT market is growing at an explosive rate. Gartner predicts there will be 20.4 billion IoT devices by 2020. In 2016, global spending on the IoT across markets was US$737 billion. IDC says this number will reach US$1.29 trillion by 2020.

One area that many may not think IoT has an impact is marketing. Content marketers too can harness the power of connected devices and the data these devices provide to create more robust campaigns.

Content marketing has reached the point of saturation. In 2019, nearly 88% of B2B companies in the US will use digital content marketing. It can be challenging to stand out when so many brands are creating content daily. Here’s how data from IoT devices can help marketers cut through the noise in a crowded content landscape.

The opportunities IoT provides content marketers.

Data has become essential to content marketing, which is why the IoT will have such a massive impact. As the number of connected devices rises, so does the amount of consumer data. Devices collect user information that can then help marketers understand their consumers more accurately and create better experiences.

For example, connected pillows have sensors that can track sleep data and provide the corresponding brand with information about user sleep patterns. This data can help the company create more personalized campaigns, increasing their competitive advantage as they give consumers a more personal experience. If a user snores, marketers can offer them options to help stop storing, for example. Offering an experience rather than content, known as experiential marketing, creates a new type of engagement between companies and consumers.

Connected devices give marketers the chance to send content straight to a consumer, eliminating competition and distraction from other material. For instance, when a consumer purchases a connected pillow, they will receive content based on the data from the pillow to their mobile device.

Companies can segment and target different groups of people. For example, the company can choose to deliver one type of content to all connected firm pillows, while sending a completely different experience to soft pillows. Both pillows offer different experiences, so companies could exchange content between the two types of pillows to provide consumers with a new experience.

Advanced data collection and utilization will help content teams deliver optimal content. For example, marketers can deliver content in real-time if there is an emergency or a new update that’s important to a particular audience. Marketers can also take commonly asked questions in customer service to create content that initiates related conversations.

There are many ways marketers can leverage the data that IoT devices generate. By understanding when, where, and how customers are using their products, they can deliver stronger, more personalized experiences. IoT can produce insights that lead to product improvements, which marketers can implement in campaigns. It’s a good idea for teams to have an existing content marketing platform to gain insights into content performance.

The challenges of IoT implementation for marketers.

Although the IoT offers many exciting opportunities, there are a few things marketers should keep in mind when developing their content strategy.

Data proficiency.

It will be important for all content marketers to learn how to process, analyze, and interpret data to apply it to their content. Expertise in data and analytics may be a required skill for content marketers in the future. Marketers should also make sure they have the necessary analytic tools to interpret data. While marketers upskill, we’ll likely see more data scientists join marketing teams to harness the IoT’s potential.

Contextual targeting.

One of the biggest challenges for content marketers will be delivering relevant content at the right time. Although it’s easy for consumers to skim over the content on websites and mobile apps, this will prove more difficult on smart objects. Therefore, consumers will develop an even lower tolerance for content they don’t find relevant. Marketers will need to nail contextual content by providing the perfect piece of information at the right place and at the right time.

Rise in voice search.

By 2020, 50% of consumers will interact with voice-activated technology. Online search behavior is changing quickly. In the era of IoT, it’s essential for marketers to start optimizing their content for voice search and virtual assistants. Voice searches differ from online searches – they are often longer and use more question-like phrases. Content creators will need to change their approach and update existing SEO tactics so consumers will have a higher chance of finding their content.

Extended use for IoT in content marketing.

With the increase of connected devices, marketers can harness the influx of consumer data to create compelling content. Along with the potential of IoT, there are some challenges. To overcome these barriers, marketers will need to have a firm grasp on data, create relevant content, and optimize for voice search. If they can act on data from IoT devices while getting all of these elements right, they’ll increase trust and loyalty among customers and strengthen the relationship between brands and consumers.

Nora Leary

Growth Director

Nora Leary is the Growth Director at Ironpaper, a B2B growth agency that focuses on lead generation and sales for B2B companies that have a long sales cycle.