Why headless content management is key to IoT marketing

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    It seems as if consumers have a new channel at their disposal every day. For marketers, this means a new opportunity to create content that engages those consumers and provides them with the personalized experiences that they demand. In keeping with that approach, the next great frontier in this continued channel growth is already here - the internet of things (IoT).

    IoT marketing can help brands capitalize on the growing selection of connected devices. In this article, we’ll explain a few things about IoT marketing and show how a headless CMS can help with IoT content management, which is a key component of IoT marketing.

    What is IoT marketing?

    IoT marketing integrates IoT devices into campaigns used to promote products and services and enhance the overall customer experience. An IoT device refers to any device which contains an embedded sensor that enables it to send and receive data via the internet. IoT devices are typically everyday objects, including watches, kitchen appliances, doorbells, and more.

    The global market for end-user IoT solutions stood at around $248 billion at the end of 2020 and is forecasted to reach $1.6 trillion by 2025, based on Statista research. Given this capacity for growth, companies need a game plan to avoid missing out on the potential that the internet of things has to offer.

    IoT sensors can also be found in places like manufacturing facilities, airports, and more, sharing data that helps businesses operate more efficiently. But when it comes to IoT marketing, the devices in question target consumers and can be used in conjunction with marketing campaigns. Here are some examples of use cases that leverage IoT marketing and require content management for IoT:

    Wearables

    Wearables are easily the most recognizable of IoT devices and arguably the ripest area for marketers to target. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other monitoring devices like those developed by Apple, Garmen, and others are hot commodities nowadays. They can be used to provide health data and even temporarily replace smartphones in certain situations.

    Gartner forecasts that the wearables market will reach $81.5 billion in 2021. That means marketers should already be targeting these devices with content adapted to fit on smaller screens or that can be used in conjunction with voice searches.

    LED lights

    Wireless networking technology and sensors can transform simple LED lights into interactive elements that respond to changes in their environment. For example, LED lights at concerts and nightclubs that react to changes in sound can be used to encourage consumers to buy certain products or even help with entertainment. These lights can also be used as digital signage or showcase specific brand logos, which marketers can control using a headless CMS.

    AR & VR

    Augmented reality creates an interactive experience in the real world using digital elements, and marketers can use AR displays to showcase their products. For example, customers can try on clothes before purchasing them online, reducing the friction caused when they buy items that aren’t the correct size. 

    Marketers can also leverage virtual reality headsets to promote interesting products or provide an interactive way to introduce valuable information. For example, virtual reality can be used to showcase real estate or furniture and reach customers that aren’t in nearby locations. 

    These IoT marketing use cases can fit into an omnichannel marketing strategy, providing a seamlessly connected experience for consumers. It means that marketers can produce personalized campaigns that initiate contact with customers at any of these touchpoints and then move them towards more traditional channels like a mobile device or desktop to close the sale. 

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    5 steps towards establishing an IoT marketing strategy

    Understanding the ways you can leverage IoT marketing is a great first step. However, to ensure that your brand is genuinely IoT-ready, you need to establish the right IoT marketing strategy. Here are 5 steps towards being IoT-ready as a brand:

    1. Determine the voice of the customer: Research and understand the voice of your customer. What type of content are they searching for? Where do they want to interact with your brand? It may not be the channels you assume, so you need to research and also be flexible enough to adapt along the way.
    2. Implement content workflows: Proper content lifecycle management is essential if you want to execute an IoT marketing strategy. By breaking down how content flows from the idea stage, creation, approval, and finally loading into your CMS for distribution to different IoT devices, you can increase content efficiency and ensure your brand can handle these new channels.
    3. Organize web content: Once you know the potential workflows, then you can ensure your web content is centrally organized and ready to be delivered anywhere. Getting content from your CMS to the various IoT devices at your disposal requires you to leverage headless architecture and APIs.
    4. Define personalization & localization: Consumers place a lot of importance on receiving content specific to their needs and unique tastes. Therefore, you need to define how you want to personalize your IoT content and even localize it for campaigns in different regions and countries.
    5. Create content for IoT devices: With everything in place, all that’s left to do is decide how you’re going to create great user experiences on new devices with content. Executing an IoT marketing strategy requires that you have the right technology. A headless CMS can provide the foundation for efficient IoT content management.

    Why a headless CMS is fundamental to IoT content management

    IoT devices are another checkpoint in the long list of channels that marketers need to be accountable for. With the fast pace of today’s digital environment, marketers need to be able to quickly build out content, get it through the approval workflow, and out onto multiple channels and devices, without depending on IT.

    Unfortunately, if your brand uses a legacy CMS this can be borderline impossible to accomplish. Without the underlying API-based architecture, a legacy CMS can’t effectively deliver content to multiple channels and IoT devices. Luckily, a headless CMS facilitates this by separating the front-end presentation layer from the backend infrastructure.

    Content can be delivered to any IoT device at the front end by using APIs. In the backend, marketers can create content workflows that help make the content delivery process much easier. Such workflows also allow them to easily edit and personalize content for all of their customers’ digital channels.

    Best practices for IoT content management

    While a headless CMS can provide a perfect tool to help you execute your IoT marketing, there are some best practices you should take into consideration.

    1. Perform an omnichannel content audit

    Content won’t look the same across every device. While many of the channels that content gets delivered rely on screens such as laptops, desktops, and smartphones, IoT devices come in all shapes and sizes.

    Therefore, you need to analyze every single piece of content you have in your library individually and brainstorm how that content might look if it were delivered to an IoT device. For example, how does that content change for a voice interface, a wearable device, a VR interface, or another channel? Consider how it might perform, if the context might be different and how you might need to change it so that it fits that channel better.

    2. Start with an FAQ

    Especially when it comes to voice-driven IoT devices, the way we interact conversationally differs from the way we may interact with written content, especially the long-form variety. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start by creating smaller snippets of content, such as a list of FAQ questions, and presenting that on different platforms such as smart speakers.

    Get started on your IoT marketing journey with an IoT CMS

    IoT marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all, nor is it something you just adopt, like a new social media handle. It takes planning and technological infrastructure.

    Storyblok provides a headless CMS to meet all of your IoT needs. You can quickly deliver personalized content to any device, whether it’s a smartwatch, VR headset, or digital sign. As an IoT CMS, Storyblok lets you manage your content with nestable content blocks and streamlines your content workflows, enabling you to manage personalized omnichannel experiences for your customers. Content gets delivered via REST and GraphQL APIs so that you can create content once and have it delivered everywhere.

    If you’re just getting started on your IoT journey, then by now, you know you’ll need an IoT-ready CMS. However, if you want to level up your IoT marketing journey, we would love for you to give Storyblok, a headless CMS that powers thousands of products worldwide, a chance. Get started for free or reach out to our Sales team below.

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