The Apple Watch is here. While it may be one of the most anticipated product debuts of the year, Apple’s smartwatch joins many others already on the market, including Pebble, Samsung’s Gear, and Motorola’s Moto. While the wearables market is still small, the smartwatch trend is expected to take off in the next few years.
For marketers and small business owners, the new trend means screens are once again changing. Consumers have already moved from their desktops and laptops to smartphone screens. Smartwatches will have them checking email, texting, and playing games directly on their wrists. If your business is ramping up its marketing strategy for the remainder of 2015, here are a few changes you should make to reach smartwatch wearers.
Invest in Ads
Perhaps the most obvious way to target smartwatch owners with your marketing messages is through the use of ads. According to Juniper Research, smartwatch ad revenue is expected to increase from $1.5 million this year to $68.6 million by 2019. Advertisers are working hard to ensure ads reach smartwatch wearers at the best possible time to make a connection. This will be done through technology that learns wearer behavior and sends marketing messages based on that connection.
Develop a Useful App
Much like the early days of Internet-enabled cell phones, smartwatches aren’t yet fully equipped for web surfing. At the moment, the best way to reach wearable owners is through apps. If your business can create an app that smartwatch users find helpful in some area of their lives, you’ll have a captive audience for your marketing messages. A restaurant could design a tip calculator, for instance, or a grocery store could create and deploy a shopping list app specifically for smartwatches.
Create a Smartwatch-Friendly Website
Businesses have spent the past few years making sure their websites are mobile-friendly through the use of responsive design. However, this functionality isn’t yet available for smartwatch-based browsers. As this blog demonstrates, not all sites come across well on a smartwatch. Simply-designed sites like Google’s and Twitter come across well, but more complicated, cluttered sites tend to clump together when viewed on small screens. If you have access to a smartwatch, view how your site looks on small screens and consider changing your design accordingly.
Adjust Your Emails
Email is one of the most popular features of smartwatches. If you’re sending marketing messages by email, your customers who own smartwatches are likely to read those messages on their tiny screens. This blog outlines the character limits for the subject line and message body of emails on smartwatches, as well as the actions available for wearers. By keeping in mind that your customers may see as few as 12 characters of your subject line and only 25 characters above the fold, you can make sure you’re getting your message across, regardless of the device a customer is using.
Smartwatches still have a limited market, but that market is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years. By tweaking your marketing efforts now, you’ll be ahead of the curve, drawing in wearable owners long before your competitors learn to market to them.