What we're up to
Five tech trends that will shape your content in 2015
When looking for new ways to communicate with your audience, make sure you swat up on this year’s most innovative technology trends.
1. Speed reads
We’ve already been introduced to wearables such as Google Glass, Pebble Smartwatch and AppleWatch and it’s this type of take-anywhere technology that’s shifting the content landscape. Quickish – a near real-time micro-news recommendation service – believes that these gadgets are paving the way for a new kind of editorial: glance journalism, derived from the name of the AppleWatch feature that allows users to skim read news. The result? News platforms will vie for attention with more succinct glance-optimised headlines to keep up with our ever-shrinking attention spans.
2. Second guessing
As our smartphones get smarter, we’re becoming more reliant on our devices to manage all aspects of day-to-day living. Now we’re seeing a surge in ambient intelligence products such as Amazon Echo, an intuitive system that tracks exactly what you search for and in turn, pre-empts your next move. Creepy? Just a bit. But this sort of tech model when applied to content platforms could be invaluable, allowing brands to tailor content to the user like a glove. Hyper-local and adaptive content will work hard to engage with the consumer on a personal level. We’ll see more of a ‘newsroom’ principle applied to comms channels: full synchronicity across all media platforms to offer a diverse range of content on the go.
3. Going sky high
The roaring success of the recent podcast Serial will help podcasting enter the mainstream. It’s less resource-intensive and less expensive to produce compared with video and also breaks down information for consumers in a way that’s easier to digest. As for video content, it will come into its own with the mass use of aerial (drone) photography, capturing a brand new perspective, quite literally.
4. Hot gossip
Word-of-mouth marketing reigns supreme, as the popularity of Rated People and TripAdvisor testifies. The golden rule is to embrace this conversation, because social media developments mean the chatter can only get louder, as the rise of the ‘braggie’ selfie testifies. We’ll see a surge in consumer guest-blogging - a powerful brand endorsement – as well as entire marketing campaigns stemming from crowd-sourced content. Burberry paved the way with its incredibly successful Art of the Trench gallery of customers wearing their prized coats. This method remains a genuine way for brands to engage with its consumer, creating a healthy dialogue between the two and showing customers that their opinion counts.
5. Another dimension
There’s still a novelty factor attached to the concept of 3D printing. Possibly because it really does feel like we’ve pulled up in the DeLorean. According to technology research company Gartner Inc, 3D printing is expected to grow by 98% this year as industrial use expands and the cost of a printer becomes more affordable for home use. Big brands such as Coca Cola and Lego are already creating merch and marketing that involve consumers in the 3-D printing process. But the real progress to be made is with 4-D printing, the extra dimension being that printed products assemble themselves and adapt to a user over time, shape-shifting as desired. Welcome back to the future.