Four Lessons From Hanging Out With Google Glass

I caught up with Ketchum’s Ben Foster via a Google Hangout earlier this week. He’s a senior member of our US digital team and a teacher at DePaul University, Chicago. Foster has been trialling Google Glass for the last month or so, after making a pitch to be part of the #IfIHadGlass project.

We talked about his pitch and what he’s learned about how content is served from Google Now or Wikipedia, and recorded via the wearable device. Always-on content marketing is an increasingly popular means of brand engagement. Yet Glass provides one of the first opportunities for brands to truly engage with consumers in a continuous and predictive way.

Google Now

For now Google Now pulls data from around the Google ecosystem. Package tracking information and flight details are collated from email, birthdays from Google+, your location informs currency, time zone and weather data, and sports and stock information is presented based on your search history. Foster explained that you don’t have to wait for Glass to experiment with Google Now as it is available as an app for Android or iOS. It is transformational. He shared examples of arriving in a new country and being presented with local information and a second of receiving information from Electronic Arts about the release date for a product that he’d searched for via Google.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia provides the knowledge graph for content for search results via Glass. Foster described how snippets of information are pulled from Wikipedia in response to search queries. Foster reckons that Glass is likely to re-focus public relations activity on the Wikipedia community as errors in the content are quickly surfaced. If you do spot something incorrect on Wikipedia, you’ll need to work with the community to get it changed.

First person video storytelling

Videos shot via Glass are compelling according to Foster. Inevitably we act-up whenever we come face-to-face with a video recorder, whereas wearable video devices such as Glass provide a natural means of recording as the subjects don’t realise or forget they are being recording. Foster says that Glass provides a level of intimacy with family and friends that it isn’t possible to otherwise achieve and is a compelling way for brands to tell stories in the first person. He suggests that brands seek out stories to tell in the first person via artisans, crafts people, and technicians.

Lessons in Glass

  1. Developing a content strategy for Glass
    At Ketchum we’re helping clients understand how the Google ecosystem works and how to develop a content strategy that incorporates triggers for Glass such as meta data including location, time of day, and insight from a users’ social graph.
  2. Try Google Now
    Glass may be several years out as a mainstream consumer product but Google Now is already here. Download the app and with it as part of your day-to-day life. This may be the future of content marketing.
  3. Work with Wikipedia
    Monitoring a Wikipedia presence and working with the community to ensure that it is accurate, however challenging that may be, is good practice and will receive new focus from the public relations community.
  4. First person storytelling
    Who are the people that could help tell the story of your brand or organization in the first person? Seek them out and consider working with them to generate content in this new genre.

Stephen is a Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University. Chairman of Future Proof policy unit and Past President, CIPR. Author of Brand Anarchy and #BrandVandals; and editor and contributor to Share This and Share This Too.

Connect with him on Twitter: @wadds