You've probably heard of the term "HTML5" recently, but what does it mean for marketers? Between managing campaigns, creating content, and keeping a pulse on consumer insights, it can be hard to carve out time to understand issues that fall outside the immediate realm of marketing. But it's important to be aware of industry changes that can impact marketing strategy and implementation. Given the increasing presence of digital as a channel, it's worthwhile to have a basic understanding of what HTML5 is in a nutshell.
HTML5 is a browser-based programming language used for structuring and presenting content online. It makes your content more accessible and interactive because it offers an app-like interface and is compatible with mobile devices.
Why is this important? Given that users are increasingly interacting with content on different screens — switching between mobile, tablets, and desktop — the idea of being able to "build once, run anywhere" is key. It saves time and resources from having to build several versions of an ad, for instance, to run on each device.
As a marketer, it means that you have more control over how your content appears to users. You can be confident that creative will load properly to ensure a consistent brand experience. Since the goal of HTML5 is to standardize many of the changes in technology and design that happened in the last decade, it simplifies the complexity that naturally occurred where content required special add-on applications. Now, that same content can be delivered with HTML5 alone. This means that different functionality, such as videos or graphics, will work within any browser.
The impact of HTML5 on video is also worth noting because video is now a staple in most marketing plans. Flash is currently the technology that powers many videos and animations on the web. But Apple's iPad doesn't support Flash, so how do people watch content on their iPads and iPhones? With HTML5. In this case, HTML5 has native video support, so it gets rid of the pesky pop ups that tell you to update Adobe Flash in order to watch a video.
For marketers, this means that video becomes more omnipresent. If video is a native browser experience for users and publishers, users can consumer content, and publishers can distribute it, all without needing browser plugins. Tons of major content providers like ABC, Vimeo, and ESPN use HTML5 so that their users can consume content on tablets and other devices that don't support Flash and other video plugins.
In terms of advertising, there are several reasons why brands are switching from Flash to HTML5, including responsiveness, access to the best mobile features, improved readability of text, and more. It's no doubt that HTML5 is the future of the web. By 2015, 80% of all mobile apps will be based on HTML5 and 79% of mobile app developers plan to implement HTML5 in the near future. By understanding the basics of HTML5 as a marketer, you can be primed to make more informed decisions about your digital marketing efforts.