Digital out of home media provides a multitude of ways to interact with existing customers and provide information to potential customers. The value proposition of digital signage is attractive to investors, and as we have seen, the industry is growing rapidly. Increasing attention has been rightfully paid to the content on the screens. A poor content strategy can cripple the effect of the network, and muddle the messages being presented.
Many factors contribute to defining a content strategy for DOOH. The first is the type of location and where the screens will be placed. Larger screens placed further away from people make touch interactivity impossible (though mobile and other forms are still available). Smaller screens away from people mean that it is difficult to segment the screen.
To attract more eyes, many networks use screens that are divided into zones with different content, like a news roll on the bottom and weather in a corner. This increases the chances that someone will take a closer look at the screen, exactly what is desired. But is also provides more distractions for the viewer, and in places with longer dwell times, it might be better to have full screen content with audio to engage the customer longer.
Educational material should always be considered; smarter customers feel better about their purchases, and educating them about the merits of a product or store can increase the brand loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. Also, including content about something relevant to the place, such as news about health care problems in doctors’ offices or the way a car works at an auto mechanic’s office, could lead to increased inquiries about services.
Humor supplements any content strategy, and something as simple as a loop of America’s Funniest Home videos can captivate audiences. Creating laughter at a location raises the mood and helps people to leave with a good impression of the place. Stand up comedy clips work well in places with audio, as do viral videos.
Without a content strategy at the forefront of the development of a digital out of home network, investors should plan on waiting for a while to see their desired return on objective. Creative agencies can help, and it also helps to look back at what has worked and what hasn’t.
Tony Hymes is the Editor of the Digital Out Of Home industry website DOOH.com. He produces introductory videos of the companies working across the space from digital signage hardware providers to content companies, DOOH networks, consultants, and software groups. Tony Hymes writes extensively about the strategies behind DOOH advertising, digital signage networks and deployments, and customer engagement trends.