Content is king. We all know that by now. The best marketing, ad, and engagement campaigns companies run are always founded on a compelling story, offer, or message. Even if your goal with your digital signage is to engage your employees, you can still learn from the big ad campaigns. We’ve got 7 steps to developing your digital signage content strategy that can shift your sales and branding message significantly.
1. Define Your Audience
Many moons ago, I met with a business owner that wanted to better market her business. She had little engagement and very few clients. When I asked who her audience was, she said, “Everybody.”
Your audience is not everybody. If you think this is the case, you need to head back to the drawing board and figure this piece out. Before you step into any kind of strategy, you need to define who your audience is. This can be done by looking at the world through your customer’s eyes.
When you can look at the world through the eyes of your prospective customer, you can better define what they need. The only way to do this is to talk directly to your customer and ask them what they want. Consider launching a survey to your e-mail list or using social media surveys on Twitter or Facebook. Before you can sell your widgets, you’ve got to find out who wants them.
2. Gather Your Team
Now that you’ve determined who your target audience is, it’s time to gather your team and talk content. What kind of content does your target prefer? Video? Statistics? Or both? Do they dabble in social media, or would they, if given the opportunity?
Millennials prefer short video or social media whereas other demographics prefer blocks of information and related images. If you put content out there that doesn’t match your message or your mission, you may be spinning your wheels before the campaign even gets out the door.
Having a group of people working together to determine the market and the message is key. Decide who is going to build the content for your campaign. Allow yourself to have a secondary person oversee content creation.
Never underestimate the power of a mastermind. Really, that’s what you’re pulling together with a powerful team.
3. Determine Your Goal
Of all the steps a business must take to prepare to launch, determining the goal of the strategy is most important. No football player ever kicked a ball without the intention of putting it in between the goal posts.
To develop a strong content strategy, you need to determine your goals and objectives. Different businesses create strategies that have different end goals:
- To boost sales
- To promote content
- To entertain
- To educate
- To decrease wait times
- To increase brand awareness
What is it that your business wants to accomplish?
Something else to keep in mind as you determine your goal is to determine where your sign is going to be positioned. Will it be within your establishment? On the side of a building in town? Or in the middle of Times Square?
Where you position your sign should align with your goal.
4. Hone in on Trends
What worked in your marketing strategy yesterday might not work today. That’s the nature of the beast. Trends that you’re attempting to use that are outdated could be one of the reasons your campaign isn’t working. To find out what will work, take a look at the digital signage trends that are effective in your industry.
Here’s what’s working in some industries in 2016:
- Interactive Campaigns
Interactive Campaigns are hot right now. Are you a clothing retailer? If so, you might consider this kind of digital strategy to pull in new customers, even a new demographic. Ralph Lauren in New York City had a digital mirror installed at their flagship store. In the dressing room, you can change the lighting, virtually ask the associate for a different size, browse other items and accessories that might go with your outfit, and even communicate with a sales associate without ever leaving the dressing room.
- Social Media Feeds
With roughly 24 leading social media networks out there to choose from, there is no doubt that helping your customers help you win the social media battle is a smart marketing maneuver.
If your audience is keen on sharing on social media (and with 2.3 billion active social media users, a large percentage is bound to be), consider utilizing social media in your strategy in one or more of these ways:
- Encourage Image Sharing
- Incorporate Live Video
- Interact With Customers
- Create a Sense of Urgency
- Have Fun With It – If you think number 5 isn’t important, it really is. If you’re not having fun, they’re not having fun. And if they’re not having fun, they’re not going to engage. Incorporate a live social media feed that will help you spread your message as users tweet, share, and pin your brand across the world.
- Omnichannel ExperiencesOmnichannel is a retail business model that uses a variety of sales strategies across multiple channels to enhance the customer shopping experience, no matter their location. A brick-and-mortar store is almost always part of that experience. And now, more than ever, digital signage installed in store locations can bring the omnichannel buying experience to a higher level for both consumers and retailers.If you have a strategy that allows customers to buy online, consider an omnichannel digital strategy that sends them an alert on their phone when the product arrives. Follow that message up with a message they can share on social media with the touch of a button. There are lots of ways to strategize this option. Use the one that speaks loudest to your customers.
5. Launch at the Right Time
If you have a Christmas promotion that you launch in October, you just might turn some people off. And if you think that doesn’t happen, there are businesses out there that sometimes jump the gun.
If you have an announcement on the release of a product and you want to beat your competitors to the punch, launching your strategy a month after they do might not serve you at all.
As you sit down with your team, work to determine when the best time is to launch your campaign. If it’s off-site, it might be best to launch at a time when you know the area your sign will be is heavily populated.
You know what they say…timing is everything.
6. Measure Strategic Impact
As you prepare to launch your digital campaign, you need to have a plan in place that measures the impact of your efforts. When you determine your methods for measuring impact early on, you have a better chance of increasing your projected results. Having these methods in place can put you in a position that can benefit you later as you seek out financial stakeholders or other key players that can play as significant role in your business.
Some measures to consider are:
- Relevance to the goal and strategy
- Reaching the target in a certain time frame
- Creating something that can be tracked regularly
Assign a team member to track and manage impact. Never underestimate the power of big data.
7. Celebrate Your Wins
A-HA! You weren’t planning on making celebrating part of your strategic plan, were you? Oh, but you must!
Each win you have must be recognized. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck says there is a danger in ignoring wins of any kind. To be focused on, “What next?” can energetically deplete you. But recognizing your big achievements can motivate you.
Instead, focus on what you’ve accomplished with your team and with your incredible digital signage strategy. Own that win. Then, and only then, should you move on to what is next.
If you are wondering where to begin with your content strategy, start with determining what your customers need and build from there. Too often, we think we know what our customers want, but we might be missing the mark. When we take the time to get to know our customers and their habits, we reduce the chance of missing the mark with marketing strategies. That’s why defining your audience is so crucial. Consider surveys and polls to find out exactly what it is that they need.
Next, take those analytics to a team that can help you forecast where and when to launch your campaign. While now may seem like a good time, next spring might actually be better. Analyze customer data and behaviors and launch when these align with your message.
Finally, determine what marketing trends would work best for you. While interactive digital signage is fun, it may not work for you in your environment. Taking the time to really hone in on the wants and needs of your customer, coupled with the right action plan, can yield results that just might take your business to the next level.