Thinking like a TV Producer allows you to better understand your viewers, acknowledge their viewing habits, and add value through content and programming.

It’s something I call the A.C.E. tactic.

A = Audience
C = Content
E = Engagement

In our previous post, we discussed how important it is to understand your audience and now we will discuss how content (the “C”) plays a key role in effectively reaching your clientele.

We’ve all heard it before; content is king. In my opinion, I think this statement is underrated and not taken seriously.

Being king is mighty and all, but content is more than the king. Content is the castle the king resides in, the land the castle is built upon, and the world that the kingdom flourishes across. Content is the most important factor when determining what to air in front of your customers.

No matter what the screen (mobile, DOOH, television, tablets, etc.), the content coming across to the consumer is an extension of your brand. The video or image elements aired across screens are direct representations of your company and what your stand for. If the media assets do not effectively resonate with your clients and fulfill their need, you’ve missed the mark and not effectively reached your audience.

To help avoid “missing the mark,” let me help simplify the process of selecting the correct content for your customers.

Ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly and unfiltered.

What are my customers needs or wants? Why would they want to look at my screens?

The content you air on digital screens should fulfill a need exhibited by your customers. It is important to know why consumers would want to utilize your screens and you can begin working backwards in selecting the proper content.

Here are some suggestions of why customers might want to look at your screens:

1. Are your customers using your digital screens to order products/services?

2. Are your customers using your digital screens in waiting areas?

3. Is your digital signage meant to provide special offers, brand awareness or other?

4. Are your customers partaking in another activity when viewing your screens?

5. Where are your screens located in your establishment?

Clearly understanding these answers can help narrow in on your customers needs/wants.

What type of genre is your content focused on?

In the television world, there are a wealth of shows available for audiences to watch.

Genres include News, Sports, Dramas, How-to Shows, Variety, Reality, Sitcoms, Soap Operas, Action-Adventure (Sci-Fi, Police Shows, Westerns), Animations, Children Programs, Mini-Series, Movies (Made-for-TV, Theatrical), Specials, and more!

Not all of these content options are directly applicable to your brand or to your customers.

As we discussed in the part one, understanding your audience is key to deploying a successful digital signage strategy. Your specific audience will help determine what type of media genres should be aired inside your business.

Another benefit of integrating a specific genre of content can help increase the length of your content loop. No customer wants to see the same content loop over and over again. They want fresh, new, exciting content.

Working in genre-specific content can be achieved by working with a media partner who has established industry connections. Many major networks share/sell their content to distributors for DOOH purposes. A little digging can uncover options for a great media partner to provide you this content.

Your content vs. premade media content, which is better?

This is a loaded question and I’ll answer this for you, both your content and premade media content is equally important. One of the best strategies to utilize is to intertwine both your brand’s media content as well as short form content from professional media networks.

Today, with the flexibility of digital signage software, you can easily integrate your branded content between television or digital content.

It’s important to pay close attention to how you schedule your content yet just know, mixing both your company’s content with that of established media partners can provide a best in class experience for your customers.

How do you effectively program your content? 

Your job isn’t over yet. Now that you have a better idea of what content to air, you need to effectively deploy a programming strategy that meets your needs. Below are a few strategies that can help you most effectively program your content.

The Lead-off: This is a tactic that can be used to help get across your most important content. This is used to place the strongest program in the first position of the day-part to attract the larges possible audience.

In the retail or consumer environment, the lead-off tactic can be adapted to focus on different parts of the day/week. Maybe there is a influx of customers during morning hours, lunchtime, or post-work. Using the lead-off tactic during key times in your audience trends can help ensure your main message is properly relayed.

Block Programming: This tactic using same genre content back-to-back to help deliver powerful messages. In the TV world, this might look like airing four reality shows back-to-back on Thursday nights. In the DOOH world, this might look like scheduling four season messages or four social media posts from your clients.

Counter-Programming: This tactic offers content programming that is different to the competition. Take a look around at what your competitors are doing with their digital signage. What can you do differently to make yourself stand out from the competition?

Below are some questions to get ideas flowing:

1. Are your competitors using content that is static and only full screen? Maybe you can apply the counter-programming tactic by adding motion graphics and mulit-zone screen layouts.

2. Are your competitors only airing branded or product related content? Maybe you can spice things up by integrating other short form content or social media integration from your customers.

3. Are your competitors airing the same content found on television? Maybe you can find content that is not as mainstream and provide your customers with new and unique content.

If you’ve already taken the leap into digital signage or are thinking about integrating signage into your business, be laser focused on what content you are pushing to your customers. Please take these tactics and apply them to your greater digital strategy.

By providing accurate content to your customers, you immediately display that you understand them and that your brand is an extension of their lives. Content is king!

– Submitted by Brian Elles, Visual