Digital Signage. Digital Out-Of-Home. DOOH. Digital Place-Based Media. This rich, on-the-rise digital medium goes by a lot of different names. But any way you slice it, engaging consumers requires more than just repurposing a traditional broadcast television spot. Inviting content is critical to capturing and keeping the attention of audiences while they are on the go.
At home in front of the television, audiences are captive and able to interpret fast moving images and messaging. When audiences are on the go, however, content needs to engage and inform consumers quickly. In an out-of-home environment, audiences are often moving fast so messaging should be simple to understand and fit the environment and speak to the audience mindset of the consumer.
For example, effective content on digital billboards must catch the attention of audiences and reinforce the brand’s message in just a few seconds. But out-of-home audiences aren’t necessarily speeding past a billboard. Consider your campaign objectives, target audience, the audience’s mindset and the type of venue categories selected in your media plan as you review the following tips for producing effective content:
1. Campaign goals: Understand your brand’s objectives for their DOOH campaign. This is basic to any ad campaign strategy but is worth mentioning again. Are your clients simply looking for branding or are they expecting sales lift as part of a shopper marketing campaign?
Digital Out-Of-Home media offers unique advantages in reaching consumers in the last mile. From reinforcing brand awareness, to leveraging retail venues with a specific price message to choosing locations within your trading area radius, you’ve chosen this medium because it is place-based, targeted, dynamic and engaging. As a newer and innovative medium, DOOH has interactive potential, provides short lead times to air and is effective.
Understanding how success will be measured, the key objective(s) of the campaign, your primary target audience and overall brand message are essential to creating a campaign that keeps them coming back for more.
2. Target audience: Understand the target audience, their buying habits and mindset, or receptivity, to your brand’s message in the particular venues included in your plan. Effective messaging and imagery targeting a male audience may differ from that targeting women and vary by age and interest.
3. The environment: Understand the environment(s) your content will be playing in and the context of the viewer. How will your audience view your content? Does the venue offer audio? Will the content compete with other sounds and distractions? What is the dwell time in each venue? Are these locations in close proximity to your client’s brand or service? Answers to these questions play an important role in understanding how to best speak to your audience in the last mile. Understanding the environment your content is being played in will help you develop creative that engages in those locations. A tried and true rule of thumb for DOOH content is to provide still images for a moving audience and moving images for a still audience to optimize engagement and maximize effectiveness.
If your campaign objectives allow you to develop unique creative for different environments, this can prove to be an effective way to reinforce your brand’s message, help your objectives and drive results.
4. Get to the point: Create content that engages, entertains and informs – quickly. With DOOH, your audience is busy, on the go and often distracted so it is critical that your creative makes its point clearly, effectively and quickly. Messaging needs to grab the attention of customers and encourage a response, or action.
5. Audio-optional: Don’t rely on audio. Some environments in your campaign may not offer audio or may have competing background noise. Be sure the message can be conveyed effectively through images and text alone. With this medium, less is often more. Clean, well-executed motion graphics, video and animation can go a long way in drawing and keeping a viewer’s attention regardless of audio.
6. Star of the show: Keep it short, simple, direct and in high definition. Your product or service is the star, not excessive movements and special effects. Don’t let the message get lost behind overproduction or flash. Keep the quality high and use high definition whenever possible.
7. Engage your audience: Keeping the content fresh, engaging and interactive is key to successful campaigns, especially if promotions are involved. Use this opportunity to engage your audience, move them to action and gain data. Ask them to text for more information, tweet a hashtag, scan a QR code (or Shazam for audio), call an 800 number, or take another action that fits your campaign objectives and the environments you’ve selected. The data will tell you more about your audience and help optimize your next campaign.