Let Current Marketing Trends Inform Your Digital Signage Strategy

Current trends in digital marketing can be applied to your digitals signage strategy, to help you get the most out of your investment. You already know that large screens and video walls give a “wow factor”, and that content should always be relevant to the time and place the message is in (you don’t advertise a special coffee roast in a building that doesn’t have a café, for example).

The newest thing in marketing is to create a consumer-like experience. People are constantly on the go, getting information from multiple channels and sources, and multitasking like crazy – reading, shopping and socializing all at the same time, often while just walking down a corridor.

They key is interactivity. This can be touchscreens and interactive kiosks, and there’s plenty of software out there that not only allows you to offer dense information stacks that your audience can sort through, but also track and report what people do on your screens, so you can predict behavior and create more tailored experiences.

The cycle is: people decide they need something, research it, select the one they want, purchase it, get and use it, maintain it, and then recommend it to someone else. Start thinking of how you can create a similar cycle for your digital signage audience.

The trick is to find ways to enhance the customer (or, in this case, audience) experience, rather than intrude upon it. People are used to tailoring their own interactions with digital information, and in-your-face methods are being increasingly seen as negative experiences. You want content that’s not only appropriate, but interactive and fun. Engage with your audience, rather than just advertising at them.

Basically, now is the time of the social web. People want to be able to look through information in their own way, and share that information with others. Social media is a channel that you cannot ignore – make sure to tie your digital signage to your Facebook or Instagram feeds to create a seamless integrated presence for your audience. Include frequent brand IDs, like hashtags, and use your digital signs to offer special add-ons and discounts. This also gives you instant ROI measurement, to see what works and what doesn’t. One important thing is to make sure that outdated content automatically expires or gets deleted on both your digital signs and social media platforms. This gives the impression that what you present is fresh and current.

Mobile apps are also big right now, and many companies are using a mobile-first strategy. Think of ways to get people interacting with your digital signage, using short URLs, hashtags and QR tags in messages. Content that can be easily shared should also take priority. This generates organic buzz, especially if your content is fun.

Influencer marketing is another new trend in the rise. This is information and recommendations by trustworthy people – who could be characters or spokespeople you create, executives in your organization or anyone on the scene. Consider getting testimonials, reviews and opinions from your audience. People love to see themselves, and research shows that people are far more likely to share something if they or someone they know is shown or tagged in it. When you have an event, or a sale, or some other function, have someone take pictures of participants and share them on your social media and digital displays, again with ways that make it easy to share them.

Video is also becoming more and more necessary. Short videos of 30 seconds or less generate interest and can pack in a lot of information. We are also seeing an uptick in live video and livestreaming. If you have a live video broadcast on your displays, you know exactly where your audience is and can target relevant messages to them while they watch.

3D is also coming into its own, with virtual tours, product demos and presentations. Incorporating these with interactive screens, even gesture-based interfaces, lets people explore and enjoy themselves while being educated.

Back in 2015, the term “Digical” was in vogue – a combination of “digital” and “physical”. Today, this has morphed into the term “omnichannel”, where mobile, digital, online, on-site and product or information experts all work together to inform the target audience, while still allowing them maximum freedom, and making it easier to create tailored and personalized experiences.

On the one hand, people want more freedom in searching through information. On the other hand, there’s so much info around that many people prefer niche curation. They find an organization, or an influencer, who matches their lifestyle, values and interests, and trust what they curate and present to them. It’s sort of a customized filter.

All this is really only possible if you really know your audience. Get Big Data, so you can figure out viewing and behavior patterns, interests and loyalties, and adjust what you present accordingly. The more you know, the better you can engage people and gain their loyalty.

And automate everything you can. The digital information landscape is dynamic and constantly shifting, and it would be just too much for even a small team of people to keep on top of. Auto-updating feeds keep your digital signs up-to-the-minute fresh without being a burden to your staff.

Today’s digital signage is much more than just electronic billboards and posters. It is an integral and integrated part of a complete online digital package that’s the lens through which most people will view your organization. As they interact with you digitally, you can engage them and adjust your offering. This creates a feedback loop where they trust your content because it feels relevant, and it stays relevant because you know what they want.