Using Audience Feedback to Improve Digital Signage Content

You’ve gotten some important audience feedback through surveys, a walkthrough audit and so on, and now have some valuable information on which of your digital signage content is effective and which isn’t. But what do you do with this information? A good idea is to create some longtail campaigns based on your audience’s comments.

Parsing the Feedback

The information your audience has given you can be broken down into a few categories. There’s content they’ve noticed and content they haven’t noticed. There’s content they liked, and some they didn’t like so much. Preferences could be on the type of content, or on the way it’s delivered. Break it down like this:

Noticed/Remembered Not Noticed/Remembered
…and liked …but wow, that’s interesting
…but didn’t like …and don’t care

For things your audience liked and remembered, what was it they liked? Was it the information itself, the style of delivery or both? For things they didn’t notice or like, do they care at all, or are they interested in the content but didn’t notice it for some reason (which is a design and presentation issue)?

You want to take note of things that were successful – maybe your audience really responds to messages that directly affect them, or they really enjoy information that’s relevant every day. Or perhaps there are certain design elements that grab their attention – perhaps video is more successful than still images, or picture of animals or food are noticed way more than other types of pictures.

You also want to think about messages that weren’t successful. If people find they are interested in certain types of messages but simply didn’t notice them, then redesign those messages with your audience in mind. And if people don’t really care about certain messages, do you need to show them? If there’s something the head office thinks is important, but people say they just don’t find it relevant, think of ways to get them interested anyway. And you will naturally want to do everything you can not to repeat things people actively didn’t like.

Three Longtail Campaigns

We suggest trying out three longtail campaigns immediately following the survey review. This will show your audience that you not only heard their feedback, but that you’re responding to it:

  1. Campaign based on something your audience really liked
  2. Campaign highlighting something they didn’t notice but find interesting
  3. Campaign about something they claim doesn’t interest them but the powers that be feel is important (especially one designed to change behavior or increase participation in something, like a recycling program or a blood drive or gamified initiatives).

You’ll want to monitor how your campaigns are doing along the way to see if you’ve hit upon a winning formula. For campaign A, did you enhance what they already liked, or did you burn them out? For campaign B, do more people notice this content now? For campaign C, have you managed to engage them on the topic and/or affect their behavior?

You should include calls to actions with ROI triggers within your campaigns, so you have measurements to check, or you’ll need to conduct more surveys when their done to measure their effectiveness. This will allow you to fine tune them and develop further campaigns that will entertain and engage your audience.

Of course, specifics are everything when trying to parse viewer responses and create campaigns that will have meaning to them. Yet there are some general truths that hold for almost every kind of environment and audience. For example, telling a story is always going to be effective. Especially if they can follow certain characters or mascots through a series of situations or adventures. Having a common design scheme – layout, colors, fonts, etc. helps anchor the campaign in people’s minds. Humor is almost always a good idea – people remember things that are funny and often share them with others, spreading the message around your organization.

Three Examples

Let’s look at three hypothetical situations to illustrate how this all might work.

Acme Inc. looks at the results from their surveys and audit, and finds that their employees really respond to pictures of babies and children, and also think messages about team performance are motivating and engaging. So, Company A designs a longtail campaign inspired by “The Boss Baby”, where Junior is the CEO or upper level manager who evaluates how different teams and departments stack up against one another, with words of encouragement to get everyone trying their best. That’s their campaign A.

People’s Hospital looks at their feedback data and sees that many visitors are unaware of the wayfinding on the facility’s digital signs and are still asking random staff members where things are. So, they decide to launch campaign B promoting the digital wayfinding and queuing options, using Marge and Mac – two characters that represent typical hospital visitors. The campaign shows them both lost and confused at first, but as they get used to using the wayfinding they find they are less stressed, find what they are looking for faster, and even have some free time to spend at the gift shop or cafeteria.

The College of Business wants more students to participate in the Dean’s Town Hall address, so they develop campaign C advertising how students can follow the address, comment and ask questions on Twitter. They show those messages at peak times, and they gamify the whole campaign with prizes that increase in value as the address gets closer. By including gamification and social media – two things they know students like – they gain attention for both the Dean’s address and their Twitter channel.

The particulars of your campaigns will vary according to the specifics of your audience and what appeals to them. And that’s great – one of the things that makes digital signage such a powerful communications tool is the ability to really fine-tune your messages and keep them engaging and relevant. Your audience is made up of unique individuals, and you should keep this in mind at every stage when creating your digital signage content.