How to feed the ‘beast’ of digital signage content

How to feed the ‘beast’ of digital signage content

When it comes to digital signage, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics of the hardware and software. This makes sense, since you would obviously want to have the system in place before you made the content for it. However, this way of thinking may be backwards, according to a recent webinar entitled “Feeding the beast: Executing on your digital signage content strategy” hosted by Digital Signage Today.

Bradley Cooper, editor of Digital Signage Today, moderated the panel, which featured panelists Matt Shafer, corporate vice president, business development and strategic alliances, Cedar Fair-Entertainment Company and Matt Schmitt, president and co-founder of Reflect Systems.

During the presentation, the panelists addressed both the importance of digital signage and strategies for feeding the “beast” of content.

For example, the panelists showed that 79% of guests noticed digital signage, and 89% engaged and enjoyed the signage. Also, stores that used digital signage saw a 30% increase in traffic.
Although digital signage is effective, it can be a major challenge to handle the “beast” of digital signage content.

“The beast on digital signage networks has always been about nurturing it with content. This has always been a challenge and the beast can get a bit cranky,” Schmitt said during the presentation.

Schmitt said that in order for content to be effective, the objectives need to be clearly defined so that it can reach your audiences in a timely and relevant way.

When addressing misconceptions regarding content, Schmitt and Shafer emphasized that you cannot simply reuse old content as it might not fit. For example, Shafer watched some of Cedar Fair’s advertisements regarding season pass holders or visiting the park and realized these would not appeal to people standing in line to ride their favourite ride.

Shafer said at first he was intimidated by the sheer amount of content he would need to create to meet the needs of all Cedar Fair’s amusement parks and audiences.

In order to handle this “beast” of content, Schmitt recommended starting with the business objectives.

“What is the brand trying to achieve and what is important for the audience and how do you marry those?” Schmitt said.

For Cedar Fair specifically, it engaged in a content strategy workshop with Reflect Systems to figure out how to find the right mixture of content, from monetized content to entertainment. From this, Shafer said they were able to determine that to entertain guests was the number one priority. The second and third priorities were to inform guests and sell products.

Shafer gave practical examples of how Cedar Fair is using fun TV at its attractions to engage guests. The company placed these displays in the lines at its rides, with content such as Meet the Chef and games such as Cash Coaster, which filmed contestants answering game show questions while on a roller coaster. This content helped reduce the perceived wait time for customers and in turn improved the experience.

Another tactic the panelists addressed was to avoid the project mindset. Schmitt said that if you view it as a project with a set end date, you will miss the opportunity to not just feed the “beast” of content but improve upon it and deliver content that meets your objectives.

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