This is part one of a two part series examining how to improve audience engagement with digital signage.
Audience engagement is crucial to every organization today – not just connecting with the general public or customers, but the people who work there as well. Employees who are engaged are less likely to look for another job, more likely to be more innovative, work harder and longer hours, and feel satisfied and happy. It used to be that you just threw money or a corner office at people to keep them happy, but these no longer suffice. In fact, most workers today say they’d rather have recognition, feel like what they do matters, and have more flexibility at work than receive a 10% salary raise.
A lot of this change to organizational culture is due to the expectations of millennials — now the largest segment of the workforce and primed to be over 75% of all employees in all sectors by 2025. And let’s not forget that Generation Z are right behind them. And employee engagement is important to more seasoned workers as well — who doesn’t want to be able to say that they like, even love, their job?
One of the things that’s changed is the acknowledgement that quality of work is directly tied to quality of life. When people are spending over half their waking hours either at work or commuting, work is an integral part of life — not a separate thing — and how people spend those hours matter. If they aren’t engaged, they aren’t motivated or happy.
The same goes for non-employees. Whether you’re trying to reach students, staff or visitors at your organization, they now expect a more consumer-like experience in their interactions with your brand and your facility. So, they also need to be engaged with dynamic, modern communications.
That sure sounds good, but how does an organization go about engaging their audiences? One of the most comprehensive tools available for delivering engaging communications is digital signage. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to keep your audience engaged with digital signs.
Know your audience
You can’t tailor your messages to your audience if you don’t know who they are. So find out. First, you need to identify your target audience(s) and collect some basic demographic information — age, race, gender, marital status, education level, occupation and interests are some of the most common. This will inform every message and design you create — you have to speak to a person’s environment and interests in order to engage them.
A great way to learn someone’s interests is to simply ask. Conducting periodic surveys is a good idea — don’t just do it once because people’s interests change over time. These should be short — no more than five questions. Promote these on your digital signs with a short URL to the online survey, or have nearby tables with pens, printed questionnaires and a box to put them in. And make them anonymous, so no one feels undue pressure. Gamify the survey process to get more people to participate by offer a reward of some kind to the team that fills in the most, or the person who has the most interesting suggestion, or something similar.
Now that you know more about your audience, you’ll certainly see that not every communication will engage every viewer. Be strategic by crafting messages for each group that appeals to them. Then, publish those messages only where and when they make sense.
Don’t send every message to every screen all day long. Instead, choose the best place to attract a certain audience, and schedule messages for peak time periods for them. (For example, don’t show factory safety reminders to your office workers, and don’t publish important announcements when everyone is at lunch.)
You can shift your messages by using day-part scheduling, and changing your layouts on screens frequently — just moving a message from the left to the right of a screen makes it look new. And don’t overload your audience. You’re better off showing a playlist of just 10 messages over and over than trying to show 100 messages to a busy audience.
If your digital signage content doesn’t look good, no one will look at it. And if no one looks at it, how can it engage them? Learn and use design best practices specific to digital media – things like color, contrast, sizing and juxtaposition. If you’re not sure what these are, there are lots of resources and tips on the web. Any your design practices need to filter through every aspect of your digital signs – the entire screen design, individual messages, text and images, feeds like weather and news, even the environment where the screens are placed.
Images attract more than text, and motion captures even more attention. Short video clips and slick message transitions are sure to make people at least glance at the screens. Try to get the design and imagery to help support the content of the message, and not be a distraction.
Next time, we will look at some more specific examples of how to increase audience engagement.
Copyright Networld Media Group DBA Networld Alliance, LLC Jan 9, 2020
This article was written by Sean Matthews from Digital Signage Today. News Features and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.