content strategyDigital signage has become a powerful method for companies to build brand awareness and promote their products and services. And now the internet of things (IoT) is impacting a broad range of industries—including AV. What is the IoT? “Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other),” writes Jacob Morgan, in a post for Forbes.

The IoT is already changing the way we do business and interact with the world around us. Using digital signage in conjunction with the loT is opening the floodgates and providing competitive advantages including an improvement in business intelligence, productivity, customer experience. “Today’s consumers have pretty high expectations from businesses in terms of response and reaction times. As such, the most obvious benefits of IoT with regard to customer experience would be the elimination of long wait times, faster troubleshooting, and immediate access to customer data,” says Daniel Newman, CEO of Broadsuite Media Group and V3B.com. “Your business’ customer engagement is rooted in your understanding of their needs. Your understanding will be enhanced by IoT,” he states.

However, for organizations to get the most benefit from their digital signage and IoT campaigns, there must be an effective content strategy. Let’s explore why, and how, companies should create a clear digital signage content strategy

The Value of a Digital Signage Content Strategy

Developing a content strategy for your digital signage campaigns is essential. “Without an underlying strategy, digital content is often no more impactful than a blank screen,” writes Brian Elles, for Digital Signage Today. “However, when leveraged properly, digital signage can serve as a dynamic brand extension, meeting a primary objective to create greater customer demand while helping to inform, entertain and ultimately grow a loyal customer base,” he continues.

Displaying content designed to target and engage your ideal customer is a logical extension of a consumer-centric strategy and can be a very effective tactic for increasing brand awareness and traffic—online and offline. Remember to include any usage of the IoT as you build out your plan. Also, placing digital signage in areas where current and potential customers pass by regularly will help produce new business leads. It can also present an opportunity for customers to create and share user-generated content (UGC), which can produce excellent results for your business.

Today’s consumers tend to trust UGC more than brand-created content. Encouraging customers to produce UGC around your brand can help generate leads from their friends, family, and coworkers. Social sharing and word-of-mouth mentions enhance customer engagement, improve brand perception, and can help your company build a solid foundation for effective communication. Those are all vital elements of any quality digital signage content strategy. But how do companies create a digital signage content strategy? Let’s take a look.

How to Create a Digital Signage Content Strategy

Developing a content strategy might seem like a daunting task. However, by following the following steps, you can create a basic and effective digital signage content strategy.

The first step in creating a content strategy is identifying your goals and objectives. What are you trying to do? Why is your company using digital signage? Do you hope to increase sales, move inventory, create brand exposure, promote a new product—or do something else entirely? Evaluating and identifying what your company wants to accomplish with the use of digital signage is always the first, and often most important, step in creating a content strategy.

The next step is identifying your company’s current and potential customers. Understanding who you are trying to sell to will help you create more accurate and relevant digital signage content as well as messaging that will resonate with your audiences. After that, you need to establish your budgets and develop a timeframe for all of the promotional activity. Your content strategy should include a specific timeline. Knowing when you need to launch the digital signage campaign gives your company the opportunity to make time-specific goals.

After you have defined your campaign goals and objectives, your plan should incorporate content that is specific to your business’s target audience or consumer base. Factoring in the addition of the IoT may also impact how you develop the content for your campaigns. Keep your ideal customer as the focal point of your plan. Develop content that will help achieve your objectives, resonate with your audience and maximize customer engagement.

The final step in creating a content strategy is the choosing the locations and physical placements for your signage. Plan to place your signage to coincide with your target audience’s shopping habits. Including specific areas for digital signage in a content strategy is vital. After the campaign has concluded, you will need to monitor and evaluate its success and decide whether the messaging, presentation and physical locations were useful in helping achieve the campaign’s goal. The beauty of digital signage is its flexibility, which makes it possible to change up the messaging and imagery quickly and inexpensively.

Digital signage has become an increasingly popular way for companies to communicate with their publics. Whether the content is used to display and promote products and services, build general brand awareness, support local causes or entice shoppers into a new location, digital signage is a communications workhorse: Flexible, cost effective, and compelling.

Clearly defining what you hope to accomplish, with whom you are trying to communicate and what you want that audience to do, as a result, will only improve the success of your digital signage campaigns. Following the steps outlined in this post will help you move ahead with confidence in the development of your winning strategy.

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