Part 2. Be Engaging

November 15, 2011

digital signage

  1. Engaging content connects with the viewer on an emotional level.
  2. Be sincere – fake it and the audience will lose touch.
  3. Borrow best practices from static out-of-home and other mediums.

Engaging content is sincere and inviting – creating an emotional conversation with the audience. It takes relevancy to a new level.

Of course, showing content about teeth cleaning procedures in a dentist’s office is relevant, but it often fails to engage the audience. No one’s paying attention because it’s dry, boring, and doesn’t make them want what you’re showing. With out-of-home content, you have less than 5 seconds to capture and keep your audience’s attention. A video loop and a news crawl just won’t cut it.

Connect Emotionally.

The “content consumer” is making a decision when THEY choose to look at your screen. Grab with them via likes, wants, needs, loves… emotions. This means, tremendous attention to detail in your message and production value – something the burgeoning DOOH content creation industry isn’t yet known for. Great design captures the audience, reaching out for emotional responses. The consumer doesn’t care about software, hardware, or anything else other than the picture and message on the screen. Engage them with the highest quality presentation and tightly crafted messaging.

Now, Be Sincere.

Engaging content never tricks the audience, doesn’t insult them and can’t ever be force fed. Engaging content invites participation, creates desire and/or asks questions. If nothing else, your invitation starts an internal monologue.  As their thoughts brew, you earn recall.  Fakes and Cheats hurt your message in so many ways, and you never get a second chance with that viewer.

Watch, Listen and Learn.

A lot of print out-of-home engages the audience better than much of today’s DOOH content. Creative Directors know they have the shortest possible attention span with out-of-home, and their best work stops people in their tracks. DOOH needs to enhance and build on the techniques used to invite and engage the viewer, not assume that the added capability of animation can improve bad content strategy.

Firms who get DOOH content (Arsenal Media!) research as much as they create – then set the best practices of the entire ad industry in motion. Before you start your creative, sit in a train station, mall, etc. and watch how people consume out of home media. Then study Graphis, OneShow, and other A-level Ad competitions. Finally, hunt Vimeo, where the best broadcast designers live.  It’s about watching, listening and learning what techniques EARN attention. Embrace Print - when it’s really right, it engages with just a single frame.

Back in the Dentist’s Office.

If the client is a dental office, of course the messaging and content must be relevant to dental hygiene. But it certainly doesn’t have to be dry and boring. Reach out and embrace the viewer, encourage – tease them. Get them to want what you’re showing – no matter what it is. It’s not about budget, but rather what the creative team invests personally in the content development.

The best print earns attention with a single picture; the best TV spots somehow make you rewind the DVR. A lot of DOOH doesn’t have to suffer these challenges due to a captive audience. But too often, it pisses away that amazing opportunity with worst practices.

It’s time to start using this advantage to connect with the audience in exciting ways.

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About Jim Nista

Creative Director, Insteo

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  1. Digital Signage: Social Media (Illustration Series) | Liz Chy - January 9, 2012

    [...] the articles here: Part 1:  Be Relevant Part 2:  Be Engaging Part 3:  Be Interactive Part 4:  Be [...]

  2. Earning the Content Crown | the-123 - January 11, 2012

    [...] Be engaging. Create a conversation you audience want to participate in. [...]

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