4 Things You Must Know Before You Create Effective Content

June 24, 2011

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges, both logistically and financially, is the creation of custom content for unique audiences. Regardless of the size of your network, you want your screens to have unique programming that helps differentiate you from your competitors, or other environments.

The challenge is that you cannot really begin with the end in mind because that end goal is pretty much the same goal anywhere: Get the audience to react. It doesn't really matter what the message is. It could be advertising, or an experiential clip of mountains and oceans. The goal is to get the audience to react.

So what do you need to do?

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There are four things you need to know before you go into any type of content creation or acquisition:

1. Know Your Audience

It's the cardinal rule in content for screens. Know your audience. And by know your audience I mean, know every single possible thing you can about them: Age, gender, race, household income, time. These demographics will help you understand why they are there.

2. Know Why They Are Here

Are they here to buy something? To look at something? Is it an appointment or meeting they are attending? Why are they here? The reason you need to know this is because your content will help them answer these questions. If I'm in your location to buy something, it's great if the digital signage can help me do that.

3. Know What They Need To Know At That Moment.

Chances are good that your audience has done its homework before entering your venue. Whether you sell electronics, or art, or you're  a hospital that specializes in a particular procedure. The viewer will almost certainly have spent time on the internet doing homework. You need to know what stage of the path she is at so you can give her an effective message that helps move her to the next stage.

4. Know How to Deliver

Finally, you need to know how to give them the message. Do you use animation? Copy? Live action? Does the content need to be 12 seconds? 30 seconds?

If you know your audience, know why they are in your venue, and you know what to give them, you should have a pretty good library of knowledge that will help you determine the best method of communication. What is curious is how often this is left off the strategy. You have all the information, but will get content that is copy-heavy when you really need pictures and music.

The End In Mind

These four knowledge points will get you to a decision on content much faster because you'll know what the viewer needs. There are no shots in the dark here.

By putting content on your screen that considers these factors, you will achieve the goal: A reaction.

 

[Image Credit: klynslis]