You're hanging screens, building apps for mobile devices, and you're leveraging platforms of all kinds in an effort to reach out to both current and potential consumers. Here are five fundamentals to ensure that whatever you use, you'll drive greater engagement with your audience.
This one is, by far, the most crucial factor. Simply put, if you're content is not relevant, you are not relevant. Make sure that whatever you put on a screen is appropriate for your audience, your venue, and the time. Whether looking at a digital sign or accessing an app on her phone, the one thing a customer will do is subconsciously ask herself, "Does this matter to me?" If so, you have earned her attention. If not, she will turn her attention, her time, and ultimately her money to another location.
Go Real Time
Nothing makes the moment better than...well...the moment. By leveraging such tools as social media, news, sports, and weather, the audience can react and share in real time. This is largely driven by our mobile devices. If I can find out the latest score on my cell phone, why can't you put it on your screen in your store? If you can't, I will live in the moment somewhere else.
The benefit of digital media is that it offers every audience member the chance to learn more through various platforms. One of the very best ways to leverage the real strength of digital media is by educating the audience. Whether it's learning more about our planet, or more about your product, education is always a benefit.
When I worked at Best Buy, one of the major complaints of both the employees and customers was that the programming didn't show programs. People buy HDTVs to watch movies, not movie trailers.
An easy way to engage viewers is to entertain. A good video is emotional and can connect with a consumer in ways most other content cannot. When you combine an effective emotional connection with relevance, you'll engage consumers internally. You'll build a relationship.
Digital media has a terrific advantage: You can leverage multiple channels to create an amazing experience. If you consider the simple path to purchase, you can easily leverage two to four different channels to tell a story (TV, online, mobile, in-store screens). Every campaign is unique, but the right mix of channels and media can turn browsers into buyers.
Flanigan is the new executive director of the Digital Screenmedia Association. You can also find him writing regularly at his own blog, Experiate.net.