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10 Questions to Discover your Digital Signage Audience

The best digital signage displays we see are the ones that put their audience first. Here’s how to make that happen.

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When you think about setting up digital signage you may be fooled into thinking it’s the ‘techie’ part that’s most difficult. Want to know a secret? It’s actually deciding what to show and who to show it for, that most find tricky.

You have a ton of content right - from social feeds, to images, videos, presentations and ads. It’s all in a jumble within your Dropbox or iCloud folder, or saved to your server or even your desktop if you’re that way inclined. Everyone has a different idea about what to show and you’re in half a mind to just shove it all into a playlist and see what happens.

But wait a sec.

There’s a better way here. Answer these 10 quick brainstorm questions and we guarantee that you’ll come out the other side with a better understanding of your audience. 

With a better understanding of the audience looking at your digital signage screens it’ll be much, much simpler to decide what to show. From the content that will help push more products or sales, to the dashboard types that are going to help your sales team to feel more engaged.

Here goes:

1. Who will see your digital signage displays?

This where you decide on the personas of your digital signage audience which we speak more about in this post. This doesn’t just have to be customers either. Your digital signage audience may be staff members in your office, potential employees visiting your reception or people walking past your store. 

Work out who will see your digital signage displays and segment them into audiences. For example, audience one might be people on their way to work, audience two employees and audience three mid-morning brunchers. This will help you to plan your content around the individual target groups. 

2. How can you use digital signage to make your audience's lives easier?

Here’s the mistake many make. When we think about our digital signage audience we think about what we want them to see or how we want them to act after seeing our content. What we should be thinking is what does our audience want? Do they want to order their food more quickly, get a feel for your company before a job interview or browse your latest products? Because digital signage can do all of those things.

By targeting the content towards helping your audience and making their lives easier, you’ll be able to plan content which actually works. 

3. What does a typical day looks like from the perspective of your digital signage?

Imagine your digital signage displays are people (bear with me). What do they see from their position in your window or on the wall? Early morning they might see commuters, then later in the day parents dropping their children off at school, all the way up to late-night shoppers or people socializing with friends. This type of brainstorming will allow you to map out what a typical day looks like for your store, restaurant or reception desk. Doing it from the perspective of your digital signage means you don’t just get yours or your team’s perspective - you actually see things as the screen would, making your content targeting far more accurate.

4. When does your audience change?

As well as the different audiences that will see your screens throughout each day you’ll also want to consider variations in the pattern. For example, week day vs weekend and seasonal peaks such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and summer holidays. This will allow you to plan in advance for specific marketing campaigns and change up your content for maximum appeal. 

5. What will capture the attention of your audience? 

We’re bombarded by information all day. The last thing anyone may want to do in a restaurant or store is view more information. What can you do to make it worth their time? Content which is catchy, which has a story, is entertaining or genuinely useful could all be good attractors for making people actually want to look at your screen. We expect digital screens to be used for selling but who says so? There’s a plethora of much better uses which will interest your audience and pay dividends back to you in the long run. 

6. How can you find out more about your audience?

You may think you have a good idea of your audience but conducting surveys, questionnaires, calls and email research could change the game. Think about a great conversation you had recently, it’s likely people shared information you weren’t expecting or you found out something you didn’t know. With your customers the same thing applies so if in doubt, ask!

7. How regularly will your audience’s attention waver?

There are a ton of distractions around digital signage. The viewer’s own smartphone being one of them! You’ll need to consider how often they’ll watch the screen and how long their attention will be elsewhere. This will help you determine how much anchoring your content needs. Whether this is in the forms of slides, intro videos or displays which last for a longer period of time to catch a higher number of views. Read our guide to content strategy for more insight on how to do this. 

8. What media forms do your audiences go to for support, information or entertainment?

This type of information can easily be uncovered and will give you great insight into what forms of media you should share. Say you decide to show a news stream over your patrons’ morning coffee. In our App Store there are seven options for news feeds alone. How do you make your content more appealing to your audience? You find out where they go for news in their usual browsing habits. The same applies for social media feeds and channels, if they predominantly use Facebook then this is the feed that will attract most attention to your wall. 

9. What’s your audience’s positioning? Where are they viewing the screen from?

You’ll be surprised how often this practical question isn’t asked. With the best intentions in the world, if no one can read the text on your screen it’s a wasted execution. Test your content both in theory (our playlist preview in the ScreenCloud CMS helps you do that) then test it in the environment it will be live in. Look for text size, clarity of content and the empty space between each piece of content. Too hard to read, too long or too short and you’re likely to lose your audience’s attention. 

10. How frequently will your audience see your content?

This will help determine how often you need to change it! If you have a section of regular customers who return to your cafe every morning they won’t want to see the same content on loop for a month. If you have a segment of your audience who only see your content as a passing glimpse then you may want to show the same information on repeat each morning, so that the message really sinks in! 

In offices and corporate setups, content that updates in real time is a great option. This ensures that you don’t have to repeatedly reinvent the wheel but also stops your employees or partners seeing the same content again and again. Live information and data dashboards from one of our partners such as Klipfolio or a social media dashboard that combines all of your feeds in an app like TINT is a great bet. 

When you have a better understanding of your audience it’s much easier to curate the right content to show. We do it in every other aspect of marketing so why not digital signage too? Put your insights into practice, build content for your digital signage audience and we guarantee you’ll see better results for it.

To setup your digital signage content head to for a 14-day free trial.

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