According to Bradley Cooper, Technology Editor for Digital Signage Today, if you ask your average consumer about ads, they will likely describe them as invasive, intrusive, annoying, long and unnecessary. Even if you advertise products yourself, you likely understand all of these complaints and maybe share them. For example, how many of us click the skip button on every single ad that pops up on Youtube videos?
At the same time, advertising is an absolute necessity. How else is everyone going to learn about what you have to offer? The issue isn’t so much advertising itself but how we choose to use it. Digital signage is, at its core, a communication tool, and one of the most common forms of communication for digital signage is advertising. There are two basic advertising principles digital signage users should know in depth in order to deliver truly effective advertising that isn’t incredibly irritating.
Know your customer
While this may seem obvious, you need to have a deeper understanding of who exactly your customer is. For example, let’s say you own a health food store in a small city. You might look at data on health food customers in general, such as their average income and motivations for shopping there, but you also need to understand your local area as well, because some of those factors may not apply. Your customers might have a bit less money than the average customer, or they might have different reasons for shopping there.
In order to truly understand your customer you need to know:
• What are their demographics? (Age, ethnicity, gender, etc).
• What makes them tick? (Hobbies, interests).
• Why do they want your product?
• What need (emotional, physical or otherwise) does your product meet?
• What is their opinion of your competitors?
• What is their opinion of your current advertising?
• Once you understand your audience, you need to start speaking in a way they can understand.
Talk like them
You need to tailor your advertising messages in a way that speaks directly to your audience. So, if your audience tends to be a bit more sarcastic, your digital signage content should be snarky. If you have a very traditional audience, then your content should be clean and respectful.
There are two very important caveats to keep in mind when you are trying to talk like your audience however. The first is that you are careful to not appear to pander. We have all seen advertisements that try to talk like the ‘cool kids’ and just end up sounding dated or desperate.
Second, you need to make sure that your messaging lines up with the rest of your brand voice. If you speak like a millennial on your digital signage but a boomer on your website, that’s going to be jarring to your audience.
You need to determine what your brand voice is before you advertise on digital signage and whether you need to adjust your brand voice to reach your customers, because that’s the real point of all of this: reaching your customers and convincing them your product is worth their time, energy and money.