Staying on Course: How to Monitor and Refine your Existing Signage Content
If you're reading this, I'm assuming you already have a robust signage network in place, with a large variety of targeted content for your audience. If this is you - first off - congratulations! You're already ahead of the curve in ensuring increased and sustained viewing time. If you don't, I suggest starting with our "Thinking Ahead" article series for help and guidance in getting your content strategy set up.
For those readers still with us, the next step in your signage journey is ensuring that your content remains fresh and relevant, and that you're keeping an eye on what content is getting the most attention, and what content is not (and why). To do this, there are a few tried-and-true methods that we've seen as very effective.
Firstly let's be real: even the best-laid plans and strategies for content will never hit the mark 100% of the time. Even if you spend the time and effort to give your audience the most targeted and relevant information at the right time, real-time monitoring will always be able to reveal some surprises in what's working and what isn't. Planning ahead will get you 80% of the way, but quarterly or yearly reviews of content engagement will round out that picture and ensure you keep content relevant over time as your audience's needs and preference change.
One of the easiest ways to measure audience engagement is by including a monitorable call-to-action, and a hook to push the viewer to this action. For example, in the context of a corporate signage network (employee-facing), start by creating a contest where the employee can win a prize or perk. Say you are creating an employee-recognition contest where every month employees can win a paid afternoon off, or perhaps something as simple as a free lunch at the commissary. That's the hook. The call to action is that to register, every month the employee scans the QR code included in the message to be eligible to win. This strategy has one shining benefits: It allows you to see how many people are actively engaging with the content, and on which screens (you can have a QR code per screen or per network, depending on the level of monitoring you'd like to have).
Another more granular way of measuring "eyeballs on screens" is to use audience measurement hardware and software. This tool is constantly evolving to provide more and more accurate readings of people engaged with the screen (actively looking at the screen). Additionally, there are some that offer demographical information, such as gender, age, as well as the standard engagement time metric. You can tie this back to individual messages, allowing you to see not only which messages are hitting with viewers, but which messages are skewing toward any particular demographic. Using this method allows for precise and targeted messaging that gets you closer to the ever-elusive 100% engagement.
One more tried-and-true method of measuring your messaging success is the easiest: just ask the audience! Through focus groups or surveys (usually including some participation reward or perk), you will be able to hear directly from the viewers what resonates, and what has missed the mark. Using specific questions to gauge interest levels and potential needs not being met, this method allows for the most comprehensive picture of your network's successes and misses. This solution does have one slight downside - it requires active engagement by the user base, and does not allow for automatic sourcing of engagement levels.
However you decide to monitor and refine your content strategy, the most important thing is to actually do it! Schedule some time in advance to plan and execute, select the best method for reviewing your signage network, and schedule that time to recur whatever interval you've set (quarterly or yearly).
If you're interested or would like more information on how Telecine can help host focus groups, install and set up audience measurement, conduct targeted surveys, or even plan strategic content decisions visit us here.