Content, be it on the web, on TV, in a magazine or on a digital display, works a lot better if it targets a specific audience. It’s a big world out there, and there are many businesses like yours, and even more audience segments than can be counted. Whichever medium you are using, you can improve your content if you follow the guidelines below.
Identify your audience, understand their values, discover their needs and show them that you are the one to fulfill them. We’ll talk about targeted messaging in general and the value it can bring to your business, paying special attention to the digital out-of-home world in particular. Yet, keep in mind that this information equally applies to your online presence or any other medium you use to spread the word about your business.
What is targeted messaging?
Commonly, the marketing term targeted messaging refers to a piece of content aimed at a specific audience, meaning a certain demographic or homogeneous group that can be formed. It's commonly used in online advertising. Sites like Facebook or Amazon use the data you provide to show you specific ads. This can be based on age, gender, nationality, language, location, pages you've liked, certain products you've browsed or purchased, etc. Although it's extremely common and easy to apply in the online context where a lot of personal information is available, we can learn from targeted messaging and apply that knowledge to the offline world.
When we talk about the digital out-of-home (DOOH) world, most messages are targeted to some degree. I.e. your special-meal ads are targeted by default because any person coming into your restaurant wants food. Still, targeting can be more specific and get people to respond stronger. Meanwhile, the real challenge awaits your outdoor ads where the audience is not as defined yet as maybe in your diner.
Why is targeted messaging important?
As we said, we can learn quite a bit from online marketing, and many of the benefits gained from it can be replicated to the world of outdoor advertising.
For a start, if done right, targeted messaging speaks directly to a defined audience; your audience. It attracts and engages that audience. It differentiates your business in the eyes of your audience from your competitors and improves your approach in any future campaigns you might launch.
Furthermore, creating targeted content requires you to familiarize yourself with your audience quite well. By understanding what motivates them and what content they respond to, you can not only enhance the content itself but also your products and services.
How targeted is your content?
If you already have content rotating on your displays, ask yourself how customized this content is for your target consumer? Does it provide the answers to the main questions they have?
Let’s take a grocery store as example. Does your outdoor display say “we sell stuff,” or does it hit home and encourage a person to step through the front doors by highlighting a special quality or price-point which may be important to them? When it comes to grocery or retail stores, each customer has a different set of values. For some, the value might be in the price, proximity or convenience. For others it’s variety, quality or the customer experience. Let’s be honest, there is no shortage of these stores. So consumers have certain reasons to choose one store over others. Find out what that reason is for the customers you have in mind. Otherwise, they’ll go to the competitor who does that before you.
Regarding customer experience, ask yourself what will enhance it the most. In a store, it’s ambiance, service and efficiency. Thus, in that instance, you should utilize your displays to achieve these goals. People hate waiting in line, so use your displays to entertain them. They want efficiency? Labeling the aisles and let your customer browse the inventory through an interactive display.
We talked about ways to enhance the customer experience in the past, so we won’t go too much into detail. Suffice to say, this is merely one example of how you should recognize your customer’s needs and provide content which satisfies them.
Answer these questions for more targeted content
Which need does your product or service fulfill? In any good business, this question is the essence of your business which you have already answered when you started out thus, it should yield a very easy answer. This the starting point, and your content should have that need at its core.
What are the most important attributes of your product or service? In this day and age, whichever business you own, it is likely a similar one exists nearby. Thus, answer that ever-popular question any investor would ask: What sets you apart? What makes you better than the competition, and how is your product better than anyone else’s? Nobody advertises the “second best food in town,” you know. When describing your business in one sentence, there should be at least one superlative mentioned.
What are the values of your audience? For example, if you're a retailer in a mall, your audience likely wants fashionable, unique items at a certain price point. If you’re a dentist, your audience cares less about the price, and values lasting results more. If you can understand which part of your offer the consumer values the most, you can create content around it. Most people will gladly pay extra for a good optician who can successfully improve their sight. Thus, an ad showing benefits and success rate will be a lot more effective than an ad showing “10% off” sign.
If you provide concise, accurate and true answers to these questions, you can be certain you are targeting the right audience.
Make your targeted content clear
Knowing your target is only half of the work. The remaining half is reaching out to them in a clear and understandable way. You know what you want to tell to your audience. But it can be tricky to make it as clear to the viewer as it is to you.
Having the answers to the aforementioned questions, you can choose when and where they’re most appropriately applied. If your audience is not fully familiar with what you do, focus on that aspect first. They may not know what you can do for them, therefore describe your business and your offer. In a different scenario, however, if the audience is more familiar with the industry, they will not ask what your product or service does but rather how it achieves the set results.
An excellent example can be seen with banks. These days everyone is familiar with all those ads from banks about saving. None of them say “we are a bank, and we will help you save money!” Instead they show how they help you to achieve that. Most of us generally understand the concept of saving, so we respond to an ad which tells us the process, a new approach or a special offer that no other bank has.
Make targeted messaging a priority!
Targeting is extremely helpful in any advertising or communication medium you may be using. Be it Facebook, YouTube, the local news or a digital billboard in the center of London, your content will work wonders if it provides answers to most, if not all the questions your ideal customer may have for you.
Meanwhile, when we talk about the medium of digital signage and outdoor advertising, the programmatic boost will likely make quite the impact on it and allow businesses to advertise and message their audiences more direct and easier than ever before. We’ll certainly write more as this aspect of DOOH develops in the future!