OnSign TV – Digital Signage

Primary vs Secondary Digital Signage Content

As a digital signage pro, you’re familiar with the variety of digital signage content available for your digital signage campaigns. So, here’s a challenge for you that may enhance the way you plan your content campaigns. This new perspective is quite easy to understand as we divide all of your content into no more than two clean and simple categories.

Most important is finding that healthy balance between these two divisions, and that balance depends on a few key circumstances. In the end you’ll find that there are cases where a 50:50 ratio is ideal. Then you’ll find in some scenarios, the display is not big enough for both, so one category prevails and takes center stage. Either way, first, let’s take a look at what exactly these categories are. 

Primary digital signage content

As its name suggests, primary content is the essential one. It’s necessary to make digital signage a profitable investment. It drives business up or makes it more efficient. Primary content refers to material aiming to achieve a business goal and its sole purpose of delivering information to the viewer that is in some way beneficial to driving the success of the business.

While it is essential, primary content can very easily become boring, dull, and at times come across even as forceful. If all your displays consist of ads, the viewer may get tired and learn to ignore them. Add to that the consistent repetition of identical content, and it may even veer into annoyance. To get a clearer picture, here is what is meant by primary content.

Primary content categories

Secondary digital signage content

If primary content is the yin, secondary content is the yang. It aims to balance out all the tediousness from repetitive primary content. Within this category falls all digital signage content non-essential for the business. Of course, if we ignored all non-essential things in life, we wouldn’t have most of the things we have today. Just because we label something non-essential, it doesn’t mean it is irrelevant. While it may be non-essential to the survival of the business, it can act as a catalyst to make primary digital signage content more successful. 

Secondary refers to content aiming to entertain, intrigue, and attract the attention of the viewer. The main benefit of using secondary content is its ability to keep any display interesting in the long run and for viewers to appreciate the primary content displayed alongside it. 

Secondary content categories

Balancing the two

It’s really not difficult to find a healthy balance of the two categories. Overall, you want your viewer to catch a glimpse of both. However, sometimes that may not be possible. Here are two defining parameters to finding said balance:

The relevance of the number of displays can be seen, for instance, in bank waiting rooms. They tend to have more than one display. So dedicating one to currency conversion full-time is alright when there are other displays in the room. In serious surroundings we don’t want to bombard viewers with frequently rotating digital signage content all over. 

When it comes to time spent in front of a display, airports are a good example for this point. There’s a lot of waiting done at airports, and as the passengers wait at the gate, secondary content can be a great way to lower perceived waiting time.

An entirely different example are storefront ads. Nobody is going to stand around watching a cartoon or a TV show in front of your store. These prolonged entertainment categories are reserved for areas where people have time to spare, such as waiting rooms or queues. In the case of storefront displays, there isn’t much to be achieved with secondary content. There isn’t enough time to create a stable content balance from the viewer’s perspective. Here you must choose which category to show in the few seconds you have. It might as well be the primary category. The circumstances may change, of course. If you install an interactive display in your storefront, then the game is on! The consumer spends more time in front of the display, and the potential for more content unlocks.

Examples of balance

Merging the two

While they can be mixed around separately, you can combine the primary and secondary categories into one element. Social media interactivity, for example, represents a crossroads between these two. Merge the entertainment factor of posting on social media with your business goals. Users can get discounts or special offers when posting a selfie from within your business and using a specific hashtag. 

Another example of the merger are cool ads. An ad that’s funny, intriguing, or simply clever, is sharable and fun to look at. If people want to take a picture of it and share it, it’s both useful to your business, and entertaining to the viewer, such as this coughing billboard. 

Hopefully, viewing your content through the lens of primary-secondary content will open up the road to new possibilities. Note that this division also applies to other content types that we couldn’t fit into this article. Corporate communications, for instance. But I am confident enough that you are able to convert the application on your own. 

Finally, setting up a diverse rotation is effortless with the right digital signage software. Some software even generates quality content for you. For instance, OnSign TV offers content categories, such as the Today in History, showcasing fun facts that happened on any given day. Try it out, alongside all of OnSign TV’s features with the free 14-day trial. No credit card needed!

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