The Power of Storytelling: Making your digital signage more appealing

In a world where numerous things constantly compete for attention, you need to add context and meaning when you want to communicate to your audience. This is where storytelling comes in.

Storytelling has been with us since the days of cavemen. Their stories left inscribed on cave walls are proof of this.

Any marketer using any type of media should admit to himself or herself that the hard facts they present, such as the benefit of their products, the price and other details, are easily forgettable. People would see it once or twice then forget about it after a few minutes. Indeed, storytelling not only helps you make your audience remember your product. It also helps you engage them and even change their behaviors.

How to tell your story in digital signage

One of the common misconceptions businesses and marketers have about digital signage is that they have to keep it short, perhaps do a one-off announcement and their job is done. The reality is, your audience could easily prefer a digital signage campaign or story in order to reinforce your message. Have your customers relate.

The thing with stories is that it has a very simple format. First, you present the normal. Then, you invite them to an adventure, and then you present life after your call. Every marketing story shows that average Joes could easily have a more exciting life with your product or service and they can have this for however long they want.

The difficult part is ensuring that each part of your story is appealing. You should motivate or educate your potential customers on what their lives are like now, what they need to do to change things and what their lives would be like after they’ve changed for the better.

And to make your story even more appealing and engaging, you would need to:

  1. Simplify everything. Nobody would like something that they have to figure out for seconds.  A confusing message is the last thing you need.
  2. Create storyboards. This is to ensure that your story flows easily and intuitively.
  3. Design your content. You do not just throw everything together and expect your customers to figure it out. Your design needs to be easily seen, easily understood and easily navigable.

What else do you need to remember?

When it comes to digital signage storytelling, you can learn from Interactive Design and Development (IDD). It develops kiosk software. IDD has quite the reputation of being an expert in translating complex stories into interactive and engaging user experiences.

One of their client is the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It has a long history that dates back to the 19th century right down to its latest achievements, such as academic excellence and top-notch research. How did IDD tell the CALS story?

Here are five steps you can follow.

  1. Gather the stories that need to be told. You would need to define what your story is. Know what you want your audience to know. You should be able to manage your content from the beginning right down to the end. You need to decide which of these stories are useful for your particular campaign. Then turn all of these relevant stories into a narrative, which would form the basis of your digital signage’s story.
  2. Curate your stories. IDD then loaded the stories into a digital signage content management systems (CMS) that resides in their own servers but is accessible to CALS. This way, the university would be able to easily manage their stories when their digital signage campaign is already under way. IDD trained the people at CALS to ensure that they are able to operate the signage on their own. signage-story-to-children
  3. Communicate effectively. Your work does not stop at just getting your story right and getting your story out. You also have to ensure that the entire digital signage experience is intuitive and easy. Your goals should be that a child would be able to experience and navigate through your digital signage ads.
  4. Measure your results. Be sure that you are able to measure the success of your digital signages. If you are looking for returns on investment, you could include advertising space on your kiosks, or perhaps quantify the number of foot traffic in the areas where you put up your kiosk and compare it to impression counts and other metrics.
  5. Think about your brand. Most importantly, make sure that you make a connection between your story and your brand. For instance, if you are in the food business, you might find it difficult to justify why a scantily clad supermodel is hawking your food. Even if you aim for the male market, capitalizing on male fantasies to sell your product will not deliver a good story nor would it help you engage your customers. Instead of being seen as out of the box and creative, you can easily be tagged as exploitative.

Storytelling can make your digital signage more appealing. It gives perspective, sense and value to your campaign. However, you must do it right by focusing more on your targeted audience and making it easy for them to understand. This way, they can easily relate to what you’re trying to say.

Photo by Zhao !.