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Digital Signposts: It’s All About Flow

May 29, 2012 9:59 AM, By Vern Freedlander, Vice President, Production, X2O Media


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In digital signage, content often takes a back seat to technical infrastructure. Content, however, is what will ultimately make or break a network, so treating it as an afterthought makes engaging viewers an uphill battle from the start. To avoid this, network operators need to make content a priority early in the planning stages and become familiar with the “soft” skills required to program a successful network. By soft skills we are referring to concepts such as research, audience demographics, viewing habits, design, branding, and message retention. An effective strategy for doing this is to take a step back and look at the overall content flow, instead of on the individual content elements. When employing this strategy, there are three key considerations to take into account.

Identify your network’s purpose: Every network has a purpose, a brand promise that attempts to engage viewers and deliver a positive experience. For example, in an ad-based network the purpose is to deliver an audience to the advertising content. So as the network operator, you should make editorial choices designed to work in partnership with the ad content.

Don’t try to be all things to all audiences: The network’s content must be appropriate for the audience, so it critical to know and understand who the audience is demographically. This can only be accomplished through research using a third-party research firm. Network operators should make content choices based on the research findings.

Be consistent: It is important that the look and feel of the network be consistently presented. This applies to picture quality and sound levels, as well as branding elements such as colors, animation, and music.

By thinking of themselves as content programmers and examining the overall content flow, network operators are well positioned to engage viewers and ensure the network meets its objectives.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at vern@x2omedia.com.



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