What drives the consumer to engage?
I believe that there are a number of ingredients that need to be considered while creating great content.
First and foremost the content must be visually appealing. Second the content must be relevant or in context. And thirdly the emotional connection, and that depends upon the disposition of the consumer, where they are at, what frame of mind they are in and what is their emotional demographic.
Let’s break it down, Visually Appealing; This is often subjective, but there are rules to follow that will help one create more appealing content. First composition, second color, third motion.
Composition – Adding a little math may help some of us that are not artistically inclined. Yes composition can be based on science. The Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio is a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part (see fig 1) a/b = (a+b)/a = 1.618. Historically, this ratio can be seen in the architecture of many ancient creations, like the Great Pyramids (the Golden Triangle is also based on the Golden Ratio) and the Parthenon. The Golden Ratio was used to attain beauty and balance in many paintings and sculptures. Da Vinci used the Golden ratio to delineate all of the proportions in his Last Supper. He also used this principal in his Vitruvian Man and the Mona Lisa. Many other artists like such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Seurat, and Salvador Dali also employed the Golden ratio. Ok so we may not be Rembrandt, but add a little math and we may get even better content on our screens.
Color – Contrast is your best friend when it comes to quick and easy read and comprehension. Without going into all aspects of color here, please see the recent blog post on color here.
Motion – Adding motion to any part of you messaging is going to garner more attention and could be the link between your brand and the consumer creating an emotional connection. The best approach is to create a storyboard. Storyboards are going to allow you to see the sequence of movement of objects in a 16×9 frame (see fig 2). Storyboarding is the process of sketching, in advance, the sequence of events, images, and effects that will make up the final product. These can range from a handful of simple pencil sketches, with a sentence or two on each describing the action, to a detailed layout of every angle, shot, and image. In effect, what a storyboard does is create both a proof of concept for whoever must approve the content and a set of instructions for those who will actually produce the content. The longer a piece of content, or the more complex the action, the more detailed a storyboard must be to do these two jobs. But even a simple piece of content benefits greatly from the use of the storyboard process. This storyboarding process helps to get everyone on the same page. It is a very visual medium that takes the script one step closer to production. When everyone agrees on the look and feel that the production is going for, then one can take it to the next level.
Relevance and Context - This is often a very difficult concept to get one’s brain wrapped around. So let’s keep it simple. Relevance and Context is really understanding three things; 1. How does my message relate to the viewer? 2. What type of network (PoS, PoT or PoW) are my screens in or where is my viewer? 3. What frame of mind is my viewer in?
Any team that is operating a digital signage network or is planning a network has a unique opportunity to bring excellence to this emerging industry and set some precedents. We can already see this in the work of some network professionals who have focused on research. Their innovative approaches use content as the source and cause for relevant messaging that is useful, helpful, and provides a positive experience for the viewer. Aligning consumer mind-set with network type is a large part of this exploration that brings success to some of the most prominent networks in the United States and abroad. Recognizing that mind-set is critical to matching effective content to the network is key. In otherwords, why is the consumer there and what are they doing?
Recognizing that mind-set is critical to matching effective content to the network. One may want to create content that reflects ones specific audience in ways that are more relevant to them. It is the research that will get you there.
The Emotional Connnection – There are 8 emotional triggers that help connected the consumer to the brand. Creating a connection with the consumer by triggering one or more of the eight psychological drivers: Self-Creation, Mastery, Dreaming, Security, Playtime, Sport, Sanctuary and Connection.
SELF-CREATION is an emotion that reveals itself through creating, enhancing and expressing one’s identity by stimulating self-reflection, status, bragging rights and values.
MASTERY is evoked by learning, performance and sharing. For example, consumer electronics is a category where knowledge transfer creates a feeling that the shopper has mastered a complex product.
DREAMING is hope, inspiration, ambition and looking at the possibilities. To evoke this emotion one must create content that is relevant to these aspirations. Department stores that carry kitchen products and bedding and home improvement stores are great examples of locations where Digital Destinations can be created to inspire shoppers and encourage them to buy products that lead to their dream home, patio or deck.
PLAYTIME is engaging in child like fun, expression and amusement. The engagement that triggers this emotion needs to be entertaining and include aspects of creativity and stimulation. Although this can apply to many different types of products, certain ones are very good fits – like amusement parks and cruise lines.
SPORT Similar to playtime is sport, which drives the emotion of adventure, being on the hunt, competitive contests and strategic. Sport is pursuing a goal with enthusiasm and then completing that goal with a sense of personal achievement.
CONNECTION develops, maintains and deepens relationships that help the customer feel like they have bonded with the brand and belong to a special group. Deepening the relationship with the members is best done by offering free samples, coupons and free downloads of music for example.
SANCTUARY represents a safe, calming escape and relaxed emotions. When a shopper is rushing around, the location can create this emotion which helps slow down the shopper’s pace and provides an opportunity to introduce the brand message.
SECURITY Preparedness, replenishment and nesting are key factors that evoke the emotion of security.
Creating content that is relevant to these emotions will be helpful to the shopper, engage them and ultimately create a conversation with the brand and the shopper while driving more sales.