How to Leverage Digital Signage for Storytelling


Digital Signage Storytelling

By Lillyan Wamaitha
Marketing Manager, Mvix

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication. As humans, we’re naturally attuned to narratives and patterns that help us understand ourselves and the world around us. The right story can be a powerful way to captivate an audience — so why not leverage them through digital signage storytelling?

With the right content backing you up, you’ll have no trouble establishing a narrative through digital signage storytelling and connecting with your customers in more meaningful ways.

1. Find your story

Digital signage storytelling begins with having a story to tell. What type of narrative should a company push if it wants to engage customers?

This depends on the company’s market, digital signage assets and desired outcome. This is unique to every brand, so do a little research here. Is the goal to raise awareness of a specific marketing campaign? Improve internal communication? Share company values that encourage engagement with the brand?

The process of digital signage storytelling is quite similar to storytelling through traditional marketing, but it’s important to have all of this mapped out well before you begin storyboarding. Unlike one-off ads or static displays, digital signage lets you guide viewers through a narrative, providing detail, context and imagery every step of the way.

As a great example, look at how Microsoft found a way to tell a story based on the launch of Internet Explorer 9. They combined striking visuals with a guided, focused story that had little to do with the features and functions of IE9 itself — but the relevance of the story itself didn’t matter. It got people talking, testing and interacting with the product. The same concept can be applied to the stories told through digital signage.

In this way, we can see how any brand can come up with a great story for itself, even if the product itself isn’t suited to a dynamic narrative.

2. Show them something exciting

There’s nothing more engaging than an exciting story and digital signage is the perfect way to bring one to life. With digital signage, businesses aren’t just telling stories — they’re helping customers experience them.

Companies should look back at their histories and see what kinds of stories they can share. Was there ever a time when the business was on the edge of collapse? Did you take a risk and introduce a new product?

Consider these starting points, but don’t feel limited by them. There are lots of ways to bring exciting, emotional elements into a digital signage campaign. Take a look at how GoPro leveraged a customer-provided video to generate emotional connections with the brand.

The clip is cute, but note that, like much of GoPro’s unique advertising, little is said about the features and functions. It’s unnecessary. The video packs a substantial emotional punch, which is enough to generate goodwill and positive in the consumer’s mind. This is marketing 101.

Take this idea and run with it. Brands don’t have to craft dramatic thrillers with their signage layouts, but they do need to provide some type of story elements that capture the viewer’s attention.

3. Share a brand value

One of the best ways to leverage digital signage storytelling is to share a value, ideal or concept driving your brand. Common choices here include messages of sustainability, commitments to charities or other good works that come as a result of the customer’s patronage.

This is an easy target for storytelling. For example, if a retailer donates a percentage of all profits to a local charity, it’s a simple task to put together a storyboard that outlines this process. Include slides that describe the program, showing how a purchase at the store moves money from the consumer directly into the charity.

Along the same lines, if the company has a commitment to recycling and sustainability, let consumers see the results of these efforts. Describe how the recycling process is done, and showcase the results. The goal here is to create a direct connection between the consumer’s action and the mutually beneficial outcome. Use rotating content displays across the signage to tell this story step by step and really drive the point home.

According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, 64% of customers who build relationships with brands cite shared values as the chief driver of their relationship.

4. Educate to engage

Digital signage storytelling is an easy way to educate customers about products, services or the company itself. This is particularly true for companies with more complicated products that consumers may not understand at a glance.

Companies can set their rotating content displays to show off specific products while providing specifications, descriptions, and use cases for each. The idea here is to provide technical details while showing off the product in action.

For example, Mvix worked on a digital signage solution for a leading Australian power tools distributor. This client’s goals included enhancing customer education and improving the way they showcased their products as part of their larger marketing goals. The value delivered by this project was described well by the client Managing Director Blair Brydon: “[Digital signage] helps people interact with our products, understanding their application by visually seeing the features and benefits rather than just having them explained by a sales person. With a premium product, like ours, there is always a lot to ‘show and tell’ to the customer. A networked signage solution means we can explain more than what we could do with just a static display.”

Digital Signage Storytelling

Though we’ve mostly focused on the content side of things, keep in mind that the best practices for digital signage marketing still apply. Screens should be placed in high-traffic areas, messaging should be consistent, and displays should incorporate rich imagery across video, animation and text.

Get these best practices nailed down and focus your efforts on content creation. This is the easiest way to bring the power of storytelling to your digital signage campaign.