Choosing the Right Third-Party Content: It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Audience


The use of third-party content on digital signage networks seems to be growing more and more popular as grabbing and keeping the viewer’s attention is increasingly more difficult.  With the boundaries of digital signage changing as fast as providers can push them, third-party content is becoming a must-have in certain viewing environments. But what content should be used? How much of a playlist should be dedicated to attracting the audience to the screens, and how much reserved for the location/brand’s own messaging?

The answers to these questions depend first on who your audience is and where they are watching your screens? The audience in a doctor’s office or medical waiting room is different than the one viewing a network in a car dealership or service waiting area. Context is key.

In a healthcare viewing environment, the audience is captive, likely a bit anxious, and probably not all that interested in important health network messaging like “Always make your doctor aware of any medications you’re currently taking,” or “Remember to bring your insurance card to each visit.” Content from an outside provider is the only thing attracting viewers, and hopefully keeping them there long enough to expose them to the health facility’s messaging. Content that is light and uplifting and that promotes a healthy lifestyle makes sense. Food content from CBS’s Chowhound or NBC’s Today Show featuring a quick and healthy recipe for dinner would be ideal. Short-format workout or yoga segments would work too.  And of course, content that keeps children engaged and occupied is always a good plan.

But in the waiting area of an auto dealership or service location, the mix would likely be very different as the audience here is in a different mindset.  Here, inspirational content that alludes to travel and adventure makes more sense. Mixing in content from Outdoor TV or National Geographic helps put the audience in an adventure-seeking mood, one that fits with the possibilities that come with a new car purchase.

Other verticals where including third-party content are becoming more popular are college campuses, banks, and of course, most any retailer.  On a college campus, including segments from late-night TV fixtures like Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert serves as the bait to attract students to also watch the college’s own video messaging.  In banks, business-oriented entertainment like Shark Tank, or tech-related video from CNET is perfect in between bank messaging promoting home loans or free checking.

And in retail, pretty much anything goes depending on the type of retailer.  Sports content in sporting goods, fashion content in clothing stores, and on it goes. The bottom line though remains the same, and that is that choosing content based on the audience is the key to attracting that particular audience to the location/brand’s own messaging.

About Author

John Polachek leads all Wovenmedia’s creative efforts and has a depth of knowledge in advertising, branding, design and new media. After 25 years of working for the likes of Young & Rubicam New York, Saatchi Pacific, USweb/CKS and PRN, his unique combination of talents for naming, messaging, broadcast design and even 3D design have played an integral part in Wovenmedia’s success. His ability to help network owners understand the hidden value of technologies like 4K is invaluable. Polachek has won numerous awards including a Clio, OneShow, and Andy, and has had work featured in AdWeek and the Print annuals. He graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

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