Pin this: What Pinterest and digital signage have in common

 

Pinterest, the virtual pin-board, is the latest social media hit. By the time this article is published, many pages have been already written about how and why businesses should use it to promote themselves so this is not the focus of this article.

 

Yet we must note one  key aspect that made Pinterest so popular- its ability to help us cut through the information clutter we have to deal with every day. And that’s what digital screens are meant to help us do, too.

 

Here’s my list of the things they have in common as two effective communication mediums:

 

1)  Both platforms have a very strong visual element. In this day and age when we consume tons of written information, visuals make it so much easier for us to digest it. Neither digital signage nor Pinterest are about changing the message itself but the way you present and deliver it. And all marketers know that this fact in itself makes a world of difference.

2) The two platforms are targeted to  those that qualify themselves for the delivered information. It’s a shift in paradigm. For Pinterest, this self- qualification process is represented by requesting an invitation, if you don’t care about it you don’t sign up. When it comes to digital posters or message boards, if you don’t care you don’t step into the store, hotel, restaurant etc.-  so in this case too viewers qualify themselves to receive  information (promotions, student announcements, corporate communications, latest menus’) by simply choosing to be in  particular place.  This simple fact confers your ommunications an aura of exclusivity- they’re not for everybody but just for a selected audience. Which leads us to the next point.

 

3)   News and information aren’t generic but addressed to a certain group. Within Pinterest, you have the possibility to choose and follow the categories and users most relevant to you. This allows you to tune in to the news that make you ‘’click’’ and tune out from those that don’t. Digital signage delivers pertinent communications to its location (i.e. adverts of products you can find 10 feet away, menus you can order in that restaurant) and the time they are displayed at (i.e. breakfast menus in the morning, dinner ones in the evening). Both platforms enable communicators to help users/ viewers to access the information they are interested in.

 

4)   Gladly, you don’t need a long attention span to take in the information presented. The pin board allows you to easily spot the most interesting pins from your chosen categories in the same way as a digital message board allows you to catch the news from a glance (so communication  must always be eye- catching and short).

 

5)   Both are about branding.  A major motivation of communicators using the two channels is strenghtening their brand names. Pinterest isn’t a platform reserved to renowned companies like Martha Stewart; it’s a channel accessible by small players too who can pin, tag and make themselves known. We have a saying in the digital signage industry-  the medium is the message.

 

Besides the tangible benefits of a quick information delivery, the fact that your message board is digital helps you make a brand statement about your company or institution- presenting it as tech-savvy, modern and forward- looking. Digital signage  is no longer the exclusive communication medium of big companies; the fall in the prices of displays and new technologies (see the HTML5) make it an affordable solution for small and medium enterprises too.

Pinterest teaches us that there’s still room for new communication channels provided that they offer a real added-value in comparison to other. Digital screens differentiate themselves from traditional media in a number of ways, among which the ability to deliver better targeted location- based messages that respond to the needs and interests of a particular audience.

The moral: Pin your ideas to your screen(s) and make it easier for people to digest your news.

Have we missed anything? Do help us out using the comments box below.

 

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