The Ultimate Guide to Dayparting

Several examples of dayparting for digital signage with Guide to Dayparting as the title

Changing messages and content based on time of day is a crucial element of any communication strategy. It applies to everything from when a certain TV show is played to showing certain content at a particular time on digital signage.

Digital signage software, like NexSigns, are powerful, cost-effective communications tools, but today’s consumers are bombarded with messages and ignore displays that don’t offer them what they want or need at that specific moment. This is where dayparting can make a difference, offering them relevant content to solve a problem.

What is Dayparting?

Dayparting is also known as daily and hourly scheduling. It is the practice of dividing a day into segments and using different forms of programming for each of those time slots. In the context of digital signage, it refers to offering the right content at the right time of day for a specific audience.

The term dayparting had its origins in the radio business. It referred to playing certain songs or delivering certain audio dramas at specific times, based not only on the listening audience but on what was considered appropriate for the time spot.

TV stations also use dayparting to schedule certain shows at specific times to engage the audience watching at the time. For example, they schedule the best shows for families in the early morning, stay-at-home moms in the morning, children in the afternoon, families at prime time and adults in the evening. The audience at that time gets what they’re looking for and the station increases their viewers, a perfect solution for everyone.

Why use dayparting for digital signage?

Whether you’re a Quick Service Restaurant using digital menu boards (check out our guide to digital menu boards, if you are) or a financial institution promoting a new credit card, leveraging dayparting helps you to get the most out of your digital signage. Retailers, airports, health care centers, universities, large corporations and malls are all benefiting from dayparting. Even taxi cabs can offer timely helpful displays.

This isn’t some brand new solution, it’s the standard every type of customer is coming to expect. It’s also not hard to do with the right digital signage software. The best solutions let you schedule all of this content days or even months in advance and offer easy, centralized control.

How to use dayparting in digital signage

Successful dayparting in digital signage comes from defining what you want to say, to whom you want to say it and what time is best for this. You also need to understand what you want people to do and have a heavy focus on customer experience. Here are some examples of how to use dayparting for digital signage:

  • Change the ambiance and energy of your business according to the time of day.
  • Highlight certain items or services appropriate times to specific times of the day.
  • Offer more granular, pertinent content to specific customers to increase satisfaction.
  • Showcase products and services that customers are looking for at a specific time to solve a problem for them and increase purchases.
  • Strengthen your brand. Using dayparting at high traffic times with up-to-date news or branding messages at peak hours ensures maximum exposure.

What do you want to say?

It’s important to refine your overall message first. Even if you have to make small adjustments based on the time of day, you still need a coherent, carefully considered content strategy. You need to be consistent, even when you’re targeting different audiences and selling different items.

To whom do you want to say it and what time is best?

Figuring out who your audience is and how it changes during the day is critical to successful dayparting. If your message isn’t targeted to your audience, there’s no point in sending it.

For instance, a small town mall may see more stay-at-home parents and retirees in the first half of the day and more school children and college students in the afternoons. These groups are so different and targeting them with appropriate messaging can be very effective.

Places like airports and sporting complexes accommodate a huge variety of people and it helps to know who they are and what they are doing.

For example, people catching an early flight at the airport could receive important news and weather for the day and be directed to the nearest coffee shop. Specific zones can also be created as advertising for events and activities in destination areas.

Retailers can use dayparting to announce product promotions, special offers on specific days, and limited-time offers. Their messaging changes during the day based on the demographics coming in the door, whether it is stay-at-home parents doing their shopping or professionals dropping in after finishing work.

What do you want people to do?

For any communications strategy or tactic you must plan out what specific impact a new channel will have. Without this plan any campaign no matter how ingenious will fail to have any meaningful effect.

Concluding thoughts

Applying a strong dayparting strategy to digital signage will immensely boost this communications channel’s performance. It allows a better content fit with customers and clients based on the time of day. The cost for deploying digital signage is less expensive than it used to be and even small businesses can benefit from it.

Setting up a daypart schedule is no longer a technical challenge either – it can be as easy and dragging and dropping content into a calendar. Businesses using dayparting experience greater customer satisfaction and higher revenue.

You can learn more about NexSigns’ Digital Menu Board solution and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube to get the latest info on digital signage!

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