In our series The Guide to Digital Campaigns, we explore tips and best practices for how to build campaigns for events and venues.

Engaging content is a fundamental component of our core product at ISM Connect, and we’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic clients and partners who all play an active role in the ideation and development phases of our programming.

When our team received the news that we’d be involved in one of the biggest concert tours ever, Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour, we immediately began collaborating with their marketing team to put together a strategy to best utilize and transform some of the amazing creative assets they had access to. With such an avid and engaged fan base that was hungry for anything related to their favorite musician touring for the first time in over 2 years, we knew we had a real opportunity to truly connect with fans with a unique content campaign.

We started with the why.

The first question we ask ourselves with any new network is — why will fans want to watch our screens? After putting together some initial ideas — written by hand, taking inspiration from the artist herself — we honed in on the theme of “behind-the-scenes” to draw in the attention of fans.

From there, we sought to understand the goals of their marketing team to determine what type of promotional elements we could showcase to benefit their known initiatives. We settled on three content buckets to support the theme: event-based fan content, promotional content and sponsored content. Within each bucket, we developed assets to engage the fans and achieve the goals of the artist. Taylor Trivia is one example of such content, where we would test the fans knowledge of their iconic musician with interactive polls on our screens throughout the venues.

Once we had the initial programming plan finalized, it was time to see how the fans would react.


We let the data decide.

After the first few stops of the tour, we had enough data to start taking a deeper look at which content was garnering the most engagement.

When we look at the performance of specific pieces of programming we have a few main factors that we consider. We begin by looking at the engagement rate of the spot, compared to the average engagement rate of the entire playlist. After that we take a deeper dive into more granular metrics like total attention time of viewers (total amount of time that viewers spent watching) and affinity ratio (the percentage of time that viewers spent watching while in viewing distance).

As our team analyzed the reports, we noticed that the Taylor Trivia content was consistently underperforming in comparison to other spots.

We adjusted, then optimized.

As our creative team began putting together some fresh ideas, our operations team came to us with an interesting idea: fan selfies. The screens we had on tour were all built out with high quality Reputation Tour branding and were prominent fixtures leading into the venues. Due to the fact that the screens were strategically placed across all points of entry, we found that fans were literally lining up to take selfies and to use the branded screens as a backdrop for their group photos to share on social media.

The decision was made to use this observation as inspiration, and after some brainstorming we decided to present the idea of a selfie countdown to the tour team. The concept was well received, and we set out to produce a captivating piece of content that would have a visual countdown leading to a 10 second static graphic with Reputation Tour branding — just enough time for that perfect, sharable shot.


The results.

The result was worth the effort. The engagement rate of the new piece of programming not only garnered higher metrics across the board, but also provided measurable “off-network” benefit by leading to better social-sharing experience for fans at the remaining tour stops.

Jason Meeks is a Director of Content for ISM Connect. 

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