Once you have a full understanding of how digital signage works, and you have access to the equipment and software required, the most important part is creating relevant content. You have heard the old saying, “content is king.” This statement is very true. You can have the best-looking, flat-panel displays, and the most sophisticated signage network but, without content, the screens are blank and ineffective.
One of the goals of digital signage is to grab the consumer’s attention quickly for a call to action. You have less than three seconds to provide a compelling reason for a consumer to linger around your message. For a consumer to linger, your content needs to be relevant, compelling, entertaining, colorful, readable, professional and fresh (current). Poor planning of digital-signage content and lack of any coherent strategy will add no real value to the viewer, and will render the digital signage irrelevant.
Your messages are the most important element of your signage network. This is where an advertising agency or digital signage designers come in. These groups are experienced with content creation and can translate your input into effective, professional digital messages.
There is a big difference between designing content for digital signage and for print media. Don’t assume the person who designed your business cards is the right person to design your digital-signage content. When developing content, make sure your vendor(s) or in-house graphics people understand digital-signage content. It is a totally different medium from print. Digital-signage content has movement: transitions, video, pans, zooms, text, animation, special effects, web pages and live feeds. Designing effective digital-signage content is an art unto itself.
Preparing content for digital signs is also different from producing TV spots. Although some retailers use their TV commercials in digital signs, this isn’t really the best use for them. You already have the consumer in your store, and the consumer (in most cases) has already seen your TV spots. This is what brought them to your store. Your digital-signage messages need to complement or reinforce your TV ads to close the deal, so to speak. When it comes to digital signage, it’s all about merchandising, with a little entertainment thrown in to keep it exciting and interesting.
When you create content for signage, you need to define clearly what you want to show and why. Some goals for creating content should be:
- Increasing revenue
- Improving brand awareness
- Making it suitable for the environment
- To target the right audience
- To make it engaging and relevant
- To include a “call to action”
- To be entertaining/informative
- To be valuable and useful to the viewer
- To be compelling
- To be intuitive
- To be transferable to other devices—smartphones, tablets, etc.
- To be eye-catching
- To be improve efficiencies
- To reduce costs, and
- To be responsive to change
Every message presented on your digital-signage system should enhance the experience your consumers have with your brand. With every message or campaign you create, you need to evaluate it to determine if it was successful. Did it meet your objectives? Did it increase sales or brand awareness?
If your messages didn’t meet your expectations, you need to determine why, so you can adjust your future messages. It’s always a good idea to monitor the results of new messages soon after you begin to show them to see if they are effective. You do not want to keep showing ineffective messages. Your goal is to create relevant and compelling content with an ROI or ROO.