In 1996, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates famously predicted that to monetize the Internet and a company website, you must provide “deep and extremely up-to-date information.” He added that viewers and browsers must be rewarded with audio, video, and “an opportunity for personal involvement.”
Gates may have published his essay, “Content is King,” more than 20 years ago, but its key tenets remain true today – and never more true than in a digital signage solution.
Your digital signage solution must:
- Help people navigate your space
- Tell people where they are, where they need to be, and how they can quickly get there
- Incorporate real-time resources (e.g., weather and time)
- Complement and reinforce your brand identity
Digital signage is great, especially if it accomplishes the above musts. However, digital signage can still fail if you do not consider your end user’s needs, wants, and how you communicate with them. So how do you do that?
Here are five recommendations for developing and delivering engaging digital signage content.
Consider your audience. Messaging and content must matter to your audience, so before developing and deploying content, you must identify your audience. Ask yourself who you’re trying to reach, what you know about them and their habits, and the topics/information they are most likely to stop to read about. You likely have between 8 and 10 seconds to capture someone’s attention, so content must enhance a viewer’s experience(s), and answer questions before they’re even asked.
Take into account signage placement and content schedule. Content should fit digital signage placement. What does that mean? If you expect someone to spend two minutes in front of the signage, do not schedule more than two minutes of content. Similarly, if you expect someone to spend 10 minutes in front of the signage (e.g., for digital signage placed in waiting rooms), do not schedule two minutes of content that is repeatedly played on a loop. In our experience, successful digital signage content is noticed (and remembered) when it is relevant to the audience.
Include promotional content – sparingly. One benefit to deploying digital signage is the ability to promote on-site services and events. Arbitron, a division of Nielsen, recently conducted a study on consumer interaction with digital displays. They found that 19% of consumers have claimed they made an unplanned purchase based on in-store digital signage. But too much advertising can turn off your audience. Promote products, special offers, and daily specials but balance your promotion with branded content that matters (such as weather information).
Make a good first impression. Install video walls in your lobby or reception area to show off your brand. Play custom videos of your property or location, showcase donors or ongoing fundraising campaigns, and even promote on-site amenities (keeping in mind, of course, item three on your digital signage content shopping list). Video walls awe. There’s no other word to use, and as you incorporate digital signage into your location, you must consider the “awe factor.”
Include a call to action. You can increase viewer engagement by including a call to action in your signage. This call to action can be something as simple as encouraging them to visit your website, or visit an on-site amenity (such as restaurant, cafeteria, spa, etc.) Your digital signage solution gives you an opportunity to have a conversation with everyone who comes into contact with it. Your content is your side of the conversation; your call to action is your audience’s side of the conversation. Plus, you can measure how successful your content is by the number of people who do what you suggest they do. If you don’t get the response you want, you can easily and quickly revise and change content daily, or even more often, without needing to print or post anything. A paper-based solution does not give you this flexibility.
You must consider what you want your digital signage solution to accomplish, before you deploy it. Unclear messaging and content is likely to overwhelm and turn off your audience. But clear messaging that supports your objectives will boost involvement. Digital signage can help drive sales and increase audience engagement, but only when your message (and content) is clear.
We help our clients create content that consumers will remember. Whether you’re looking for help creating content for a static and/or interactive display, or thinking about deploying one or more video walls, call us today at 877-526-8711 for more information.