No matter what digital signage system you opt for, it will live or die on the quality of the content on display.
Having considered the type and size of display, as well as the optimum location, you need to think about what to show on the screen. We’ve talked about audience engagement, now we’ll look at what that means in practical terms.
The key thing to consider is that no-one needs to look at your signage. People choose to consume TV, the Internet and other media; digital signage has to compete for attention among a sea of static signs, posters, fixtures and product displays. So choosing the right content isn’t just necessary – it’s absolutely vital.
Your display has about 7-10 seconds to grab the audience and communicate its message, so it needs to be quick and to the point. Short looping content is fine, and although you run the risk of it becoming repetitive, just make sure it’s not annoying.
Know your audience
Who are you aiming the content at? Existing customers already in your premises? Potential customers on the street outside? Each of these needs a different approach.
If you are installing signage in a retail (fast food) outlet, it needs to be informative, so that customers already in the shop can see what you offer, what it looks like, and how much it costs. You are also legally required to show the nutritional information of each item.
For potential customers outside of your premises, you need high quality, glossy-looking content, probably with movement built in to attract the attention; static slides of text just don’t cut it. Consider utilising technology to add movement into part of an otherwise static image: this can be achieved through motion JPGs or parallax techniques in Adobe After Effects. Exciting short videos, which are well produced, have the effect of not only enticing customers from the street into your store, but also, if the content is attractive and up to date, will give added credibility to your brand.
Discover the digital signage that could help your business stand out from the crowd
You can harness the power of some play-out systems to respond to the local environment; an example of this would be if you own a café, you can use the signage system to automatically promote soup if the weather is cold outside, or if the sun comes out, switch to ice cream and cold drinks. This is done by parsing a weather RSS feed, and using triggers within that incoming feed to effect the content.
This is great if you own a store that sells a variety of goods: run the snow shovel video ahead of a blizzard, and sun cream ad when the temperature makes the mercury rise. The type of graphical content here is also important; for example animated weather icons work much better than merely a temperature reading.
Also consider the time of day: more family-orientated scheduling around the time that the school day finishes will have greater impact if that is your target audience.
As we said at the start, content is king and this means that it has to be managed properly.
The golden rules are:
– No out-of-date content
– Always use the highest resolution images or video possible
– Make sure your text is clear and legible – see our tips here
– Include a call to action: a special offer, competition, discount code and so on
It’s also worth remembering that it’s a competitive world out there on the high St, with lots of stimuli fighting for our attention as consumers. Check out the competition: what are the other stores in the area doing with their signage?
4K content (that’s four times the resolution of HD) is a real attention-grabber. It may be slightly more expensive to set up but the benefits of being ahead of the crowd in vying for the custom of the public cannot be underestimated.
The services of a professional graphic designer or videographer will pay dividends in making your signage look credible and your brand desirable. As you set up your system, use these services to at least get the basic layout looking right. The CMS system can change text etc, but you need to establish the basic look before you launch the signage and your message onto an unsuspecting world. See our article on layouts to explore this area further.
Any content must be assessed not only for quality but also for relevance to the audience, and any material shown on any screen must pass the “so what” factor. Put yourself in the place of the viewer – are you likely to see any content and think, “So what”? If you do think that, then the content has no place on that display.
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