Gianni Brancazio, B2B and commercial marketing lead, ASUS
You’ve invested in the digital signage platform, but that doesn’t guarantee success on its own. Not only do you need to come up with the right content ideas to display, you also need to present them in such a way as to not just capture your audience’s attention, but keep it, and – if applicable – encourage engagement with your message.
Target the right audience: you need to identify the people you wish to attract. Your existing marketing strategy may help here, but remember to focus on those people likely to come into contact with the sign – customers in your shop, or visitors to your venue. These may not be the same audience you’re targeting through other channels, such as through social media, email marketing or printed mailshots.
Focus your content ideas: with your targets identified, think about what content you can deliver that’s relevant and interesting to them. While you don’t want to appeal to a very narrow demographic, it’s better to have a message that maximises engagement from your targets rather than something that aims – and fails – to appeal to everyone.
Deliver content of value: don’t be too sales-oriented, try to incorporate useful tips and tricks, answer your customers’ questions, and anticipate their needs. This helps boost your business’s reputation for being helpful, honest and reliable.
Work out average viewing time: how long will someone tend to be standing in front of your display? Tailor your content to this length of time, even if it’s only a matter of seconds. Don’t simply repeat advertising from other mediums, such as a full-length TV ad.
Include calls to action: encourage your audience to directly engage by including a call to action as part of your content. Point people to a website, provide an exclusive discount, incorporate a QR code – find ways of providing unique call to actions (CTAs) that can be measured for success.
Link to other channels: find out what’s happening elsewhere in your business, and let your digital signage adapt accordingly (for example, only show promotions for products that are in stock).
Capture your audience’s attention: you need to make sure your display is eye-catching to make people stop and look. Use bright colours, and try to make the content dynamic – if it’s a slideshow-based presentation, for example, make sure you use animated transition effects to inject a sense of motion.
Keep design simple: don’t try to incorporate too many elements on the screen. Limit yourself to a maximum of three, with your primary message given the majority of screen space so that other messages don’t distract your reader from the main point you’re trying to make. Also, don’t overcomplicate things: keep your messaging simple and make use of visuals rather than large amounts of text to get your point across – this makes your signage easier to follow, even from a distance.
Entertain: depending where you signage is located – foyers, waiting rooms, cafeterias and so on – you might prefer to use signage to entertain people while they wait. This can be done with video, news feeds, live video or TV, for example.
Be consistent: if your signage is likely to be viewed by the same people on a regular basis, make sure the basic design remains the same – not just for readability purposes, but to reinforce the overall brand message you’re conveying. It’ll also help with updating content, as you can simply drop in new elements without having to worry about a complete redesign.
Sound: this can be an important way of attracting attention, but it may not always be audible if situated outdoors or in busy areas. Make sure your message can be understood even if your audience can’t hear any accompanying soundtrack.
Placement: make sure your digital signage is placed where it can easily be read or seen – go for eye level or shelf level where people are likely to find it, or place it in a location where it’s easy to read while people wait in a queue.
When to refresh: work out the optimal schedule for displaying your content. Obviously if you’re simply presenting information, then updating it is only required when that information changes; otherwise, try to keep it fresh and updated on a regular basis. Consider changing it over a number of hours or days rather than just weeks. If your content’s delivered by a dynamic platform, consider building in time-sensitive content that’s displayed at specific times and days depending on who you’re targeting and what you think will appeal or benefit them. Content can also be scheduled based on the weather, so a cafe might promote soup when the temperature drops, or ice cream when the sun comes out.