It only takes a trip to the nearest shopping mall to see how commonplace digital signage has become. It’s used in open spaces to display mall maps and event announcements, at the food court to display menus and specials, and both inside and outside retail outlets to engage customers. In one recent survey, 94 percent of retailers said they use digital signage to augment, change or improve customer experiences.
Well-established benefits such as increased sales and enhanced customer engagement are driving the growth of the signage market. What’s more, it is easier than ever to deploy these solutions with turnkey hardware, plug-and-play software, and simple wireless integration. However, easy deployment doesn’t automatically make signage effective.
In fact, poorly executed signage can actually drive customers away. Bad content is frequently the culprit. It has been said that over a three-year cycle, content will be 80 percent of the total budget associated with the rollout and overall upkeep of a digital signage network. Outdated messaging and errors can wreck your digital signage initiatives. One consumer survey found that 68 percent of shoppers say a store’s signs are an overall reflection of the business and its products.
An effective solution requires great content and an efficient platform for managing and delivering that content. Here are the five keys for ensuring success:
Plan for the long haul. Understand the short- and long-term needs of the system by planning content campaigns. Digital signage allows for quick changes when needed, but the best executions are planned and delivered according to an overall schedule that is in alignment with the greater marketing effort of the organization. Signage then runs in parallel to the print and other digital media that are part of the marketing execution.
Hire (or partner with) a content development manager. This person would work closely with stakeholders across the organization to develop communication goals and establish the timing and coordination of messaging. The manager would also be responsible for overseeing the creation of all digital content, including text, audio and video. This will often involve some market research to identify important trends. It may make sense to contract with an outside provider who has experience with writing, editing and video production.
Follow design best practices. Content shouldn’t be dull, lifeless and static. One of the great benefits of digital signage is the ability to engage customers with vibrant messaging. However, some designers get carried away. Too much motion and animation can interfere with readability and comprehension. Additionally, customers may not have the patience to read text-heavy content that can’t be consumed in a few seconds.
Keep it fresh. One of the amazing benefits of digital signage is the ability to quickly and efficiently update, modify and rotate messaging. You may want to show a welcome message and a directory on a lobby display, while simultaneously delivering sales projections in the conference room. That requires a content management system for customizing, scheduling, monitoring and deploying your message over a network of displays.
Get the right tools. Content management platforms provide the tools needed to create content and schedule its deployment to the right displays at the right time. It is critical to invest in enterprise-class content creation, monitoring and management tools to get high-quality results.
Digital signage delivers proven benefits, but projects can underperform without great content and an effective content management system. SageNet’s Digital Signage professionals have been successfully implementing these systems across enterprise networks for more than 25 years. If you’re looking to launch a digital signage platform or just need help improving your content development and management, give us a call.