Digital Experiences

Content is King for QSR Signage Solutions

February 2023
Sagenet Blog Signage Content Development

Roughly 200,000 quick-service restaurants (QSRs) in the U.S. generate nearly $600 billion in revenue each year serving burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza and other fast-food fare to an average of about 85 million people on any given day. In such an intensely competitive industry, digital signage can be a powerful tool for building customer loyalty and driving increased sales.

However, investing in expensive narrow-bezel displays, 4K media players and high-end authoring consoles won’t guarantee an effective signage strategy. When it comes to signage, content is king. No matter how bright, bold and impressive lobby displays and drive-thru menu boards might look, they are ultimately only as good as the messaging they deliver.

Research suggests many organizations tend to focus on the technical requirements of digital signage implementation without adequately planning for how they will maintain a steady flow of fresh, relevant content. Nearly two-thirds of respondents to one survey rated digital signage content as either mediocre or bad. In another study, respondents noted that QSR signs are typically unremarkable and do little to distinguish a restaurant from its competitors.

Creative and Technical Skills Required

In a recent post, we discussed the importance of a robust content management system (CMS) for remotely organizing, updating and replacing content. But it is the process of actually developing the content that gives many organizations fits. It isn’t easy to create dynamic content with the right mix of text, images and video that will create a connection with potential customers.

According to a study from Microsoft and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, digital signage content has only 12 seconds to capture the audience’s attention. There will be no connection if the content is outdated, inaccurate or irrelevant. Unfortunately, organizations are often unprepared for the time, effort and skill required to produce and maintain a library of current content.

Few companies have people on staff with the skills necessary to maintain a continuous flow of content to support signage initiatives. Developing content for signage solutions usually requires someone with a unique mix of creative skills and technical expertise. In addition to writing and communications skills, content specialists usually have solid backgrounds in graphics programs, and experience with search engine optimization tools and social media platforms.

Content creation becomes even more complex as organizations move toward more interactive signage solutions. With integrated touchscreens, cameras, wireless connectivity and AI-powered gesture recognition, signage can create a much more collaborative experience with customers. QSRs are increasingly using interactive displays in self-service kiosks that allow customers to speed up the ordering and checkout process.

How SageNet Can Help

Ideally, organizations would have a content development manager to coordinate and oversee creation of all digital content and enforce editorial standards. However, that is likely an overly specialized position for a QSR. It may make more sense to contract with an outside provider who has specific experience with content development and management.

SageNet is uniquely qualified to support the signage needs of QSR operators. We’ve been delivering network support and technology solutions to some of the nation’s leading restaurant chains for more than 30 years. Our SageVIEW services were specifically designed to support customer requirements for the design, procurement, connectivity, integration and management of signage solutions.

More recently, we developed the SageVIEW Experience Labs to harness the collective skills of our signage specialists, including content development experts. Our creative professionals understand how to use a mixture of text, video, photos, animation, streaming content and more to connect with your customers. Additionally, the Labs’ technical experts are among the industry leaders in the implementation of interactive signage solutions that enhance the QSR experience.

Digital signage is an effective marketing tool that QSRs can use to enhance the customer experience and increase sales — if it is done well. Contact us to learn more about how our restaurant-ready signage solutions can meet your needs.

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