Essential considerations when implementing digital signage

There is lots to think about when rolling out digital signage, such as content, messaging, duration, and design. Photos courtesy Omnivex

There is lots to think about when rolling out digital signage, such as content, messaging, duration, and design. Photos courtesy Omnivex

By Chris Devlin

An organization decides it needs digital signage. Now what? When rolling out a digital signage strategy, there is a lot to think about. From developing a content strategy to mounting the screens, turning a vision into reality can be a daunting task, especially if new to digital signage. To get started, here is a list of 10 essential considerations when implementing digital signage.

1. Content strategy

There is a saying that ‘content is king,’ which is definitely true with digital signage.

Content is crucial to a successful digital signage rollout. A digital signage platform enables you to collect content and data from practically any source, so every part of the organization can contribute.

While many organizations usually have high-level expectations of their digital signage, they may not have a solid content strategy in place. When creating compelling content, it is essential to think about who, what, where, when, and why. Who is the audience for the content? What type of content will they be interested in seeing? Where will the content be viewed (mobile, digital sign, videowall, kiosk, etc.)? When will this content be viewed (while on the move, sitting, etc.)? Why will the content be viewed (emergency notifications, scheduling, wait times, news, etc.)?

Developing a successful digital signage strategy requires collaboration to determine the visual content and the best message, method, and location to share the information or promote a product or service.

2. Messaging

Digital signage is everywhere. The message needs to stand out from the crowd to get the point across. Ambiguity leads to confusion, so the message must be clear and easy to understand. It should be crafted for a specific audience or potentially personalized for an individual. Cool, vivid, stylish, or even flash—these characteristics are not good enough by themselves. Their only worth is their ability to convey the message to the people who need it.

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Who is the audience? What message is being communicated? For example, in retail, the focus can be on products or promotions with the highest margins or ones that have performed the best. In other locations, such as airports, schools, or hospitals, where digital signage shares information like schedules or wayfinding, consider the user perspective and how the content can help or guide them. A positive emotional experience is more likely to happen when thinking about how the viewer will intake the information.

The right software will easily collect, distribute, and present information.

The right software will easily collect, distribute, and present information.

3. Software platform

The right software will easily collect, distribute, and present the information. It should also scale as the digital signage network grows. To be agile, the organization needs a software platform that can display information on any digital display, mobile phone, desktop PC, or any screen, anywhere, any time. It should also allow for easy user management, create intelligent playlists, and be able to manage the network remotely.

Additionally, the digital signage software platform must easily integrate with various information sources and IoT devices. For example, social media, news and weather feeds, back-end systems (ERP, POS, CRM, calendars, etc.), cameras, and sensors.

4. Duration

Timing is fundamental to the digestion of content. Consider the average attention span, which may be as little as eight seconds, and adjust content accordingly. Account for dwell time, which relates to the traffic flow of the audience.

Roadside digital signage content should be short enough for passing vehicles to ascertain the intended message, while captive audience dwell time (think airport security lines) can be longer. View time can vary based on many factors. For example, a family travelling and looking for flight information will have a much longer view time than an office worker rushing to a meeting.

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