• Nikki Ault

Keeping Digital Signage Content Relevant

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

So you made the leap, and decided on implementing digital signage for your company. It doesn’t matter what industry, be sure you don’t stop at installation.

What do I mean? Let's keep it real, content will be the most critical component for a successful ROI.

Look at it this way. Have you ever purchased all of the components of a successful weight loss program? Whatever the components may be, if used as instructed, you will get a very successful ROI (return on investment).

When your friends start asking you how that new program is working a month later and it is still sitting in the box, you start to make up excuses why it doesn’t work. It’s just not for me, the program takes more time than I thought, there are more steps than I want to take, etc.

Digital signage systems tend to produce the same results when not used properly. When content isn’t kept relevant and updated, companies tend to blame the system instead of the outdated and boring content.

So how do you combat this and make the system work for you? You have to have good content.

What Can Content Do For You?

Having good content can make such an impact on your business.

Impacts such as:

Increased Brand Awareness. Use your brand colors, messages, focus, etc. Share your part in charity and social good. Use customer testimonials. Be prepared to use any company videos so that it shows the "REAL" you.

Consumer Engagement. Through wayfinding, meeting room information, retail shopping experiences, social media sharing, touch screens, and blogs can create all sorts of opportunities to share communication with your customers. The more they engage, the more you benefit.

Build Trust with Audience. You can build trust with your customers by using live social media engagement, real time data such as current sales on a particular item, true pictures of customer's wearing or using your products, offering expert advice or showcasing your expertise on the subject/items, and keeping employees happy and engaged.

Upsell. Upselling content works especially well in the retail and quick service restaurant industries. Showing off the latest trend, accessory, or sale item in a unique video or using beacon technology can increase opportunities for customers to make additional purchases. In fact, 68% of American consumers have made a purchase because a sign caught their interest.

Social Media & Fun. Interact socially with your customers by creating contests. You can upload videos that show employees having fun and participating in activities. Use YouTube videos to share information or videos that may drive a point you want to convey to your audience. Being real and sharing that realness with the world will help people connect with you and your brand.

Improve Internal Communications. Content such as HR policies and changes, company activities, reviews, updates or introductions of products and services, share key performance indicators for motivation, and merge generation gaps to create a more cohesive workplace.

Planning Ahead

Now that you know the positive effects that good content can have on multiple pieces of your business, what considerations should be kept in mind when preparing the content?

Know your goals, know your audience. This is the first step of any digital signage system and should be discussed with your integrator at the start of your project.

Knowing the goals you want your digital signage system to accomplish and who your audience is that will be seeing the content is crucial.

Are you looking to increase sales, drive traffic to your website or location, acquire new customers, engage more socially, solve an ongoing problem for your visitors, entertain guests, etc.? All of these things and more will make a difference on the digital signage system you choose as well as the type of content that will reach your audience effectively.

Placement. Knowing your goals and your audience will help determine the actual placement of the signage. Will you have multiple displays or just a single display? Do you need the displays to be in portrait or landscape mode? What is the dwell time (the average amount of time someone has the chance to view the display and the content on it)?

When you answer these questions this then rolls into helping with content creation. An example, you wouldn't want the same 30 second clips running in a 10 minute loop if you are a hospital waiting room and the average dwell time is 60 minutes.

On the flip side, if you are a mall kiosk you wouldn't want a 3 minute video running as a passerby walks through, you would want quick attention grabbing graphics, text, and colors.

This also applies to placement. You would not want to place a screen in a dark hallway that no one walks down in your corporate office as the content will never be seen. Placement and knowing the traffic and dwell times is a major content determiner.

CMS (Content Management System) Usability. When you decide on a software to run and develop your content, be sure that you look into the usability of the content management system. If it is difficult to use it could create issues down the line in updating content.

You can create playlists for different days or times of the day or for different locations that fit those specifically per their respective audiences. Ease of use makes this much more approachable, even creatively fun for those in charge of content development.

Also, if you do not have access to your CMS through mobile or remote log in, that could reduce your ability to make real time updates or fixes when needed.

Who Is Your Content Creator?

Once you have established the system you need to determine who will be in control of creating and developing your content. It may be an internal department such as HR, IT, or Marketing.

It may be a specific point person who has a background with graphics, videos, creative development and an eye for marketing. It may be externally sourced to an integrator or content creator that can assist you with this.

Whoever it is, be sure they are trained appropriately in the software and CMS to ensure that usability mentioned above. When problems or concerns arise, don't be afraid to reach out for support assistance.

Integrators like Coffman Media, are willing to assist with this. Demos and trainings can be used to work through these concerns. Software providers, like Signagelive, offer free software support as well when applicable.

Creating Content

I know what content does for me and what I need to know ahead of time, now what can I use to create it? Below you will find a variety of different options for developing creative and successful content for your digital signage system.

Adobe Creative Cloud - When using Signagelive, a new plug-in has been created that allows content created in Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, and Animate to be directly published to a Signagelive network from within the Adobe applications.

Canva - Between it's mix of high quality images, sample designs, and premium paid for content, Canva has become an easy solution for those that deem themselves not so technical.

Flexitive - If you are intending to create animated content that can be created and published through Signagelive HTML5 enabling offline playback. It is easy to use and will automatically adapt to the size and orientation of your displays.

Google Slides/Sheets - Animated presentations can be made using Google's G suite and can be automatically updated when scheduled to Signagelive managed players. The same updates can be made using spreadsheets and charts.

HTML5 Animated Content - Signagelive's Widget Development Framework allows an environment for offline playback support for your HTML5 content. The content can be saved as a template which also allows updates within Signagelive.

Powerpoint - Both still and animated content for digital signage can be created in Microsoft PowerPoint. The fact that it is a familiar application and offers extensive features, PowerPoint contentcan be optimized and utilized through Signagelive network and players.

CMS Pre-Made Apps - Welcome Boards, Directory and Events, Menu boards and Room booking apps are free to use and part of the Signagelive marketplace. Connect directly with Office 365 and Google Calendars allow templates to be used to view current and future bookings as well as extend, book, and end bookings through the room booking app. Also, keep up with nutritional information changes, make custom design changes and integrate for automated updates.

HDMI Input - By connecting an HDMI cable from your cable or satellite box to a Signagelive player, that can be played live or through a schedule, and used full screen or in a zone.

IPTV Stream - Add any IPTV streams to Signagelive and it can be added as HDMI Input is in full screen or in a zone.

YouTube - When it comes to YouTube, whether it be a single video, live video, or broadcast of videos, Signagelive can incorporate it into your content strategy.

NEWS - News is just as mentioned, Noteworthy, Entertainment, Weather, and Sports. Automatically updated NEWS content can provide a great support to your customers and Signagelive supports real time updates and a great way to keep your audience watching.

Social Media - There are social media applications that will positively effect your engagement with your customers. This comes from all of the above mentioned content ideas for social media, as well as, hashtag creations, contests, and user-generated content.

Keeping your content relevant plays a vital role, as described above, in keeping your audience engaged, and interactive.

As an integrator, Coffman Media will ensure to capture your goals and end results, and help you decide on a digital signage system that will positively affect your business. They will also walk you through the content creation process to ensure you are comfortable moving forward with your CMS.

To schedule your free consultation, check us out here.

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