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Digital signage is fast becoming the "norm" in a retail environment, but the most important aspect is the one thing that many businesses forget to budget for or do well — digital content. Content is the most important element, as this is what the customer sees and what gets their attention to start with.

Remember one of the key benefits of digital signage is its ability to engage. This starts with the content and creating "theater" that entertains, interacts and integrates with the environment.

So where do you start? Creating theater in your business doesn't just happen. Here are a few helpful hints to take your content from now to wow:

1. Have a plan — Create a digital content strategy and plan what your customers want to see, how you will show this, how long it will be relevant for, how often it will change, what your budget is for content creation and who will implement this in the business for you. Having a plan of attack is the first step in creating some amazing digital theater.

2. Work with experts — Creating content that is fit for purpose and suits the environment and screen configuration is key to a successful content integration. Simply taking static content or video from your website and stretching it across the screen is not acceptable if you want to be taken seriously as an innovator. Partner with digital content experts that understand how the technology works, as most advertising agencies can do great content but have no understanding of the technology, how it works or its capabilities.

3. Update regularly — Just like a website, you need to create fresh content regularly so your customers don't get bored and turn off. Content should always be relevant and seasonal to ensure you get maximum ROI.

4. Think outside the square — Create content that is not traditional for "digital signage" and don't be afraid to push the boundaries to create content that is both artistic and commercial. You can lead and not follow in the market, but remember to keep your end goal in mind.

5. Integrate — Including other digital platforms like social media allows you to create more diversity, user generated content and more engagement with your customers. This will not work for everyone, but if your customers love to share their stories with you, share this with other customers and integrate this user generated content on your digital signage.

Content creates a theater of the mind if done correctly. One of the best examples I have seen is Burberry's in-store activations. The content reflects the essence of the brand, is fresh and not sales driven and engages your senses, making you want to interact with the brand. That is rare, and brands that take the time to invest in great content will see the rewards. I'd say that content is both king and queen.

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Tanya Williams
Tanya is Business Development Manager at Brisbane, Australia-based digital signage integrator Prendi, which partners with clients and agencies to create engaging intelligent digital and omnichannel solutions that provide engaging and dynamic experiences for customers.
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