Spring cleaning time: How fresh is your content?

 
May 15, 2013 | by Sean Matthews

Spring is here, and it's a great time to evaluate your digital signage messages to see if your communications are still making an impact.

It's easy to get into a rut by using the same formulaic backgrounds, fonts and graphics for messages, but without periodic updates your messages can get a bit stale. Spring cleaning provides the perfect excuse to set aside time to take stock of your digital signage strategy and to refresh and redirect your efforts.

The first step is to review your communications goals. If you don't have a formalized plan, consider performance against these basic objectives:

  • Capture the attention of the audience
  • Convey information to the audience
  • Motivate action by the audience
  • Encourage repeat viewing by the audience

Choose a representative month of messages to examine. (Make sure it is within the last 90 days.) Examine the content you published during one day, one week and then the entire month.

Ask yourself the following questions about...

Message Design:

  • Do our individual messages communicate information succinctly and stylishly?
  • Are we using good visual rules when designing our messages?
  • Do message colors, fonts, and graphics all look good together?

Overall Presentation:

  • Is there a visual continuity to our communications — any apparent discernible themes or identity?
  • Do messages look good together when grouped in multiple-window layouts?
  • Is there appropriate variety in our messages to grab audience attention?

Effectiveness:

  • Are audiences paying regular attention to our visual communications?
  • Are they responding by taking the requested action noted in messages?
  • Are we measuring the success of our messages?

If you answer "no" to any of these questions, your content may need a cleanup.

One easy way to solve the continuity question to keep your content fresh is to outline basic themes that you can rotate on a monthly basis. Simply identify groups of visual elements that work together to create a wide variety of themes. We recommend at least four themes, so you can change your look every few months.

  • Choose a group of 10 to 12 backgrounds that use a common color scheme.
  • Select two fonts in two colors (for headlines and body text) that complement your backgrounds.
  • Identify appropriate graphics (photos, clip art, etc.) that you can use within the theme.

Don't confuse stale messages for continuity in communications or corporate identity. Even your standardized themes need to be examined and refreshed periodically.

Remember — getting your audience's attention is only the first step. Keeping their attention is a constant challenge that you have to work hard to meet.


Topics: Content , Content Design and Aesthetics , Content Management


Sean Matthews / Matthews, the president of software provider Visix and a veteran of the visual communications industry, is credited with a comprehensive corporate reorganization of the company and shepherding in a suite of new digital signage products.
www View Sean Matthews's profile on LinkedIn

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