8 steps to successful digital signage content
By Chris Gilder, CEO, Meridian
Every medium used to convey information needs engaging content. Digital signage is no different. From the words used to the font chosen, digital signage has certain nuances and size constrictions that need be considered in order to successfully reach the target audience. For reference, we've compiled the eight most important things to remember when creating and managing digital signage content.
1. Keep text simple and clear
- Consider using black-and-white text for optimal legibility and include color through images and headlines. It's best to stick with dark text on a light background or visa-versa to ensure plenty of contrast on the screen.
- It's always best to use sans-serif fonts on digital signage displays. There is a wide variety of fonts in this family, and bold or italic text can be used to highlight important phrases.
- Make sure text is legible up close and from a distance. We recommend 1-inch size in text for every 10 feet of distance from the screen.
- Avoid all caps. It's hard to read and can come across as aggressive.
2. Timing is everything— When using a slideshow-type screen with scrolling images, slow down the timing in order to allow the audience to consume the information. Often the screen frequency is too fast, leaving the viewer frustrated and unable to digest all of the content. However, leaving the screen for too long can be equally damaging to the message. We recommend keeping each item/screen play time under 7 seconds.
3. Use attention-grabbing visuals
- Remember that the screen is silent, so text and images must be dynamic.
- If brand imagery is being used, keep brand-icon usage consistent with usage in other media.
- Keep brand colors running throughout the screens to keep brand recognition throughout the presentation.
4. Place a call to action on every screen — Start a call to action with a verb, keep the verb and subject close together, and embed it in each screen being used (e.g. "Get Yours Today," "Get Started Now," "Try it for Free," etc.)
5. Keep motion to a minimum — Use motion sparingly. Too much motion can have a detrimental effect on the message by distracting the viewer.
- When using motion, keep a logo or text box static as a grounding point on the screen.
- Motion on the periphery is more subtle than motion in the middle of the line of sight.
- The most important features should be static.
6. Content variety is critical — Digital signage content should vary greatly based on the location and intended use. Below is a comprehensive list of ways we've seen digital signage successfully utilized in the past:
- Date and time
- Social media
- News headlines
- "How to"
- PowerPoint presentations
- Daily specials
- Loyalty programs
- Company news
- Event schedules
- Statistics and charts
- Event promotions
- RSS feeds
- Polls and surveys
- Shuttle maps and times
- Website and landing pages
- Sports scores
- Business hours
- Visitor welcome letters
- Speaker biographies
- Staff profiles
- Press releases
- Volunteer drives
- Wayfinding information
- Audio, video and television feeds
- Stock updates
- Honors and awards
- Health tips
- Donor thanks
- HR information
- Holiday hours
- Meeting times
- News, weather and traffic alerts
7. Content is king — Is the content entertaining, informing and educational? Consider using rhyme and alliteration to allow for quicker retention and memorization. Most people can remember up to three items at any given time. Keep the message clear and concise, and keep the screen views long enough so that the message can be read and absorbed.
8. Should content be managed remotely or manually? — Installing signage with remote management capabilities is one of the best ways to update content. Many digital signage companies have software that can include new social components for Digg, Instagram, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Picasa, Google Plus, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. In addition, some digital signage companies have added new integration features for web browsers and expanded support for node.js and JSON for custom insertion and custom component integration.
Chris Gilder, CEO and founder of Meridian Kiosks, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial successes to the senior management team. Meridian has been recognized as a leader in the self-service kiosk industry and an innovator with the development of the Self Service Technology Center in partnership with Intel, HP, Microsoft, Zebra Technologies and Storm.www