Lazy content should be flushed down the drain
Earlier this week, I was waiting by the restroom at a local mall for my wife, and I noticed a LCD display in the waiting area looping content. The display itself was relatively simple, but it was big enough for anyone in that small waiting area to see the content clearly. There were also seating areas that would allow anyone to look at the display.
Despite this opportunity, the actual content on the display was lacking to say the least. The content loop only displayed three images. The first was a billboard encouraging shoppers to go the mall. The problem was, if you turned your head to the right, I could see that exact same billboard as a static image on the wall outside of the restroom area.
The next image was a call to action, encouraging users to follow the mall on social media. The image itself, while useful, was also borrowed from a static billboard elsewhere in the mall.
The final image was the worst of all, it was a powerpoint slide that told customers looking to start a business in the mall to call a certain number. It then featured a blurry image of a manned mall kiosk.
There are multiple problems with the content published on this display. The three biggest ones are lack of consideration for the platform, missed opportunities for promotion and a missed opportunity for boosting customer involvement.
Platform, what platform?
The content needs to fit the platform, not the other way around. An image that looks good on a big billboard won't necessarily look good on a smaller display.
When you are choosing content, you need to examine how it will look on the platform and how it will draw in audiences. For example, smaller more detailed images will work better on an HD display, since customers will be close enough to appreciate the difference.
Missed promotion opportunity
It would have been easy for that bathroom display to advertise certain businesses in the mall. The display, for example, could have shown an advertisement for a cell phone charger discount at an electronics store, since many people in the waiting area could use a recharge. It also could have urged customers to get a snack before leaving.
This display only reiterated that the mall was a great place to shop, which was silly considering people were already shopping there. The mall failed to use the signage to promote the variety of services it offers.
What about customer involvement?
Digital signage can offer a great opportunity for businesses to engage their customers. For example, a display could have looped animated content or videos showcasing certain store experiences or promotions. It could also involve customers by presenting the benefits of downloading an app.
Another potential is to integrate an interactive element such as a game or a wayfinding solution. Simply presenting static content doesn't really get any customer involved in your brand. Dynamic content, on the other hand, can boost both customer experience and involvement.
Don't waste your signage
There are many benefits to digital signage, such as drawing customer's attention, delivering useful engaging content and easily changing out content based on key metrics.
With all these benefits in mind, it is a waste to use digital signage in a static way that simply regurgitates old messages. It is a dynamic tool, meant to be used dynamically.
Image via Istock.com
Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.www