The 7 deadly sins of digital signage content: What you're getting wrong
When integrating digital signage solutions into your business, you must consider more than just what technology you will be installing. The success or failure of your digital signage solution is entirely dependent on content. Content is king. The consumer doesn't care about the hardware you have installed, or what media player is behind it. They only care about what they see and how it relates to them. Beware of the 7 deadly sins of digital signage content…
1. Static content
Using single still images or slideshows on digital solutions is like pushing your car to work every day. Your content should be moving at all times. Movement catches people's attention.
If you've ever caught something moving out of the corner of your eye when you were walking somewhere you know this is important. If your screens are cycling through still images, you are not using this phenomenon to your advantage. You can break up your content into exciting and attention-grabbing chunks of information, constantly catching people's attention.
2. Outdated content
With static posters you are constantly running into outdated or irrelevant content. If you have a digital screen, everything should be relevant to the viewer and fresh, so people don't get bored with the advertising. With digital solutions you have the power to change information, menu items or the dates of events, and have it update on-screen immediately. You can promote items based on stock levels or set up the system to show more ads depending on the weather or time of day.
With RSS feeds, databases and social media being used on your screens you can incorporate weather updates, real-time news items or Twitter feeds alongside your content. Another example is displaying traffic updates or public transport timetables when your staff is leaving for the day. Or have a Twitter feed on the bottom of the screen with up-to-the-second information about your business.
3. Poor layout
Everyone knows the importance of having good graphic designers in charge of your print advertising. The need for strong design being maintained for all digital content is just as important though. Every frame of animation should be well balanced and designed, but this is just the beginning. When you have content moving across the screen at all times it makes the design process that much harder.
This is without even taking user interaction into account. This is the essence of motion design, and anyone using digital solutions needs to be aware of how important it is to seek out content creators that know how to make your projects shine.
4. Not utilizing bevels
When it comes to video walls, the edges of the screens used are very important for the motion designer. When people just stretch content across a set of screens and don't take the spaces between the screens into account, it does not work. You need to design with this in mind from the start so you can span content across the video wall as gracefully as possible.
Even better than that is designing elements that will utilize the sections available. Create footers that will take up whole rows of screens and have content span entire rows. When you make content specifically for video walls you can get the most out of the system.
5. No interaction
If you have screens that people are watching for a specific message, then you should be utilizing its interactive capabilities. Everyone knows how to use touchscreen technology now that smartphones are here to stay, so use that pre-existing knowledge to your advantage. Static maps are a thing of the past now that you can have someone do a real-time search for a store, or tap on the store he wants and have the software show his route through the shopping center from his position.
You can integrate touchscreens with your POS, display a digital catalogue, or product and service comparisons. This is a great way of having the user determine the information that is best suited for them, which is the best way to sell your services.
6. Local updating
If you have multiple locations set up with digital screens and you are having each location update the information locally, you are missing out. As marketing managers you now have the ability to take control of which promotional material is being displayed at each location from your desk or at home. You can instantly update the systems across the board if you receive new content, or take down outdated content instantly.
Using your sales data and comparing it to the scheduling of content, you can increase your sales by having relevant content being updated on all systems in real time. When you start using this process the store managers that no longer update their systems can concentrate on customer satisfaction and sales.
7. No call to action
All this beautiful animation and interactive content is meaningless if you don't convey a message to the end-user. Not only do you have to tell the user something about your product, you have to tell them the next step to take. That could be contact information, the location of a store, or simply an invitation to learn more. You have to leave the customer with an action that will lead them to your product or service and result in a sale. If you don't have a call to action, then there's no way to turn the viewer into a customer.
(Image courtesy of ratch0013 at freedigitalphotos.net.)
Emily Carroll Emily Carroll is the Marketing Manager of Prendi Pty Ltd. Prendi is a full-service digital solutions provider, specialising in the integration of a wide range of technologies, content and interactivity into physical environments. www