Displaying digital signage within stores, at events, and even around the company office is a proven way to convey information, increase engagement, and liven-up an environment. But just because you've invested in digital signs doesn't automatically mean they're doing all for your business that they could.
You want to maximize the potential of your digital signage rather than merely using it to display a static message. After all, this technology is so much more than a lit LED screen version of an old fashion printed sign. So, how can you produce interactive content that dazzles, but never dizzies, your audience, shoppers, or employees?
While you may have to try, test, and adjust your content, measuring its effectiveness as you go, there are some concrete rules of thumb to be mindful of as you create and implement your digital signage content campaigns. Read on for the do's and don'ts of digital signage.
DON'T: USE YOUR SCREENS LIKE PRINTED STATIC SIGNS
This should go without saying, but if you're brand-new to digital signage and have only recently installed digital signs at your store, office, event space, or trade show booth, then you'll need to challenge yourself not to fall prey to this common newbie error. With any digital signage software, there is a learning curve when it comes to designing your screen content. Aim to give yourself, or your designer, plenty of time to generate content that offers more visuals than one static poster image per screen.
DO: MAXIMIZE MULTIMEDIA
If you explore and dig into your digital signage software, you'll discover industry-specific templates that will fit your market and target audiences. As you curate your screen content, stay vigilant to blend an attention-grabbing balance of informative images, video clips, animation, and rotating or scrolling graphics. Have you deployed many digital screens throughout your store, event space, office, or trade booth? In order to maximize interaction, you don't want to display identical content on all of your screens. The messaging on a screen at the front of your retail store, for instance, could include campaigns regarding seasonal sales and your loyalty rewards program benefits. Whereas, the screen in a particular aisle could focus on discount incentives that are relevant to the products in that section of your store. And remember, timing is everything when it comes to programming the rotation of your content. In other words, you don't want your menu board items to flip so fast that your customers can't retain the options.
DON'T: FORGET CALL-TO-ACTION INFORMATION
The whole point of utilizing digital signage is to motivate your audience to take specific actions. Forgetting to include a clear-cut call to action as part of your content messaging would be a rookie mistake, similar to a comic setting up a joke but never delivering the punchline. So, be sure to include actionable information that will prompt your viewers to take an action. For example, if one of your screens includes loyalty rewards program incentives or member-centric sales, the content must include clear steps about how to enroll in the program. If it's a company-wide content message regarding an upcoming corporate event, be sure to add the RSVP protocol your employees must follow with HR.
DO: AMPLlFY INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY
While using your digital signage and creating your messages, you want to keep the content clear about who you are, what you want, and what your audience can do via a call to action. In order to convey this and be successful in terms of getting your audience to follow through with the call to action steps, you can utilize the interactive elements of your digital signage system and software. If you've invested in touchscreen technology and kiosks, in addition to presenting visually dynamic graphics, be mindful that the navigation paths aren't so complicated that the user gets lost and frustrated. Devising a three-touch rule is considered ideal. Keep the action buttons large, and always include a Main Menu or Home Page button on every screen so that the user can exit-out easily. In these ever-evolving times, you'll also want to go beyond touchscreens and use the same simple navigation methodology with "voice activation control", especially as the world moves towards a contactless future. As new innovations in interactive technologies are invented, it would be wise to keep your digital signage up to date, so be sure to go with a digital signage solutions provider that is known for staying ahead of the technological curve, like FasTrax Digital Signage.
DO: LEVERAGE ANALYTICS DATA
The interactive aspect of your digital signage ultimately has the power to compile all of the user information you'll ever need. When digital signage is interactive, it serves as a two-way conversation between you and the users, and data is collected pertaining to when and how those users engage. By paying attention to the user analytics within the software dashboard of your digital signage solution, you'll know what content is generating the most engagement and you'll be able to see what content simply isn't working. Examine the analytics and respect the feedback it's offering, and you'll be able to leverage that data when you make content adjustments or design your next campaigns.
DON'T: RELY SOLELY ON CENTRALIZED CMS
Content management systems, or CMS, are an integrated application of most digital signage software solutions, and while CMS might seem like an organizationally helpful feature, it can easily sabotage your digital signage messaging efforts if you rely too heavily on it. What exactly is CMS and why would it hinder rather than help you? For digital signage, CMS is a software application that enables the actual deployment of the designed content onto the display screens. Your centralized CMS is how you schedule, customize, monitor, and adjust your content campaigns, and you should continue to use it as a tool in that regard. However, when you rely on CMS for creating and launching your interactive messaging, its localized, intuitive nature errs on the side of limiting how creative, detailed, and dynamic the actual content can be. Oftentimes, you can avoid this pitfall if you build your campaigns in a separate yet compatible software, which is why FasTrax offers AdPro so that our clients never have to limit the artistry of their campaigns. To learn about our free AdPro trial for 2020 click here.
Digital signage displays spark the most engagement when the content presented is attention grabbing without being visually overwhelming. Integrating multimedia elements such as video, moving graphics, testimonials, and even product demos can add depth and dimension, but only if used correctly. We've put together some basic do's and don'ts for these as well.
VIDEO DO'S & DON'TS
Do use video clips as transitions between info-graphics, which will enhance the story-like unfolding of information. But don't include lengthy videos in your displayed content. In the age of social media stories and GIF & meme culture, a three-second attention span is what you're working with these days, so make it count!
MOVING GRAPHICS DO'S & DON'TS
Do find ways to give static images a little movement. This is a great way to amplify your company logo, for instance. By sliding, cartwheeling, or slamming your logo, product, or slogan onto a display screen, your customers' attention will be drawn instantly. However, don't use any dissolve transitions or other PowerPoint-esque options, or else you'll run the risk of looking tacky and out of touch.
TESTIMONIALS DO'S & DON'TS
Do include client, customer, loyalty member, or even employee testimonial quotes and footage as part of your digital signage display content! These kinds of positive remarks will go way further with your audience than tooting your own horn ever could. But don't overdo it and present a seemingly endless stream of testimonials back-to-back, and definitely don't falsify quotes and use stock photography, which runs a high risk of damaging your reputation.
PRODUCT DEMOS DO'S & DON'TS
Including video demonstrations of your products or services can be especially useful at trade shows and other events where sales staff is tied up. Do keep your demos as close to elevator-pitch-length as possible, and aim for the demo to serve as a teaser that interests the viewer to learn more from your sales staff. Don't try to cram too much information into the demo and don't even think about squeezing in the fine print, disclaimers, or any other unnecessary information.
The possibilities are just about endless when it comes to implementing digital signage at your store, event space, trade show, or office. As new technologies are developed, your digital signage capabilities can grow. Just remember that no matter how complex and innovative the tech becomes, the core purpose of displaying digital content will remain grounded in communicating impactful messages to your audience that spark engagement and sales.
THE BIGGEST DON'TS TO AVOID
- • Too much content
- • Poorly used audio
- • Stale content
- • Unclear messaging
- • No call to action
THE BEST DO'S TO IMPLEMENT
- • Include focal points
- • Use dynamic multimedia
- • Update and refresh content periodically
- • Keep font text clear and verbiage straightforward
- • Proper display screen placement