May 6, 2019
Digital Signage Tips and Tricks

Best Practices for Digital Signage Content Animation

How to Incorporate Motion Graphics on Your Digital Signage

Moving pictures have captivated audiences for more than a century. Animation and video bring a special level of entertainment that appeases all audience personas. Why? Watching a video requires minimal effort, and the information is easily absorbed and retained.

Video communications are a whopping 600-percent more effective than print and direct mail.¹ Viewers are accustomed to watching video through multiple mediums a day: TVs, computers, smartphones, mobile devices, etc. In fact, 60 percent of media viewers will watch a video before reading any text.

According to ReelSEO's article, "Video Marketing Survey & Business Video Trends Report," 93 percent of marketers are using video in their campaigns, while 82 percent of them claim video has a positive impact on their business. Luckily, advancements in technology have made it easy to bring this magical tool to your digital screens.

Over at Sprinklr, the team was initially a bit too jazzed about animation. After a bit of trial and error, they realized that while some subtle motion enhances the message, it’s got to have purpose. Photos and text shouldn’t bounce around for no reason. Everything that happens on screen should feel intentional and relevant.

Justin Garrity, Sprinklr’s VP of User Research and Display, pointed out that when digital signage screens are constantly moving with animation, they become less pleasing to the eye -- and the camera. People are constantly snapping photos, and a mid-animation shot of a display can totally hide the great marketing materials it’s hosting.

“If you can take a photo with a screen in the background, and it makes a good photo, you know you have the screen right,” Justin said. He added that no one should have to explain later on, “Oh, if you’d seen it, you’d know how it works.” Digital signage should be understandable and attractive no matter what’s currently on screen.

The idea of looking great in photos doesn’t just apply to animation. It also means that no matter what’s happening on the screen, it shouldn’t be unclear what it’s promoting. Maybe that means there’s always a visible logo somewhere, or perhaps all the content adheres to a recognizable color scheme.

Digital signage is like a new piece of statement decor for your business. You wouldn’t display a table that completely clashes with the whole room, and the same attitude should apply to your screens. Be sure to keep your animation subtle and your message clear.

4 Reasons to Use Video Content on Your Digital Signage

We have a cure-all solution: motion content. Digital signage without video is like TV without color—it lacks the dimension, appeal, and vibrancy needed to communicate your message effectively. Whether you’re trying to draw a customer’s eye to the screen, or simply feed important information to your team, video is more appealing than simple text or static images.

Let’s get more specific. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to include motion into your digital signage campaigns.Basic psychology says that when something moves, we look at it.

1. Videos are Attractive

The simplest argument for using video is that it grabs attention. Research shows that 65% of video viewers watch more than ¾ of a video. When you’re sitting in traffic and the digital billboard on the side of the road is displaying animated text, you’re likely to watch and read the message. The billboard with the single, static advertisement that you’ve seen hundreds of times is more likely to be ignored.

Instead of glancing, like you do to the static billboard, you watch the moving billboard. This is a huge benefit to the content creator of the billboard. Moving images are the ideal medium for obtaining audience attention and holding it long enough to deliver a message.

2. Videos Increase Understanding (and Retention)

Videos increase the viewer’s understanding of your message by an insane 74% over static pictures. In order for someone to buy from you, they have to envision that your product or service will put them in a more convenient, lucrative, or enjoyable position. Video is the easiest possible medium to accomplish this.

People understand better with video, and they retain the information better, too. 80% of internet users remember the video ads they watch online, and those numbers translate to digital signage, as well.

3. Videos Create Emotional Association With Your Brand

Think of an ad—any ad. First one to pop into your mind. Out of the millions and millions of ads you’ve seen in your life. I’m willing to bet the one that surfaced to the top of your mind did so because it made you feel something: security, happiness, or even anger or fear.

Videos have a greater chance of conveying emotion than text or static images because they incorporate more of our senses, like sound and dynamic sight. And according to a study by Unruly, video has the potential to increase brand association by 139%. Put the two together, and videos with strong emotional appeal can have a magnetic effect on viewers of your digital signage.

4. Videos Elicit Action

According to Online Publishers Association, 46% of users take some sort of action after viewing a video ad. “Action” doesn’t always mean enticing retail customers to buy a new parka, or visiting clients to sign a new contract (although it certainly can be). The action can be very simple. You may want students to turn in a their field trip permission slips or direct patients in a waiting room to sign in at the reception window.

No matter where you go for conjecture, you’ll find video touted as the “future” and one of the most dominant platforms for conveying content. According to MarketingProfs, 70% of marketing professionals report video as their best medium for conversion. That’s a huge number of people who are finding their best results through videos.

Videos work. They capture attention, hold it, and leave the viewer with a distinct, memorable impression. All available data backs up those claims. If you’ve invested in digital signage, don’t settle for static content. Your message deserves better than that!

Static vs. Interactive Digital Signage Content

There’s so much that separates digital signage from the boring print materials we’ve all seen for decades. It’s fresh, it’s reactive, it’s aesthetically pleasing. But as we move away from more traditional marketing mediums, it’s important to keep in mind what those printed photos did well. And, surprisingly enough, one of their best qualities is that they stand totally still.

It sounds silly to say, but in case we all needed a reminder: Print photos don’t move. They remain nice and flat, meaning that if a customer is enjoying taking a look, there’s no risk that the image is suddenly going to disappear. That’s also important if a customer is reading text. Sure, “SALE!” speaks for itself, but what about more detailed information about a promotion or a new product? You don’t want shoppers to be mid-sentence when the text whooshes away.

While the ability to add animation to digital signage is undoubtedly an asset, it’s really, really easy to go wrong. Motion graphics can range from distracting and obnoxious to confusing and disorienting. They can completely derail a display’s entire intention.

Video Relevance

The luxury of video on digital signage is similar to hosting your own television channel; the content options are endless. If you're playing video to attract attention to your screens, make sure your content is relevant and appropriate. A veterinarian's office isn't likely to play celebrity gossip clips in the waiting room; instead, they might opt for a video about proper ways to groom your pet.

The types of video used on digital signage should depend on sign location, audience and communication purposes. The lobby of a large business might opt to play a "welcome" video, while dentist offices or hair salons may play news clips. Internal, employee-facing signage minimizes training time by playing safety videos or training presentations, while trendy retail stores might play customer-created content or video promoting their upcoming specials.

Video Length

Shorter videos have a positive impact on viewers. Videos under one minute tend to have an 80-percent viewer retention up to the 30-second mark, while videos running at two-three minutes drop to a 60-percent retention rate.¹ So, stick to shorter videos to engage and create a positive impact on your viewers.

If you are creating the video in-house, be sure to display the most important information first -- especially in high-traffic areas where viewers might only be able to catch the first clip of the video. Think of the beginning moments of the video as the prime time to communicate your message.

Video is one of the most effective ways to communicate complex information in a short time frame to all audiences. The motion graphics attract viewer attention, while the video content creates extended engagement.