Great, so you have successfully deployed a digital signage solution that fits your needs. You've followed all the proper deployment rules and have signage installed in strategic locations, and you can navigate the CMS software with the best of them — but do you actually know how to reap the benefits of digital signage?
No? You're not alone; many users struggle to keep their content looking awe-worthy! The good news is that most common digital content blunders are easy to remedy! After making a few simple changes to their strategy, users usually see an instant increase in audience engagement.
It doesn't matter if you're running 1080p or 4K resolution screens — drab content will ruin your whole deployment. Digital signage is meant to attract attention and encourage engagement. If your content is black text on a white background, you might as well throw a tarp over your signs.
While there might not be anything you can do to pep up a message like: "Meeting in the Conference Room at 3 p.m.," you can make the appearance fun. Photography is a tried-and-true method of engaging audiences. Stock photography is a helpful resource for embellishing generic messages, and websites like Canva allow users to create and edit graphics. Motion graphics can easily transform slides from boring to mesmerizing. Digital signage users can also create short, animated video clips to turn longer messages into appealing content.
I used to work for a company that ran the same five campaigns on their signage for months on end. It was annoying to an almost torturous level. I remember thinking: "If I have to look at the 'Welcome New Hires!' slide one more time, I'm quitting." (In my defense, the "new hires" mentioned on the slide were already up for their yearly reviews.)
Don't drive your audiences to insanity. Viewers want fresh content on a consistent basis. Even if you don't have a new message to play, change the visual appearance to give old messages a new light. A quick change of the color elements and static visual graphics can work wonders. Purchase a few integration and applications from your CMS provider to automate new content for you.
Here's the lunch menu, a message from the CEO and a fun fact — you have 10 seconds to digest all of that! Go!
Lack of focus leads to confusion. Digital signage is meant to streamline communications, not muddle them. If one slide covers all the topics of your newsletter … you're not using the medium properly. Keep asides to the side and limit the content of the slide to one idea: "BBQ Cookout: Friday, July 24, 2015, 1-3 p.m."
You know the saying: "Brevity is the soul of wit." Audiences want brief messages that are easy to digest — so long text passages in a tiny font size equals a content disaster. If your audience doesn't get the message in 3 seconds, you need to delete some text.
Remember, this is digital signage — not an essay writing contest. Paragraphs are a turnoff. Try to keep your message to two short sentences at most. If you can't limit your text, then split your message into multiple slides.
Don't limit the effectiveness of your digital content with silly mistakes. These are easy fixes, and can only lead to improvement. Viewers must stay engaged with fresh, relevant content so that you get the most out of your digital signage.
And while it is always easier to assign these responsibilities to someone with a graphic design background, it isn’t always necessary. Instead of getting overwhelmed and resigning from the design position, you can steer clear of the faux pas listed above. Avoiding those will take your signage to a whole new level of design and improve the effectiveness of your signage communication, readying you for our next blog piece: implementing design best practices.