Here are a few simple basics that will help you take some steps towards an effective communication strategy for digital media signage. Because digital signage is part science and part art, many companies chose to begin small with one or two digital signs. This way, they can try or test ideas and see what works with their audience. They may then choose to build on that small beginning. This initial discovery process on your part can be useful for any communications effort that interrupts people’s routine. Your message isn’t the most important thing your viewer has on his or her mind, right?
We’re going to briefly discuss:
- Why and how to get viewers to care about your sign
- Content basics
- Deployment strategies
The single most important thing to remember when you launch a digital sign is that those who see your campaign don’t care about your message JUST because it’s digital. You need to give them a reason to care. This applies to any communication effort, of course. Just presenting the information on a digital sign doesn’t immediately improve poor content or a failing brand. However, it has proven to be a wonderful platform in which to break out of boring routines by experimenting with content, surprising your audience with something unexpected, having a little fun and then looking to engage your audience beyond a casual glance. If your content produces a smile rather than just a glance, you might be doing something right.
Since digital media isn’t print or television, it does require a different approach. With the ability to change messages by schedule, data or environmental triggers it represents a new way of communicating. Digital signage represents a new way of empowering the way we think.
You may have only seconds to engage people when they are on the move. Consider incorporating some of these strategies into your messages:
- Refresh signage content often to reflect sales and special offerings as well as sales goals.
- Your message length should cycle to the amount of time your average customer will be in the viewing vicinity. Retail message cycles are 3-10 seconds in overall length in many cases
- Keep the look and feel of your content consistent with your brand equity.
- Don’t use excessive text. Your messages should be as visual as possible.
- Don’t go for full advertising messages. Show product glimpses, provide information, or pique a little curiosity.
- Assume that it will not be heard, so create a design that doesn’t need sound unless the location allows it.
- Try to incorporate product tips and information.
Where you place your signage is as important as what it says. Some important deployment strategies that may be helpful are:
- If it is possible as well as practice, use larger displays. Bigger does increase the WOW factor!
- Make sure that your messages are relevant not only to the time and place, but to the purchase opportunities available.
- Use custom data when it is appropriate as well as useful to your audience.
- Keep your customer experience foremost in your mind when choosing content. Digital signage should always enhance—not intrude upon—your customer’s shopping experience.
- Always use your signage to create upsell: fries with that burger, shoes or a purse with that dress, etc. This strategy has been known to create double-digit sales increases for many companies.
Don’t waste your budget on digital signs placed in the wrong spot! Give a lot of thought to where you place your digital media signs. The signs should be where the products are. The closer the advertising is to the opportunity to purchase what is advertised, the more effective it is. Perhaps you might want to consider a video wall. What ever size you deploy, think of your digital display as a way to be really creative. Choose the best size, the optimal place, to fully influence the behavior of your customer.
Remember that you want to maintain your brand standard first and foremost; research your audience to understand what it is they care about, and then you want to create your call to action. Finally, for your campaign to be successful, you will want to have various forms of measurements based on your return-on-objectives (ROO) or your return-on-investment (ROI). You need a well-conceived strategy and great content so that your digital media signage has limitless ability to motivate, inspire and inform.