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You’ve decided your organization needs digital signage. Now what? Where do you start? Taking a vision and turning it into reality can be a daunting task. So, we’ve assembled a list of the 10 Essential Considerations When Implementing Digital Signage.
- Content Strategy - While many organizations usually have a goal directly related to their digital signage expectations, they may not have a solid content strategy in place. And without a plan in place, people can create content without understanding its audience or where and how it will be used. Developing a successful digital signage strategy requires the collaboration of various parties to determine not only the visual content but, just as importantly, the best message, method, and location to promote a specific product or service.
- Message – What message do you want to communicate? In retail, you can focus on products or promotions with the highest margins or ones that have performed the best. In other locations, such as airports, schools or hospitals, where digital signage shares information like schedules or wayfinding, consider the user perspective and how your content can help or guide them. When you think about how the viewer will intake the information, you are more likely to promote a positive emotional experience, which is essential for the desired response.
- Software platform - To be agile, your organization should choose a software platform that enables you to display information on any digital display, mobile phone, desktop PC - any screen, anywhere, any time. You need a platform that allows for easy user management, creates intelligent playlists, enables you to manage your network remotely, and can integrate with a variety of data sources and IoT devices.
- Timing - Timing is fundamental to the digestion of content. Consider the average attention span, which may be as little as eight seconds, and adjust content accordingly. Account for dwell time, which relates to the traffic flow of your audience. Roadside digital signage content should be short enough for passing vehicles to ascertain the intended message, while captive audience dwell time (think airport security lines) can be longer.
- Content - Content organization is vital to reaching your goals. Logically organize content and optimize the layout. Words and text should stay stationary on screen, but imagery can move. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Wherever possible, represent information as images, icons, and charts rather than text alone.
There are many different types and styles of charts. Choosing the right chart type can make a big difference in the legibility and comprehension of the underlying data.
• Bar charts are better than pie charts
• Use a horizontal bar chart for ranking different scenarios
• Use a vertical bar chart for time comparisons
• Line charts are used for connecting continuous data on an interval scale
• Bullet charts are great for showing value vs. target
- Call to Action (CTA) - A call to action (CTA) is not just for marketing campaigns. CTAs are a dynamic means to get the most out of digital signage, providing a direction for viewers to take. A missing, weak, or irrelevant CTA translates to dead space. Digital signage requires investments in capital and resources and should be as focused on conversions as any other marketing tool employed. “Buy Now” is far less compelling than “Take Advantage of this Sweet Deal”. Don't miss the opportunity to drive action via digital signage.
- Omnichannel - Make digital signage part of an omnichannel experience for your customers, employees, and visitors. Integrate user-generated content, such as social media, to promote deeper connections. Create a seamless experience from mobile to web to digital signage.
- Physical location – In a perfect world you would just hang a digital screen and be ready to start sharing content. However, there are several considerations beyond the screen. These include the number, type and size of screens, mounting requirements, cabling and internet, lighting conditions, and more. In newer buildings and locations, the physical requirements are often easier to deal with than older buildings where retrofitting might be required.
- Technology – As important as it is to select the right software, there are several important technical considerations when deploying a digital signage network. Probably the most important is whether to go with a cloud or an on-premise solution. Then there are screens. Traditional digital screens require separate players. System-on-chip screens have a player embedded in the display. Identify the data (social media, news, weather, calendar info, KPIs, etc.) you want to incorporate on your screens and evaluate how it will be integrated.
- People – Digital signage networks have a lot of moving parts. Think about who will be responsible for the day-to-day management of your digital signage network and the overall creative design of your screens. Some additional teams may be needed during the first phase of the rollout, including IT, facilities, and maintenance. Great digital signage relies on content. Consider who will contribute content, how they will contribute, and guidelines for content submission.