Humans are an integral part of any digital signage network, both from an audience and network management point of view. On the audience side, it is a human that is seeing your content. To you, they may be customers, employees, visitors, students, patients, and more, regardless they need relevant, real-time information to make informed decisions. You need a human to create, contribute, and manage your content on the network management side. This could involve departments across your organization, including IT, marketing, and human resources.
When thinking about your audience, it is essential to consider each human who will be looking at your digital signage, what type of information they need, where they will be, when will they need it, and why that information is important to them.
Who - Identify your audience or audiences and essential considerations such as language and accessibility related to them. Consider all possible audiences - customers, visitors, employees, and more. For example, it is common to share information with multiple audiences.
What - Consider what types of information your audience needs. What information will improve their experience, reduce stress, or enhance decision-making? Ensure you incorporate as much real-time information as possible into your digital signage.
Where - Think about where your audience will be when they need information. Are they at their desk, on the move, or perhaps in a public setting? You can easily share information on digital signs, mobile phones, tablets, desktops, and more. Choose a mixture of screens that reflect the needs of your audience.
When - Are you sharing critical real-time information, or are you sharing branding and advertising information? The type of information you share on your digital screens will impact the frequency and how it is shared. Critical real-time information must be communicated immediately, such as changes to flight information in an airport or emergency notifications. Then, create a scheduled rotation for other information like news, corporate branding, advertisements, social feeds, etc.
Why - Consider why you want to share certain content or information. Make sure the content you share improves the experience, reduces stress, or enhances the knowledge of your audience.
Digital signage networks have many moving parts, and human involvement is critical. 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 roll-out, including IT, facilities, and maintenance.
Great digital signage relies on content. Consider who will contribute content, how it will be contributed, and guidelines for content submission. Utilize your brand guidelines to ensure a consistent look and feel to all content created by individuals throughout your organization. Additionally, develop a process for approving content.
Four key roles are essential in the management of any digital signage network:
Content contributors - Fresh, up-to-date content is critical to engage your audience. Digital signage is often a mash-up of content information from various areas in your organization. For example, in a school, content could come from the departments, students, faculties, and more; in a corporate office, it might come from HR, finance, operations, and marketing. In addition, content can take a variety of formats, from graphics to text to videos and more. Ensure your content contributors can easily submit what they want to share.
Designers - There is a saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words." With digital signage, you must have folks, either internally or externally, that can help you create captivating visuals for your screens. A designer typically has a creative background and experience with digital design and video. Additionally, designers help ensure your screens leverage your brand assets and have a consistent look and feel.
Approvers - Before anything goes up on your digital signage, you need to ensure it has gone through an approval process. Consider who in your organization you want to review content. Are there multiple reviewers? What criteria does content need to meet before it is published?
Administrators - Digital signage networks are complex and involve data integrations and networking. Strong involvement from your IT department is critical during implementation and once live. You also want to have a person or persons designated as administrators for your network. They are the primary point of contact for adding new users, screens, and more.
The human element is critical to the success of your digital signage network. Ensure you have the right team in place to share relevant, real-time information with your audience!