3. Content….What sort? How often will it be updated? Who will update it?
Content is King, is a well used saying in the digital signage industry but its message still holds true. You can have the most sophisticated hardware and software solution installed, however if your content is no good you will not get the results you expect. I often use the analogy that this is akin to buying the latest high definition LCD television for home and watching a movie from a well used VHS tape. The new screen won’t make it look any better.
Content for digital signage is as much an artform as anything but you need to ask yourself the do we have the in-house resources to create good quality content? This includes not only the skill-set required but the time for the staff to commit too. If you do not, who will be creating the content and remember to allow for this in your budget.
There are clever programs like Flypaper. Which allow people to create dynamic content using an easy to use software program. There are also programs like Signcreator from DC Media or Message Manager from Signagelive which will help create content. These programs are great but some creative skills are still required. The other option is to use templates. Have some created for you and simple change the text or an image when required.
You will need to ask how often the content will be changing. This will depend on how regularly your customer comes to where the signage is. A car dealership service centre for example may have people coming 2 or 3 times a year where as a supermarket may have people visiting twice a week or more. If you have regular visitors and only change the content each quarter then they will soon switch off to your message.
Be careful too not to overcomplicate the screens. I call this the “Bloomberg” effect. If you have ever watched Bloomberg there is so much information on the screen its hard to know where to look. Make sure you discuss precisely the message you are trying to send. Think about font type and size, contrasting dynamic colours and big images. This will vary depending on the size of screen and where your customer is in relation to the screen. Think about how long the customer will be viewing the screen. If you are outside a shop attracting customers in you probably have a couple of seconds to get a message across. No point putting a 2 minute video here. If you have screens in an area people are waiting then calculate the average dwelltime to let you know how long your message can be.
Putting dynamic content which automatically updates such as news and weather can be a great idea. It may not sell anything but it enahnces the perception that the content is current for that day. In return people will pay more attention to the screen and the other messages on it.
In summary, content needs to be planned and well managed. It should be specifically designed for digital signage and regularly updated.