How to Create Effective Content for Digital Signage From Scratch
This article is not tutorial on the technicalities of creating content for digital signage because that would require tutorials on video creation, image editing, graphic design, programming and much more. This article is for people who have a blank digital sign and who are saying, “What am I going to fill this up with?” It is for people who want to fully exploit all the benefits of having digital signs without resorting to cheap marketing tricks.
Using examples drawn from real companies, this article helps you create “Effective” digital sign content from scratch. Note the word “Effective!” Any hobbledehoy can tell you what to put into a sign, they even have children doing it in schools as art projects, but this article explains the core-driving principles behind “Effective” digital sign content.
Decide If You Are Branding, Informing Or Selling
Some may suggest that your digital signage video flips from one type of message to another, such as from a branding message to a selling message and so forth, but this is a highly inefficient and possibly damaging approach to take. People will literally receive mixed messages as they pass your digital signage, which will affect your marketing plan and contaminate the metrics/results you record, which will make it difficult to improve your marketing plan/approach in an effective way. That is why you need to decide if you are going to brand educate, inform people, or sell to people with your digital signage content.
A branding message will help teach people what your brand principles are. Back in the days when the new Smart cars were released, people were grouching about how unsafe they were. Smart is all about safety, and to prove this brand principle they started issuing a short video clip on Internet websites, TV adverts, and on digital signage video content.
The video clip showed somebody sat in a Smart car as it was hit by a wrecking ball. The person walked away unharmed and the car had minimal damage because of its reinforced fiberglass frame and shell. A digital signage image or digital signage video can spread your branding messages in a far more dynamic and varied way than if you had static printed signage.
Do not underestimate the power of digital signage content when it comes to informing people. Gaming stores had videos showing a countdown for game releases. These signs gathered great interest as anticipation built for games. Even in recent years, there was a massive amount of interest for the Assassin’s Creed Origins, and the anticipation and subsequent sales of Red Dead Redemption 2 were explosive, especially when you consider that RDR2 was in development for over 13 years. Seeing digital signs with countdown timers helped to stoke the fires of interest and keep people excited about the releases.
Your content for digital signage doesn’t have to be as explosive as the signs counting down the days to popular games or highly anticipated movies such as Avengers End Game. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange companies use digital signage content to show the most recent price movements, and currency exchange companies use digital signs to display their prices in real-time.
Max Spielmann have been exploiting digital signage video content as early as the start of the new Millennium. They started by displaying their digital photo frames with offers running on them. Larger companies saw the success that Max were having, and started buying larger signs with more sophisticated content so that they could exploit digital signage to a much bigger effect, such as by having signs in shops, external signs, and even having digital signs in their lifts.
Selling with the use of digital signage is easy because all you have to do is show selections of your products. For example, a gardening store may display the cost of compost, then a seasonal offer on turf, then show the prices of large planters, and so forth.
Just make sure that your digital signage image doesn’t always display discounts. People are not always interested in your offers, they may be more interested in your core product, which means that showing your core product and their prices may have more effect than exclusively showing your sale items.
Breaking The Rules
As mentioned earlier, you should decide if you wish to brand, inform or sell; you should not mix it up because it will have a negative effect on your marketing campaign as a whole. However, there are some instances where the rules may be broken.
For example, the gardening store in the previous example may have great success using digital signage to advertise and sell items, but they could also insert a digital signage image to inform people about their closing times. A clever gardening store may have a “We close in an hour” image flash up when the store is close to closing time. Some digital-signage users may display selling messages, but may also inform people about delivery charges and closing times during the holiday season.
In short, you should stick to one idea (branding, informing, or selling), but there are times when you can slip a little bit of “Informing” into the mix so long as it is relevant to the overall content of your digital sign.
Very few companies are offering price comparisons on digital signs for a number of reasons. Getting updated and true information is often too difficult in some industries and marketplaces, and some companies are worried about false advertising if they claim they have cheaper prices than their competitors via real-time comparisons.
Yet, there are some companies that are using digital signage video and images to compare prices. For example, there is a scooter rental company in Amsterdam that compares its rental prices with the price of a daily metro pass, a daily bus pass, a generic taxi price, and the cost of renting a bicycle. This company has an easier time because the prices it compares are all static. The company may have a harder time if it tries to compare its prices with its competitor’s prices because scooter-rental prices change depending on the time of year, on local events, and seemingly on the whims of the rental company’s owners.
Reminding People They Want Something
One could say that all forms of advertising are there to remind people they want something. You may not be looking for a winter coat in Autumn, but an advert reminds you that last year’s coat was used to line the dog’s bed.
Are you creative or willful enough to crank this notion up a notch? Have you considered a programmable digital sign that chooses its selling selection based on the most current weather reports. Sure, it is going to take an extra amount of programming, and it is going to cost a little more, but wouldn’t it be great if your digital sign displayed your best umbrellas on the days it was raining and offered your best sun hats on days when it was sunny? Remember the eye-scan adverts from the movie Minority Report?
Or, you could go a little less technical and have a digital video schedule where your digital signage video corresponds to the date, such as a set of videos for the run up to valentines day, a set for the run up to Christmas, and so forth.
One of the greatest things about digital signs is that they force people to look in your direction. They move, which means even the transition from one image to another is going to naturally attract the attention of people passing by. However, you should not over-exploit this fact. Do not create slideshows with quick transitions because they are off-putting, and do not make your images too visually loud, dynamic or bold. Remember that you your sign is your local ambassador for your business, it is not supposed to be loud and bold like a box of children’s cereal.