Digital signage is a network of electronic displays that are centrally managed and individually addressable for the display of text, animated or video messages for advertising, information, entertainment and merchandising to a targeted audience.
Whether it’s your own employees or your customers, you want to grab your audience’s attention and hold it long enough to make a positive impact. Of course, we aren’t all able to have our digital signage wrap around buildings in one of the busiest cities in the world. There are proven ways, however, to make an impact in your own lobbies, cafeterias, walkways, or wherever your target audience spends time.
Before planning the details of digital signage content, identify your goals and your target audience. Surveys are useful in identifying objectives, then you can move forward to explore the content and design principles that will support those objectives.
Content is most effective when it’s tailored to your specific audience. Determine who you want to communicate with and what their needs and goals are. Once you’ve established what is important to your audience, you can align those needs with what you want to achieve with digital signage. Visitors and students may want a better way to find classes and offices on campus. Customers may be looking for a way to find information about new products and promotions. Employees might enjoy seeing corporate communications that share sales metrics, training opportunities and social activities. Once you know, you can then think about how to provide that information in a way that’s good for your business.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you should identify your own goals to see where the two realms intersect. Are you trying to increase sales? Are you trying to become a brand name? Are you trying to keep employees engaged and excited?
The major points of achieving your goals after digital signage has been installed include:
Review: This is done by identifying strengths, which should be reinforced, weaknesses to be minimized, opportunities to be exploited, and threats that must be addressed. Assets including technology, brand, viewers and impact data should be inventoried.
Refining: Business and communications objectives will not only catalog desired uses, but will define the service levels of viewer engagement, message presentation and engagement drivers to other devices/channels such as online, mobile, apps and social media that can be delivered by the digital signage network. Applications and insights from digital signage use in other industries such as retail, health care, corporate and other consumer-facing networks can add high value to the definition of what digital signage can deliver. The business goals should be refined constantly following the review process which will provide high value to validating, changing or expanding network processes and network investment.
Recalibrating: Support approaches and even the technology infrastructure will assure that the costs of successful, ongoing operability are met. Network design and sourcing approaches are addressed at this stage, and digital signage messaging processes will be harmonized with those related to campaign, regional and local messaging, as well as with static sign, online, mobile, "paid" advertising and other communications methods. In focusing on total cost of ownership and operations, the investment is "right-sized" and the network investment is better structured to best serve the enterprise and its goals.
Re-launch: In this stage, the merits of using the digital signage network is described to viewers, end-users such as product or line of business management, those messaging, agencies, advertisers, partners and others who could benefit from their using the digital signage network.
Every experience leads to new opportunities. Using first gear begs for new gear to be used, and success begs for increased value. Maximizing the return on investment from digital signage means that occasional review is not only a healthy activity, but necessary to ongoing value.