A Few Simple Digital Signage Best Practices

Aug 9, 2022 8:55:49 AM

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Have you ever wondered what you should be doing with your digital signage? How are others using it? What are the latest trends? Or, maybe does content even still matter? Here are a few digital signage best practices that still hold true today. 

1.Location matters

Location might be one of the single most important factors in digital signage success. Signage can be placed in a variety of  places from walls, to stands, and can be encased, or open, we've even seen interactive pieces. It is important to place signage in high-traffic areas, where it can generate maximum exposure for those individuals passing by. I main hallway off of a lobby for instance can be a great place in a corporate setting. When considering your options, also keep the size of your digital signage in mind, it should fit the space without overwhelming the viewer. However, it should also be large enough to be able to showcase the content it will show. For instance, if the content is going to be video focused, we recommend slightly larger signage. 

Here are a few common locations where digital signage can provide a winning experience:

  • Queues or any place where customers or employees gather or wait
  • Lobbies (corporate or retail)
  • Warehouses
  • Menu Ordering Areas
  • Product Displays or Retail pop-ups

High traffic placement is important because you want as many eyes as possible to see the content that is being communicated with your digital signage execution. Since signage can sometimes be viewed as people pass by quickly, the location of your screens is paramount to the success of the content recall. If your screens are too high or displayed in low traffic spaces, your audience may overlook them, or not be exposed to them at all. PTG can help guide the placement of your displays with a simple walk through and design of your space. 

2.Freshen Up THE CONTENT 

Being exposed to content that is repeatedly the same over time can cause the viewer to tune it out. Viewers have a tendency to almost ignore it after 5-6 exposures to it. Keep people engaged and interested iin the story you are telling, or the message you are trying to convey by providing content refreshes often. Even if you need to tell the same message, find a new way to tell it, or swap a creative piece such as a color or a layout, or even a font. You can also completely refresh your design so it feels like a brand-new piece  to anyone who sees it for multiple times. Here are a few ways to keep your content fresh:

  • Change your content at least 2 times a day in corporate settings, maybe more in retail spaces where customers queue. (offer new deals, or time of day sales etc...)
  • Use timed content that revolves around certain activities or traffic patterns. This can be pre-programmed
  • Update pictures and other visual content as frequently as possible, even if copy or general messaging remains the same. This can change the entire tone or theme of the content being shown. 
  • Consider automatically updating content. A quality CMS for you digital signage can auto update pre-programmed content, or new content created by your team on the fly. 
  • Change the order in which your content plays. This could be as simple as playing a video first before showing a main message instead of leading with the message itself. 

Content that is changed/updated often has been proven to engage viewers at a higher rate. If you continually display the same general content on your digital signage displays, your audience will lose interest and stop watching, or at the very most, just glance over the message you are trying to convey. Launching fresh content will appeal to a larger group of employees, prospects, and customers, and hold their attention longer, thus creating a higher likelihood that they take the action you desire. 

3.Timing is important

It is important to be aware of the space and the environment that your digital signage will be shown in and how it will affect your timing settings, and which content is shown at which points in the day. Schedule your displays to change at different time intervals depending on where they are located. We see many companies setting this across the board and it isn't the right thing to do since each space and traffic pattern is different. 

If your displays are in a fast-paced area where visitors do not spend much time, or simply pass through they should change more frequently, and capture the excitement and movement of the space. If your signage is displayed in a waiting area or lobby, you should schedule the content to change more slowly since people have more time to absorb the information. This is also a space where more text than normally recommended may be appropriate. Some basic recommendations for timing or scheduling your displays are shown below:

  • Every piece of content in your playlist should stay on the digital signage display for ten seconds or less to grab your viewer’s attention, while giving them the opportunity to retain messaging while being engaged.

  • In each ten-second piece, you should have no more than six words of text. Anything more than this loses the entertainment value and thus doesn't allow you to educate the viewer either.
  • If your digital signage playlist includes videos or long descriptions, keep them on screen longer so that engagement numbers don't suffer, and the viewer has enough time to create recall.
  • If you are displaying content in a high-traffic area, or a space where long waits occur, you should shorten the amount of time your content stays on the screen to five seconds or less. This insures that boredom doesn't overtake the viewer during repeat exposure within the space.
  • Test your timing by attempting to read your message three to four times before the slide changes and find a way to shorten the message or make it easier to internalize with pictures, or story-tell if it doesn't fit within these parameters. 

Timing is important because it can directly affect how well your message is received, and if it is received at all. it also impacts whether or not the potential buyer in some instances is at the right place in the journey to purchase to act upon it. Misplaced messaging can cost the business sales. Having your displayed content revolve too quickly can make it seem difficult to absorb while having your playlist run too slowly on your CMS, or keeping images on the screen for too long will cause viewers to have lesser recall. 



 

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Ben Seiber

Written by Ben Seiber

Ben Seiber is the Digital Signage lead at PTG. Ben has decades of experience designing and implementing the latest digital signage systems for companies of all sizes.

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