One of my tasks in the Internal Communication Department a former organization was maintaining content for our digital signs. It was nice to get rid of the bulletin boards and develop content that was visually more appealing (and let’s be frank, pinning up memos and flyers on those boards wasn’t as sexy as it might seem).
When we first got the technology, there was a bit of a learning curve since none of us had experience using this medium before, but learn we did. So I thought I’d write today’s post about some of the important aspects of using digital signage I picked up.
Choose Your Locations Wisely
If your organization is going to pay the cost for the screens, wiring, installation, and technology required for digital signage, it’s vital that they’re seen and, more importantly, read. Assuming you have rotating content on your screens, then it’s a good idea to place your screens at points where employees and customers will be able to read them for about a minute – break and lunch areas, waiting areas, etc. It doesn’t serve you well to have your screens located at places where people will walk by them and not have the natural opportunity to stop and read them.
Know Who Your Audience Is
Are you communicating to employees, customers, or visitors/clients? All of the above? Obviously the content will be different if you’re targeting to one specific group. And many digital signage systems allow you to send specific content to certain screens.
But sometimes you’ll have signage in areas where all three of these audiences will be present at any given time. Therefore, content you create for employees will not have much relevance to a customer. So consider what you show in these common areas. Is there anything you would show in employee-only areas that you wouldn’t want a customer or client to see? Like the placement of your signs, the content you show should be a strategic consideration.
Keep It Clean, Short, and to the Point
While many digital screens give us a big beautiful canvas on which to place our words and graphics, there’s a danger in producing content that’s too cluttered. I’ve honestly seen a few digital signage slides that had about two paragraphs worth of text, which wasn’t on the screen nearly long enough to read and understand it all.
Slides should be quick, easily digestible reads. If you need them to consume more content, create a page on your intranet or website and use that slide to direct the reader there. In addition, keep the design simple. Don’t distract with elaborate graphics that take away from the message you’re trying to convey. Less is more, and digital signage shouldn’t be a vehicle that replaces an article, blog, or any kind of longer, more involved communication.
Have A Mix of New and Recurring Content
Don’t be lazy with your digital content. Don’t make 10 slides, put them in a rotation, and forget about them. In order to make your signage engaging, you need to provide new, regular content. As you come out with new articles or blog posts, announce them on your screens. Congratulations to recent anniversaries and recognitions are prime content for this medium. There are many possibilities available to you to keep your posts fresh.
Likewise, you should have standard reminders in your rotation. For instance, if you work in a hospital or other clinical organization, you always want health and safety content as a staple on your screens. Figure out the balance that works for your company.
Incorporate Still Photos and Video
In the end, what are digital screens? They’re televisions! So make sure to use them to their full potential by incorporating videos or photos. Just double check with your IT department to make sure your organization’s bandwidth can handle streaming video content. Whether it’s a message from your CEO, photos of an internal award ceremony, new commercials, or a compilation of interviews with employees, you’re missing a great engagement opportunity if you’re not leveraging the video and audio potential of digital signage.
Digital signage can be an awesome resource when used correctly. Now there are other kinds of digital signage that don’t have static content – directional kiosks, for example. But that’s a post for another time. For this purpose, I just wanted to discuss your basic digital screens.
So how has your experience been using this medium in your organization? What are some things you learned? Tell us about it in the Comment section below!
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