Digital signage has tremendous potential to deliver a variety of different types of communications to a wide variety of audiences.
But as the digital signage market becomes more saturated and competitive, and as consumers place more stock in mobile options for information delivery, it becomes imperative that a premium be placed on content that is engaging and memorable.
Depending on how content is purposed, it can provide wayfinding and emergency-alert information to travelers, inform employees about new job openings and benefits, or help boost sales and branding campaigns for retail marketers.
The question that many content creators struggle with is: How to create digital signage content that triggers an attention-grabbing effect—one that engages viewers in a memorable way and rises above competitors?
It may seem like a simple endeavor at first, though, because so much of digital signage content tends to be things like transportation schedules, menus, and ads, but truly effective content goes beyond the surface and engages on a visceral level.
Here are five tips that may help produce digital signage content that crosses the threshold from effective to amazing.
1. Keep it Simple
At first glance, simplicity may seem contradictory to producing amazing content, but one thing all great visual communication has is that it's concise, memorable, and easy to understand. Establish whether your content is interactive or not and then try to focus on delivering one key message, because too much information can overload and distract the viewer.
Important dates, phone numbers, websites, etc. should be presented up front. Once the viewer is engaged, it's much easier to present a call to action, which is really important in order to convert viewers into customers, especially in the retail and hospitality verticals.
2. Be a Stickler for Text Design
With so many fonts, sizes, and colors to select from, it seems like text design is the part of digital signage content that lends itself most to creativity. But depending on the application, poor font choice can derail an entire project.
Unless you're creating a brand or logo, fonts should be simple and legible, especially from a reasonable distance. Likewise, using too many fonts can muddy the message and be a turnoff to viewers.
The most common debate is whether to choose serif fonts (those with decorative strokes that extend from the letters, like Times Roman and Georgia) or san serif fonts (fonts without decorative strokes, like Helvetica and Arial).
Again, unless you're designing a logo for a legacy brand that's been around a long time, try opting for sans serif fonts, because they tend to look modern, clean, and minimal.
3. Choose Color Wisely
The same idea holds true for font color. Using too many colors or the wrong colors together can be a distraction, or worse, because color is well known to convey emotions. Blue, for example, conveys calm and relaxation, while red tends to evoke passion and excitement.
Combining certain colors together may result in a winner when it comes to retail marketing, but garish color combinations applied in an airport or train station might be disconcerting to travelers looking for basic information like schedules.
Once colors have been chosen, make sure there is sufficient contrast between background and foreground colors, especially for text, because poor contrast reduces legibility.
4. Use Motion Selectively
Be careful not to use silhouettes and animation that interfere with readability or comprehension. Viewers should be given enough time to read text, so movement should not be too abrupt. When animating an element, try to pick something that has a strong and easily identifiable silhouette. Consider keeping your logo and other important features on the screen at all times, without excess motion.
If your content employs any type of video clip, try to use 4K video, especially if you're using 4K displays. Professionally shot 4K video looks stunning when piped through a 4K display, and with the price of cameras coming down, the extra effort will be noticeable.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Have Fun
There are times when a playful injection of humor can transform digital signage content from ordinary to eye-catching and attention-grabbing. At a recent digital signage expo, a company that creates emojis used a facial-recognition application to replace viewers heads and faces with orangutan faces, kitty faces, and the head of Homer Simpson.
While this type of content may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's certainly a very cool way to grab someone's attention and start a conversation. For marketers, getting a customer "in the door" is the first step to converting them into a sale, and it all starts with creating amazing content.
Have you fielded questions from customers about content creation lately?