Digital signage continues to prove time and time again just how effective a vehicle it can be for delivering pinpoint communications to targeted audiences.
Consider that analysts forecast the global digital signage market to grow at a CAGR of 5.6 percent during the period 2016–2020 or that digital signage software revenue raked in $431 million in 2014 alone and it’s easy to imagine that this industry isn’t going away anytime in the near future.
The fact that digital displays and kiosks seem to be popping up everywhere from airports and train stations to quick-service restaurants and retail outlets attests to just how popular they’ve become with marketers and other information providers that have seamlessly integrated these digital solutions into our everyday lives.
That kind of projected growth makes it likely that solution providers will encounter many end users who don’t understand that having digital signage is only half the battle. Helping your customers create a solid content management plan is essential to effectively using digital signs in order to grow both of your businesses.
Start by sticking to the basics. You’ll discover that with just the right CMS strategy, your customers can increase productivity and help employees create, manage, use and share information. Effective content management can also quickly promote advertising and branding, increasing engagement with your audience.
Here are some CMS fundamentals that can provide a solid roadmap to guide you along your digital signage journey:
Know Your Business Objectives
Digital signage systems can cost lots of money, and deploying these systems is not a decision generally made willy-nilly. Is your digital signage system deployed in order to move certain retail inventory at certain key times, or is it meant to engage customers during long wait times?
These are a few basic questions that solution providers should be asking their customers, because knowing “why” a digital signage system is being deployed has important downstream implications tied directly into the type, quality and timing of your digital signage CMS.
Develop Audience Profiles
Knowing the demographics of your customers (e.g., their age, gender, cultural background and income levels) can go a long way toward delivering precision messaging that really resonates.
For example, if you are targeting teenagers in order to sell them a product, your CMS should be configured so that it directs messages to them when they are most likely to be open to engagement, such as afternoons and evenings in shopping malls.
Likewise, a company trying to sell smartphones to young adults should have content for a digital sign in a retail environment that is very different from the content of a digital sign at an industry trade show, because the audiences would be completely different.
Choose the Right Software
There are more than 1,000 digital signage software products out there that run everything from single-screen deployments all the way up to multiple location networks for large enterprise setups.
Before making a decision on which CMS software product is best for your customers, consider the following points:
- Which digital signage software programs have the capabilities to complete your deployment?
- Look for specific attributes in software programs, including operating system, deployment platform, media types supported and integration with advertising plans.
- Compare programs side by side in order to find the absolute best fit.
- What kind of technical support is offered? Is it available 24/7?
Once all of these parameters are defined, the fun begins with digital signage content creation. Start by gathering the images, videos and product data that support your messaging framework. In some instances, this content might be ready to be uploaded as is. In other cases, your in-house design team or marketing partner may have to optimize them. Either way, keep the following in mind:
Loop length: How long do you have your customer’s attention? A screen in an elevator should have a very short loop, while one in a doctor’s waiting room may last up to 15 minutes.
Daily timing: Customers have different needs at different times of day. For example, a hotel’s digital signage may promote the breakfast buffet in the morning, shuttle service at checkout and lounge offerings in the evening.
Update content: How often do your customers see your messaging? People making a one-time major purchase are unlikely to see your signs again soon, but weekly grocery shoppers will start tuning out the same messaging over and over. The antidote? Keep content fresh and never let an outdated offer stay in rotation.
There are other ways to manage your digital signage content depending on your marketing goals and business model, but by sticking to these basics, you’ll find deploying a CMS a bit easier.