Communicating with and engaging customers has always been a top priority for consumer-facing organizations, but today, with ever-increasing numbers of digital-savvy consumers, marketing and customer service have taken on new forms and digital strategies have become even more influential as a competitive differentiator, setting some companies apart from others.  Today, multi-channel strategies are increasingly focused on e-commerce, mobile apps, and social media.

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Creating effective content for digital signage displays presents unique challenges, as well as great opportunities for engagement, entertainment and motivation. As with any content creation, telling a story and creating a connection with the consumer require a thoughtful approach and a clear understanding of what works best for the medium.

Feeding the Beast: In Motion

Create a shorthand language with icons to help guide the viewer with specific visual themes. Depending on the type of display purpose, these can fall into a number of categories. They can be seasonal, departmental, contextual or emotional. Animate icons in specific ways to enhance network continuity. Icons need to be consistent. For example, all icons may relate to a specific look and feel. They may be bold or soft, or bright or pastel, in nature.

Text must be legible, and easy to read at a glance. Utilize the brand’s font guidelines to ensure continuity with other marketing materials. There will typically be only one or two fonts used on the screen. Vary the usage of the font to create visual texture in contrasting ways that are appealing and balanced. Combining bold and lightweights will help keep the viewers’ attention on the right words. Select three or four font weights, such as light, regular, semi-bold and bold.  The designer has freedom in using whatever will look good.

Feeding the Beast: Content Specifics

Setting the standards for acceptable deliverables will save a lot of headaches. Determine what formats, codecs and sizes are acceptable and whether the deliverables will be High Definition, Standard Definition, or both.

While creating content, it is important to understand the aspect ratio, so the image or video does not get distorted or cropped in any way. Keep in mind that using multiple zones of content types on the screen can vary the aspect ratio as well.

Without a call to action, it can be difficult to measure consumer engagement and overall effectiveness of digital signage content.

If the goal is to increase sales, create call to action messaging which can be measured. The effectiveness of passive media content can be measured against objectives using data, reporting, and viewer tracking and analysis. Interactive content can be measured by tracking which content receives the most active engagement and attention.