Developing a smart content strategy for your digital signage
When tasked with adding digital signage to your company’s facilities, you may wonder what decision will have the biggest influence on the success of your implementation. Is it selecting the right partner, licensing the right technology, or pulling together the right implementation team?
In my experience, the biggest challenge our clients run into with their digital signage is developing and then supporting their signage content plan with new content. If you can’t deliver fresh content, you won’t engage your target audiences and get the ROI you need to support your effort.
Creating new content for your digital signage can seem daunting. Fortunately, a bit of planning can make this effort more manageable and easily supportable.
Potential content sources
To keep content fresh, you should plan to use a mix of net new and dynamic content sources. This approach allows you to refresh viewers’ attention to key information by combining it with content that changes each hour or day.
Think beyond simply delivering static content to your audiences. According to one Intel study, animated digital content consistently attracted four to six times the number of viewers compared to equivalent static content.1 Most digital signage equipment and networks support video, audio, and image files, as well as streaming content.
Some options fornet new content includes:
• Daily announcements
• Upcoming events
• Employee spotlights
• Facility maps
• Emergency info
• Company overview videos
• Company timeline
• New product highlights
• Customer testimonials
Dynamic content for your signage is information pulled from websites, apps, social media, news feeds, or your company’s intranet. Displaying this content requires some upfront setup work but will not need regular manual intervention. Content sources can be:
• National or local news feeds
• Weather information
• Industry news
• Company website or intranet content
• Social media feeds
• Meeting room information (e.g., calendars and availability)
Multi-channel content creation
Repurposing content is key to a successful and affordable digital signage implementation. In some companies, lack of content is not the issue, but finding the right content and formatting it for your digital signage is.
For example, when planning a video production, the budget can be allocated to create shorter cuts (e.g., 0:30 and/or 0:15) for use on digital signage. Or when creating a company overview presentation, build a version with animations, slide timings, and slide transitions and run it in kiosk mode.
By collaborating with your marketing departments and their agencies, and with corporate communications and human resources departments, you can identify and adapt content that was created for other internal and external uses. This collaboration can also help ensure that your digital signage is a primary distribution channel for major communications.
To ensure all your content contributors understand schedules and deliverables, you need a content plan and calendar. This way, the system manager and contributors all have a roadmap and know what expectations are for how frequently the content for your digital signage is updated, and by whom.
Getting the tech stack right
Having a management system for your company’s content will make it easier to find content for your signage as well as for your company’s other marketing and customer service activities. Many digital strategists predict that within the next five years, there will be a shift in the way content across all channels is created and managed.
In a content-as-a-service (CaaS) model, content is created and structured into feeds that can be published and reused across a variety of channels. It separates content from its presentation; platform or device APIs determine how the content is presented. This approach allows you to deploy the same content on your digital signage as your website, apps, wearable devices, or even future technologies, and it will be displayed in a way that is best suited to that channel (see figure 1).
To prepare for this new model, and to be able to more easily reuse your content across multiple channels, you can migrate to the digital asset management (DAM) platform, such as Acquia DAM. The advantages of this approach include:
• Manage all your company’s content in a single repository, regardless of which department created it
• Manage and update information in one location that will automatically populate across all channels
• Manage all content creators, editors, and approvers in one place, allowing for centralized content governance and workflows
Consistently creating new and relevant digital signage content is a common problem, but it doesn’t have to be. By collaborating with your marketing teams, their agencies, and your communications and HR departments, you can make sure digital signage is considered as a primary communication channel for your company.
By using both net new and dynamic sources for your signage content, you can ensure you always have something inviting for your viewers to consume. And by planning for the future with your tech stack, you can have reusable and future-proof content, not only for delivery to your digital signage but to any number of channels across your company.