Digital Signage Best Practices: Find The Right Context For Your Audience
Digital signage uses screens and projectors to display content such as graphics, videos, and pictures in an eye-catching and engaging way. There are many reasons why digital signage is the future of communications for many sectors. Retail, gyms, and medical clinics among other industries use this technology daily. Considering the right digital signage audience context is key to delivering the message successfully.
Why does context matter when it comes to digital signage?
Digital signage can share many types of content. It can be used to entertain, inform, educate, build awareness, educate about a product, or a mix of these. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the context for which you are using your screens and what you want to achieve with your content.
The message you want to share needs to be relevant to the audience. And for that, you need to consider what’s the best content and timing. The message will be different if it’s targeting a shopper inside a store with a short attention span or someone in a medical waiting room, that wants to be entertained and informed on how to take care of their health.
As you create your digital signage strategy, you need to consider aspects to make sure digital signage content is effective for your specific audience.
Finding the right context for digital signage
Identify your audience
The first step is to know more about your audience. There are four key questions to ask yourself when considering your digital signage audience:
- Who are they?
- How much time do they have? Are they waiting or are they passing by?
- Where are they?
- What do they want/like?
These four questions are the basis for your content strategy. You can then begin to curate your content playlists based on the type of content that will appeal to or be more helpful to your audience.
For example, you might be planning your strategy for a doctor’s waiting room.
- Who are they? Patients or patients’ friends and family.
- How much time do they have? They are sitting waiting for their doctor’s appointment. The wait time varies, but it could be up to 45 minutes on a busy day.
- Where are they? Consider how the waiting room is laid out. How are the chairs arranged? Screens should be somewhere your patients will be able to see it.
- What do they want/like? Patients will be looking to pass the time while they wait. They want to be distracted and entertained. Offering helpful advice for managing their health is an option to inform them. You can also choose to show movie trailers and entertainment news, to distract them from what could be an anxious wait.
The same questions apply to retail or a grocery store:
- Who are they? Customers looking to shop and buy different items.
- How much time do they have? Shoppers are more likely to be passing by your screens without stopping for long.
- Where are they? They are going through the aisles looking for the products needed. Here, it’s key to consider the store layout plan.
- What do they want/like? They want to find the best products; some are looking for the best sales in-store. Screens can show product information, new products, sales, combos, etc.
After answering these questions, you can begin to form an idea of the content your audience would like to see. And from that base, start creating your digital signage strategy.
The right content for your audience
There is no one formula for the type of content mix you should have. Yet, the right mix will keep your audience engaged and will help you get your message across.
Entertaining content might look like clips from entertainment news, or movie trailers. While informative content could be menu boards or graphics about eating well and staying healthy. By understanding your audience, you learn what they want to see, and how to advertise the right content to them.
Another point to consider is content frequency. The content should be updated as much as possible to avoid boring your audience. Also, it should always be relevant to the time of year or situation. For example, showing holiday content as we move into October, summer content as we move away from the colder months, etc.
The right physical placement for your digital signage
Physical placement is about where you are installing your screens and projectors. For example, within retail, having screens selling sunscreen in the biscuit aisle would be a waste of time and digital signage. However, even placing screens too high or too low will make the screens less effective. Thus, making sure the screens are visible is the first step.
- Touch screens should be within reach for most of your audience (height-wise). However, make sure they are not getting in the way of traffic through your store or waiting area.
- Menu boards should be visible while you’re ordering at the counter. But also when you’re standing in the queue.
- Within an office, information boards should be in public spaces with high traffic. Not hidden away in board rooms that no one uses between meetings.
Psychical placement once again relies on understanding who the audience is and how they will interact with your digital signage.
Target the messaging to your audience
The beauty of digital signage is that it’s easy to update and change throughout your company or store. Target messaging by having your screens display different content depending on the location. Not only does this make the content more relevant for your audience. But it means customers moving throughout your store, or workers in different offices will remain engaged with the content.
Final Hints & Tips
- Known your audience. Take the time to understand your audience and work closely with your marketing team.
- Keep content engaging. If you’re bored by your content, so are your customers.
- Informative content can be entertaining too. Use color and moving graphics to catch your audience’s attention.
- Lower perceived waiting times by entertaining your customers with digital signage.
- Avoid repetitive messaging with long dwell (or wait) times.
- Ensure compliance with your digital signage screens. The power of screens playing in sync relies on regular updates for retaining viewership and improving the experience.
- Make sure people can read your messages. A good test for speed is making sure you can read your message 2-3 times slowly before removing the text from the screen.