Digital signage has proven to be one of the most influential, most effective communications tools available for virtually any business or organization—including budget-conscious, small- to medium-sized organizations. That’s because digital signage isn’t what it used to be – namely, simply video playback. By adding new technologies and capabilities to signage, organizations can do a better job of capturing the audience’s attention and keeping it there through user and mobile interaction. We have moved way beyond traditional digital signage to– intelligent signage that can be experienced.
Today’s digital signage appeals to consumers because it delivers messages in a familiar, high-quality form that competes with their entertainment devices. It also appeals to businesses because it enables them to provide instantly updateable, targeted visual communications that are informative and engaging. However, people are inundated with commercial messages today; so unless your digital signage rises above the noise level of the crowd, you risk having your message fall on deaf ears.
The key is to research the wants and needs of customers and potential customers and target them with digital signage. Then, create a successful digital media mix by leveraging the signage marketing with a cross-channel strategy that embraces in-store marketing with mobile and/or online marketing. Thanks to the technical advancements available today, there are many options that can be deployed with digital signage to increase your eyeball capture rate/mindshare and win the battle for attention. Here are a few strategies that I’ve seen work well.
Multi-Purpose Your Content: We all know that content is king, but it can be costly to develop for specific mediums. With an open platform-based digital sign solution, a wide range of content formats and types can be played back, allowing you to conserve your budget and repurposing content for a multitude of media marketing applications.
For example, you can use content that was developed for your web site for your digital signage display and vice versa.
- Grab Attention with Live TV: Some of our customers are drawing attention to their messaging by sharing the screen with a live TV zone that captures eyeballs, but also gets your targeted message visibility. To “enhance” the visitor shopping experience, you can simply add an accessory to the digital sign controller that enables live video to be played back alongside other content on the screen. With this capability, retailers and others can display live events such as news or a sponsored race to grab attention as well as get their product messages viewed.
Engage to Sell: In this world of highly interactive mobile devices, people are used to touching what they are interested in and having control over their experiences. Letting customers literally touch your marketing campaign will give them control over their experience and makes their overall experience–and the results–much more positive. Kiosks and Point-of-Purchase displays have moved beyond simple buttons and touch screens to enable swiping, barcode reading and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensors.
Designing these interactive presentations may seem daunting; for those solutions that use scripting to bring interactivity to life, I would agree. But with graphical-based software that uses simple drag and drop methodologies to create an interactive playlist, you don’t need to hire a content developer or IT person to engage your audience.
- Make it Mobile: With Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone activating more than 500,000 phones a day, the convergence of digital signage and mobile marketing represents a tool that retailers cannot afford to ignore. Harris Interactive recently reported that mobile alerts drive 1 out of 3 recipients in-store and 27 percent of those make a purchase. In another recent report RSR Research predicted that in 3 years, 24 percent of retailers will have annual sales of 15 percent or greater coming from their mobile channel. So, by pairing digital signage with mobile promotions such as SMS texting to obtain coupons or special offers, you can easily capture the mindshare of today’s increasingly distracted audience.
- Location, Location, Location: The latest trend in digital marketing, called location-based marketing, uses the smartphone’s GPS/navigation technology to deliver promotions to phone users based on their location. There are several services that will deliver interactive, multimedia content to an infinite number of locations as well as locations where events are taking place. With the convergence of in-store digital signage, mobile and online marketing, businesses will no longer be limited by distance. It’s a win-win situation—for the consumer and the business owner.
- Keep it Fresh: People have come to expect frequently updated content. Each day you visit your favorite websites, they don’t show the same old content – it’s been updated to capture your attention. Audiences expect the same from digital signage. By updating content frequently, we are more likely to get positive results with signage.
At UC Irvine, one of our customer sites, the system administrator installed digital signage that combines RSS news feeds and a touch- screen directory of faculty and staff offices. By combining these technologies, UC Irvine provides a richer experience that is helpful in both getting people to where they need to go and informing them of the latest news of the day.