The Digital Signage Insider

Retail Digital Signage - It's ALL about the content!

Published on: 2004-12-15

Our friends across the pond at have just released this month's slew of industry news, and as usual, they have a number of good articles that are worth reading for anybody involved with digital retailing.  But the one that really caught my eye was The Seven Golden Rules of Digital Signage Networks.  From my perspective, I'd have to say that rule #2, it's ALL about the content is the most important, and perhaps the most often misunderstood.  Retailers and advertisers alike know that there are certain economies to be found by repurposing existing television and Internet content on their digital signage networks.  In fact, this is even another golden rule mentioned in the article (along with making sure that your digital signage software works with industry standard formats, as our FireCast software does).

But what is so important to remember - and again, so often overlooked - is that digital signs are not like TV, nor are they like the Internet.  In both of these cases, people typically choose to consume their media.  Whether using a mouse or a remote control, Internet and TV users select the content that they wish to view, and will do so in a comfortable environment, in a position that promotes proper viewing/interacting with the content.

Digital signage, on the other hand, isn't afforded any of these luxuries.  Digital signs must often compete with their static sign counterparts, retail fixtures, product displays and other point-of-purchase advertising for attention.  They will typically only be in view for a few minutes, and will only be in prime viewing position for a fraction of that (for a better idea about ideal viewing conditions, check out a previous article from this blog, "Optimize Your Digital Signage Text Size, Comprehension and Readability").  Simply "repurposing" an existing TV ad onto your signs isn't going to cut it.

Your content must be quick and to-the-point.  If you can't communicate your entire message in 7-10 seconds, it's more than likely that people aren't going to stay tuned in to hear what you have to say (unless you have a very captive audience, of course).  And while this means that your content loop will probably be repetitive (in order to maximize the numbers of passers-by who will be exposed to your message), you must also avoid being irritating, annoying or offensive.  Oh, and don't forget to include a call to action to help turn your browsers into buyers!

Leveraging an existing content library can be a huge benefit to anybody running a digital sign network.   However, custom-tuning your content by keeping the suggestions above in mind while thinking about your audience can supercharge your network, bringing you closer to the digital signage nirvana of simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction while still driving sales.

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