Guest Post: Joshua Gross, KIO digital signage
The effectiveness of a digital signage marketing strategy ties directly to the quality of the content.
Think about all those “targeted” monthly home marketing magazines that you’ve found in your mailbox, and dumped directly into your recycling bin. Much of it is badly-designed, using grainy images and unpolished copy, and it does little to make people read it, pick up the phone or head to a store.
You know, however, when you see something done by pros. You stop, you look, and ask yourself whether you need whatever’s being marketed.
Digital signage works a lot like directing marketing mailers – quality content makes the difference.
But here’s the problem. While large companies have agencies who think about brand and know how to design and execute campaigns, small to medium, regional business owners don’t have the time, budget, or technical and marketing skills to create effective visuals.
If a small or medium-sized business is lucky enough to include a budget for an in-house marketing director (let alone a team!), that person or team is faced with competing interests and responsibilities. Often, this results in marginally compelling digital signage content, with all the focus and budget put on the period when the screens first go live.
The content is well considered, but typically lacks the visual punch of a graphic designer who understands the somewhat unique viewing dynamics of digital signage, and the need to tune content to those dynamics – like dwell time and sight lines.
And whatever that content is, it stays up on the screen too long – because the marketing director or team has other, more pressing responsibilities and tasks, and because there was only budget put in place for the launch.
So what’s the solution? One option is hiring outside marketing companies, or even freelance graphic designers, to create or manage the content, and keep it up to date. But that can be cost-prohibitive to many businesses.
But that agency’s creative people probably don’t or won’t “get” this medium. How often have you seen digital signage layouts that have far too much information on them at once – with print designers simply making their print designs digital?
Another option is to purchase a digital signage system directly from a company that offers content management and graphic design. This can be much more economical to smaller businesses. A business owner can budget an exact amount, and know that content will be fresh and timely (no more “Happy Holidays!” messages in March).
They can also be assured that staff can stay focused on the more pressing issues of the core business, and that its digital signage investment will provide its most effective return – an interested, captive customer audience.
It’s a solution that’s worked well for my company, KIO digital signage. We’ve found a real demand in the marketplace for taking on the content and sign management work, allowing clients to stick to their main jobs.
If you’re starting a digital signage network, or running one and struggling to keep it fresh, maybe the best way forward isn’t in-house. There are other ways to put it together and keep it going.