Guest Post: Mike Kilian, Mvix
Some things just go together and once they’re paired up, and it’s nearly impossible to imagine them on their own – like digital signage and content.
Those two go together like s’mores and campfires. Peanut butter and jelly. Daenerys and her dragons. You get the point, you can’t have one without the other. Oh, one more thing: They’re also the perfect pair like Barack and Michelle Obama.
What we’re trying to say is: Digital signage and content are a match made in heaven. And if our poetic metaphors weren’t enough to convince you, keep reading to learn why.
We Love Digital Signage, But…
Hopefully, you’ve been able to pick up on it by now, but we’re big fans of digital signage. It’s without a doubt one of the best ways to improve your company’s communication strategy. It’s also a good way to future-proof your company in the digital era and show others that your company isn’t stuck in the stone age – it’s a digital force to be reckoned with. But …
Digital signage on its own doesn’t make this happen. Not at all. Digital signage might be the medium, but the medium is nothing without the message. Content is the message that powers your digital signage investment.
Digital Signage Loves Content
Digital signage is a little like the cone that holds the ice cream. (We know we said we were done with analogies, but we lied.) You wouldn’t buy just a plain, empty cone – and conversely, you couldn’t buy a scoop of ice cream without something to hold it. Such is the relationship between digital signage and content.
Content is the way you reach your customers. It’s how you leverage your digital signage investment to turn your hardware purchase into ROI-driving marketing results.
Marketing: A Tag Team Effort
Naturally, the most compelling use of the digital signage/content partnership is marketing.
High-visibility digital screens are great for capturing consumer attention, providing a clear, direct marketing message, and motivating that consumer to take action. There’s no comparable strategy on the market that can produce a similar effect. Indeed, we believe that digital signage is the focal point for an entirely new type of signage-centric marketing that few companies are taking advantage of.
But as we mentioned, it takes content to make this happen. But that’s the great thing about digital signage: Though it comes with an up-front cost, it offers nearly limitless flexibility in how companies can tap into this content and put it to work in service of their marketing goals.
When’s the last time you saw a paper flyer and rushed into the store to check out the product? We’re guessing it’s been a while. And how about online marketing? Are your company’s digital marketing efforts really producing the results your company needs?
These solutions are fine ways to generate leads, but consider the research showing that digital media in public venues can reach 27% more people than online strategies. In our view, digital signage (powered by the right content, of course) is a crucial aspect of lead generation. The more you can get in front of your customers’ eyes, the better – and digital content is an excellent way to draw more leads into your marketing funnel.
The flexible content templates used in digital signage are the perfect way to upsell, particularly when they’re placed close to the point-of-purchase. Many retailers love to place these screens near checkout lines for this very reason. But the strategy isn’t limited to retail! Just think about how, say, a quick service restaurant could leverage flexible digital displays to boost sales:
- Display special promotions or offers that drive high returns;
- Show high-quality images that get them hungry and curious about products they may not otherwise try;
- Showing cost comparisons of different food sizing options, highlighting the value (a large drink is only $0.20 more!);
- Additional product details that may influence purchasing, such as nutrition information.
The great things about these applications is that they can be easily traced to ROI. Unlike more abstract marketing goals that may take months to pay off, these content applications have the potential to drive higher revenue today.
Digital signage works just as well at engaging your own staff as it does your customers. We’ve discussed at length in previous posts the value of having digital signage for internal communication, and we stand by it. But digital signage is far more than just an extension of your bulletin boards; when implemented with the right content, you can turn your internal digital signage into a full-fledged communication hub:
- Content templates for messaging, goal tracking, or motivation;
- Widgets that can be tied into your APIs to provide dashboards of analytics;
- Integration of messaging apps to provide real-time visibility into communication.
While it’s not quite as fun as boosting ROI or supporting team morale, our digital signage + content pairing has another important use: emergency preparedness. This is particularly important when digital signage is placed near vulnerable populations, such as in schools, or in hospitals.
Most places, be they businesses, educational settings, or medical clinics, don’t have visual components to their emergency response. They might have a few signs up showing the locations of storm shelters or fire exits, but in most cases, these places get by with audio signals (alarms, bells, etc.) and nothing else.
But just think about how content-rich digital signage can expand these capabilities. With high-resolution displays, buildings can set up pre-defined triggers to activate at specific points of crisis. When these triggers activate, signage will automatically update to an emergency response content template that addresses whatever problem is occurring.
- Fire exits or emergency escape routes;
- Nearest fire extinguishers / first aid gear;
- Locations of bomb shelters or storm shelters.
You get the idea. Adding a visual component to emergency preparedness can actually save lives—making it a crucial use case for digital signage content.
One Love Between Content and Digital Signage
There’s no better pairing than digital signage and content. Like any good pairing, the two work in tandem and push each others’ capabilities beyond what either could achieve on its own. This is why we, as digital signage purveyors—experts—champions—always stress the value of content creation to our clients. It’s not just an add-on or extra feature. It’s the single, only way to unlock the true power of your digital signage investment.
Mike Kilian is the Senior Director of Business Development at Mvix, headquartered in Sterling, VA. Mvix is a leading provider of content-rich digital signage software and solutions. To date, their platform powers over 50k screens for clients including Virginia Tech, Western Michigan University and University of Washington Medical Center.