New Year = New Content.
Tips on Refreshing your Content and Keeping it Engaging
By Dina Townsend/ VP of Sales & Marketing for YCD Multimedia, David Defelici/ VP of Business Development for Telecine, and Justin Lachovsky/ Director of Marketing for Telecine
For many the New Year brings lots of goals and expressions of “New Year, new me!” Well that may be true for some individuals looking for a fresh start to ring in the New Year; but, for organizations, they should look at the digital signage offerings with thoughts of “New Year, New Content!”
This past year during the Digital Signage Experience Show in Las Vegas, YCD Multimedia, and Telecine partnered on a session called “Respecting the 5 C’s for Great Enterprise Digital Signage”. In that session the teams discussed the 5 C’s: Current, Captivating, Creative, Coordinated, Consistent Content (OK 6 C’s) as they apply to creating a consistent brand experience over a digital signage network and the benefits realized. So, let’s break them down, and offer some guidance from the content and CMS side when refreshing content:
Current One of the biggest digital signage killers is stale content. This advice from Dina Townsend at YCD, “Stale content lowers viewership. Scheduling content keeps the onscreen experience fresh and inviting and ensures that work can be done in advance. Content can be set to play and expire without manual intervention and be deployed to the right screen at the right time. This increases viewership and maximizes resources.”
Scheduling is just one of the many feature benefits of YCD’s Cnario Suite. Advanced scheduling allows you to “set it and forget it” with minimal effort. Another piece of advice from the YCD team is to stagger the content. Beyond stale content, another killer is putting all your content on all the time. Try scheduling messages at different times of the day or week. By using the power of your CMS software, you can keep your content current and relevant, and your audiences will stay engaged.
From the Telecine team, “one of the most watched pieces of content are food menus.” With that knowledge in hand, if your organization serves lunch, or snacks, or beverages during the workday, consider bookending your most important messages before and after the food content. Think HR benefits info, health and wellness info, or even sales incentives. Enterprise digital signage can be most effective and hold your viewers’ attention when you apply this strategy.
Beyond menus what other types of content hold your audience’s attention? And how can you find out what they like and want to see on your displays? As answered by David Defelici of Telecine, “We think you should be asking your viewers. From the corporate perspective, there is so much information that needs to be communicated. Rather than base content on assumptions, tap your most valuable resources and engage them in the decisions. This investment will result in better engagement, more impactful and effective signage, and a more robust workplace.”
If you aim to create a very watchable channel, use your signage to poll your viewers. It allows your viewers to feel valued and leverage their insight for new content sources. This can create meaningful interactions, and a more successful deployment.
Consider full screen takeovers for captivating content with top of the hour messages. Give your audience something to look forward to. They will change their behavior to view those messages.
From Dina, “Digital signage technology is an enabler in this regard. Localize it right down to the office, the floor, the department. This can really pack a punch and give them a personalized experience. Things like reporting current team KPI's to the departments, live sales statistics to the sales team, pictures of folks in the workplace and at community events. These content ideas help create a sense of community around your network, and make people want to watch your screens.”
Creative We took a poll during our session and asked our attendees what they thought were some creative ways to increase viewership. Some of the answers were A.) Use a little humor B.) Give away tickets to a play, sporting event, or concert C.) show pictures of food with bacon. In all fairness, these were ALL correct answers.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Showcase good deeds and offer employees some recognition. Maybe spotlight your companies’ philanthropic measures. Also, in terms of the content, consider using zones to break up the content on the screens. This advice from Dina, “Too much information on one screen is also a content killer! Use multiple pages to tell a story if need be. Technology wise, there is a difference between "can" and "should". No one wants to see a hodge podge of slides. Create an overarching theme for your content. Blending architecture and screens makes for an immersive experience.”
Automation can help with content coordination here. Most CMS technologies, like Cnario, have programming interfaces that can automate and display the most current information in feeds. This type of dynamic data changes your content from moment to moment without any human intervention. Elements like a department’s KPI’s, lunch menus, events and booking calendars, count down timers to goals, energy generation/consumption in the office, and many more ideas are all possible.
From Justin Lachovsky, at Telecine, “Budget for automation and fresh content annually. Think of content updates as you would other annual budgetary expenses. Put a line item in your budget for content too. So often we revisit projects, and the same content is still playing year after year. Don’t do that to your viewers!”
From Dina, “The big
gest reasons for lackluster digital signage channels is under-investment in the human resources and recurring budgets necessary. Capital investments like screens are easy to budget. Content is not.”
Think of your digital signage channel as a newspaper. There are editors and reporters. Find lots of reporters within your organization to help create and brainstorm ideas to refresh your content. Work with other internal work groups to coordinate content across platforms.
Lastly, enterprises need to look for ways to keep their content consistent and “on brand”. Use a brand style guide for digital signage that uses the correct corporate colors and logos, with screens laid out in the appropriate way. You can also create templates for each of your shows and require people to use them. Even in the largest corporations, the difference between a great digital signage channel and a mediocre one, frequently comes down to one individual doing the work. Attrition is the largest single factor in a digital signage channel being diminished overtime. The antidote to this is ongoing training and cross-training.
We hope we’ve given you a fresh new perspective to content creation and management. You can visit our websites for more insight. Keep in touch!