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9 Questions to Decide Your Digital Signage Content

Making digital signage content shouldn’t be such a minefield. These nine questions can help.

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Digital signage is perhaps one of the only marketing mediums where the “set it and forget it” mindset can creep in. You wouldn’t let your website get too dated and your social media is probably updated every day. So why, when we put screens up on walls, do we think less about what they’re showing?

Unless you have a super clear outline of your digital signage content, it can be useful to start from the top and plan what content you will show and most importantly - why.

Here are nine quick-fire questions that help you to do just that.

1. Why are you using digital signage?

This may seem obvious, but it’s one that many miss. If you don’t know why you’re using digital signage in the first place, it’s going to be really difficult to pick the right content to use. Are you trying to increase sales? Build more community with your customers? Get staff engaged with targets? Increase health and safety info visibility?

Author of The Coaching Habit Michael Bungay Stainer’s “And what else?” question can come in handy here. The AWE question is used to stay curious about what your goals are and why because “someone's first answer is never the only answer—and rarely the best answer.”

So ask yourself or your team: what is our digital signage goal? Then ask, and what else? Keep asking this three or four times and we guarantee you’ll have a much clearer picture of why you’re using digital signage and what you could show as a result.

2. What collateral do you already have available?

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with your digital signage content. Got a great video? Get it up on screen. Loving your website? Pop your URL in the “Add website” tool in ScreenCloud Signage and get it showing.

If you already have marketing collateral that you think would work for the big screen, then start with that and grow upwards. There’s nothing worse than putting off your digital signage attempts because you’re waiting for the perfect showreel / digital menu / product display.

Scan through images, videos, websites, social media feeds, dashboards, project boards and anything else that you have available to see what might work.

3. What are your customer, staff or patient pain points?

Digital signage should solve a need. This is when it becomes super useful, can’t-tear-my-eyes-away content that your audience will appreciate.

To get there, think about the pain points of your audience. Perhaps they’re bored with your queues, are nervous in your waiting room (if for a surgery), or want to see content that excites them on their lunch break.

This is going to differ for different audiences, but it is a great question to ask to find out what content to show.

Identify the pain point and then think how you might solve this with content. Remember—your audience rarely finds what we think is interesting, actually interesting. Focus on their needs and pain points first and foremost, and your content will be more relevant as a result.

4. How much content will you need?

You need enough content on your digital screens to keep your audience engaged, but this may be a lot less than you think. In a store setting, your customer may view the screen for what, 10 seconds maximum? In an office, your staff are going to be sitting in front of the screen all day.

This makes a massive difference to the amount of content you need to show. You don’t want to annoy your audience by making them watch the same 30 seconds of content for an hour.

Figure out their viewing times and adjust the amount of digital signage content accordingly.

5. Where will your signs be located?

You probably already know where your digital signs are going to go, but what about the context this places on your content? The content needs to serve your audience and your audience will differ dependent on their location.

Try to get as targeted as possible. Sure, if your screens are placed at the entrance to the store, you may want your messaging to be generic, but if they’re placed over a hot counter in your deli, make the content super relevant to those items. As you can see for this client, the more relevant information that’s served close to point of purchase, the more effective it will be.

6. Is your audience social?

There are a lot of questions you should be asking to narrow in on your audience, and we wrote them all in this guide to discovering your digital signage audience. On top of this, it’s important to sense-check your digital signage content.

How many times do you think a brand has jumped on a social media channel without realizing that their audience doesn’t actually use it? An Instagram display wall would look awesome on your digital screen but if your audience doesn’t use Instagram, they aren’t going to know what it is and you won’t receive any additional social traction as a result.

This goes for any form of digital signage content—if your audience isn’t familiar with your content, they’re not going to understand the call to action or message in the short time available.

7. Have you tested your content?

ScreenCloud, like many digital signage CMSs, will offer you the ability to preview your content and review your playlist before setting it live. But you won’t truly be able to assess your content until you get it up on the big screen and give it the mom test.

Grab a few colleagues or friends, get your playlist running, and then step back and try to see it through new eyes. Is the text easy to read? Does the content stay on screen long enough? Is there enough of it?

You’ll be amazed how many tweaks will be glaringly obvious once you get your content up and running in an audience-facing environment.

8. What content resources are available to you?

Creating digital signage content can be yet another item on a long list of marketing outputs. That’s why you need help.

In ScreenCloud, we stock our App Store full of options that help make content creation easier. Add travel information, social media dashboards, Trello boards, Slack conversations, currencies, weather reports and more.

The benefit of using digital signage apps is that the interface and design are already done. You plug in preferences such as specific cities, social media handles or accounts and the app pulls up a beautiful interface, already optimized for your digital signage screens.

With resources like these, creating digital signage content should be a job anyone can master.

9. What are you looking to achieve?

A great way to determine digital signage content is to begin backwards. What would be your ultimate digital signage end point? More social media followers? Higher specialty product sales? People talking about you online or referring their friends?

There are different ways to measure the effect of your digital signage content. You can measure return on objectives, looking at specific business results and how digital signage can help. There are numbers you can monitor, such as social media followings or hits to a specific webpage URL. You can count how many times a unique promo code is actioned, or even rely on qualitative data by asking your audience their thoughts.

These are all great measurements of the success of your digital signage content. Whether or not you use them, knowing what you’re trying to achieve will make your digital signage content more effective by default.


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