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Provided By:Author: David Little
In the first part of this column I pointed out that for many small business owners –even those who understand the potential of digital signage- actually deciding to add digital signs raises a thorny issue: Who’s going to create the content that feeds the sign fresh information of interest to viewers in a professional format that makes a great statement about that small business?
Fresh content is critical to the communications effort if viewers are to keep coming back to the sign for more. In media shorthand, this boils down to the often used expression: “Content is king.” But if content is king, who’s doing the coronation? In other words, who is creating the content that gets elevated to this regal stature? Here, I examine solutions that go beyond the obvious answer of hiring someone like a full-time graphic artist or ad agency –two steps many small business owners are likely unprepared to make. While no individual suggestion solves the entire problem, several taken together should come close.
Before reviewing the tactics, however, keep in mind that the success of any digital sign relies on having a clear understanding where the sign will be located, who’s typically watching and what is trying to be accomplished. These sorts of larger, strategic issues play into selecting which of the following tactics make the most sense for creating the content that’s desired without diverting too many precious company resources into feeding the insatiable content appetite of digital signs. In this column, I offer five of 10 tactics. In my next column, I’ll lay out five more.
Tactic 1: Create and use eye-catching templates that can easily be populated with regularly used data. Templates reduce the complexity of creating digital signage content. They can be constructed to accommodate nearly all of the information –whether its menu items for a restaurant or special event listings in a hotel lobby- that a digital signage user needs to display. Once created, templates also minimize the time that must be devoted to the communications process because they can be used over and over again.
Additionally, one template with a certain graphical theme can be spun off into other graphically similar templates that satisfy specific communications requirements while at the same time creating a consistent visual theme that helps to reinforce the identity of the small business.
Tactic 2: Select digital signage software that automatically imports data from other business systems to relieve staff from re-keystroking data into the digital signage page. For example, a hotel might rely on management software to track reservations, meeting room bookings and other business events.
With the right digital signage software, it’s possible to identify pieces of that data that could populate a digital signage template automatically without intervention by the hotel staff. For instance, meeting room booking data, such as the name of the party renting the room could populate a text field in a template built for use on a digital reader boards outside individual conference and ballrooms.
Tactic 3: Leverage existing marketing, promotional and advertising materials to minimize the amount of original content that must be created. Existing content, including company logos –both the small business’s logo and those of their vendors- TV commercials, supplier video and conference video can be reused on digital signs when appropriate.
Tactic 4: Use RSS feeds to keep a stream of fresh content constantly crawling across the screen. Depending on the small business and the application, Internet RSS feeds from different sources can provide fresh, new content to attract viewers and hold their attention.
Tactic 5: Rely on a traditional television channel. Some digital signage systems are available with optional television and cable television tuners that allow TV to be imported into a digital signage layout. Integrating TV relieves much of the burden of creating a lot of fresh content. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. The cable or satellite TV source may not allow retransmission of its programming without first paying a licensing fee. Another is possible competitive conflicts. For instance, how would the owner of a used car lot feel about unintentionally displaying the commercial of a competitor on his digital sign?
Relying on these five tactics can help small business owners create the content that gets and holds the attention of viewers without taking on a new employee or vendor. In my next column, I’ll offer five more tactics that can be used to create content worth of coronation.
David Little is a digital signage enthusiast with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to more effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. He is the director of marketing for Keywest Technology in Lenexa, KS, a software development company specializing in systems for digital signage creation, scheduling, management and playback. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, download our Six Basic Digital Signage Applications white paper and case studies. Or, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples on how digital signage can benefit your business.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advertising-articles/digital-signage-content-may-be-king-but-whos-doing-the-coronation-part-ii-1007141.html