Common Digital Signage Mistakes
Digital signage offers an efficient and flexible way to communicate but it’s easy to make mistakes with it, and problems can be expensive to solve.
We’ll help you avoid the 13 common mistakes people make with their digital signage content, systems, software and more.
Common Mistakes in Displaying Digital Signage
- Using an inappropriate screen — It’s not a given that the screen you want to use will be compatible with your software or other hardware, so you need to check this before you buy it. Also, the screen has to be the appropriate size for the space it’s serving and whatever job it’s supposed to be doing. Too small and you won’t get enough impact. Too large and close up to the audience, and the message will be difficult to see.
- Mounting the screen too high — Screens need to be easy to see, or people won’t give them more than a cursory glance. It might seem appealing to have the screen high up to dominate or to avoid cluttering a space, but too high and it will be awkward and uninviting to look at. Also, if you want your display to be interactive, it’s vital to ensure everyone can touch it, including disabled people.
- Positioning the signage incorrectly — Besides issues of height, sightlines, accessibility etc., the ideal position for your signage will depend on whether your targets can see it properly. If you situate a screen somewhere the majority of your target audience is unlikely to look, you’ll be wasting your money . However, if it’s too close to where your audience is standing/sitting, it will look pixelated and won’t deliver the results you’re looking for either. Consider the nearest and furthest distance that someone can comfortably see your content from, then think about the percentage of people likely to be in that ideal position, and the percentage that won’t be. This should help you identify whether you screen is in the right place.
Common Mistakes in Software for Digital Signage
- Using cheap software — The most effective digital signage estates generally have a powerful content management system (CMS) at their heart. Too often, companies believe that digital signage doesn’t work for them because they’ve used a cheap CMS — or even worse, a flashdrive, which restricts what they can do on screen and reduces the quality of the messages they send out. Good, cloud-based digital signage management software will make scheduling and screen layouts simple. It will also tend to have built-in features that make it easy to identify and fix problems remotely (e.g. system restarts).
Common Mistakes in Content for Digital Signage
- Having poor-quality, unengaging content — Digital signage isn’t a magic bullet. If the quality of the content (visual, aural or written) isn’t interesting, attention-grabbing or useful to your target audience, you’re unlikely to achieve your aims. Furthermore, you risk devaluing your brand with poor quality content. Don’t assume that what looks good on a laptop will look as sharp on an 86-inch screen. Larger screens need higher resolution images.
- Using the same content for too long – You need to update your content regularly, since even the best content can get stale. Think about how often your target audience is likely to see that same message, how complex it is, and at what stage they’re likely to be bored by it.
- Poor scheduling – Content that flashes on and off screen too quickly looks amateurish and will devalue your brand. Similarly, leaving a static message on screen too long can lead people to believe that screens have frozen or aren’t working properly. If you aren’t confident about how to schedule digital signage content effectively, don’t guess. Paying a digital signage content expert to create and schedule content for you may seem like an unnecessary extravagance, but the quality they deliver tends to pay for itself very quickly in direct results.
- Packing a screen too tightly— Most good digital signage CMSs give you the ability to split screens, so that they can do more than one thing at once. However, there can be a temptation to fill every inch with material. When curating a screen layout, consider how receptive your audience is, how long they’re likely to be looking at the screen for, and how much they’re likely to value the information you’re giving them. The more they need the information — e.g. a travel timetable — the longer they’ll be willing to look at a screen to get it. The less they need it — e.g. an advertisement — the simpler the layout and content needs to be. If you have a captive audience, they’re more likely to have a longer attention span and read everything on screen.
- Using audio inappropriately — The audio option of digital signage can be effective (in a lobby or cafeteria, for instance), but in work areas it can become annoying. Also, consider whether it will be audible over the background noise. If necessary, get a sound technician to advise you on which speakers you’ll need and where.
- Forgetting the call to action — Every piece of marketing or advertising should prompt people to take a specific action, whether it’s to buy, to get in touch or to find more information. Digital signage is no exception.
Common Mistakes in Strategy for Digital Marketing
- Being single-minded — Unlike a printed sign, digital signage is very flexible and can achieve many different things simultaneously, just by using different content. A single screen can be used for sales promotions and internal training, wayfinding and assisting with store/venue closing. This can be done simply through careful scheduling of content on different screens and at different times. Consider all the potential uses digital signage could have when building a strategy/business case, so you get maximum value for money from your estate.
- Not having clear objectives — For digital signage to be effective, you need clear, well-planned objectives for what you want to achieve. Without this, all you’re doing is throwing out random messages and hoping for the best. Consider what all your long and short-term goals should be.
- Not having a way to measure results — As with any marketing or advertising, you need a way to track your ROI, otherwise you’ll have no way of knowing whether your strategies are successful. Consider all the possible measures you could use to track how successful you’re being. Tracking your results will also indicate if you need to change how you’re doing things to be more successful.
Digital signage can provide a massive boost to your business, but only if you avoid the pitfalls. Get in touch with us to find out how to use it effectively.
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