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9 Digital Signage Best Practices You Need to Follow in 2022

June 1, 2022
5 mins

TLDR Key Takeaways

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The information displayed on digital signage is remembered and retained almost twice as much as information conveyed through traditional advertising. 

If you're not utilizing digital signage best practices, you're bound to get beat out by your competition. Don't worry; we've got you covered.

Let’s look at ways to maximize the effectiveness of digital signage content.

9 Digital Signage Best Practices

Digital signage is a powerful marketing tool, but if it's not used correctly, it can be ineffective or, even worse, damaging to your brand.

Here are nine best practices to help you get the most out of your digital signage: 

1. Define Your Goals 

The first step to creating digital signage content is setting goals for your project. If there isn't a clear direction, it will be difficult to make an informed decision, so being specific about the outcome beforehand is essential.

Here are ways to do this:

  • Set objectives and goals: What are you trying to achieve with your content? Do you want to inform, educate, or entertain your audience? How will digital signage content help you achieve your goals?
  • Establish your metrics: How will you measure the success of your signage? What are your KPIs? What is your timeline for completing these metrics?
  • Know your audience: Who will be seeing your digital signage? What are their needs and wants? How often will they view your messaging? 
  • Determine your location: Where will your content be displayed, and how will this help you achieve your goals? How long will viewers spend looking at them? 
  • Evaluate resources: What is your budget? How and who will manage and update content? What technologies will we use?

Keep in mind that you should set realistic goals, as overly ambitious goals often leave you disappointed. 

2. Map Out Your Content Strategy

Now that you've established your actionable goals, you'll need to take the time to plan out your content strategy to ensure your content is relevant, engaging, and effective.

To do this, you'll need to determine which type of content you want to create: static or dynamic.

  • Static content: This type of content is put in place and left to run without any changes. Examples of static content include digital posters, whitepapers, billboards, and looped video content.
  • Dynamic content: This type of content is designed for interactive experiences and allows information to be changed in response to specific inputs. Dynamic content includes interactive kiosks, emails, wayfinding boards, and proximity displays.

While it's possible to achieve simple static content with common software like Microsoft PowerPoint, you'll need to invest in advanced digital software to create interactive content that's genuinely engaging and improves your business outcomes.

You'll also need to determine who's going to manage your content. Will you use internal resources or utilize external solutions? You'll need to consider:

  • Who's creating your content?
  • How often will it be updated?
  • What level of expertise is required to manage your content?

Many businesses use content management solutions, like Wallboard, that come equipped with various features to help them effectively create, manage, and set schedules for their digital signage. 

Here's an example of how Wallboard uses widgets to help automate digital signage content:

3. Ensure Your Content is Accessible to All Audiences

When creating digital signage content, it's essential to guarantee that your content is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to provide equal access to goods, services, and information for all individuals. Digital signage content should also be accessible to those with hearing, visual, and physical impairments.

Here are a few tips for ADA-compliant interactive digital signage:

  • Interactive/play components: Any buttons, keyboards, or other manipulative elements must be no higher than 44 inches. There are advanced recommendations based on obstructed and unobstructed displays.
  • Speech output: All information and functionality on displays must have the option to be speech enabled.
  • Text size: The character height of the letter "I" determines the viewing distance. For example, the minimum character height needed to view a display at 72 inches is 5/8 inch.
  • Style: Sans-serif fonts are the preferred font style for ADA signs. 

4. Design Your Content for Success

When it comes to designing your digital signage content, there are certain style choices that you should follow to ensure that your content is readable and engaging. 

Text

First, the text should be legible from a distance and should be large enough to be seen clearly. Try reading your digital signage from distances you expect your audience to see them.

Avoid using more than two or three fonts in your design. Too many fonts can make your content look cluttered. Stick with one or two main fonts and use additional fonts sparingly for emphasis.

Whenever possible, let your main message appear in the largest font size and in a font that is easy to read (sans-serif). Additionally, important information should use bolded fonts as it helps it stand out.

Contrast

Your digital signage content should have enough contrast to be easily visible. This means you'll want to use light colors on a dark background or vice versa. 

Avoid using similar colors next to each other, as this can make your content more difficult to read.

Colors

The colors you use in your digital signage content should be eye-catching and attention-grabbing. 

Bright colors are typically the best choice for this purpose. However, you'll want to avoid using too many colors in one space, as this can be overwhelming for viewers.

Typically, designers follow the 60-30-10 rule, which means the dominant color will be used 60% of the time, the secondary color will be used 30% of the time, and the accent color will be used 10% of the time.

Visuals

Visuals help break up large blocks of text and add interest to your content. However, you will want to make sure that the visuals you use are relevant to your brand and message.

Remember, the majority of your audience absorbs content from left to right. It is best to place your image on the left side of your design because it is easier for your audience to process images if they are left-aligned and leave your copy on the right.

You'll also need to consider image ratios when you include visuals. While some devices have their own specific ratios, the most common ones you'll need are:

  • Horizontal: The standard ratio for this aspect is 16:9 or 1920 by 1080 pixels.
  • Vertical: The standard ratio for this aspect is 9:16 or 1080 by 1920 pixels.

5. Consider Location and Viewing Patterns 

The best digital signage content is designed to meet the specific needs of the audience at each point of interaction. 

Your content should be tailored to the specific situation to maximize its impact, whether it's a transit stop, a retail store, or a waiting room.

There are three different types of viewing patterns based on location. 

Point of Transit

Typical Location

High traffic areas

Audience Type

Moving

Purpose

To convey quick, clear messages (under 5 seconds)

Examples

Maps, schedules, CTAs, promotions, reminders

How to Optimize Content

  • Keep your content concise and to the point.

  • Use eye-catching visuals to capture their attention.

  • Make it actionable by providing useful information or promotions for nearby businesses.

  • Keep it short (five words or less).

  • Use large fonts with simple backgrounds.


Point of Wait

Typical Location

Waiting spaces, lobbies, service desks

Audience Type

Captive

Purpose

To convey longer messages that inform, engage, or help reduce perceived wait times

Examples

Directories, news, spotlight stories, scrollable pages, trivia

How to Optimize Content

  • Keep it entertaining by using interactive elements to engage your audience.

  • Make it informative by giving helpful information while they are waiting.

  • Repeat messages in your content rotation to help your audience internalize the message.





Point of Sale

Typical Location

Near the point of sale

Audience Type

Captive

Purpose

To encourage a purchase decision

Examples

Discounts and sales, cross-selling, menu or special item boards

How to Optimize Content

  • Provide information that people can use to make a purchasing decision, such as product details or reviews.

  • Use strong copy and CTAs to encourage people to make a purchase.

  • Capture their attention with unique visuals.

  • Feature your brand's colors to promote brand awareness.

6. Use an Attention-Grabbing Headline and a Powerful CTA

Your digital signage content needs to be eye-catching and informative if you want it to stand out from the rest. One way to do this is by using an attention-grabbing headline. Here are some tips on writing engaging  headlines:

  • Be creative: Think outside the box when it comes to your headline and come up with something that will make people want to read your content.
  • Use numbers: People are 36% more likely to read headlines that include numbers because they're easy to understand and digest. 
  • Ask a question: Asking a question in your headline is a great way to engage your audience and get them interested in what you have to say.

You'll also need a clear and compelling CTA that will appeal to your audience. It should be relevant and easy for them to understand. It shouldn't contain unnecessary jargon or technical language to accomplish this goal.

Remember, this is your last chance to trigger the desired action, whether it's completing a  purchase or visiting your website. Don't miss out on this opportunity by not having the right CTA.

7. Keep Your Message Clear and Concise

It is important to keep your message clear and concise when creating digital signage content. This will ensure that your audience understands your message and can take the appropriate action.

The 3x5 rule is one way to accomplish this. This rule simply states that your content should contain three lines with five words or five lines with three words.

Alternatively, you can use an information hierarchy to convey your message. This method calls for a large heading, a smaller copy, and a medium-sized CTA. It will look something like this:

8. Schedule Appropriate Message Loops

To create a proper schedule for your messaging loops, you'll need to consider the location your content will be displayed for you to set the appropriate times. You'll want to convey short messages (roughly 5-8 seconds long) in a location where your audience is in transit.

Remember, your audience will need to view your message a few times before it really sinks in. 

You'll also want to make sure you update your content to stay fresh and relevant. Determine how often you want to change your messages (daily, weekly, monthly), and don't underestimate the power of alternating the color scheme or background.

9. Test, Monitor, and Improve your Content

Now that you've got your digital signage content up and running, it's time to make sure it's effective. Here are some ways to test, monitor, and improve your digital signage content:

  • Test your content with different audiences, like friends, family, and colleagues, to get their feedback.
  • Monitor your content's performance by keeping track of how often your content is viewed and for how long.
  • Ask your customers or audience for their feedback using surveys, polls, or even just informal conversations.
  • Use analytics to see how your content is performing and make changes to the frequency or the time of day that it's played.

Take Your Digital Signage to the Next Level with Wallboard

In light of these best practices, it's easy to see how digital signage has limitless potential. However, if you're using PowerPoint, Google Slides, or simple digital signage software, you're barely scratching the surface of what's possible with your digital signage content.

To take advantage of the newest technologies that allow you to create truly interactive experiences, you need comprehensive digital signage software—and Wallboard has all the tools you need to blow your competition away.

Wallboard takes your company's marketing and advertising strategies to the next level by integrating digital signage networks with advanced technology like AI cameras or other interactive experiences.

If you're not leveraging the full potential of digital signage, your organization is missing out on a ton of opportunities. Let us show you what you're missing. Get in touch with us and schedule a demo.

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