The top 5 mistakes to avoid in your digital signage implementation

In most digital signage implementations, there is the initial euphoria, it slowly dwindles  and after a point in time, they even go to the extent of switching off their monitors. Most often than not, it results in wasted money and wasted opportunities.

For this article, I am assuming that you have clearly defined objectives for your digital signage implementation, defined budgets and a fair idea about what you would call as the success of your implementation.

You can leverage the great potential that digital signages offer, provided you avoid these mistakes in your implementation.

  1. Not measuring the effectiveness of digital signage

Does your digital signage help you meet your goals? Are you measuring the effectiveness of the implementation?

How many people watch the content on your screen? How long to they spend? Does the display help you sell more? Have the inquiries gone up after the implementation? What is it that people like and don’t like about the content? Are we spending enough time in optimizing it and assessing the results?

Measuring these things will help you justify your investments in terms of time, efforts and money.

     2. Not focussing on the placement of the monitors

I go to a neighborhood super market, where an outdoor advertising company has installed digital signage in about 30+ branches of theirs in Chennai. The model is, the advertising company pays a rental and makes revenue by playing local ads.

Unfortunately, the physical positioning of the monitors prevents it from being seen by the consumers. It hangs from the roof  right on top of the billing systems – this makes it difficult for people to see it and their focus at the billing counter is on their purchase and not really on the monitor. I haven’t seen any ads playing on those screens in the last few months and I am not surprised either –  I spoke to about 50 people who regularly visit this shop and none of them remember ever seeing this display.

You have to be mindful of the height at which the monitor should be placed, not placing the monitor at a very bright place, the amount of time that the audience is likely to spend where the monitor is placed, the quality and duration of your content.

     3.Not populating the display with fresh content

I know a hospital that recently purchased an expensive digital signage solution, where they play their content on a 3×3 video wall. They had a bunch of assets – videos of some of their procedures, testimonials of their patients, and a few press releases that got published about them. Total content playing time was about 25 minutes and they keep repeating this content in a loop.

Typical waiting time for patients at the reception is anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes and they more or less get to see the entire cycle. During their next visit, they have nothing to look forward from the video wall as the same content is repeated week after week, making it stale

It is very essential that you have a content strategy and make sure that the audience find the displayed content useful. Depending upon the nature of your business, you need to have a calendar that takes into account the audience profile and the amount of time that they would spend in front of the monitor. Ensure that the content displayed is interesting, informational and possibly interactive for the audience.  Most often than not, it makes sense to work with an external agency for your content needs but ensure that they are in line with the objectives of your signage implementation.

     4.Not focusing on the environment and audience in relation to interactivity

Is it a public place where you are going to place your signage? Is it an office reception or an internal work bay? Is it a super market or a mall?

Interactivity has to be placed on the type of environment and the type of audience. In a public place, you can gamify the interactivity through the usage of touch screens. You can even get people to scan the QR code or get an SMS alert to avail offers in a mall or super market. You can get your audience to connect to the the WiFi in their facility and sign-in to their social profiles to send them the right offers. You can display offers related what the customers are purchasing in a retail outlet.

Essentially,  digital signage offers a lot of opportunities to deeply and personally engage your audience, provided you are aware of the environment and the type of audience that you are addressing.

     5.Not choosing the right monitor and media player

You want to keep your signage up and running for 15 hours a day with dynamic content in the form of high quality text, images, and videos. Most people compromise on their hardward and end up with something sub-standard or unusable for their needs. Cheaper media players and monitor conk off in its first few days of operations itself.

You should ideally go for commercial grade media players that would withstand extreme environmental conditions and would be reliable over extended periods of time. Avoid going for the sub $60 versions of media players. When it comes to displays, again choose the commercial grade displays as they have better life and reliability.

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