Although a highly beneficial investment, digital signage has the potential to cause more harm than good if used ill fittingly, just like any other tool. This is often the case with businesses which invest in it with certain misconceptions in mind. Of course, this shouldn’t discourage anyone from venturing into the medium of digital signage. It simply highlights the need to be mindful about potential pitfalls and being aware when you might be approaching trouble. With this in mind then, here are some of the main dangers of digital signage for your business.
Waste of money
The first danger of digital signage is related to your finances. One of the big dangers of digital signage is a waste of money as your investment gets ignored by your target audience. You may think this sort of failure is impossible to predict until you actually make the investment, but that’s not entirely true!
Even before investing in digital signage, you can vaguely see what your audience is interested in and what they respond to. If you used traditional signs and posters at your storefront and they failed to make any impact on your customer base, it’s very likely digital signs won’t fare much better either. Maybe the problem lies in your message. Change it on your traditional signs and see what makes your consumers tick. If you’re unsure if it’s worth the investment, start small. Invest in a single screen and see if it has an impact. Then, progressively increase the investment once you see the audience respond.
While it is true that digital signage can be a useful asset to any business, there is a point at which additional investments don’t yield any additional benefit. Sometimes, a single display is all you need and adding more displays may turn out to be a waste of money. Another one of the dangers of digital signage is that people often think the bigger the investment, the greater the return. It’s certainly not always the case. Video walls, for example, are big investments. But you don’t really need a video wall at your storefront or your lobby just to show off the same ad you’ve been showing on your 12-inch display.
If you plan on making a big investment, do your homework and see if it’s warranted. Establish what it will achieve. For instance, what do you need a video wall for? Will it increase engagement? Is there a new type of content you will be able to display? Will it bring in more sales? What new campaigns will you run on it?
Of course, it’s totally fine to invest solely into the visual appeal of it. But be realistic and honest with what you intend to achieve. You may want to get a video wall to impress everyone who walks into your store, especially in businesses where aesthetics are everything! You may even use it internally for the wow-factor. There’s nothing wrong with that! Just be aware of what it is and what it will realistically achieve.
Poor content quality
In most instances when digital signage fails to engage it’s the fault of the content. Not all the dangers of digital signage lie in its cost and hardware. Upon trying it for a few days, you may expect a dramatic spike in traffic only to see it flatline. Indeed, it may not be your audience’s lack of interest in digital signage. It could simply be the content. Remember, it’s not an easy thing to create engaging content which sparks the viewer to make a step in your direction. It takes research, effort, creative work, and a sense for what your audience cares about and what they respond to. If you give up too early, it’s guaranteed to become a wasted investment.
There are plenty of guidelines on polishing up your content. Take a look at our blog! We have plenty of articles on content, as well as specific examples for many business categories.
Content which is visually stimulating is highly successful at catching the customers’ attention and engaging them further. At the same time, digital signage has the potential to turn buyers away from a purchase. This doesn’t refer to poor content or bad representation of a product. Instead, if the consumer is overloaded with information or is presented with overly complex visuals, they might be distracted from the task at hand.
We are all guilty of forgetting to buy that one item on the shopping list and, of course, only realizing the mistake when we get home. Overly distracting digital signage may contribute to this lack of focus. This is why it shouldn’t go overboard on the messaging and take up too much of the customer’s time. Send the message quickly and effectively!
While we’re on the topic, there is something to be said about digital signage which aims to fully engage the consumer through interaction. Gamification, for example, is a great way to engage the consumer and catch their full attention for an extended period of time. This makes it sound contradictory to the previous point of not distracting your consumers for too long. Well, yes. But it’s acceptable only if it has a purpose!
Engagement shouldn’t exist purely for engagement’s sake. Instead, you should always have a direction and a goal you want the consumer to reach. This is where a call-to-action comes in. Each successful interaction must end with a purpose. This can either be providing feedback, boosting social media following, a discount to provoke a larger sale, etc. There needs to be a clear intention behind. Otherwise, you only provided a distraction to the consumer and gained nothing in return.
Tying into all of the aforementioned points, the number one mistake you could possibly make is blow a lot of money on digital signage and then just have it sit there doing the bare minimum. It happens mostly with business owners who didn’t dive deep into the topic or research on how they can make the most use out of it.
Combined with digital signage software, your displays have the potential to show a variety of content at once, to rotate content, and display it precisely when it’s needed. A digital signage software increases your content creation efficiency by automatically transforming your own input into visually appealing content compositions or benefiting from the ease of customizable content apps such as time, weather, and so many more. There’s so a lot to explore, and if you’re not using digital signage software for your digital signage, a good part of its potential is already wasted.
Cover image by Perlinator.