Digital signage often faces the same barrier as ads do. The primary intention of both is to educate viewers - if not persuade them - and guide them to do or acquire something which can make their life a little bit better. An issue arises when they’re not created or executed properly. When that happens, signages don’t unfold their full capacity and they might even produce the exact opposite of their desired effects.
Inappropriately used, digital signage can be boring, annoying and unwanted. Also, much like ads, it can lose its power if an effective method is overused to the point of annoyance. Hence, it’s vital for you to know what drives your audience away from your displays, or even worse, annoys them to the point of disliking anything that has to do with your brand.
1. Faulty digital signage
Undoubtedly the highest value on the annoyance scale goes to digital signage which doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Bad visibility, glitchy displays, laggy content, the blue screen of death, so on and so forth.
Look, it can happen. Displays fail, software runs into a bug. Accidents happen, but it’s important that the issue doesn’t stem from your negligence. During the installation and deployment phase of your digital signage, you must keep certain pitfalls in mind to avoid any mistakes.
Faulty design is another major issue. There’s nothing worse than creating a rich campaign only to find that it isn’t fully visible when you launch it on the big screen for the first time. Colors, fonts and plenty of other design mistakes can really mess up your signage and deliver underwhelming results. Learn them, and learn them well!
2. Unspent digital signage potential
Digital displays offer more than any traditional sign ever could. Yet, many users treat digital the same way they treat traditional. Digital signage provides a stronger focus on relevance, flexibility, personalization and timing, to name a few key strengths. Your content can adapt in more ways than one: an ability which simply must be utilized!
On the subject of its amazing adaptation ability, digital signage can be interactive. People like it, and are attracted to a display if they get to control what is being shown on it. A particular example of a Texas venue showed that viewers react positively to interactivity. When given the option to move the screens away or choose content themselves, over 90% went for the latter.
Yet, interactivity, adaptation based on location, time and audience is often ignored by content creators, leaving an amazing advantage unused. For that reason, let’s go into detail on which similar misuses of digital signage push people away and keep the potential of digital signage unspent.
3. Irrelevant content
Content becomes irrelevant when the audience doesn’t relate or care about it. Say, you’re displaying perfume ads on some random display in the park versus displaying them in a mall. The latter is more relevant as it fits the audience at that given location.
It has even become an expectation to see ads at certain locations. When you go to a mall, you know what awaits you there. You know you’ll see ads for clothing, perfume, and all sorts of neat products. If you were to see an ad for motor oil, you’d probably stand bewildered.
These days, it's easy to see which content is relevant for your audience. Research and digging through analytics can get you all the answers you need. As you adjust your content, you can see how it influences your results. You can see what works and what doesn't. Some digital displays even have the capability to track how long people stand in front of the display.
4. Relevant but boring content
So you’ve analysed your analytics and researched all the data, and you know what content your audience is interested in. You shouldn’t relax just yet as there is still plenty of room to annoy your viewers.
Dull and uninspiring content is typically not taken seriously by the viewer unless they go out seeking information. Let’s take digital menu boards in restaurants as an example. They’re not created with the primary goal to attract or engage the viewer. The issue arises when content creators treat all displays the same way.
On their journey to become loyal customers, visitors go through four elementary steps:
In a restaurant, the visitor is already aware and interested in your product. In a mall, for instance, your target audience hasn’t even reached the first step yet. This means, you need to make the viewer aware and interested in your product before provide further information. If you skip these steps, you’ll be creating relevant content, but nobody will be interested in viewing it.
So what makes content more interesting? Images, videos, specially designed flashy discounts or live timers showing when the discount ends! These are just a few examples, but the point is plain information doesn’t work, and people won’t want to waste any energy looking at dull signage.
5. Advertising methods people hate
Digital signage may be a relatively new tool businesses use, but advertising isn’t. It’s not enough to display ads. Those ads have to be conceptualized carefully as well!
Before you start working on ads, you should know the difference between the ads people love and those people hate. Visual factors such as humor, sexiness, cute fluffy animals and shock value aren’t as effective as they used to be. They are excellent for bring attention to your content with the goal of informing the viewers about your offers. If they don’t provide relevant information, they become annoying.
If your goal is to build a relationship with your audience and connect with them, you need a good story. Surprisingly, people actually prefer a good story above all visuals your business could offer. If you are capable of creating ads which combine flashy visuals with good storytelling, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Hopefully now you understand that inappropriate use of digital signage does a lot more damage than waste invested money. It annoys people and it gets them accustomed to avoiding your displays. This means that once you fix the content and use digital signage properly, there’s a chance they’ll keep ignoring it!