When to Enhance Your Digital Signage Message With Audio

Today’s digital technology is ever-changing, prompting marketers to adopt new strategies and tactics to engage their audiences. If you want your campaigns to stand out, you can use sound or music in conjunction with digital signage to offer customers interactive experiences. Sound can complement your marketing messages, influence a customer’s decision-making process, and deliver targeted information.

Most marketers shy from using audio in digital communication because it is tricky to use. Sound can quickly become annoying and disruptive, and you have to be strategic about where you use it. However, when used correctly, audio-visual solutions can attract customers in establishments like banking halls. Learn more about using sound in your digital signage here:

Interactive Digital SignageWhat is Interactive Digital Signage?

Interactive digital signage adds interactive capability to digital displays to turn customers into users. You can add interactivity through touch, voice, or gesture, or allow users to use a smartphone to be part of the experience. The use of tablets, shelf displays, and touch screens will improve the in-store customer experience and promote your brand message.

Interactive digital signage today can be used by various industries, from medicine, hospitality, broadcast, advertising, and transportation. For example, you can introduce interactive whiteboards in classroom, auditoriums or a conference room during corporate training to enhance presentation and collaboration. This tool will help you reduce staff in company workplaces, provide better customer service, and design a winning technology environment.

How Should Audio be Implemented for Digital Signage

We already know that videos excite and attract customers, which is why digital marketers are using larger displays with high definition to capture interest. You can take your campaigns even further by appealing to the auditory senses to create long-lasting visual appeal among potential customers. However, you should only use digital signage audio sparingly, and you can use the best practices below:

Audio and Sound1. Why Use Audio

Digital signage is primarily a visual medium, and sound will only enhance the message passed on by your visual content. The medium will help you create impactful and memorable messages, but you can incorporate sound to create outstanding marketing campaigns. The use of audio in signage draws enthusiasm and criticism in equal measure among digital marketers. The term ‘signage’ implies the absence of sound, and some marketers are against the inclusion of sound in visual technology.

However, sound is an impactful tool that can influence purchase decisions among listeners. A Nielsen’s study found that 40% of customers make an unplanned purchase if digital signage contains audio.

For example, the retail industry players can use audio to boost brand awareness and design a more immersive experience for your customers. The use of visual technology in the form of video walls, screen displays, and shelf-displays will relay targeted information and create a dynamic retail environment.

2. What is Audio?

Audio describes any sound that can be heard by the human ear. People experience audio in today’s marketing landscape through components like radio, podcasts, audiobooks, advertisements, and voice search. People are continually processing information through their ears, whether they are streaming music or live videos on social media, i.e. Facebook. Audio consumption can either be either passive or active, and you should consider incorporating sounds into your marketing message.

Streaming Music3. Types of Audio

Types of audio include music, sound effects, narration, voice-overs, and interview clips. There is also ambient sound, which is the audio that creates a sense of place. For example, the music played in a banking hall will differ from a hospital’s background sound.

4. Sound Effects for Signage

Sound effects boost the effectiveness of ads as they improve the engagement of listeners. You can use sound effects to mimic almost any sound, from the sound of footsteps, the crashing of ocean waves to the clanking of coins in a casino. For example, you can recreate a busy city’s ambiance by adding vehicle noises, construction sounds, and footsteps. Sound effects will help you highlight the benefits of your products to customers.

5. Rules for Using audio

Since audio can be disruptive when misused, you should be careful about incorporating it into your campaigns. The first rule to observe is to avoid relying on audio to communicate the visual message. Take a step back, ensure that your digital signage already sends a compelling message, and then incorporate audio as a complementary tool. If you are doing it right, there will be no need to use closed captioning over an audio track. You should base the majority of your campaign on visuals, and your audience should be able to comprehend the intended message without sound.

Kid Audio Digital SignageAnother best practice for using audio is incorporating it only where it is welcome, and this means avoiding using it in serene environments like libraries and learning establishments. If misused, sound can reduce the time shoppers spend on your premises, and you should aim to maintain a quiet and serene atmosphere with your sound. It is best to use digital signage audio in public spaces or a busy hub with considerable traffic or as outdoor signage in places like stadiums, theaters, and fitness establishments. Repetitive music can quickly become annoying, and it is advisable to diversify your digital content as much as possible. Do not schedule more than one audio track simultaneously or loop short sound clips to avoid annoying customers.

Examples of Signage that Utilizes Audio

Touch screen kiosks have become more common in banks, airports, and train stations to create a welcoming experience where users can access information related to products and promotions. These centers convey personalized information that improves the consumer experience. Some tech companies incorporate voice-overs to explain more features related to the product in use. Whichever industry you are in, you can incorporate digital signage audio to boost sales and consumer satisfaction. Remember audio should help enhance your message and is only a small part of the entire integrated system that is your digital signage. 

Google Slides – How To Use It For Digital Signage

Learn how to use Google Slides to create simple digital signage presentations that will allow you to edit and update content easily.

Google Slides and Digital Signage

Using an application such as Google Slides to create digital signage might not always seem like the most exciting, creative process. However, using Google Slides for signage work is convenient and effective. Presentations can be used for so many different signage purposes in office environments and non-office environments alike. Examples include displaying corporate statistics, goals, inspirational messages for staff, safety protocols, and special offers. Google Slides has proven to be a useful tool for creating these kinds of slides, no matter the setting. 

Google Slides Icon

Benefits of using Google Slides for Digital Signage

Live changes 

Because Google Slides allows for multiple participants to work on a single presentation at one time, live changes can be made. Comments can be added to slides which can help greatly to improve communication and thus reduces the risk of errors and faults. There is also no need for file sharing and this saves time and effort. You can also add and manage different individuals level of permission. For example, you can choose who has access or permission to edit or only view your Google Slides.

Uploads are instant

Uploading presentations to digital signage monitors are instant with Google Slides if a cloud-based digital signage provider is used. 

Multiple displays at once

Google Slides presentations can be displayed on multiple screens at once. This is useful for large companies with many displays. 

Free of charge 

Compared to digital signage programs, Google Slides is completely free. This saves businesses a lot of money as specialized programs can be costly. Even though these programs are more advanced, with a creative mind Google Slides can be used to produce high-quality signage. This can help lower your costs regarding your digital signage. 

What is Google Slides?

Google Slides is a presentation program that has been around since 2007 and forms part of Google Docs. The program has since been renamed and was previously known as Google Presentations. It is often compared to Microsoft PowerPoint but, it has some different benefits and helpful features. Google Slides allows users to store information in the cloud and work together with others on presentations.   

How Does Google Slides Work?

 The application can be accessed via a smartphone or desktop. Since Google Slides forms part of the greater Google Workspace, it is available to anyone who has a Google account. Google Slides functions are quite similar to most major presentation programs. It allows users to design slides from scratch by choose specific layouts, themes, and backgrounds along with customized transitions between slides. Users can also use templates if they don’t want to design slides from scratch. 

Example Template

What Are Google Slides Used For?

The program can be used for a variety of purposes in the workplace and the classroom. Because multiple people can work on a presentation at once, many users have found this to be a highly useful tool for the office environment. Google Slides allows you to create new presentations, as well as edit existing presentations. From meeting presentations, project and statistical presentations to lesson plans, inspirational presentations, and digital signage – you can use Slides for an endless list of tasks. 

Difference between Google Slides and PowerPoint

Although both of these programs essentially serve the same purpose to their customers, there are some differences. Many people often find themselves stuck between the decision of PowerPoint and Slides. Some believe that these programs are not actually in competition with one another. 

The key differences between these two programs are shown in the following categories:

  • Prices
  • Available Templates
  • Online And Offline Performance
  • Effects
  • Storage
  • Accessibility

Prices

To use Microsoft PowerPoint, you need to purchase it along with the Microsoft Office package. Even though this is a trusted program, Google Slides is becoming more and more popular because it serves the same purpose, and it is free.  

Available Templates

PowerPoint comes with a substantial amount of pre-made templates, making it easier to find what you are searching for. Google Slides does not boast quite as many templates as PowerPoint. However, there are thousands of downloadable templates on the internet that are compatible with Slides.  

Google Slides Template

Online And Offline Performance

This is a simple comparison – Google Slides was designed to be used as an online tool while Microsoft PowerPoint was designed to be used as an offline one. The reason that Google Slides is mainly an online program is because of its cloud storage and teamwork features. This may not always be convenient for users as technical and connectivity problems could hinder their work process. However, Slides does have the option to turn on an offline mode.  

PowerPoint only needs an internet connection for the initial download of the program and thereafter there is no need for connectivity. There is an online version available, but this is a basic version and does not include most of the features available on both the PC version of PowerPoint or Slides.  

Effects

In this case, PowerPoint provides users with more advanced special effects. Google Slides does feature special effects, although they are quite rudimentary. 

Storage

The key difference here is that PowerPoint mainly stores all data on a desktop hard drive while Google Slides saves all work automatically to Google’s cloud storage, Google Drive. Slides does this every few minutes to eliminate any concerns of work being accidentally erased. 

Accessibility

Because PowerPoint saves all data to a hard drive, it means that that data can only be accessed via the PC that it has been saved to. Google Slides documents, on the other hand, can be accessed on any device as long as you are signed in with your Google account. This benefit allows you the convenience to be able to work on presentations wherever you are, on whichever device you have at hand.  

Can you convert Google Slides to PowerPoint and vice versa?

It is very simple to convert a PowerPoint presentation to Google Slides. This can be done using one of three methods by:

1. Saving a PPT.x file to Google Drive and opening it there.

2. Importing the PPT.x file to Google Slides

3. Importing only selected PPT.x slides to Google Slides.

To convert a Google Slides presentation to PowerPoint, all you need to do is download the Slides presentation in Google Drive and save it as a PPT.x file. 

PPT

Setting Up Google Slides

Setting up Google Slides is very simple as the application is user-friendly and extremely easy to install and use. If you are using Google Slides on your smartphone, you can simply download the application and get started. The program can be accessed on a PC via the Google Chrome browser.  

Google Slides: Portrait or Landscape? 

Google’s presentation application allows you the option of both orientations. Switching between the two can be done on the ‘page layout’ function in Google Slides. This can be done to accommodate certain graphics and screen resolutions when creating digital signage. But, most importantly to ensure your Google Slides are orientated the same way as your display screens. Finding out the screen resolution of the screen or monitor on which the signage will be presented can indicate whether portrait or landscape orientation should be used. When choosing the portrait option, make sure to select 5.625” by 10” as this is ideal for signage. If you are choosing landscape, select the 16:9 option.  

Templates

Before you begin creating your presentation, Google Slides gives you the option to start with a blank slide or use a template or theme. There are several Google Slides themes already available on Google Slides or you can download free Google Slide themes.

There are not as many templates loaded onto the application as there are in Microsoft PowerPoint, but you can find an array of templates to download on the internet. Slides is equipped with many business-like and professional templates, which make for good-looking digital signage.  

Sites such as  SlideGo  have thousands of free, downloadable templates that are compatible with Google Slides.  

To access the templates on Google Slides, go to Slide > Change theme.

Adding Content

Google Slides makes adding signage content easy. Images can be added from Google Drive, the internet, or even the camera folder on your smartphone. 

To add an image, go to Insert > Image and select the option you wish to use for uploading. 

Did you know you can change an image into a specific shape? Once you have inserted an image you can make it into any shape you like. Click on the image and then select the drop down menu next to crop image > Shapes and then select your shape.

Adding text is straightforward. Go to Insert > Textbox and place it where you want it. You can adjust the size, move it around, bring it to the front of an image, and change the fonts. 

Adding Content

Music and Google Slides

Adding music to a presentation is possible but is limited on Google Slides. This is a downside to the application. There is no option to add an audio file, so you will have to work with a video file.  

To add a video, go to Insert > Add video. You will see three options namely – By URL, Search, and Google Drive. If you already have a link for the video you wish to upload, select   By URL .  Alternatively, if you want to look up the video on YouTube, choose the Search option and if you already have the file stored in Google Drive, select that option.  

In a situation where you want to use a specific audio file, you will need to convert it to a video file. You can do this by using a free tool like Audacity. If you can find the video form of the audio you want to use on YouTube or a similar platform, you can skip this step. Once you have added the video, right-click and choose Format options > Video playback. Tick the box that says Autoplay when presenting.

 To hide the video from viewers, start by resizing it to make it small. You can then cover it using a color-matched shape or hide it behind an image.  

Timing of Slides

The timing of slides should be adjusted depending on the content of the slide and the digital signage objective. The timing between each slide can either be individually adjusted or it can be set to be the same throughout the presentations. However, this is not recommended, as each slide is generally different. If a slide contains a lot of reading, the time to the next slide should be longer than if a slide only portrays an image.  

Content management software can help with this as you can set how long you want your slide to be displayed on your screens through the software. To manually adjust the time between slides, select Slide > Transition. Select a transition and set it to either slow, medium, or fast. Alternatively, you can toggle between the three and choose the exact amount of seconds you want the slide to be displayed for. The slowest speed is 5 seconds, and the fastest speed is 0.1 seconds.  

Test Your Presentation

Presentations can be tested using the same actions you would when presenting it. When a presentation is completed, and you wish to test it, all you need to do is press the ‘play’ button and choose the option to present the slide on your device. This can be done an unlimited amount of times, allowing for all necessary editing.  This should give you an idea of how your Google Slides will look on your digital displays and whether or not any editing is necessary.  

Sharing And Collaborating

The ability to share files and collaborate on them using Google Slides is a brilliantly innovative feature. This feature allows users to work on signage projects and minimizes confusion or miscommunication between co-workers or team members. It often makes for a more accurate final product and has been deemed very useful by many users. 

You have the option to make a file public and allow editing by other users, or to make a file public and read-only. Presentations can then also be kept private. All of these options are dependent on the purpose and the type of presentation created. 

Sharing and Collaborating

Create A Google Slides Library

As mentioned before, all presentations are saved to Google Drive. When opening Google Slides, you will see an icon list of every presentation you have ever made, as well as a template gallery. There is an option to select whether you would like to see your private presentations, presentations that have been shared with you, or presentations you are currently working on. Everything is well-organized, making it easy to locate certain presentations and even view your favorite templates. 

Incorporate Google Slides Into Your Digital Signage System

Because Google Slides stores all presentations on Google Cloud, using a cloud-based signage system will allow for instant uploads. For signage systems that are not cloud-based, it is as simple as downloading the presentation from Google Cloud onto a device and projecting it. 

Many people may overlook Google Slides as a sufficient program for creating digital signage presentations. But, Google Slides has proven to be a highly competent tool for creating quality presentations. The application boasts all the necessary features and more. It is easy to use, safely and frequently stores data, allows for collaboration, and is accessible from any device. It is a strong contender against its counterpart, Microsoft’s PowerPoint. Google Slides has everything needed to create professional and captivating signage content. 

Visual Communication | What It Is, Why It Works And How To Use It

As our world becomes increasingly digital, visual communication has risen dramatically in importance. Perhaps it all started with prehistoric drawings on cave walls, but today’s visual communication is a truly dynamic profession and field of study. 

Visual communication’s influence reaches art, education, business, advertising, graphic design, entertainment, and any other sector where visuals deliver a message.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at visual communication as a profession and a way that organizations use to enhance messaging and message retention. Additionally, we’ll explore different visual methods used to optimize communication with an audience. 

Visual AdWhat is visual communication?

Visual communication is the conveyance of an idea, information, or message in a visual format. It’s the graphic representation of information or a concept to create meaning. Whereas, visual communication design incorporates elements of design and information development. It focuses on how media communicates with its audience through various forms of content. 

Visual communication design includes the consideration of aesthetics while maintaining optimal function. Further it involves creating new media channels to further enable a message to reach its target audience. For all types of visual communication, it’s important to emphasize that the transmission of the message should be straightforward, clear, and compelling. Art, on the other hand, is abstract. That is to say, the interpretation can be highly varied and left completely up to the observer. 

Graphic design vs. visual communication

Graphic design is closely related to visual communications, and some consider the two as nearly the same discipline. 

They are not. 

Visual communication is boarder than graphic design. It includes communication through any visual means such as video, photography, graphic design, advertising, website design, etc. However, graphic design is narrow and highly specialized. Graphic designers create and assemble symbols, images, text, etc., for a broader campaign. They fit these graphics into a website, ad campaign, or print media. 

Also, visual communications can involve aspects beyond the actual communication medium. For example, it can include  broader message strategy. For instance, a graphic designer might be commissioned to create a webpage logo, images, and site layout. After that, the visual communication expert might also make decisions about message strategy, tone, and target audience. 

Components of Visual Communication

Below are some components of visual communication and how to use them:

Typography

Typography is the arrangement of letters and texts. In other words, the style and appearance of printed matter. This determines copy legibility, clarity, and visual appeal. A smartly chosen font can transmit a mood, improve readability, and enhance understanding. 

Different TypographyColor

The choice of color can transmit personality. For instance, bright pink and deep blue convey two very different messages. Colors wheels can help color matching choice. A single strong color may be used for emphasis, but many colors may be used to communicate dynamism. 

Contrast

A contrast of light and dark make words and images stand out better. If needed borders can be placed around images for improved clarity and emphasis. 

Tone

Tone is related to color. That is to say, tone can transmit intensity or emphasis. Very bright fire engine red vs. a soft bordeaux transmit different sensations to the viewer.

Texture

A shiny finish might signify boldness, however a matte finish may say something more subtle. Different textures can highlight specific visual aspects and increase messaging nuance. 

Size & Perspective

The medium used (e.g. billboard vs. business card) determines size. Still, even a smartphone screen can use a close up view giving a sense of largeness. Side-by-side size contrasts draw attention.

Orientation

This is the “where” of visuals. It including relative position to other objects. Angle of view also plays a role here. For example, looking up from the floor contrasts with looking down from a rooftop. 

Shape

Geometry can set a tone or attitude. Smooth circles and ovals on the contrary squares or sharp angles can signal the character of your message. Shapelessness could mean creativity or chaos.

Examples of Visual Communication

Here are some examples of visual communication and how they might be used:

Data Visualization

The graphic representation of data using images, shapes, graphs, or symbols to explain relationships among the represented data.

Data VisualizationInfographics

An infographic combines text and images (typically graphs and illustrations). They can be used to convey a single message or a topic summary. Some reports will use an infographic to summarize results.  

Video

Video uses moving images to transmit a story, message, or concept. It can include animation, computer generated images, or real life scenes and people in recorded or live images. 

Photography

Photography encompasses capturing still images on photographic film or by digital methods. After that images can be modified and edited to enhance artistic effect.

Signs

Displays used to describe something with words, images and/or graphics. Signs can be used for wayfinding, naming, or other informational purposes. They can be static or digital. 

Iconography

Iconography is the use of traditional or conventional images or symbols that are associated with a subject. As a result it involves the pictorial or illustrative rendering of an object, subject, or idea.

Process Diagrams

Diagrams implement shapes and arrows to illustrate process flow. Consequently, enabling viewers to understand concepts through a visual format. Diagrams can include images, symbols, and text.

Maps

Maps are diagrammatical representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, bodies of water, boundaries, etc. Color use can improve contrast and map effectiveness. Interactive maps can zoom in/out and be integrated with other media for information sharing.

Drawings

Drawings constitutes artwork, diagrams, building floor plans, or other illustrations created by hand or by digital methods. 

Drawing illustrationAnimations

Animation is a method in which figures are manipulated to make it appear as though they are moving. This is accomplished with drawing or painting on celluloid sheets which are then photographed. Moreover, modern animation uses specialized software assistance which is less time consuming.

Illustrations

A decoration, interpretation or visual explanation of a text, concept or process. Illustration is frequently used in published media. 

Why is visual communication important?

Every organization’s approach to visual communication is critical to message retention and brand success. 

The simple act of shining a light on a store sign at night improves visibility, even if you don’t change the sign itself. In fact, up to 45% of visitors will enter a business only because they noticed the sign. Plus, in 2019, worldwide advertising spending reached nearly $587 billion

Another reason visual communication is critical is that the understanding of concepts improves when accompanied by visuals. From stock market charts to diagrams to flow charts to maps to TV commercials, ideas stick better when accompanied by something you can see. The reason behind this is largely biological. Visualization works since humans respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. 

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visual communication, therefore, takes advantage of human nature to enhance concept and message processing, organization, reach, and effectiveness. 

The benefits of visual communications

The primary benefits of visual communications include:

  • Improved retentionLearning through visuals, can decrease learning time, improve comprehension, enhance retrieval, and increase retention. This helps with organizational communication, training, advertising campaigns, and more.
  • Improves understanding – Some signs need no words at all to convey meaning (e.g. no smoking sign). Concepts can even be understood across different languages and countries. A list of percentages is harder to understand compared to a well designed pie chart.
  • Faster understanding – Your message gets transmitted and understood faster with visual communication. Humans can grasp the meaning of a visual scene within 1/10 of a second.

Visual CommunicationHow to use different types of visual communication

What’s the best approach to using your media, content, or signage? Here are some examples:

Websites

Websites can be used by any organization or individual to communicate online. So, sites should be dynamic, comprehensive, and easy to understand. The web address and/or link should be included on all types of organizational communication.

Social Channels

Social media is very much about engaging, sharable messages that reach people where they are. Images and short video formats are popular. A captivating title or text helps as well. Videos should get to the point immediately or find a way to build suspense. 

Training & Onboarding

Diagrams and flowcharts can help assist in overall understanding. Additionally, videos can also help provide visual examples. Interactive online training can be highly effective. If appropriate, videos with live actors or animation will resonate better than lengthy text. 

Events

Billboards, social media posts, TV commercials, and street banners can all be employed. All media should be uniform in branding, color, logo, and messaging. The idea is to provide a near ubiquitous presence to build hype. Countdowns to the event generate excitement, such as a live countdown on a webpage or social media page.

Reports

Illustrations, charts, graphs, and flowcharts should be used generously in reports. Large blocks of text can be difficult to follow. Breaking up the narrative with visual aids drives the point home and improves retention. Visuals should be kept as simple as possible.

Presentations

Visuals are used in presenting a topic to an audience to inform, persuade, inspire, or present an idea or product. Presentations can include visual aids such as slide shows, models, videos, handouts, or demonstrations. 

Visual aids and levels of sophistication

For effective visual communication, the use of visual aids come with various levels of sophistication. For example, let’s say you were giving a presentation in a conference room.

What sort of visual aids you might use to get your message across?

Meeting Visual communicationAt the most basic level, a whiteboard or chalkboard can be used to transmit ideas at the moment, and these are inexpensive tools. Another affordable option is paper handouts with notes or diagrams to help explain concepts. 

The drawback to these visual aids is that they may not be as engaging when compared to other methods. If the audience has their heads down reading a hand out, they might not pay as much attention to the speaker.

If you have access to a projector with computer capability, then your communication possibilities increase dramatically. A slide presentation or video clips can go a long way to stimulate conversation or help a message to sink in more. 

However, these kinds of visual aids require careful preparation which can be time consuming and expensive. Something to be careful of when using slides is to avoid showing/reading large blocks of text. 

Instead, implement easy to read diagrams, graphs, images, and brief outlines to get your message across. The idea is to highlight the key information only. Remember, the visual aid should support the presentation, not generate distraction or boredom. 

Advanced & interactive forms of visual communication

With modern technology, visual communications has taken on an entirely new dimension. For example:

Video Conferencing

This has gained widespread acceptance at the social and organizational level.  Friends and family make video calls while companies conduct important meetings via video conference. 

Events

Large displays can be set up to show event related Twitter tweets. Also, the event can set up trivia contests or competitions, with results shown in real time. Participants can even be invited to use their smartphones to vote about something, like the winner of a presentation or performance. The main display screens can show the results. All of these methods can also incorporate learning, training, or branding messages to fit the context of the organization or event.

E-sport competitions

These are broadcast to stadiums or cyber bars where fans can meet on gaming and social media platforms. This generates a combination of social, lifestyle, and spectator interaction that all rely heavily on visual communication.   

What is a visual communications degree?

As we alluded to earlier, visual communications is a true academic discipline. It can incorporate concepts from graphic design, visual arts, marketing, advertising, and public relations. For instance, the University of South Carolina offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communications. University level programs teach students how to tackle visual problem-solving through fundamental skills such as graphic design, film, web design, and photography.  

Job OpportunitiesJob market for a visual communications degree?

A degree in visual communications can help you land a job working at:

  • Media companies
  • Television Industry
  • Music & Entertainment 
  • Film Industry
  • Gaming Industry
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Website Development
  • Production Houses
  • Public Relations
  • Fashion Houses
  • Magazines
  • Social Media Groups
  • News Organizations

Job titles associated with a degree in visual communications include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Graphic Artist
  • UX / UI Designer
  • News, magazine, or book editor
  • Photo / Video Editor
  • Animator and Illustrator
  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Desktop Publisher
  • Copywriter
  • Scriptwriter / Screenwriter
  • Production Assistant
  • Photojournalist
  • Videographer 
  • Illustrator
  • Art director
  • Social Media Marketer 
  • Filmmaker 
  • Marketing Specialist

Visual communication of the future

In conclusion, as technology advances, the potential for visual communication is limitless. With virtual reality, augmented reality, holographic transmissions, drone filming, 3D, and other technology, the way we communicate visually will continue to diversify rapidly. Also, by connecting devices in real time, such as smartphones connected with signage or display messages, the experience can become even richer and more extensive. 

Even multicasting over a wide network in sync with signage is already possible. Meanwhile, the gamerverse continues to push the envelope with multiplayer immersive games that tell a story rather than just offer a game platform. 

In the future, perhaps the only limits to visual communications will be the creator’s imagination.

Top 10 Business Intelligence (BI) Platforms Suited for Digital Signage

Business intelligence (BI) platforms have become instrumental in helping businesses better understand vast amounts of data to make decisions about their companies. The best BI platforms help companies establish open communications. Digital signage helps management and executives communicate with their employees. Open communication from the top  is essential to improving both morale and productivity.

Since BI integrates with a lot of components of a business. It makes sense to have a platform that is capable of posting messages to everyone within the company. It shows that the platform is looking to streamline every component of the business, not just the analytical aspects.

This article looks at the top 10 best BI platforms – the ones that offer a more comprehensive method of managing and relying your data analyses and decisions. First, let’s look at what a BI platform actually is.

BI Integration

What Are BI Platforms?

BI platforms are designed so that companies can create a network of their applications in a way that lets the businesses better access and analyze data about the business. These platforms focus on three primary areas:

  • Analysis
  • Information delivery, typically covering dashboards and reports used within the company
  • Platform integration

BI provides a more thorough look at both the historical and current business operations data to help companies make better decisions and predictions about the future. They are often used as a predictive tool.

There are many tools within the BI platform, including the following:

  • Analytics
  • Benchmarking
  • Business performance management
  • Data and process mining
  • Online analytical processing
  • Reporting

BI platforms have grown in popularity because they offer a competitive edge. This means that the platforms provide a component that links all of the different areas and software of a business. The best BI platforms take advantage of the connection between the different tools to improve communication. Using the tools to control generic communications, updates, and news can help reduce the number of emails while ensuring that all employees have the means necessary to stay abreast of company-wide information.

The Importance of BI Integration with Digital Signage

All departments benefit from the synthesis of data, not just the executives and managers. With all of the necessary tools already connected for analysis, you have what you need in place to disseminate information to all of the relevant personnel. From better understanding how targets are being met to establishing more realistic goals, incorporating digital signage as a part of the platform is the best way to keep everyone on the same page with the same data and decisions.

It is important to keep in mind that digital signage makes messages available to many or all of your employees (depending on how you set it up). Messages that are posted too often or are not relevant, tend to get ignored. The messages you send don’t have to be related to BI, but they will probably touch on decisions made because of the BI. It may take a while to determine a balance. It’s alright to find out how those messages are landing with your target audience.

The following five BI platforms recognize the power of ensuring that data is shared with all employees.

BI Platform

1. Microsoft Power BI

It likely comes as no surprise that Microsoft has developed a powerful BI platform. With many of their customers using Microsoft tools, creating a BI platform to analyze how those tools are used was a logical move. Power BI is a popular solution and comes at a lower price than many of the other options. Since many companies use other Microsoft products, Power BI is incredibly easy to integrate with the other systems. As a Microsoft product, the interfaces are familiar, as is the functionality. This makes it easier to learn than other BI platforms, though it is likely that new users should still go through the tutorial to understand all of the features.

This is a cloud-based BI platform, giving users access to the platform from anywhere. Since the tools are easy to use, you can easily access your data from anywhere if something unexpected happens and a decision needs to be made quickly. Power BI is popular not only because of these features, but it also offers a way of storing vast amounts of data without a user quota. The high dataset also has a high refresh rate, which can be done incrementally. The platform also lets users pin those datasets where they can be quickly accessed and reviewed.

Besides being a powerful analytics tool, Power BI can easily disseminate information over digital signage. With so many Microsoft tools connected to the platform, you don’t need to worry that your staff hasn’t received notifications. Since there are so many connected components to this BI platform, you will want to be extra cautious about how many messages you post. As a cloud-based platform, employees could get messages from their mobile devices, so you want to work to keep notifications to business hours as much as possible.

2. Qlik

Qlik offers an entire suite of BI tools with very detailed and easy to read graphics to help users quickly understand the data. Developed on Qlik’s own analytics engine, it is unique in how the data is collected and analyzed. The tools may take a bit of time to get accustomed to using, but it is worth the effort. Users are able to conduct very specific searches on data that is often overlooked. Because of this, it has been described as a business discovery platform. Qlik tools can be made available for anyone within the business so that you can add essential decision makers for different projects or goals.

There are two primary Qlik platforms:

  • QlikView – a self-service option for data analysis; it is best for small and medium sized businesses and is one of the best options for a lower price than most of the other options
  • Qlik Sense – a next generation toolset that supports data analytics for the full insight life-cycle; great for any sized business, it comes with an average price tag for BI platforms

Since it is built on its own engine, it is not as mobile friendly as most of the options on this list. However, it can be more powerful since it looks at datasets that are often hidden or ignored when conducting an analysis.

Reporting And Analysis

3. Sisense

Sisense is a simplistic but powerful BI platform. Offering an end-to-end tool to develop an interactive analytic app that can enhance the user experience. Analysts, data engineers, and developers can customize the app to meet the needs of the company. It isn’t necessary to customize the tools since Sisense can be used right out of the box (figuratively speaking since it is usually downloaded). In its out-of-the-box form, Sisense is easy for non-technical users to start making the most of the vast amounts of company data.

Even in the original form, Sisense is easy for non-technical people to customize. Dashboards can have widgets added to them. Thus making it easy to review key data points. You can even set up the dashboard based on the location of different facilities. You can also customize the dashboard, and no changes are needed. There is an option to add all of the key data points for easy access when you log in. From important numbers (such as total revenue) to charts and graphs to comparisons, you control what you see when you log in.

Sisense has a lower cost than many BI platforms, particularly given how customizable it is. It is scalable for any size company.

4. Tableau

As the name suggests, Tableau is a very visual BI platform that focuses on making data assessment as quick and easy as possible. It shows data in easy to understand charts with data details that are visible by highlighting the section you would like to view. Since it incorporates data from many different business areas, it provides a comprehensive look at the metrics used to make decisions. The method by which the data is displayed makes it easy for people of any skill level to understand the data.

By breaking down the different metrics, Tableau provides a stimulating visual representation of specific metrics. It is easy to customize because users can update their dashboard to include the metrics that interest them the most. Users can also decide how the data is displayed. To help with collaboration, users can create stories on the platform to act of business decisions. This helps to assign tasks and follow up on them to make sure progress is being made toward meeting goals.

Tableau takes security very seriously, particularly since the platform has so much business sensitive information. You can customize your security to meet your business needs. Perhaps one of the biggest attractions is that along with robust security, Tableau is scalable so that any size business can use it efficiently.

5. ThoughtSpot

Incredibly colorful, ThoughtSpot provides a real-time solution in a visually stimulating way. You can look at the data details, but a quick glance provides an easy way to see the current data trends. You can make the displays as simple or as complex as you would like. The self-service offering is easy for anyone to use, and the AI-driven insights are for people looking for greater details.

ThoughtSpot is easy to use, so users can begin analyzing data as soon as they finish reviewing the basics in how to use the platform. It makes it easy to create ad-hoc data sets for both internal and customer questions. Made to be simple for all users, it can help reduce the number of questions about the current status of projects or how your company is doing toward meeting its goals. This allows for teams and departments to make adjustments to meet any changes within the company.

It is definitely a more affordable BI platforms than many others. ThoughtSpot also does not require much time to learn how to use it. ThoughtSpot is also good for any sized business.

Business Intelligence

Great Alternatives

The following are some great BI platforms and tools, though they do not rank as highly as the previous five platforms. They tend to be either more specialized or less comprehensive. Depending on your needs, one of them could be a perfect fit for your business.

6. DOMO

DOMO is a fantastic BI platform because it offers a lot more than just data and visual representations of trends; it is also a tool for teams to resolve issues about their current projects. While most BI tools can be used to do this, DOMO focuses on giving teams a tool to assist them in understanding things on a micro level.

Easy to use and with visuals that help to facilitate a quick decisions making so that you can get moving. However, the data displayed can be manipulated to provide a more detailed look at specific aspects of the business (as well as teams). It is a cloud-based platform, so users do need to be online to use it. Nor is it designed to take location into account as a part of the analytics (this is pretty common, but notable considering the fact that this is one of the more costly platforms on this list).

It is easy to scale, so it is a good fit for nearly any size company. With customizable dashboards, you won’t have to worry about your staff having trouble finding the data that they need.

7. Google Data Studio

An incredibly simple tool, Google Data Studio provides a quick look at data to help you make decisions. It isn’t as robust as many of the platforms on this list because Google also owns Looker, a much more complicated and comprehensive data analytics tool. The charts are interactive and very easy to read because of their simplicity. It offers both standard reporting and ad-hoc report generation for anyone with access to the tools.

There isn’t much set up time required to get started using the tool once it is implemented because it comes with templates for nearly  every kind of report. As a Google product, it can be easily integrated with their other products. This gives users the distinct advantage of being able to see all of the changes in real time.

It is a perfectly adequate BI platform for smaller businesses, but for more robust needs, consider checking out Looker.

BI Reporting

8.    Looker

Looker offers all of the same basic BI features as the other platforms.  It has easy to read images and charts to facilitate faster decision making. Where it really stands out is that it offers a way to make changes without having to use SQL to drill down into the data details. Users often need to draw data relationships to better understand how changes to one element affects another element. Looker lets users establish the relationship that they want to examine. As well as see how one affects the other without having to learn a computer programming language.

With self-service BI tools and the ability to save to local databases, it is an incredible platform for users of any skill level. However that does come at a cost as this is one of the more expensive tools on this list. It is good for any business size. This is a great option to grow your business as it give you all of the data you need at your fingertips.

9. Qualtrics XM

Qualtrics isn’t specifically a BI platform; it is more of a managerial platform that includes a lot of BI functionality. It provides an easy way of reviewing and sharing data among those who are making the decisions.

There are four primary components to the platform:

  • CustomerXM
  • EmployeeXM
  • ProductXM
  • BrandXM

These are standalone product. Each of these components provides a different focus. One of the primary benefits of Qualtrics is that there is a large community of people who ask questions and help each other out in getting the best results from the available tools.

10. Oracle Analytics Cloud

This is a platform that provides everything you would expect from Oracle. Like with Microsoft and Google products, a large number of companies run Oracle products on their systems. This makes integration easy for this particular product. As an AI-powered platform, it is able to do a lot more than just basic data pulls. From detailed reports to highly specialized analytics tools, Oracle Analytics offers a comprehensive toolset to help you make critical business decisions.

It is easily customizable. By either the company or team and by individual preferences. Since it is also a cloud-based platform, you can use it from anywhere you may happen to be. The most expensive platform on this list, it is worth the price if you already have other Oracle products on your systems. Like their other products, it is easy to scale and works well for any size business.

SEO Data Analysis

Bonus Option for Salesforce Users

Easily one of the most recognizable names on this list, Salesforce has become incredibly popular for its versatility. It was initially designed as a marketing and sales platform. However, the company branched out to offer a comprehensive set of BI tools on its platform. Unlike a lot of BI platforms, Salesforce allows the access of their Einstein Analytics to all users with Salesforce access. The BI tools are seamlessly integrated with their other tools so that you get a more complete look at the data.

The visuals are easy to read. They are an extension of the views you are accustomed to with the other Salesforce tools. This makes it much easier to draw conclusions based on the data presented. It is good platform to use, particularly if your company already uses Salesforce. However, if you don’t have Salesforce, it isn’t your best option.

Making the Most of Your BI Platform

The basic functions of all of these platforms is similar; the primary difference is in the presentation and amount of customization you can do to the platforms. One of the primary considerations is your current setup and the size of your business. What makes these BI platforms stand out is that they provide an easier way of incorporating data into digital signage. Since all of the data is there for business decisions, being able to share decisions quickly from the platform ensures that people are all on the same page.

The primary purpose of BI platforms is to make decisions, but those decisions always affect the staff. Those decisions should never go into a vacuum. Beyond keeping communications open, digital signage can let employees know why those decisions were made. Having access to the same data can help to get the buy in you need to move forward with business decisions.

You can also use a targeted approach to disseminating information over digital signage. If a business decision only affects a few teams, you can share the data you need with those teams. Avoiding sharing unnecessary information to employees who are unaffected.

Digital Signage | Why Every Word Counts

Digital signage is increasingly used in our modern world. Restaurants, dentist offices, movie theatres, and small businesses use electronic displays. Promotional information is everywhere, so how do you make your sign stand out? What words should you use on your digital signage? It’s easy. Say less.

Every word counts when it comes to digital signage. Content matters these days more than ever. That means that even if you have the best graphics on your display, it won’t matter if the words don’t work. You can’t expect your design elements to do all the work.

The Basics

Let’s start with the writing process. Written text (words) on digital signage displays are very important.

Get the facts. Learn everything you can about the product. Look at the competition too. This isn’t a deep analysis, but a fact-finding mission. Most of the time, it’s details about a product that makes us want to purchase it. Find the details that are the most intriguing or eye catching and write them down. These could be great to use later as display ideas for your digital signage designs. If your brand has a certain image, try to find facts that strengthen or work with that image.

Brainstorm. Now it’s time to think. Write down ideas as they come to you. Write down the reason why you chose the facts you did, and then think about your target audience. Keep yourself open to new ideas, and if you can, talk to a friend about the different ideas you’re considering.

Write it out. Drafting is important, especially when you have a limited amount of space. Take time to write out as many variations of your copy as you can stomach. Pick the best one to send to your client.

Sounds easy, and for professional content writers, it really is that easy. But for the rest of us, we want to know how to make the most effective copy possible. There are different techniques out there to experiment with that can make your copy more effective. Which in turn leads to more effective digital displays.

PErception

Call-to-Action

Call-to-Action: If you are selling something, this is the most crucial element of your ad. This is where your verb choice matters the most.

Start with a Verb: What do you want the customer to do? This is most likely the verb you need to use for your call to action. If they need to buy something, use the word “buy” should appear in digital signage display. It really is that simple. Simplicity in advertising is important since customers are constantly bombarded by ads. Keep it simple with your call to action, and you should see results.

Keep Subject Close to Verb: Don’t wander off-topic and start sharing the details you found about the product. Tell the customer what they should want to buy. If you are selling hamburgers, don’t talk about the onion farm in your call to action. Save the details about what makes your product unique and special for after the call to action has been made. For example, once your customer has giving you their contact information you can go into more detail about your product.

Show Call-to-Action multiple times: Now that you have your simple slogan, use it everywhere you can, especially on your digital signage medium. If there’s a logo, you should use that frequently as well. With digital signage, it’s about simplicity and repetition.

Serial-Position Effect

When you list items, the first and last item is most likely to be remembered. This is an effect that’s been observed by psychiatrists, so keep it in mind if you need to list items or details. If you’re listing the benefits of owning your product, make sure your first and last benefits are the strongest selling points. This is important to keep in mind as this will go hand-in-hand with where on your digital signage screen you display your list.

Chunking and Coding

Just like the Serial-Position Effect, Chunk is another memory trick you can use to strengthen your display. The order in which we take in information matters. Nearly every person has a limit to the amount they’ll remember, and more often than not that number is around seven. Now’s the time to use the facts you found during your research. Keeping your points in groupings of 5-7 ensures the customer won’t get overwhelmed and will easily digest the information you’re sharing with them. This is called “chunking” and makes for fewer items for your brain to remember.

Memory

Coding is what your brain does to remember things, like identifying similar or like items. You can make it easier for the brain to remember by presorting items to be with other like items. By keeping it simple to take in the information, you make it more likely the customer will remember what you wrote.

Alliteration

Some words sound better next to each other. That positive feeling created by words that sound that same, rhyme, or start with the same letter helps make your text in your digital signage display sound better to your customer. Customers have experienced similar techniques before, and they may code in their mind so that your ad is similar to ones they’ve seen before. This benefits you by positive association.

The Rule of Three

We covered “chunking” or how people remember a minimum of seven items at a time. It makes sense that listing fewer items would work better. This is especially relevant for digital signage, where space and exposure are limited. Lists of three work best. There are many free tools out there to leverage to your advantage when creating your content for your digital signage.

Relevance

Stay on topic. When you have limited space, you can’t spend that on irrelevant facts. Depending on where your signage is placed, you may have a very limited amount of time facing the customer. If you’re using imagery, make sure the imagery makes sense in the context of the advertisement. Don’t use images that distract from the written message, or your efforts at being memorable will be spoiled. The location of your digital signage definitely plays a big role in its success.

Repetition Words

Repetition

You can say that again! No, really. Repetition is a classic technique that can’t be beaten. The customer’s mind has time to convert what you wrote into short-term memory. This means they won’t forget, although you don’t want to annoy them. Keep chunking in mind when repeating. Using the same phrase seven times in a row will likely aggravate the customer, but three times is perfectly acceptable.

If you use these simple techniques, you’ll be writing content that works in no time. If you need a mnemonic trick, just remember K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple, Seriously. 

Complication isn’t something you want anyone associating with your brand. By using simple verbs and presenting information in a clear and easy to understand fashion, you make it easy for your customer to remember what your digital signage said. 

3 Questions for a Strong Corporate Communication Strategy

Corporate communication is one of the most vital business strategies you can employ. In fact, a strong corporate communication strategy can increase returns to shareholders by an impressive 47%

Let alone the fact that employee productivity increases by 20-25% when they feel connected to their workplace. However, a brand’s corporate communications have to be built and developed in a cohesive and strategic way, to be powerful and effective. Therefore, we are going to take you through 3 steps that will transform and unite your company’s communication efforts to form a corporate communication strategy.

Let’s first look at what corporate communication is before we work on improving or strengthening our strategy.

Corporate Communication

What is Corporate Communication?

Let’s put it this way: it’s through effective communication that customers learn about a brand’s products or services, including what makes them unique. But most importantly it’s also how management and employees coordinate their activities so the entire company can replicate and embody its personality, goals, and essence. In addition, having strong communications internally helps to boost employee morale. 

You simply can’t overstate how important it is to keep a brand’s communication cogs running. But how do you go about it? 

Let’s take it step by step. 

1. What are the core elements of your business?

Trying to roll out a corporate communication strategy without having the core elements of your business in place, is like building a house with no foundations. 

Essentially, that house is going to slide into the mud.  And it all starts with reacquainting yourself with your brand, where it sits in the market, and assessing the competition. 

That way, you can have a building block that all communication comes from to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Here’s how to do it

  • First up, conduct a thorough competitor analysis. You need to be assessing how they position themselves in the market, what their brand values, personality and tone of voice are. That way you can make sure you differentiate in a competitive market and your strategically-crafted communications are going to stand out.
  • You need to develop your brand values. What do you stand for? Values stand at the very core of your brand. They’re the center from which everything radiates, including your branding, messaging and relationships.
  • Develop your tone of voice. How are you going to talk to stakeholders, customers and employees? The voice will need to be consistent across the board, as this will encourage trust. 

And once you have these, you can move onto the next question.

Strategic Communication

2. What are your current internal communications activities?

As we touched on before, effective communication in the workplace is paramount. Without it, it is impossible to build innovative products, provide exceptional services, engage employees or satisfy customer needs.

The ripple effect is powerful. You need to take a long hard look at your current strategy to make sure you’re communicating effectively and have happy employees.

But a staggering 60% of businesses don’t have a long-term strategy or vision for their internal communication and over 21% of internal communicators say that there is no planning attached to their internal communication strategy. You need to be different.

Here’s how to do it

  • Consider the current situation. Think about what current channels you’re using and if they’re working. Are your employees engaging with your newsletters? Have there been any complaints about forms of communication? How regularly do you communicate with your employees?
  • Think about your company culture. How are your employees feeling about where they work? What is morale like? There are survey tools you can use, such as Office Vibe, that help you to get this information while your employees remain anonymous. 
  • Tailor your internal communications based on what your audience needs and wants. From newsletters, to focus groups, to group Zoom calls, to events and digital signage, you can make sure you get it right.

Then it’s time for the final question and bringing it all together.

Strategy Discussion

3. How do I define my new strategy?

This is a crucial step, as making sure everything is aligned is going to be intrinsic to ensuring your corporate communication strategy is cohesive and highly relatable. 

You’re going to need the following in place:

  • Clear goals. Your goals should lay out exactly what you want your communications to achieve. The key is making sure your goals are SMART and that you stick by them like glue.
  • Segment your audience. Remember that different audiences need to be spoken to about different topics. Your external audience will need different communications than your internal audience, for example.
  • A strategic content plan. Planning content ahead of time will help to keep your content in line with your core brand elements. Make sure you’re always relating content back to what makes sense for your brand values, personality, and tone of voice. 

Remember, fixing a corporate communication issue is not a quick or simple process. On the contrary, it takes research, strategy, and time. You’re going to need to be both proactive and reactive to make your communications work powerfully.

FINAL TIP: Always communicate with your customers, employees and stakeholders on a human level. If you’re unsure what types of communication and content they want from you… ask them! People like to be consulted and they respond well to being asked their opinion. 

Do you want to talk more about how digital signage can boost your corporate communication strategy? We’re experts in digital signage and can deep dive into exactly what your business needs. Contact us on 866 310 4923.

Free Digital Signage Templates for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2020 is almost here! Creating digital signage that is fresh, relevant and engaging can be challenging. Below are some free Thanksgiving templates to download and use right in time for Thanksgiving! These templates are so versatile and can be used in a variety of industries. In order to get more individuals (customers, clients or employees) to engage with you content, add more content around your theme. For example you could add some trivia about Thanksgiving or add some jokes in the mix. This concept is called infotainment.  Below are some Thanksgiving jokes to use on your digital signage display.

Free Thanksgivng Template

Thanksgiving Jokes

With Coronavirus being a concern this year, what’s likely to be the most popular side dish? Masked potatoes

Why did the turkey’s seasoning taste a little off last year? She ran out of thyme

“Knock knock!” “Who’s there?” “Tamara.” “Tamara who?” “Tamara we’ll eat all the leftovers!”

Free Template

Friendsgiving Jokes

With Covid-19 restricting so much travel and interaction this year, there is a high probability some may not be able to spend this time with their family, but don’t worry! Friendsgiving is still and option. Here are some jokes to can share with friends this Thanksgiving.

Who should you invite to your Friendsgiving? Your close group of Palgrims

What is something that describes both political talk and filling up your plate of food? Choosing sides

What’s one thing that you’ll have in common with a teddy bear on Thanksgiving? You’ll both be filled with stuffing

One of these jokes is bound to be a hit at Thanksgiving,  but we hope the real hit will be your digital signage. The free Thanksgiving templates are just a few small examples of what you can create with digital signage. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.

We have complied 5 Thanksgiving templates into a folder that you can download below. Also, check out SignageCreator, our content creation suite, for more holiday-themed or seasonal digital signage templates.

Enjoy these free Thanksgiving templates! (also, check out more templates here for Easter, Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day & the Holidays)

Download Free Thanksgiving Templates

 

Infotainment | Screen Displays to Engage Your Audience

Digital signage content creation is typically a sales-oriented process where marketing and creativity collide. We all know how effective digital signage is at capturing attention, and when paired with relevant marketing messages, the benefits are hard to ignore. But digital signage doesn’t need to be only a marketing tool. Its power to inform is matched by its power to entertain—a concept known as Infotainment. There are several ways to get your audience to engage with screens through infotainment. 

Infotainment for digital signage involves acknowledging the value of entertainment for reaching an audience and leaning into that concept through content creation. It’s not meant to push marketing goals directly, but rather, to engage audiences in a different way. When done correctly, infotainment for digital signage acts as a value-adding complement to your more direct marketing messages. And in this way, the concept is a must-have strategy for digital signage engagement.

1. Trivia Quizzes

This is a versatile option applicable to any industry. Companies can come up with unique, interesting trivia questions to splash across the screen, offering a blend of entertainment and actual industry knowledge, depending on your preferences.

For example, a healthcare clinic installing digital signage in its waiting rooms (as it should, if it wants to keep its waiting patients entertained!) could ask the following question:

  • Is LDL the “good” cholesterol or the “bad” cholesterol in your blood test results?

Infotainment Trivia ScreenThis is a simple, relevant question that may actually improve a patient’s knowledge about his/her health, particularly when it comes time to see the doctor. (It’s the bad cholesterol, by the way.)

But while questions like these can be used for educational purposes, remember, the goal here is entertainment! Don’t feel like these questions need to be informative. It’s trivia, after all, and any topic is fair game. 

Come up with plenty of questions, industry-focused or not, and display them on the signage. And don’t forget to add visuals, photos, and other design elements to help the text pop. Companies have much more flexibility in this type of digital signage design layout than in other forms of marketing, so let the imagination run wild!

2. Helpful Spotlights

Here’s a great one for those in hotels and hospitality: local spotlights!

This can be super helpful content for viewers unfamiliar with the region. Come up with a few restaurants, bars, or recreation areas nearby and create a custom digital signage layout featuring the brand. Describe what’s great about it and some key options that visitors should try out. 

Of course, companies will need to get buy-in from the restaurant in question before beginning, but many companies are open to these types of shared marketing partnerships—particularly small businesses that want exposure!

Spotlight Infotainment

In terms of infotainment for digital signage, this one is a little more marketing-centric than entertainment proper, but companies can add some flair to give the messages more appeal beyond what viewers typically see in digital signage menu boards.  

  • Wrong: “Watson’s Deli down the block offers chicken salad sandwiches for $5.99.
  • Right: “Feeling hungry? Head down the block to Watson’s Deli and try a house-made chicken salad sandwich!”

And so on. It’s important to phrase these ideas as helpful recommendations rather than sales pitches. The idea is to inform and entertain at the same time. And again, make sure to supplement these descriptions with good looking photos of the restaurant’s interior, food options, or whatever other features being highlighted in the text. Infotainment on your screen sound still be interesting to look at!

3. Travel Inspiration

This one is great for airports, hotels, or any company speaking to travelers. Why not leverage infotainment on screens for digital signage to give people a more entertaining travel experience?

This is another area where creativity pays off. The sky’s the limit (no pun intended) when it comes to travelling tips. Display photos of different destinations, offer quick, bullet-list style tips for getting through airport security comfortably, or detail some of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.

Travel DestinationsFor this strategy, high-impact imagery is a must. The goal here isn’t to necessarily arm vacationers with all the information they’ll need to travel, but rather, to encourage their innate wanderlust and get them excited about their plans.  Leverage photos of nearby locales, restaurants, parks, or recreation areas, and don’t be afraid to pair these images with relevant data points that might be of interest:

  • Did you know that London receives over four million more visitors per year than Paris? (Paired with relevant images of these cities, of course!)

This is a localized strategy that will depend on what facilities are near the signage in question—but in truth, the benefits apply to whatever gets put up on the screen.

4. Infotainment on Screens via Social Media

Infotainment is a blend of information and entertainment. And up until now, we’ve focused mostly on strategies that prioritize information over the more lighthearted, fun side of things. This is where social media comes into play. 

As many of us would agree, there’s very little that’s “informational” about the average person’s social media use (news outlets notwithstanding). For most of us, social media is about fun; it’s about relaxing and relating to others—which gives it a particularly useful application in infotainment for digital signage. And best of all, it’s applicable to any industry or company.

With the right digital signage integration tools, companies can pull social feeds from different websites and display the data on their screens. These could be highly-rated posts, posts that have been shared often, posts with imagery, or others.

Social Media Infotainment

For a particular example, let’s talk about applying this strategy in educational settings. While K-12 schools might not seem like the ideal place to incorporate social feeds, but as educators know, technology is a powerful teaching tool—provided it’s used correctly!

Schools can’t just curate content from anywhere; they need to make sure the content put up is acceptable and school-appropriate. But with an integrated digital signage strategy, schools can create dedicated social feeds designed for sharing on schoolwide signage systems. Within these feeds, students will contribute ideas, jokes, memes, thoughts, or opinions. All of which should/can be approved and put on display.

These types of feeds are far more engaging to student populations than lofty administrative messages about education and learning. They’re engaging, authentic messages that draw their eyes to the screen. And while this particular example focuses on encouraging students to participate, the concept also applies to other industries that rely on grabbing a viewer’s attention.

Infotainment on your Display Screens: Blending Function with Fun

Infotainment is a delicate blend of function and fun to use on any screen. It’s not sterile, direct marketing—but neither is it completely without rules. When developing content for each screen, and work towards automating as many of the implementation steps as possible. With a little testing, companies of all kinds can develop digital signage strategies that balance these elements and work towards more effective, engaging messaging across various industries and screens.