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Key Tips to Launch your Digital Signage successfully

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You purchased your digital signage-now what? You know it is a great resource for your employees and members, but how can you ensure engagement right out of the gate? Without some planning, you could end up with ignored screens and wasted time. With a little extra effort, REACH’s software can ensure to impress your colleagues with interactive content for effective engagement. How you ask? Here are a few tips we recommend prior to launch:

  1. Attainable Goals

It’s important to decide what your main goal you want to achieve from your digital signage. Create a plan and measure the success on a routine basis through your key staff members and ensure you have the right people trained by our experts to know all of your options in displaying your content.

2. Creating Content

Creating engaging content can be one of the most important steps in deploying your digital signage. Our user-friendly software makes it easy to input your message(s) with a variety of background, photo, and widget options to ensure your information is relevant and displayed exactly how you want it.

3. Locations

Decide where you are placing your screens by where your audience will be most engaged. Just because an area gets a lot of foot traffic, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best location. Think of where your audience is experiencing wait-time (break rooms, elevators, etc).

4. Marketing

Build anticipation with your audience by letting them know to look out for the new and exciting communication tool(s). Build a countdown, post on social media, etc. Not only is it important to advertise prior to your initial launch, but continuing to market throughout the year, keeping your content relevant and engaging.

5. Feedback

Feedback can be the greatest tool for long-term success. Encourage your staff and members to submit feedback on what’s working for them, what could use improvement, and who knows what new ideas may come about from their opinions!

6. Branding

Ensure you are meeting all brand requirements to ensure your content isn’t sending a contradictory message and that it is an extension of your core communication strategy. Our graphic design experts will work with you to create top-of-the-line backgrounds and designed to your approval.

7. Track your Success

Metrics are crucial on tracking the success of your digital signage. Tie it to revenue, to impressions that are reaching your audience, engagement, etc. Focus on the long-term goal of your digital signage and continuing to provide relative content to your members.

Want to learn more on how REACH can help with your communication needs? Contact us today: info@reachmedianetwork.com

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6 key design elements to drive engagement

We’ve discussed why design is important, as well as what mistakes users commonly make. In this blog, I’ll give you some tips to engage your audience through content creation. Remember, when your design has the correct elements, viewers are more apt to notice your content and take the message seriously.

Clear, concise communication always prevails. If the intended message is hidden behind scrolling news feeds, weather updates and poor design, how long does it take the audience to receive the message? A distinct, appealing design can clear communication overloads by displaying the main message but also including images.

Have you ever see a handwritten sign taped to a wall? It looks rushed and sloppy, and no matter the message, it often has a negative undertone (for example: “Don’t touch. Wet paint.”). Compare that message to a well, laid out design, and the emotional effect is the exact opposite of the hand written sign. The same rules apply to digital design-you don’t want sloppy, negative content on your signage.

Luckily, not everyone needs a graphic design degree to create engaging content. A few simple tricks will keep your signs lively and entertaining for years to come.

Top six elements of engaging content 

1. Relevant content:

Relevant, up-to-date content is extremely important. Not everyone is interested in your facility’s news, but everyone enjoys being up to date with current events, being drawn into a recent event through a video, or even an update from your social media. Keeping your content fresh and constantly updated will keep your audience drawn into your signage.

2. Clean, concise communication:

If the message is lost, what is the point? Here’s a tip  — look at your content for three seconds. Did you see the message you want your audience to receive? If not, you may need to rethink your message. Most viewers will only glance at your content, rather than stand there and soak it in. Think of your digital signage as billboards. Limit each announcement to one idea and keep text to two short sentences. Use multiple slides to communicate if one isn’t enough, rather than squashing everything onto one.

3. Updates:

An important piece of keeping digital signage entertaining is keeping the content fresh and updated. If you don’t have a new message, at least change the appearance of the announcement to keep people looking at the screen(s). Simply rearrange the components of the announcement or change the images and colors.

4. Photography:

Images speak in volumes to your audience. Using photography to enhance your message could be the difference that makes audience engage and receive your message, rather than ignore it. If you don’t have your own pictures, our stock photos contain hundreds of images to choose from in every category imaginable. Just remember not to go overboard, your message is still number one.

5. Motion:

Adding motion can help grab attention for longer spans of time. This can be done a few different ways: Adding animation to your images or text, or if you have a relevant video, you can increase your audience’s dwell time at your signage by adding these few bits of motion to your screen. It gets better; according to Online Publishers Association, 80 percent of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.

6. Interaction:

Always include a call to action with your message: What do you want your target audience to do with the information you are posting? Respond? Repost/share the info? Let them know exactly what to do so that they can get involved (For example: “Like us on Facebook!”). If there isn’t a direct action to take, at least point your viewers to where they can learn more about the topic of your message.

When creating announcements, just keep these rules in mind. By following these guidelines,  your digital signage will attract more viewers and increase your facility’s communications.

 

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Common Digital Announcement Mistakes: What NOT to do!

You successfully deployed a digital signage solution that fits your needs-now what? After your initial training, can navigate your CMS software — but do you actually know how to reap the benefits of digital signage?

Simple: create eye-catching fresh content! Sound painful? You’re not alone; many users struggle to keep their content looking “awe” worthy- The good news is that most common digital content blunders are easy to fix! After making a few simple changes to your strategy, you will see an instant increase in audience engagement. To get you started, here are the four common mistakes facilities seem to make when creating content for their digital signage:

1. Boring content

It doesn’t matter what type of screens you are using — plain content will ruin your audience engagement. Digital signage is meant to attract attention and encourage awareness. If your content is black text on a white background, you might as well throw a tarp over your signs.

While there might not be anything you can do to pep up a message like: “Meeting in the Conference Room at 3 p.m.,” you can make the appearance fun. Photography is a tried-and-true method of engaging audiences. Stock photography is a helpful resource for embellishing generic messages-as well as adding animation. Motion graphics can easily transform slides from boring to mesmerizing. You can also add in short video links to turn longer messages into more appealing content.

2. Stale, moldy slides

Viewers want fresh content on a regular basis. Even if you don’t have a new announcement to add, changing the visual appearance can give old messages a new light. A quick change of the color, images, or animation can work wonders.

3. Information overload

Here’s a full day’s schedule, a message from the facility, and an upcoming event — you have 10 seconds to digest all of that! Go!

Lack of focus leads to confusion. Digital signage is meant to streamline communications, not jam all communication into a short period of time. If one slide covers all the topics of your newsletter … you’re not using your announcement space properly. Keep asides to the side and limit the content of the slide to one idea, for example: “Free Food: Friday, July 24, 2015, 1-3 p.m.”

4. Death by novel

Audiences want brief messages that are easy to digest — so long text passages in a tiny font size is a content disaster. If your audience doesn’t get the message in 3 seconds, you need to delete some text.

Remember, this is digital signage — not an essay. Paragraphs are a turnoff. Try to keep your message to two short sentences at most. If you can’t limit your text, then split your message into multiple slides.

Don’t limit the effectiveness of your digital content with common mistakes. These are easy fixes, and can only lead to improvement. Viewers must stay engaged with fresh, relevant content so that you get the most out of your digital communication products!

 

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Maximize Audience Engagement with your Layout Design

Once you decide to purchase our digital signage software, the next step is to choose your layout-question is, which digital signage layout and content is best for your audience? Who are you trying to appeal to?

We have broken it down to three main types of audiences and each one can be engaged through different layouts that appeal to them within the viewing environment.

Here are some suggestions to maximize your audience engagement:

Passerby

  • Viewing time = 1-30 seconds
  • Display location:  in a hallway, near an entrance with no lobby, elevator bay, people walking by and not stopping.
  • Full-Size Announcement layout with date/time and current conditions weather.  No video, no ticker, short graphic messages only.

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Waiter

  • Viewing time = 30-120 seconds
  • Display location:  short lines for cashier or reception desk, people stopping for brief periods of time.
  • Split Announcement & Schedule layout with date/time or weather. No long videos, Short Flash video, short graphic messages.

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Lounger

  • Viewing time = 2-30 minutes
  • Display location:  reception with seating, lounges, cafeteria, break room, anywhere there is seating.
  • Split Announcement & Schedule layout with Social Media or RSS.  No restriction on content types and layout complexity, add live TV for 10+ minute waiting areas.

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Although a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist, these layout suggestions will help you to reach your target audience, engage their attention and deliver your message in the best digital signage layout possible.

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Digital Communications Go to College

Halfway through June already..which means it’s that time to start thinking about Freshman Orientations, “Back-to-College” events, and new technologies.

Is your college campus up with the times? We’re talking digital communications: signage, touchscreens, mobile apps-you name it. For a new college freshman stepping onto a large campus, it can be quite intimidating. Having information readily available is key. Whether it be digital signage, touchscreen wayfinding in buildings to find a classroom or information and alerts right at your fingertips with a mobile-app-can help ease the pressure for your students.

On-campus digital signage can be a powerful tool to help schools gain a competitive communications edge. Having multiple digital communications outlets as well can help tailor specific needs to specific audiences-it can become an important tool to target messages to specific buildings on campus, as well as broadcast updates and emergency notifications to the entire university campus.

Each week, countless events will take place on your campus-by leveraging your signage, you can quickly communicated what’s happening to drive awareness and attendance. Integrate with all of your social media streams to keep your displays fresh and current as well!

What’s even better? Your scheduling software can be integrated with all of your products, so ensuring no duplicate work is needed and your students and staff can receive the most up-to-date event and class information on your signage, touchscreen, or mobile app.

One of the barriers to adding digital communication products in the past has been cost, however, with our new technologies and software, these products have steadily decreased in price and with an enterprise package, you can save your campus money while increasing to multiple digital communication outlets.

Incorporating digital signage on your campus is a reliable way to attract attention. In this generation, students are conditioned to look at digital devices for information. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today to learn more at 952-944-7727 or email us at info@reachmedianetwork.com.

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