Digital Signage - Making Content # 1

Last week I read an interesting article on from Daniel Black entitled “You have an attention span of 8 seconds, more importantly so do your customers”. This got me thinking again how important content is in any Digital Signage network.

In our business, we have access to a great deal of the latest cutting edge technology, and I’ll admit that there is always a degree of excitement when something new arrives. Yes, we’re geeks! It’s very easy in this situation to focus on the technology, refer to screen resolution, screen brightness, physical dimensions or perhaps the width of the screen bezel. However, at Freehand we recognise that the majority of the viewing public aren’t interested in the screen or the media player. A thin bezel doesn’t draw a crowd (unless you’re at a tech/AV expo). The absolute focus MUST be on the content.

Successful digital signage delivers a message, it tells a story but that can only be true if it engages the audience. Without engagement, the process has failed, there is no potential for return on investment and you are left with expensive pieces of electronics that serve no purpose. So, what is the answer? The key is to keep your content fresh, relevant and short enough so the viewer can either read it even if they are on the move. They need to be able to absorb the key message easily and quickly.

Keeping content fresh requires media players that can be easily updated. In years gone by, the solution was to replace the content by swapping the SD card, but that’s far too labour intensive and slow. The marketing team who manage a digital signage ‘network’ often need to update content across multiple sites quickly. Therefore, effective digital signage is driven by networked media players (stand alone or built in to a screen), whether that’s content managed via ‘the cloud’ or alternatively a design agency dedicated network through which content and playlist are controlled. In all Digital Signage installations the content managers or landlords should be able to mark specific events and key anniversaries that will be of interest to the viewer. Retail will have the Sale message and special product offers etc. or in corporate digital signage adding simple tickers with headline news are very simple to add into the screen design.

In summary, next time you have a conversation with your marketing or instore design teams regarding digital signage, make sure it starts with content - the technology discussion to support it should follow. The Freehand team have the experience and expertise to help you create a successful digital signage content strategy. To open a conversation, call Mike Fabian on 01483 200111 or email

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