Tech trends in the world of digital signage may ebb and flow with time, but some things never change when it comes to creating a compelling, engaging viewer experience. While today's signage strategies feature an endless array of bells and whistles, content has always been a critical element of these programs and should remain a brand's key focus as it navigates the future of the technology. To help strategists create captivating visual materials and manage these resources effectively, here are the five immutable rules of digital signage content.

"Content has always been a central element of digital signage strategy."

1. Tailor content to the environment: Context is key in the arena of digital content, especially when the material is on display for viewers who may only have time to steal a quick glance at the monitor. As an article from the University of Michigan's IT Services Department detailed, strategists should "begin by designing for accessibility." This means following a few best practices such as strong text/background contrast, relatively large font sizes and easily digestible chunks of content. They must also consider where the monitor will be placed in the facility, as this will influence design strategy as well.

2. Utilize compelling calls to action: In a retail environment or any consumer services setting, encouraging viewers to take action is a universal and primary goal of a digital signage strategy. Incorporating frequent and bold CTAs into a content cycle is therefore one of the most impactful tactics a brand can employ, especially if the CTAs are well calibrated with seasonal trends or the preferences of a particular consumer base. A recent blog article from OnSign TV suggested that content creators repeat key phrases and and words for maximum effect.  

Embrace experimentation when developing visual content, but remember to stay aligned with your brand message.  Embrace experimentation when developing visual content, but remember to stay aligned with your brand message.

3. Mix information and imagination: The best digital content combines visually stimulating design elements with information that truly helps and educates viewers. Using existing brand color schemes and visual cornerstones is a great way to get a content creation project moving in the right direction. A recent blog article from Digital Signage Today recommended that every piece of content should be crafted to reinforce the brand message, striking a balance between style and substance. 

4. Manage content from the top-down: Some companies focus too heavily on content design and development, but don't forget that a strong underlying management system is essential for displaying these resources in a strategic and effective manner. Decision-makers must leverage enterprise digital signage software to ensure that their content reaches the right audience at the right time. 

5. Analyze and evaluate performances: A brand that doesn't continuously gauge the effectiveness of its digital signage content will surely watch viewer engagement – and ROI – plateau after a surprisingly short period of time. Strategists shouldn't just be refreshing content for novelty's sake, but rather testing multiple approaches to design and scheduling that will reveal the true preferences and purchase behaviors of their target audiences. Top digital signage software solutions come equipped with analytics platforms that illuminate these insights in real time.