No matter what objective an organization hopes to achieve with its digital signage investments, one thing is certain: Strategists want their monitors to display visually compelling content that gets the message across to viewers 100 percent of the time. This aim can be encapsulated by the concept of engagement, and it remains one of the most universal and primary goals for digital signage coordinators throughout all industries. Only when a signage strategy consistently engages audiences will a company begin to enjoy the tangible performance benefits of its investments.

But even with a strong understanding of viewer engagement, a company may not incorporate best practices when developing its signage game plan, and it may miss out on a range of high-value advantages. To help in their efforts to engage audience members and maximize signage ROI, here are six tips that strategists can utilize in their next campaign.

"Engagement is a universal goal for all digital signage coordinators."

1. Mix media types: Variety is the spice of life, and a necessity for success when it comes to developing a digital signage content cycle. To capture and keep the attention of viewers, displays must feature a fresh mix of written information, images and video. This diverse set of media formats will ensure that the content educates and entertains onlookers for a maximally engaging experience. 

2. Keep it concise: Today's busy and distracted consumers need a quick-hitting message they can remember, especially when exposed to digital signage in passing. Viewers on the move will only internalize written content if it is punchy and concise, so it's better to keep things to-the-point rather than drawn out. As a guideline, designers should stick with the 3 x 5 rule, which encourages them to not use more than three lines of text of five words each, or five lines of text of three words each. Another helpful pointer can be summarized with 7 x 7 x 7: Aim to communicate the message in seven words while the viewer takes seven steps during seven seconds.  

The strongest signage campaigns are entertaining, educational and packed with value. The strongest signage campaigns are entertaining, educational and packed with value.

3. Use data feeds: The most effective signage strategies squeeze as much value as possible onto the screen at one time without cluttering the visual environment. A great way to balance clarity and content is by incorporating live data streams, which are a proven source of engagement for viewers of all types. A blog article from Wired Insights suggested integrating weather updates, news stories and stock prices as supplements to the main event. Top digital signage software solutions include licensed RSS feeds to simplify and streamline these processes. 

4. Boost branding: Every marketing expert knows that consistency is key to a powerful campaign, but many seem to forget to bring the cornerstones of their brand into the realm of digital signage as they develop their strategies. It doesn't take long to reboot a content stream with stronger brand elements, and the benefits can be significant if this is done properly. An article from Digital Signage Today recommended that designers "incorporate brand standards to coordinate colors or templates" as a first step to creating a more cohesive visual experience for viewers. 

6. Test and analyze: Depending on industry, season and a number of other external factors, a digital signage strategy will need to be tweaked to achieve the greatest possible level of viewer engagement. Designers and content creators should not hesitate to test different approaches side-by-side to discover which schedules, visuals and messages reap the best results.