:: By Sadiq Khan, doPublicity ::
The most captivating thing to have happened to the advertising industry in a very long time is the advent and subsequent coming of age of digital signage (think rotating event schedules at conferences, airport tickers, menu boards at restaurants and pricing at a local service provider)
The possibilities for this medium are only beginning to be scratched more so with the advent of 4K and its elder brother 8K Ultra-HD displays.
The costs for setting up a digital signage platform for your firm have been steadily going down for the past several years and one study that studied this phenomenon came to the conclusion that between the years 2000 and 2004, the costs for setting up a digital signage display unit went down by 50 percent, that is to say the prices dropped by half. This trend is set to continue and already there are firms who have pivoted in this space and are offering compelling solutions to all categories of businesses.
Proper Software and Hardware Environment
So, having already set up the proper software and hardware environment for your campaign the only thing remaining is for you to develop content which will communicate the information that you want to convey to your clients in a clear and unambiguous manner. The costs for hiring a specialized digital media content creator can prove prohibitive and sometimes you want to make real time changes to your banner. What do you do in such a scenario?
Well, there are many options available for you now, thanks to many service providers offering templates, which can number in the thousands to set you off in the proper direction in terms of creating bespoke content for your application. These providers have thousands of such templates categorized into the various segments of industry, such as the retail sector, hotels and restaurants, hospitals and waiting rooms, banks, just to name a few.
If You Can DIY
These templates are designed using the most commonplace office productivity software such as MS Office and Open Office, PDF, Audio and Video content. They are sector specific so that all that you might need to do to use them is to quite simply edit them in putting your details and where appropriate, using the aforementioned software. This means that you will be up and running in little or no time at all. What’s more, you can engage in real time editing, viewing your changes as you go.
So, here are a few tips which you should bear in mind if you want to create captivating content that will keep your audience engaged with your brand and have them keep coming back for more and more of the same. You need to become a DIY kind of person as this will not only save you a couple of dollars in the bargain, but it will also enable you to make the most out of the free advanced content editing tools which are available online.
• Befriend YouTube – It is always a lot of fun if you can teach yourself a new thing, personally the reward that comes with internalizing a new concept and putting it in practice cannot be metered in words. Having said that, most of the 1,000+ templates that will come bundled with the software will be pretty easy to edit as most will come with a built in editor or you can choose to export them to local and edit them using software installed on your computer.
Ultimately, after you get the hang of things you might want to move to the next level. In this case, you will have to make YouTube your best friend and choose the training videos that will give you more depth in the editing process and as to how you can go about editing the audio, video and text to customize them to your needs. In most cases the digital signage provider will already have helpful videos on the subject on their video channel.
• Befriend Google – If it so happens that the vendor did not have the time to post the video, then you will have to engage in clever Google searches in order to find out the necessary information that exists on how to create and edit and manage your digital content. Additionally, you can find a lot of free templates out there that you can customize to fit in with your circumstances.
You will also find forums and communities of digital signage enthusiasts who will help to make the learning curve a little less steep for you. In this way, you can come up with a solution that not only makes sense to you, but also you will be well on your way to becoming an expert in the area and even earn a few dollars, while at it.
• Consult Experts - If you get stumped in your efforts and you are not a DIY bluff, then you should make a point of talking to the vendor of the solution. The best of the pack offer their solutions by email and directly on phone. So, if you want a quick time sensitive answer to your query this remains the best option for you, in this regards.
Before you do that you might as well go through the website of the service provider’s FAQ section and read the manual you might be pleasantly surprised to note that the particular question has already been comprehensively answered and archived.
• Practice, Practice and then Practice Some More – Well, since the digital signage unit is ultimately yours, I go back again to point one and two above, it is important that you invest some time in figuring out how it works and the best way to do this is by creating your own content, be it audio, visual, textual or otherwise. Experiment and before you know it you would have become an expert at it. Good luck on your voyage to becoming an expert content creator.
About the Author
Sadiq Khan is an expert at creating Digital Signage content, an expert of more than 15 years standing in the field. He has a knack for all things digital and runs his digital media studio out of New York City. He blogs constantly about this subject and his blog enjoys a monthly audience of more than 3 million viewers.