If Content is King, Context is Queen

Published on
April 7, 2022
Thor Turrecha
EVP of Global SaaS
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When we talk of best practices in digital signage content, creativity and messaging are foremost in achieving success. But it’s equally important to show content at the right time and the right place to the right audience.

As the saying goes, timing is everything, even for digital content. You don’t want to showcase beachwear when it’s pouring outside, or push a 200-word article on a window display – unless it’s for a social experiment.

Below are some key aspects of a successful content management strategy that would work wonders for your digital signage.

Location, Location, Location

Where your screen is practically determines what it should be showing. Shops that have a mature digital strategy make use of zones that have clearly-defined purpose.

For instance, your storefront serves to attract passersby, so content should be striking, bold, and colourful, so it catches the eye.

Once they are inside, screens that entertain and engage should continue the journey, telling them where to go. This is where you display highlights, promotions, and informative content about what’s inside.

Transaction areas are for decided customers, so here you could entice them to return with a preview of what happens – an exclusive perk or a discount – on their next visit.

All this content must be well-timed and strategically placed, in order to delight your audience and keep them coming back.

Don’t Drone On

With today’s many distractions, the average attention span of humans has gone down to only eight seconds – a goldfish practically has more attention than that.

Content that attracts should therefore be kept short, ideally between 5 to 12 seconds. In areas with high foot traffic, static content should only play for 5 seconds or less.

If your content is animated, the duration should be extended a bit more. Viewers need some time to read and process moving content. The same applies to longer messages or extra information.

To make sure your content works, it’s best to test it with different audiences, and check if they can skim over thrice before it ends.

Repeat 7 Times

You know the feeling you get when you think you’ve seen an ad somewhere before? You probably have, you just weren’t paying enough attention.

Studies say that repetition makes recall stronger, even when the audience isn’t actively watching or listening, that’s why your content should loop constantly.

For better content recall, your viewers must be able to see it at least seven times, whether it’s on a single visit or over staggered views. More exposure to content will make them remember, even without conscious effort.

Playlists Aren’t Just For Songs

Make good use of your digital screens by keeping it up and running with fresh and varying content. Ensure that all of it gets played, and often, through playlists.

You can add content to a playlist and enable it to play on your entire digital network. But to be truly relevant, create different playlists and schedule them well. Have a unique playlist for various zones, dayparts, seasons, and special events.

Ideally, a playlist should play 7-10 different content at any given time to make it interesting and memorable. Any more than that and it becomes a blur. Any less and it easily gets old. CMS platforms such as Signagelive allows you to do this with ease.

Avoid Going Stale

To make sure your screens don’t turn irrelevant, content must be up-to-date.

If you don’t already have a content calendar, you should set one up, and fill it up with all of your store’s important and relevant dates.

If you’re a restaurant or in the food industry, you should be able to promote meals based on dayparts. For retail, banks and real estate, seasonal promotions means seasonal content changes. Schools, universities, libraries and museums know when to post relevant material during the school year.

This means you should be on top of your content calendar, and make sure content is playing when and where it should.

Do Due Diligence

Performing content review and audit at least monthly ensures content management success.

Success does not only mean looking forward with what to publish next, but also looking back to see what worked and what didn’t.

Audience feedback is valuable data, one that should always be part of your digital signage planning and strategy.

Vision AI solution for digital signage allows you to gather viewership and demographics data, just like how you’d look at Youtube metrics, but for a physical store. Track which content performs best, to which demographic groups (age and gender), and how long they are exposed to said content.

If you know which content your audience is most connected with, you can better plan out your next campaign, craft a more targeted approach and improve your overall content strategy.


This article is an instalment of our Intelligent Content series, where we take a deep dive into what makes a successful content strategy that engages and delights.

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