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Dec152011

How To Develop Digital Signage Content Without Breaking The Bank

There's no need to fear the cost of developing effective digital signage content if you rely on a few simple strategies.

Often companies adding digital signage -particularly smaller companies with limited media experience- don't give adequate consideration to feeding the insatiable appetite for content that's part of using digital signage to communicate with the public.

Many are surprised to learn just how much content may be needed on a monthly basis to keep their communications fresh and appealing, as well as the effort required to maintain consistency with their company's larger branding goals.

In fact, some may actually be scared off from adding digital signage not because of the capital expense of the technology but because of anxiety over adding personnel to create the content to deliver their desired messaging.

Whatever the case, however, there are strategies that can be used to develop well-conceived communications without hiring a full-time graphic artist or designer. Here are a few ideas about how to accomplish just that.

The first thing to do is to plan ahead. Both time and money can be saved when a solid marketing or promotional strategy is developed with clear goals and objectives. In other words, before there is ever the need for content, understand precisely what is trying to be achieved with the communications. That way, any creative person needed to create content has a clear direction to guide his work.

Next, be willing to use and maximize all available resources. One great foundation is investing in digital signage software to manage content effectively and efficiently. Another is to take an inventory of existing content resources, such as logos, photography, video, animations, and other media resources that the company has already paid for and can excerpted, repurposed, or at the very least, guide the creative efforts of a designer tasked with developing creative for digital signage display. And don't forget that there are royalty-free resources, such as photos, video and clipart libraries online that can be an economical way to supplement the effort.

Then think outside your box. In other words, think about getting estimates from freelance designers for work they can do in the future as budgets allow. Consider the power of hiring a part-time freelancer to create digital signage content templates that can be used over and over again. By shopping around for estimates, you will get a feel for the average costs of custom content creation and templates. Remember it is possible that a large percent -80 percent or more- may be able to be handled by populating such templates.

Don't forget when getting estimates from freelance designers to ask about the cost of entering into a monthly content agreement or contract. You might be surprised at the discount you can negotiate with a designer in exchange for offering a steady amount of work on continuing basis.

Finally, try tapping into creative co-workers, friends and family members around you. As one designer suggested, "Who knows? The best creative solution may be sitting right behind you."

The bottom line is companies that can benefit from digital signage shouldn't be intimidated by the cost of adding a full time designer to create the content that will be necessary. With a bit of resourcefulness there are a variety of ways to hold costs in check and still develop effective digital signage communications.

 

David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.

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