How to Keep Your Digital Signage up to Date

Digital signage is a great way for retailers to capture customers’ attention and keep them informed about new deals and products. However, digital signage can only achieve its desired objectives by consistently displaying relevant and up-to-date content. Customers are unlikely to engage with digital signage if the content appears generic or outdated.

Think of digital signage like a blog or social media page: It needs new content on a constant basis in order to maintain interest and drive engagement. The challenge is knowing what makes digital signage content truly relevant in the eyes of your customers. Retailers must also consider different tools and techniques that simplify the actual process of changing and displaying digital signage content.

With this in mind, here are a few best practices for keeping retail digital signage up to date:

Create a Content Calendar

Businesses that use social media to their advantage don’t just post whatever they want, whenever they want. They follow a schedule that tells them exactly what they are going to post and when they are going to post it. The same concept applies to digital signage. Establishing a content calendar keeps content on message by providing clear guidelines for things like how long each display runs for and how often your display will change.


Scheduling your content also saves you from having to manually update your digital signage every time the season changes or a special event arrives. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about time-sensitive messages being displayed too late. Instead, your scheduled content will appear automatically, allowing you to focus on serving your customers and furthering other strategies for boosting sales.

So how do you go about creating a content calendar? You can start by defining your content’s primary goals, which might include promoting specific products, informing customers about events or incentivizing activity on social media. Other important factors to consider include the age and preferences of your customers. Certain demographics may be more or less receptive to different types of images or advertisements.

Determining what kind of content you want to share will help you figure out an appropriate frequency for updates. Depending on your goals, you might choose to schedule automatic updates on a weekly, monthly or even daily basis. In fact, some retailers choose to update digital signage two to five times per day.

Incorporate Promotions and Sales

When planning your digital signage content, consider the frequency and timing of sales and promotions. Your content calendar should not only embrace evergreen content but also dynamically adapt to seasonal events, industry-specific sales days like Black Friday and unique promotions tailored to your business needs. For instance, imagine leveraging digital signage to tease an upcoming product launch by displaying countdowns or sneak peeks, building anticipation among your customers. This method turns your signage into an interactive tool for customer engagement.

Alternatively, consider the strategic placement of content that complements current sales; if a particular item is being promoted, adjacent digital signage could highlight accessories or related products, enhancing cross-selling opportunities without overshadowing the main promotion. This strategy ensures that your digital signage serves not just as a billboard but as an integral part of your sales ecosystem.

Updating your signage with timely content during sales events can spark customer curiosity and drive foot traffic. Digital signage acts as a beacon of “breaking news,” highlighting the latest offers and product releases. This strategy not only generates excitement but also attracts customers keen to discover what’s new. By effectively showcasing the most compelling promotions and updates, digital signage turns curiosity into store visits, leveraging every update as an opportunity to boost engagement and sales.

Live Media

Another important aspect of dynamic content is live media. Social media feeds and other live forms of media provide the freshest content possible for your digital signage. By programming your displays to showcase user-generated content, like brand mentions or customer reviews, you tap into a stream of authenticity and relevance. This reflects real-life customer experiences with your products and encourages others to engage with your brand on social media platforms. Utilizing these platforms for promoting giveaways, contests or countdowns directly on your signage further incentivizes shopper participation, creating a lively and interactive shopping environment.

Other examples of live media include real-time weather feeds and traffic updates. Depending on your location or target demographic, both options can be very valuable for your customers. Furthermore, playing live media on digital signage for long periods eliminates the need for manual intervention. These feeds automatically update themselves throughout the day, making them a convenient tactic for providing consistently relevant content.

Dynamic Templates

If you intend to update your signage multiple times each day, you may consider using dynamic templates to simplify the transition between one display and another. Dynamic templates are pre-designed layouts that update themselves based on data they receive from an integrated system. So when the retailer makes changes to the integrated system — which can be anything from a point-of-sale system to an Excel sheet with inventory items — these changes are automatically implemented into the signage. This allows for quick modifications of certain content elements — such as pricing, images, or offers — without having to manually make these changes in the signage itself.

Much like live media, dynamic templates streamline the updating process by directly connecting the signage with another easily controllable source of information. Less manual intervention in the actual signage reduces the risk of technical issues or delays, which are more common with major display changes requiring extensive manual input. Dynamic templates ultimately help your signage maintain a uniform and professional appearance throughout the day with minimal effort.

To ensure your digital signage remains impactful without overwhelming viewers, it’s crucial to balance creativity with simplicity. While dynamic templates facilitate smooth transitions between content updates, avoid overly complex animations or high-resolution images that can slow down your signage’s performance. Choosing more subtle modifications, like altering background colors or text styles, can effectively refresh your display without detracting from its primary message. This strategy underscores the importance of thoughtful content management, focusing on enhancing the viewer’s experience through clear, concise and visually coherent updates.

Final Thoughts

The power of digital signage as a marketing tool lies in its ability to display timely, relevant content that resonates with viewers. Much like the strategic use of social media or blogging, digital signage demands a thoughtful approach to content curation to fully harness its potential. Irrelevant or disconnected displays prompt one to question their effectiveness.

By integrating principles such as dynamic content updates, the use of live media and the strategic simplicity of dynamic templates into a comprehensive content strategy, businesses can ensure their digital signage captivates and engages their audience year-round.

With 16 years of experience in the digital signage industry, Christian Armstrong has gained a wealth of knowledge and expertise in his field. As one of the founding members of Industry Weapon, a CMS provider, Armstrong played a significant role in the company’s growth and success. In 2020, Industry Weapon was acquired by Spectrio, where Armstrong now serves as the Senior Director of Business Development. His focus on content management and digital signage content strategy has been an essential aspect of his role at Spectrio. With his extensive experience and commitment to excellence, Armstrong continues to make valuable contributions to the digital signage industry.


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