Timing is everything. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a cultural shift. What was appropriate marketing at the beginning of the year may now be considered inappropriate or even irresponsible. It’s important to keep your digital content tactful and empathetic, with a focus on benefiting your community and customers. Watchfire offers these suggested best practices for the use of indoor and outdoor digital signs during quarantines, business downturns and community-wide healthcare concerns.
Audit your content. Review what messages you have running in your playlist right now and what is scheduled for the next few weeks. First, identify any content that should be stopped or corrected immediately. Remove any content that refers to events that have been canceled or postponed. Provide updates if possible. Make sure your hours of operation are still accurate. Update people if you have temporarily shut down a branch location or changed its hours. Remember, Watchfire’s Ignite OPx is a cloud-based software, so you can manage multiple signs from one location, and from anywhere with an internet connection. If you are working remotely from home and your office is using Ignite OP for the desktop, explore using a virtual PC setup.
Next, look for content that might be interpreted as inappropriate or insensitive. Phrases like, “Working hand in hand” or “Go Team” for local high school sports may be scrutinized right now. Examine the graphics and videos you are using. Avoid images of people touching or gathered in large groups.
Adjust your content. Periodically reassess your sign content text and graphics. Ask yourself every day, “Is this message right for this moment?” If the answer is no, pivot and rework any problem content. The good news is that you won’t have to scrap the work already done. Ignite software lets you keep sign content and playlists ready to use when situations change.
Don’t capitalize on a crisis. Avoid exploiting Coronavirus fears to make a profit. These approaches can harm your business’s reputation and may lead to legal actions. No “Hot COVID-19 Sales.” No pointing out that your competition has temporarily closed. No implying your product could ease the outbreak. The U.S. attorney general has appointed a COVID-19 fraud coordinator to organize investigations into bogus prevention and cure claims.
Focus on added value. Use your digital signage to highlight what your products or services can do for customers during stressful times. Promote online and delivery services. Talk about free shipping offers or extended hours. Direct people to your website, social media or a phone number for more information. Now is a good time to overcommunicate with customers and the general public about the extra value your organization can provide.
Stay positive. At times like these, remember what your brand stands for. Take guidance from your company’s mission and vision. Display sign content that reflects these values and your brands core messaging. Use plenty of photos with smiling people and inspirational messages. This is a good time to review the more than 1000 pieces of EasyArt still and animated graphics included in your Ignite content management software.
If you haven’t already, experiment with using the Ignite dayparting feature. A well-timed message of “Good morning. You got this day!” can be uplifting. The more you show the compassionate side of your business during this pandemic, the more connected your community will feel. Remember, we’re all in this together.