How Fresh Is Your Content?

How Fresh Is Your Content?


We’ve seen them. Pictures on someone’s blog of a business advertising snow shovels in June or wishing you a happy Easter in August. But fresh content goes far beyond just making sure that what’s on your sign is relevant to the time of year.

So, what do we mean by fresh content? Sure, that oil change spacial has been up there for 2 years, but I’m still offering the special, right? Besides, that’s the same blue and yellow background I use for everything!

It’s easy to get into a rut by using the same fonts, backgrounds, graphics… Even the same specials. As passing motorists get used to seeing your sign, it tends to lose some of it’s ability to attract their attention. Especially if it’s the same basic color and shape of yesterday’s sign.

It’s good practice to sit down and take a good long look at your digital messaging at least once a year. Ideally, you would want to look at your messaging before the beginning of your busy season and again after the season to find out the effectiveness of messaging in achieving your goals.

Digital Message Centers are advertising. Would your business keep running a radio ad from last year just because you can’t think of anything better to put out there?


The first step in evaluating your message center effectiveness is to review your communication goals. We have to know what the sign is supposed to do before we can judge how well it’s doing it. Here are 4 basic goals you might start with:

  • Capture the attention of the audience
  • Convey information to the audience
  • Motivate action by the audience
  • Encourage repeat viewing by the audience

This is as basic as it gets: Are we getting the audience’s attention? Once we get their attention are we communicating our message efficiently? Are we converting that into action? Are we giving them a reason to look at our sign again in the future?

If your content is fairly static, choose one day from the last month and look over all of the messages that you displayed. Carefully look over the content and ask yourself the following:

  • Does the message present the information stylishly and succinctly?
  • Are we using good design rules when creating these messages?
  • Does content flow well from one message to the next?
  • Are messages consistent enough to convey brand identity while being varied enough to grab audience attention?
  • Are customers paying attention to our messages?
  • Are our messages influencing customer behavior?
  • Are we measuring the success of our messages?

One of the most challenging things to do is to present messages in such a way that the branding is consistent, yet the content is varied enough to continue attracting attention. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to sit down and come up with sets of visual elements and backgrounds that work well together and rotate them on a regular basis.

Don’t confuse stale messages for continuity. Even you standard themes need to be updated periodically.

We recommend at least 4 themes for your sign that can be rotated quarterly as the season changes. Even adding seasonal elements to your current backgrounds and colors can do wonders for keeping your content relevant. Ideally, you should have 10-12 themes and change them out regularly for maximum impact.

Are you measuring the effectiveness of your digital reader board? It’s shocking the number of customers we work with who are unsure if their investment is effective or not. A simple way to determine the effectiveness of your messaging is to run promos on the board only and measure response.

Getting your customer’s attention is only half the battle. Keeping their attention is a constant battle that must be fought with hard work.