Design Content for Digital Signs with ROI in Mind

We’ve written several articles about measuring the success of your messages for digital signs. In this one, we’re giving you concrete examples of elements you can incorporate when you design digital signage content that will make measuring ROI easy.

In order to generate measurable data, you have to engage your audience and get them to participate. The only way to do that is to include a call to action in your digital signage messages – a prompt in each communication that asks the viewer to take the next step. Use any or all of the following items to generate both interest and valuable stats:

QR Tags

  • A Quick Response (QR) tag is a two-dimensional bar code that embeds data to be read by smartphone cameras.
  • Creating a QR tag is easy using one of the many free online generators. Simply input a dedicated URL you want the QR tag to point to, and it will generate an image file with the embedded data.
  • Embed QR tags in digital signage messages to send viewers to a website, have them vote in a poll, or offer a downloadable coupon.
  • Track the number of hits to the QR tag’s URL and you have your ROI.

SMS Response

  • Use SMS response (text messaging) to poll your audience on a number of topics:
  • General surveys
  • Audience choice polls
  • Training comprehension checks
  • Town Hall responses
  • Fundraising pledges
  • Secure a polling plan with one of the many online providers. Then, design your message with the question(s), the phone number where people send their votes, and a list of options with the corresponding SMS codes.
  • Viewers see your message and send an SMS. It’s that easy.

Smartphone Snaps

  • Smartphone snaps are a fast, easy way to drive traffic. The destination can be a physical location, social media site or photo sharing portal.
  • Simply ask viewers to take a snapshot of your message with their phone, and tell them where and how to deliver it.
  • One creative idea is to have an animation or video running and ask people to “snap” an image of something that floats by – like your logo or mascot – to get a discount or win a prize.
  • Simply count the number of people who deliver the photo to calculate ROI.

Interactive Surveys & Polls

  • If you have touchscreen displays, exploit the opportunity to get fast feedback from viewers on the go.
  • Surveys can be created as interactive media files or on the web for delivery to digital signs.
  • If you don’t have touchscreens, consider using QR tags to direct smartphone users to a poll, or set up an SMS response system.
  • Providing voters with instant feedback in the form of a pie-chart or graph will have greater impact on future votes
  • Get great feedback and easy-to-measure ROI for your digital signage at the same time.

Social Media

  • Drive viewers to your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages by integrating them into your digital signage.
  • Post your social media URLs as often as possible to gain followers and reinforce communications.
  • Integrating feeds from your social media pages into digital signage content is a great way to add followers and inspire them to participate so they can see their posts “on the big board.”
  • Drive traffic from social media to digital signage and back again.


  • One of the simplest ways to measure ROI is to offer discount codes or coupons in visual communications.
  • Just include a unique code in your message and direct viewers to take action.
  • Why not create a digital signage message that IS a coupon? Viewers can simply take a smartphone snap to claim their discount.
  • Simply count the number of people who redeem the coupon/code for easy ROI measurement.

Designated URLs

  • Driving viewers to your Internet or Intranet sites is an easy way to track interest in a topic.
  • Make sure to designate a unique, trackable URL in your message so you can measure traffic that is a direct result of your digital signage efforts.
  • If you want to send viewers to an existing webpage, set up your unique URL to redirect to your chosen page so you can measure success.
  • Track your webpage hits to see real-time ROI.

Bluetooth (Near Field) Triggers

  • Every person with a Bluetooth-enabled phone has a digital sign in their hands. Take advantage of it.
  • Pairing your digital signs with Bluetooth transmitters allows you to reinforce your messages by triggering a wireless signal that downloads content to viewers’ phones.
  • Instead of waiting on the viewer to take the next step, you do it for them – saving time and effort.
  • Increase ROI not just with great content, but with more endpoints.