Digital signage usage is growing in nearly every business. It can be used to effectively attract new customers to a business’ product, inform employees of company happenings, or to display the status of certain processes or workflows. Churches have a great opportunity to use digital signage to notify their members of what is happening both locally and globally in the Church. Digital signage can be an efficient and attractive medium for communicating your church’s message and encouraging people in their walk with Christ.

Creating compelling digital signage using a focused strategy can help you develop a system that reaches people and communicates what really matters.

Here are four key steps in developing a strategy that fits your church not only right now, but in the future as well.

1) Know the People You are Reaching

One key factor for your digital signage is knowing the overall demographic of your church. If your church is primarily baby-boomers, your strategy is going to be different than if your church body is primarily millennials. If your digital signage if full of pictures, events, and information that only pertains to one particular group, the rest of your congregation will likely begin to ignore it over time. Think of your digital signage as a billboard for what your church is all about. Someone who has never been in your church should see your signage and almost instantly get a feel for the type of church you are. If you’re an outgoing, community-serving contemporary church, the style and content of your signage should reflect that.

2) Select the Best Location

Location is a critical factor in your signage. It seems obvious, but if only a certain group of people see your signage because of the location, then who are you really reaching (see #1). Knowing who you are reaching and where you are reaching them is crucial in the sign’s effectiveness. A parent’s information board may be a good idea in the area of your children’s spaces. However, a nursery information sign right outside the nursery may be overlooked or even blocked by parents working through the process of dropping their children off to their classes. Perhaps you have multiple entrances into your building. Walk through each entrance and take note of where your eye travels and what you see first. This gives you a general idea of what people are experiencing when they first walk in your doors. Signage that is too high will go overlooked, as will screens that are too small.

3) Determine Your Content

Content is another factor that will make or break your digital signage strategy. Having too much of anything is never a good idea. If you have too much text people will become overwhelmed with the information. If you have too many videos, people will become distracted. If your signage layout is confusing or disjointed, people will simply take one look and never look again. Keeping people informed is important, but make sure you can read the information clearly in 10 seconds or less. Anything longer than that and people will lose focus and miss your message. Make sure any titles or headings stand out so people can quickly navigate your sign and get to the information they want to see. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds, calendar events, service times, and scriptures from the message are all great content items to put on your display.

4) Keep it Fresh

Once your signage is going, don’t become a victim of your own success. Your church demographics can change, your content WILL change, and if you do a major building remodel your location may need to change. Your signage layout should probably change every six to twelve months. Changing the layout too frequently will mean people constantly get lost trying to find information. Not changing it enough will give the appearance that the information is not being maintained. Your digital signs should be updated on a weekly basis at a minimum. As events happen they should no longer appear on your signage.

No one wants to read about signing up for a pasta dinner that happened two weeks ago. Delete the previous week’s irrelevant content before midweek or Sunday services. Once content is up for an event you should have a few weeks before you need to touch it again. Launching your digital signage and setting things up the first time will be time-consuming but once you get going it should only take 30 minutes or so each week to keep things updated.

As your signage becomes a critical part of communicating your church’s message, the importance of following these steps becomes more and more critical. These principles will help you remain effective and focused as you administer your church digital signage. Investing some time now in developing a plan will keep things effective for years to come.