Example of custom content promoting healthcare provider

The Importance of Custom Content in Digital Signage

You’ve likely heard the phrase “Content is king.” Without content, your in-office screens would be boring rectangles of nothing. The means to show a visual are meaningless if there is no visual to show. Content and content creation have become big business in recent years. More and more companies are developing content creations tools. “Content Creator” is now even a legitimate job description. More than ever, the quality of content matters.

If you’ve visited our website, interacted with our team, or are involved in marketing, you’ve probably heard the term Custom Content. But what exactly is it, why should you care, and how does it apply to digital signage? In this post, we’ll be answering these key questions and more. So read on!

Custom Content vs Generic Content

Simply put, generic content is content that can represent a very broad range of entities. For example, a Happy Holidays graphic could be of use to anyone wanting to wish their customers for the upcoming season. A video explaining how clear aligners work would be of use to any dental or orthodontic practice offering aligner therapy. There is nothing about this content that ties it to any single entity, practice, or individual. It is generic.

Custom content, however, has an element of personalization that makes it representative of just one entity. For example, if the Happy Holidays graphic contained “from Wayfinder Orthodontics” and featured that practice’s logo, it would be out of place for any other practice to share that graphic. It is no longer generic but customized to Wayfinder Orthodontics. Likewise, a video highlighting the credentials of Dr. Ken Ways containing photos, details, and accomplishments of that specific doctor, is representative of no one else but him. This is custom content.

Generic (left) vs. Custom (right)
Motion graphic credentials of a specific doctor

Why is Custom Content Important?

You will read on countless digital marketing sites that for content to be effective in achieving its purpose, that is communicating the intended message to the intended audience, it needs to be meaningful and engaging. Research shows that content that gets the most engagement is content that is unique, personable, relevant, and fun. In other words it’s more about the Who (people) than the What (products and services).

In the context of in-office digital signage, the people viewing your content are already inside your building, meaning they are likely already patients or relatives of your patients. This dynamic actually makes it even more important that the content they see is personable. A connection has already been established and now it’s time to grow the relationship. You do this by communicating information about yourself, your team, your community involvement, and why you are the best choice for the job (showcasing your best work). And you do it in a way that is fun and cohesive with your branding.

DIY or Hire a Designer?

In order to acquire content that is about you and your practice, it needs to be produced. It is obviously not something that can be instantly purchased on a stock site. Few doctors double as (talented) graphic designers, and someone is needed to take on the important task of creating the content.

There are numerous content creation tools available with varying levels of skill required. But very few cater to the medium of digital signage. So do you go about creating the content yourself, dealing with software, aspect ratios, file size, file format, composition etc., or do you commission a designer?

A designer’s job is to make sure the content works visually. Is it attention-grabbing, is it easy to read/process, is it cohesive with your brand, and does it actually communicate the intended message? An experienced designer will be able to successfully accomplish all of these important tasks. And because it’s their specialty, they’ll do it better and faster than you’d be able to.

Information about your practice has to come from the practice if you want it to be accurate. But do you have the time and skills to turn the information into content?

If It’s About You, It Needs to Come From You

Whether you have an in-house designer or are utilizing a third party design service, you will still need to provide a brief or summary of the request, including the goal of the message, sometimes the wording, and sometimes supporting graphics and photos. How much depends on the nature of the content, the scope of the request, and the extent of the designer’s abilities. Not all designers are copywriters.

If you use a marketing company that actively develops all your messaging, they will often have their own designer who they will direct on your behalf. But generally, if you want the content to accurately represent you and your objectives, you cannot expect to leave it all up to the designer to figure out. You need to be prepared to provide direction and feedback.

The Cost of Custom Content

There are two key questions you should ask the designer: 1. How much will it cost? 2. How long will it take?

The answers to those questions depend heavily on context for both you and the designer. For instance, if the content being produced is going to become irrelevant after two weeks, how much should you invest into its design? Also, if the content is urgent and needs to be completed for a very tight deadline, is the designer going to charge more to meet the deadline, and are they able to produce something worthy under pressure? Is the content going to be static or will it have dynamic motion graphics supported by music and sound? How much information needs to be conveyed? Do specific photos, graphics, or illustrations need to be captured, created, or purchased, or are you providing all pre-existing assets needed for the design?

Static vs animated content

Establishing a relationship with a designer or design company is beneficial because over time they become more familiar with your brand, your goals, and your preferences. Expectations for both parties become more clear. Elements from previous designs can easily be repurposed by the same designer. All this helps save time and lowers cost while increasing effective outcomes.

Content that contains core messaging is unlikely to change for several months or years. In such cases, it is worth making the investment to ensure this content is of a high quality. However, content that is short-lived might not require as much attention to detail. The value of custom content should be measured against the need for the content, the expected lifetime of the content, and the cost of production.

Core messages like your competitive advantages are unlikely to change from year to year, but updating the photos is important to keep it relevant.


Not all custom content is engaging, and some generic content can be extremely engaging. In the context of a digital signage presentation, both have their place. Ultimately, it begins with determining your messaging/marketing goals first and then identifying what you need to achieve them. Knowing when to take a custom approach and when to utilize generic content is important and comes with experience.

To reiterate, to communicate your messaging your content needs to grab the attention of your viewers and resonate with them in an impactful way. Taking a custom approach gives you the control to steer your messaging in this direction and help increase its effectiveness.

DSID has over 10 years’ experience providing motion graphic content development at an incredibly competitive rate with lighting fast turnaround. We make the process of requesting content and submitting your information and assets super easy. If you are a healthcare provider in need of content development, please let us know.

DSID is a complete digital signage solution with a focus on healthcare specialties, designed for waiting rooms, treatment areas, and window displays.

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