What is digital signage?
Digital signage is a segment of electronic signage that utilizes a combination of digital display hardware, specialized software and impactful content to provide dynamic, highly effective messaging, advertising and promotion.
Exterior digital signs (sometimes called LED displays, LED electronic message centers or simply LED signs) can be used to promote your brand, image or message to those passing by vehicle or on foot. Interior digital signage (also called digital displays) can enhance any business or organization to provide menus, wayfinding, directories, advertising, promotions or entertainment to your clients and patrons.
For this article we will focus on interior digital signage
So, what are the signs that you need digital signage for your business?
1. Your visitors are out of the loop.
"Do you have any specials?"
"What are your holiday hours?"
"Where is the conference room?"
"Is there a sale today?"
“What time is your church service?”
Do these questions sound familiar? Whether you are a restaurant, office building, church, small store or large business, consider digital signage to keep business flowing. Digital signage can enhance your customer experience, keep your audience informed and get their questions answered before they even ask. This will leave your staff free to deal with more complex customer service tasks and issues. Further, static wayfinding signage can be out of date and difficult or costly to maintain. With digital signage, your clients will always be in the know.
2. Your business space is visibly dull.
Are your customers surrounded by:
Dusty framed paintings?
A couple of static posters?
Your customers begin evaluating your business as soon as they walk in and continue during their entire stay. Be sure you create an exciting, engaging environment to compliment your products and services.
Digital signage can do this. Whether with a bright, colorful display or an impressive video wall, digital signage has proven to be an effective way to impress consumers and establish yourself as an unforgettable brand. Digital wayfinding signage can also help direct your clients to where they need to go. Best of all, digital signage can be easily modified and adapted with changes to your layout. Office and building directories are a great use of digital signage, since the tenants and locations are oftwen changing.
3. You're wasting money on paper.
Digital signage can save you money. Not only is the return on investment great (see below for some revenue ideas), digital displays can also save you money on paper and printing. With COVID, printed menus, pamphlets and brochures have been reduced greatly while being replaced by QR codes read on mobile devices. Digital signage can enhance that experience with more visible menus, promotional items and featured specials. Digital sign software is easy to use and can quickly obsolete your printed materials.
4. You're looking for ways to boost sales.
Digital signage is the perfect salesperson. It is knowledgeable, informative, always on time and never calls in sick! Digital signs work for you every day. Some ways you can increase revenue with digital displays include:
Cross-selling and up-selling products with video ads
Introducing your new product or promotion in a visual way.
Selling digital ads to your vendors or partners.
Engaging customers and visitors in social media communications by offering coupons, discounts and giveaways to encourage repeat customers and social media interaction.
You Might Also Enjoy: How Your Digital Signage Can Save (and Make) You Money
Does digital signage work?
A recent National Restaurant Association study on digital signage found:
100% of respondents saw an increase in sales from their digital signs.
90% recouped their investment within 2 years.
49% saved money due to digital signage.
47% increased their customer satisfaction.
37% increased revenue from promoted items.
Another study found digital signs are viewed 400% greater than traditional static signage.
So, what are the components of digital signage?
Hardware refers to the physical components of digital signs. These include the display displays/screens, media players, network components and mounting devices. It may also include internet connection hardware.
Digital displays – Digital displays look similar to standard consumer flat screen TVs but are more robust and can be used 24/7 without screen burn. They are also often brighter to suit ambient light conditions and can be used in portrait or landscape formats. Digital displays are typically made from LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display) and may also utilize edge-lit LEDs (Light Emitting Diode). Direct view LEDs are often used for larger applications. Most digital signage providers do not manufacture the digital signage displays but source them from large industry manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Philips or Panasonic.
Media players – Sometimes called digital signage players, this small physical device delivers the content to the displays. You can also opt for a cloud-based solution, in which case, your media player needs to connect to the internet to access content. Other devices can act as a hard drive and can store content within its internal memory. Lastly, if you are investing in multiple displays, it is better to have multiple players, unless you have HDMI splitters.
Digital signage software includes content management software (CMS), device management software and playback software on media players:
Content Management Software – Content management software (CMS) allows content to be played on the digital display. There are many features available, which all come in a range of prices. CMS allows you to upload and organize your content, create a playlist, or distribute the same content to multiple players. Some CMS can only support limited type of content, while others let you manage text, images, video and other forms of messaging.
Device management software – If you are planning on using multiple screens in different locations, you need to be able to manage these remotely. With the right device management software, you can gather playback data from media players, check on a player’s health status (e.g. temperature, disk space, etc.), capture screenshots, update the software, or reboot the device remotely.
Playback software – Playback software on media players is an important part of the overall digital display solution. Make sure your player has software that can support various types of media formats (e.g. photos, music, videos) as incompatible software will not be able to play your content. Some advanced software can even save your content in their internal storage, allowing you uninterrupted playback even if there is no internet connection.
Content is the most exciting component of digital signage. Dynamic content allows you to communicate the right message at the right time. Best of all, you will be able to change the content continuously to meet your specific marketing needs. Even if you have the best high-end software and hardware, your investment will go to waste if you don’t have the right content. It is important to continuously create fresh content to ensure your message stays relevant.
Content can come in various formats:
Slides – One of the most common types of content, you can create slides using basic software like Microsoft PowerPoint.
Photos – String together photos to effectively communicate your message. Utilize high resolution photos to feature your products.
Graphics – Utilize your logo or those of products you sell. These can also be illustrations or other icons or images.
Animated graphics – These are graphics that have movement. They can also zoom in/out, fade in/out or other effects.
3D graphics – Today’s technology allows for 3D graphics that do not require viewers to wear special equipment.
Video – Video on of the most common and impactful content. These can tell a story or act more like a standard commercial advertisement.
Live feeds – Stream live information as they get published, whether on social media, RSS feeds, websites, or broadcast networks.
Database content – These are pre-programmed content stored in the internal drives of your hardware. You can schedule these to show on your display in the form of event schedules, menus, promotions, special of the day and other types of listings.
Information Source: HD2
Sign Advisors has partnered with HD2 to provide state-of-the art digital signage for your business or organization.
HD2 is an award-winning software, hardware, digital design & service company that provides unique, user-friendly, cost-effective digital menu, signage and temperature displays.
Contact Sign Advisors for more information.