The need for businesses to communicate clearly, effectively, and on a timely basis is critical for continued success in the marketplace. Their messages must be able to stand out among the multitude of messages we’re bombarded with every day from multiple digital devices and other sources.
Different organization has a different requirement, hence the solution to deliver this messaging must offer great flexibility. Digital signage has proven to be a powerful tool for this purpose. They can display bright, vivid images that get noticed, create a call to action, and gain a positive engagement with your target audience. And with the proper control solution, messages and information can be easily updated with timely and relevant information. I will provide you with an understanding of how digital signs can be employed easily and effectively, with quality content that grabs attention, gets the message across and allows businesses to stand out from the competition.
What is Digital Signage?
Simply put, digital signage solutions deliver content by combining display devices, such as digital video projectors or flat panel LCD/LED displays, with a communications management solution to deliver specific, customized messaging that can inform, engage, and entertain. It can be displayed on a single TV or combined TV or so-called video wall display or LED Display Board either indoor or outdoor. Digital signs offer major advantages over static signs as they are dynamic and possess the ability to deliver a broad range of content, including images, video, streaming media, web pages, and more. Properly employed, digital signs bring brands, products, and messages to life with eye-catching vividness. They can also be updated as often as necessary, ensuring that the most relevant and timely information is always on display. Providing endless options to communicate the right message at the right time, in the right place, to your target audience, digital signs are ideal for use in both external and internal environments.
Content is Key
While digital signs can be powerful communications tools, they are only as impactful as the content they display. To get the biggest benefit from a digital sign solution, it’s important to have content that is dynamic, timely, and relevant to your target audience. To maximize your message, strong consideration should first be given to defining your target audience and the primary function of the digital sign. For example, digital signs employed in corporate reception areas can display messages and mages that greet visitors with your corporate/brand identity, as well as inform them of critical information, such as wayfinding, meeting room booking, and more. If the audience includes employees, posting recognition for accomplishments may also be appropriate. Retailers can employ digital signs that highlight products and offers, while quick service restaurants can use them to display menu options. In the classroom, digital signs can provide visual support to presenters in a dynamic, immersive fashion. To help you managing content, we have a few free and paid digital signage software that will help you accomplish that, easily.
Consider Your Target Audience
Personalization leads to more engaged involvement. When building a presentation, make sure that the content you present is relatable, and meaningful, to your target audience. This can be accomplished by incorporating images that are relevant to the local area, as well as local weather and RSS feeds that deliver local news and events. Live Digital signage TV can also be displayed via HDMI, as well as interesting Twitter feeds.
Keeping Your Content Fresh
Your target audience will be more engaged in the content you provide is fresh, relevant, and interactive. This can be accomplished by updating the content manually, or by taking advantage of a wealth of online content from relevant websites, YouTube, Twitter, and RSS Feeds, ensuring that the content your target audience will experience will always be fresh, with little management required.
Customize Messages by Location
Additional consideration should be given to the location of each digital sign in order to best determine both the message content and length. Exterior signs intended to draw your audience inside should be brief and to the point, while digital signs that are used in reception areas, where the audience can view them for an extended time, can have more substance and include mixed media. Digital signs inside retail stores can provide more detail about products, while restaurants can employ them to highlight their menu options.
HTML5 technology is quickly becoming the go-to solution for creating highly dynamic, vivid content, including interactive content. Selecting a digital signage solution that supports HTML5 rendering gives you greatly expanded options. For example, you’ll have the ability to display robust web pages on your digital displays, and your content providers can take advantage of HTML5 to create customized content that’s fresh and exciting.
Basic USB Drive Solutions
The most basic solution employs an LCD display with a built-in media player that uses a USB drive to store and deliver content. A simple, all-in-one solution, this system is quick and easy to set up, and because it uses a USB drive, it is fairly easy to update. Simply load the content onto the USB drive and plug it into the display for playback. Ease of use and low cost make USB drive solutions attractive for basic digital signage needs, especially where only one or two displays are needed. But they have limitations. For example, the content you choose to display is limited to a single zone, and you can only display image, movie and audio content. In addition, updates must be performed manually.
If your business requires multiple displays, you’ll want to consider a networked digital signage solution. Networked systems use a digital signage media player that can be controlled through an Intranet or Internet network, transmitting content to the AV displays through HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort or VGA connections. This enhanced flexibility allows you to display a variety of media, including dynamic live video, web pages, and RSS feeds. Networked solutions offer a variety of important benefits. The content you wish to display can be published to the network from a single location, and advanced scheduling features allow you to schedule playback of content and direct it to specific displays throughout the network. You’ll also have the benefit of centralized device management, allowing you monitor the status of your devices, configure device settings, and more. Networked solutions are also fully scalable, providing for future growth.
Some digital signage solutions also support various cloud storage solutions, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive, simplifying the process of updating your digital signage by allowing you to easily copy media files to a Dropbox folder (as an example).
When choosing a solution to control your networked digital signage, look for one that offers a variety of input/output options, such as USB, HDMI, audio, Memory Card, RJ45, and integrated RS232 control. You’ll also want a solution that gives you the ability to update the firmware. The initial cost of a networked solution is more than a simple USB system, and, while intuitive solutions available don’t require IT or design skills, there is a moderate level of complexity in the set up of the network. To avoid additional maintenance costs, look for a solution that doesn’t charge annual fees or software subscription costs. For larger installations, the benefits of a networked solution will provide you with much more creativity, flexibility, scalability, and greater return on investment.