Online marketers require new and innovative ways to promote businesses and brands, and that is when digital signage comes into play. With creative digital templates, they can display their content in an appealing and engaging manner. If you are new to online marketing and do not know how to use digital signage to reap the best results, here is an overview that would help you out.
What is Digital Signage?
Digital signage is everywhere now, and there are lots of discussions running around on its marketing value. You cannot avoid seeing the bright displays when you drive on the roads, walk into a mall, enter a restaurant, or go to the airport. Businesses in every industry have seen the amount of engagement this type of advertising offers. That is one of the primary reasons behind the skyrocketing popularity of digital signage.
Digital signage is basically a sub-segment of the conventional signage. There are various technologies used in digital signs such as LED, LCD, and projection to display different content such as video, images, media streaming, and general information. You can find digital signs in public spaces, retail stores, transportation systems, stadiums, museums, restaurants, and corporate premises for the purpose of wayfinding, general info, marketing, exhibitions, and advertising. Primarily, digital signage is any size of a screen displaying any type of content for a purpose.
If you are in need of a digital display board or signage network for any of the above purposes or beyond, here are a few things you need to know before searching for an apt provider.
What does it comprise?
For those new to it, making digital signage may look like a complicated affair. However, you can simplify the entire process by learning the basics first. Here is what you need to know:
- The software – You can find a wide range of software systems for designing signage templates. The modern software offers different features such as content management, playback options, compatibility with various media players, and so on.
- The hardware – There are many hardware components involved in the development of digital signage such as screens, networking components, physical projection players, mounts, and networking components.
- Connectivity – Today’s technologically advanced digital signage connects back and forth to CMS and CDS through cables, Wi-Fi, or remote mobile technologies.
- Installation – This is the process of setting up the hardware and carrying out synchronization with the software components. The end-to-end installation process includes site surveys, inventory preparation, purchase, final installation, and monitoring.
- Content – The major ongoing cost that you have to bear is for the content. To keep the digital signage marketing campaign alive, you need to come up with fresh, original and engaging content from time to time.
Coming up with the concept of developing a digital signage network, deciding its outputs as business revenue generation, education, or branding requires excellent knowledge and insight about the technology and its various aspects. It is also a time-consuming affair which requires solid professional support to plan and accomplish.
Recognize your needs well
When planning a digital signage marketing campaign, you need first to identify what your needs and expectations are from this project. What goals are you aiming to achieve through this? Once you have defined your objectives, you are ready to get into the next phase of planning. Before moving further, make sure you have answers to the following questions:
- What is your budget?
- How many digital screens do you need?
- What is the timeline you can set for deployment?
- What type of content do you want to display?
- What is your ideal content strategy?
Do your homework well, and have a clear-cut understanding of all these before getting in touch with a digital signage service provider.
The hard costs
The costs for digital signage hardware and installation of signage network have reduced significantly. You can set up a digital signage campaign without emptying the monthly marketing fund. The software costs are a bit tricky to figure out as the services vary based on the business model of the service providers and the technology they use.
However, the ongoing costs that you have to account for are:
- Content creation
- Network management
The cost of content creation may vary widely, based on the purpose for which you set up the system, the desired quality, and the frequency of content change.
A few categories to consider for efficient deployment and of network management include:
- A single screen with automated content such as news, weather, sports, and so on
- The menu boards
- Information boards at corporations, supermarkets, or other infrastructures
- Wayfinding screens at airports or malls
- Video walls at major retailers
Based on the application, quality, and frequency of change, you can estimate the cost of creation and ongoing content.
Digital signage software
There are hundreds of vendors in the digital signage industry offering you countless options in signage software. However, in a broader sense, all the components of digital signage solution are almost similar. That is where you need to understand which technologies are widely used and the difference between each.
The major software components in a typical signage solution include:
- Media player software
- Content management and distribution software
- Device management software
- Content creator software
Cloud as the latest cost effective solution
It is true that most of the technical trends now center around cloud technologies, and digital signage is also available over cloud as a service. All services related to digital signage as below can now be availed at reduced cost and increased efficiency.
- Download and playback of the media assets
- Monitoring the health status of the media player and memory usage, freeing disk space, temperature control, network status, and more
- Regular updating of the components and software in the system
- Immediate action based on the information on the network like turning the screen on and off, rebooting, and so on
The Digital Signage market is exploding now and is expected to grow to more than USD$24 Billion by the year 2020. It is going to be a universal need for even the smallest local businesses that want to boost their marketing efforts.