With the rising popularity of dynamic digital content, the business world is embracing interactive and large-scale digital signage. And many of the unique approaches and business models are focused on running the software on a cloud-based infrastructure for digital signage networks. But what actually is a digital signage solution?
A digital signage solution is a digital installation that displays video or multimedia content for informational or advertising purposes. In simple terms, it is a robust technology that vividly displays information, messages, or any other content on a digital screen of webpages, videos, directions, restaurant menus, marketing messages or digital images with the use of LED walls (or video walls), projection and LCD monitors, etc.
Digital signage is a very effective communication medium. It offers a wide range of features and endless presentations. It is a powerful way to impact customer behaviour and decision-making. Digital Signage is used for different purposes, such as:
- Interactive Forms & Games
- Offering services
- Inspirational Quotes
- Company Memos for Recognition
- Social Media Streams & News
- Calendars & Event Schedules
- Emergency Messages
Types of digital signage
While you know what digital signage is and how it is used, you must also beware of its kind. Moving images, visually striking graphics and the ability to refresh the message instantly are what make more people attracted to it. But in what formats are they displayed? Let’s have a look:
- Context-aware digital signage
Many digital signage providers set cameras and gather shopper demographic data by estimating their age, gender and economic status. They use this information to update signage and provide full reports on shoppers. This is how context-aware digital signage works. Context-aware digital signage leverages technologies such as sensors, RFID technologies, beacons, cameras, software programs and network connectivity. These technologies monitor the surroundings, process information and deliver promotional messages.
The increased use of smartphones has developed the screen–smart device interaction technologies. These allow smartphone users to interact directly with the digital signage screen using Bluetooth and SMS messaging. So, through interactive digital signage, the users can interact with digital content via body sensors, touchscreens, or QR codes through mobile phones.
- Network Infrastructure & Hardware
Today, most digital signs rely on various hardware to deliver the content. It includes display screens, mounts, wiring, and other items. Hardware-based digital signage solutions use AV transmitter and receiver units to extend and switch audio, video and USB signals between multiple sources and displays over dedicated network cabling or IP.
However, hardware-based digital signage is displayed in the following ways:
- Through beacon technology, where a beacon is assigned to individual items or by sending beacon notifications. content providers can create a contextual bridge between displays and the actual product or a mobile device.
- Via multi-touch screens that permit one or more fingers to interact with content displayed onscreen. These fingers could belong to more than one person, resulting in multiple, independent interactions occurring in parallel.
- LCD and LED displays, also known as video walls, are displayed at 4K at higher refresh rates, 8K displays, and up to 10K in some applications.
Why use digital signage?
Digital signage is used for several purposes, from marketing to emergency messages
to maps. But you might also wonder why to use it in a world where everything is virtual, and almost everyone is available on a 5-inch digital screen. Here’s why:
- Audience: Since the main motive of a business is to attract the maximum audience, digital signage is used for highly suitable narrowcasting applications that convey a direct message to the audience.
- Time: The time of the day is very important for the content. As the content displayed should be relevant to the point of time.
- Dynamic content: Dynamic digital content has many advantages over other forms of advertising. The content creation process is faster and less costly than print. Also, the content can be customised and tailored for each display device separately.
- Place: when the location of where the digital screen is placed is known, the information can be used to make the displayed content more fitting to the circumstances. For example, if you’re a product brand, the content could promote the following:
-the product and its benefits
- create an appropriate mindset (ambience, reminder)
- promote a complimentary product or service
- Event: When place and time are known, information related to them can be displayed on the screens, such as traffic flow or flight delay information, weather conditions, etc.
How does digital signage work?
Digital signage works electronically with LCD screens, LED lights, or plasma displays. These solutions are connected with a media player that plays the selected content. It allows users to manage the screens and content from the cloud-based content management software.
The short digital signage work connects remote or local sources to required screens. Then these screens exhibit the same or multiple video messages simultaneously or in the given order. But it does not give you proper knowledge. Here are the steps:
- Connect the media player.
The first step is to connect media players to the screen through HDMI that are typically installed behind the display screen. Then connect it to the internet through a wired connection or Wi-Fi.
But in the case of video walls, each display or screen will need its own media player.
- Create content
After the hardware is set up and ready. The next step is to create the content that has to be displayed. You can show a single piece of content or create a multi-zoned layout to display multiple contents simultaneously. You’ll then have to “publish your content”. It means you’ll also have to create a schedule of where and when content should be displayed. However, this content can be uploaded to the software, such as images or created using content apps.
- Display content
Now, the media player will download and display the content on screens. Perhaps, it is important in case you lose internet. The last downloaded content will continue to play even if it’s not connected. These plays help avoid your screens blank if you aren’t connected.
- Update content
Most digital signage solutions will have content apps that auto-update. The solution is responsible for updating the content on your screen. Therefore, they can also change the content or its display times. For example, if you update your Google Calendar, your event listings on your digital display will update too.
Digital signage benefits
A high ROI technology like digital signage has a wealth of benefits and uses across many industries. Here are some pointers to help you understand how
- Digital signage modernises a facility and adds aesthetic captivation
- It showcases dynamic content instead of static content and improves retention
- it reduces the cost of communicating by eliminating printing and reaching more audiences.
- influences the customers’ decision-making process to boost sales
- It improves internal communication
- Digital signage increases employee productivity also.
- It improves brand awareness as well.
- Digital signage reduces workplace injury.
- Digital signage allows for real-time messaging, keeping audiences well-informed at all times.
- It reduces perceived wait times as well.
- It creates an increase in overall sales volume.
- Digital signage also creates an increase in overall interest and attendance at events.