Since 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, digital signage takes full advantage of this aspect of human neurophysiology to provide engaging content that’s impossible to ignore.
It’s been gradually becoming the new norm across all industries, replacing print media by providing massive benefits to organizations of all sizes and across all industries.
This article will show you everything you need to know about digital signage to understand how you can use it to supercharge your organization.
What Is Digital Signage and Why Does It Matter?
Digital signage is any use of a digital screen to relay centrally managed information to a target audience. Typically powered by LCD, LED, and projection technology, digital signage is commonly used in places like individual check-in counters to highway billboards, and everything in between.
The combination of specialized hardware and software makes it possible to design breathtaking creative while allowing you to instantly push new content live in just a few clicks from anywhere in the world.
It’s not difficult to come up with examples of digital signage use because you see it practically everywhere you look: at airports, shopping malls, train stations, restaurants, banks, and even in the workplace.
In comparison to traditional print media, digital signage provides a significantly higher ROI and engagement across the board, increases ad recall, empowers better targeting, as well as makes it possible for you to scale seamlessly.
Digital media in public venues reaches a broader audience than videos on the internet or even Facebook, so knowing how to leverage the power of this incredibly versatile tool entirely is a must.
In the meantime, let’s dive into the technicalities of what makes a digital signage solution.
What Are the Elements of Digital Signage?
As a complex system allowing for unprecedented flexibility when reaching large audiences, a typical digital signage solution has several elements working in unison.
The larger the scale at which you deploy your messaging, the more variables enter the equation, but essentially, any digital signage solution boils down to three key components:
- Network and connectivity
And in this section, we’ll cover each of these building blocks in greater detail.
The first step in getting digital signage up and running is to lay the foundation with the hardware needed for the system to work around the clock without a hitch.
The hardware needed to run your digital signage includes everything from LCD screens and LED lights to routers and PCs to create, deliver, and message your digital signage.
To run digital signage, you need a media player. Media players are either portable computers or media players that receive, store, and deliver digital content.
Media players connect the content management system (CMS) and the display, providing the infrastructure needed for digital signage to function.
When shopping for a media player, pay attention to its memory capacity and processing power. Depending on your unique goals, the more complex and dynamic your content is, the more powerful the media player you need. We put together a list of certified media players that work seamlessly with our software, so this is probably a good place to start!
Screens & Monitors
Once you have your media player ready to go, you need a device responsible for actually broadcasting your content to your target audience.
Research shows that 68 percent of Americans have bought a product or service at least once due to the influence of digital signage.
Traditionally, digital signage entails using either LED or LCD screens, but depending on your needs, you may also want to consider these options:
- Video walls
- Plasma screens
It would be best if you focused on a few key things when picking a digital signage display since it directly affects the quality of your message – and, therefore, its impact.
If possible, invest in commercial-grade LCD screens since they are specifically manufactured for displaying your content at the highest resolution possible.
Digital Signage Mounts
The last piece of hardware you need is a monitor mount to place the screen either on a desk, ceiling, wall, or even building.
Just as with screens, some companies offer digital signage monitor mounts and stands designed specifically for extra durability – you don’t want to go through the effort of creating an incredible campaign only to have it fall apart due to improper mounting.
Once you’ve got your hardware all set up, the next step entails choosing and setting up a content management system.
Some media players come with a basic CMS, but you really want an advanced system to unlock cutting-edge functionality to create a digital signage network.
A digital signage network lets you manage content across multiple screens, allowing you to seamlessly scale the number of displays in your network without compromising flexibility.
We may be a bit biased in our recommendation. Still, our combination of features allows our users to display cutting-edge graphics with an easy-to-use interface that anyone at your business can control and manage with little training.
Network & Connectivity
Finally, to manage your digital signage network, you need to connect all the elements to the internet to manage your content from the cloud.
To do that, you may need the following tools:
- Wi-Fi Routers
What Are the Main Types of Digital Signage?
As a versatile tool, companies use digital signage in a multitude of ways. And in this section, we’ll cover the main types of digital signage.
A digital poster is simply static graphic content displayed on the screen. At a basic level, a media player shows a simple set of images that loop on forever or get dynamically updated by a CMS to provide extended functionality.
Even though a simple concept, digital posters are widespread virtually in any industry, with examples including:
Video Display Screens
The second most common type of digital signage is video display screens that deliver information through custom videos, animations, and graphics.
These are what you’ll see most often in airports, on the side of buses and trains, on news channels, or on the highway.
- Weather forecasts provide visitors with fresh and accurate weather data.
- Sales dashboards empower organizations to track the performance of their departments in real-time, promoting transparency and accountability.
- In-store promotions help retail boost their sales by leveraging the power of creative digital signage to make customers aware of a particular product.
Interactive Digital Signage
Interactive digital signage allows viewers to actively interact with the content displayed on the screen.
The fact that users can interact with your messaging opens up new ways to engage with your target audience on a much deeper level.
- Wayfinding boards are set to replace static maps by giving your visitors tailored recommendations based on their unique query, visit history, or even the locations they visited before.
- Interactive kiosks refer to self-serving solutions that enable your customers to place orders through a user-friendly interface without interacting with your staff.
- Touchscreen surfaces like tables are a multifaceted tool that can be used in a myriad of ways – for instance, they can be an excellent solution for promoting collaboration in the workplace.
Outdoor Digital Signage
This category entails all types of digital signage used outdoors.
These displays are ubiquitous in highly trafficked areas that need to capture the attention of thousands of passers-by daily and are also popular for big, crowded events like concerts or festivals.
This type of signage is progressively replacing traditional signage, providing higher engagement and ad recall rates, whether on the side of a building or at a bus stop.
- Digital billboards have been replacing traditional billboards at faster rates than ever before, providing the same function while drastically reducing the cost of content creation and management.
- Bus stops can use digital signage to display bus schedules, maps, local event calendars, or even ads.
- Live streaming enables you to broadcast live events – be it a football match or a concert.
8 Industries Making the Most of Digital Signage
While digital signage can be used virtually everywhere, some industries have gone a long way to help define what the technology can do.
We’ve picked out eight industries that we think are at the forefront of getting the most out of digital signage.
Gesundheitswesen is an industry where technology regarding digital signage has proven to be particularly useful and even life-saving.
With the help of digital signage, hospitals, nursing homes, and other organizations can improve patient engagement and create a more transparent and productive work environment.
The screens are often seen around lifts, corridors, waiting rooms, and cafeterias – essentially anywhere with heavy footfall or patient congestion.
- Waiting Areas
- Exam rooms
- Building Entrance
Retail mainly leverages digital signage to improve customer traffic flow and boost the average purchase value.
Additionally, retailers use the technology to guide customers around their stores and direct them toward the section they’re looking for, using HD screens visible from anywhere in the store.
- Check-out Lines
- Customer Service Desk
- Product Displays
- Visual Decor
The hospitality industry has been using digital signage for years, speeding up all processes across the board.
From hotels and resorts to entertainment venues and casinos, this tool can be used to direct guests, queue wait time, and even reduce the workload on your staff with the help of interactive kiosks.
- Building Entrance
- Near Check-in Counters
- Lobby Area
Many restaurants massively rely on digital signage to serve their customers, from using digital menu boards to self-service kiosks.
In the restaurant industry, every second matters. With 40 percent recouping their investment in digital signage within just one year, this tool revolutionized the way bars, hotels, and cafes operate, streamlining processes and lessening the burden on the staff – leading to reduced turnover and attrition.
- Near Check-in Counters
- In Dining Areas
- Custom Wrapped Screens in Bar Area
Digital signage helps banks and financial institutions communicate with visitors, clients, and employees in a new, engaging way.
Armed with the flexibility provided from digital signage, the finance industry can improve internal communication and connect with its client base on a deeper level.
- Real-time Rates and Quotes
- Broadcast Market News
- Bank Lobby
From managing what’s happening throughout the day to making event announcements, utilizing digital signage in education has become the norm.
Students and the staff can be easily distracted in a classroom environment, so digital signage is highly effective at grabbing their attention to get important messages across.
- Upcoming Campus Events
- Classroom Schedules
- Dates & Deadlines
Many churches and other religious centers adopt digital signage to increase engagement within their communities.
From public announcements to fundraising campaigns, religious organizations can become better at fostering a sense of belonging, positively impacting church attendance.
- Digital Recognition Display
- Service Times
- Community Information
Finally, digital signage can be applied to virtually any type of public transportation, creating an additional revenue stream for transportation companies while improving the passenger experience.
Trains, buses, and planes can use digital signs to display everything from advertisements to schedules. At the same time, main transportation hubs like airports, railway stations, and ports can utilize wayfinding solutions to navigate visitors.
- Services & Amenities Near Check-in Counters
- Waiting Areas
- Wayfinding & Visual Decorations throughout Terminal
Is Digital Signage Right for You?
The article’s goal is to help you fully understand the concept of digital signage to evaluate whether or not you should apply it to your organization.
With 70 percent of consumers over the age of 12 viewing digital video displays each month, this technology can move the needle in your marketing, sales, and operations in general.
But before you get to invest in a digital signage solution, use the following questions to make an informed decision:
- What resource-draining internal processes or will digital signage substantially improve – or even eliminate within your organization?
- Do you have an increasing need to connect and capture the attention of wider audiences?
- Can you leverage the benefits of digital signage to positively impact your bottom line by generating more leads, sales, and revenue?
- Do you often spend too much time creating and updating content for organization-wide announcements?
If you answered “yes” to most or all of these questions, digital signage would likely deliver a massive ROI to your business.
Unleash the Power of Digital Signage with Wallboard
As you can see, digital signage is a powerful tool that has so many different uses.
But the effectiveness of your digital signage solution largely depends on the CMS you’re using to create and deliver your content.
Wallboard offers cloud-based digital signage solutions to help organizations of all sizes drive meaningful business results.
Are you looking to get started? Get in touch with our team today and schedule a free consultation.