A lot goes into coming up with a successful digital signage project. You might be quick to think that it is only a matter of hanging up screens and showing up pictures and a few videos. Well, when done right, digital signage can be a powerful communication tool that helps you engage, educate and empower your target audience. If you want to get the most out of your solution, you must carefully consider several things. Below, we look at the steps that should be taken to guarantee a successful digital signage network.
1. Define your goals
With clearly defined goals, you give the project focus and get to keep it on track. Remember, you don't wake up one day and decide you want to use digital signage. You must have a reason why you want the solution. It could be some requirement you are hoping to find a solution for. For instance, you may want to understand how you can interact with your audience, what you want them to do, and where both of you can find value.
Remember, when it comes to interaction with your customers, you are looking at the customer experience, helping your target audience navigate spaces, understand new products and others. With clearly defined goals, you give your project focus and keep it on track to get where you aspire.
2. Find your hardware
You want the best digital signage hardware for your business. However, what does it entail? Here, we will look at some of the leading hardware options that you should consider for your project plan;
Start by determining the kind of displays you want to set up. Do you want to advertise from a distance? Do you want a type of interactive display that allows your viewers to engage with the content? Whichever your needs are, you will have three choices to choose from, and they include;
- LCD: An option that involves older screen technology that is significantly affordable and versatile
- LED: A newer technology that uses brighter illumination and vivid displays
- Touchscreen: Do you need tactile feedback screens for your kiosks, navigational signage, and tablets? If so, touchscreens should be heavy on your priority list.
Please note that each screen type is best suited for specific needs. For instance, LCDs are primarily in use within the indoor facilities, because they are easier on the eyes in close-viewing applications. On the other hand, LED displays are pretty straightforward and provide bright illumination across longer distances, that’s why this is the perfect option for outdoor installations. You ought to understand the usage of various displays to choose a solution that meets your business needs. Look for the input of an experienced digital signage integrator before making your selection.
Digital signage players are the driving engines of your signage solution. Your player contains internal storage for your content and content management software. Remember, you will get several options to choose from when it comes to media players, so you ought to know your goals before going in. Lately, commercial digital signage applications are powered by either external players or a system on a chip (SoC) solution.
- External media players: These are small devices for tethering each digital signage display to your content management software using an HDMI and internet connection.
- SoC players: Software players, which can be installed right on the display’s operating system. So, you do not need to use any external hardware to connect your screen to the management software. Vivid example is Android TVs, on which you can install app player of one or another software vendor right from the Google Play Store.
You will have to decide whether to go with external media players or not. You can combine your hardware search with a software search for them to work perfectly in sync.
3. Find your software
Digital signage should be attention-grabbing, engaging and informative. In most cases, it is exhilarating, but behind all the hype and cooling effects, do you benefit from digital signage? One of the main things about digital signage is to have an ability to manage them remotely and at any time. We look at what to consider when choosing the right digital signage software for your business:
Consider on-premises or cloud-based option
When it comes to cloud-based digital signage software, it is an invisible solution where someone else takes care of behind-the-scenes work. Here, you don’t need to initially invest into your own server infrastructure and its further maintenance. However, depending on your software provider and options on offer, you can choose hardware that is preloaded with the necessary software that allows you to create and stream content. With cloud-based digital signage, your content is hosted on and delivered via the internet from an offsite server.
On the other hand, on-premises digital signage software is delivered from an on-site server hosted and maintained by your business. Your content could be provided using the internet or, in most cases, by your network. The problem with on-premise digital signage is that it can’t stream your content to various remote players unless they are close to the on-site server.
When choosing the software that meets your needs, you must decide whether you want one with interactive features or not. The interactivity level will depend on your target audience.
Consider SaaS or a one-time fee
If you are comfortable paying a monthly or annual fee, you can go with the software as a Service model where you don't own the software outright. A one-time fee option allows you to own the solution.
4. Think about the content
You need dynamic content on display to get your business up and running. The content you put on your digital boards should entertain your customers and enhance your engagement and influence everyone to socialize more with your brand. Ensure you know beforehand who will design your content, how often it will need to be changed, and whether it will be interactive or not. The content you put out there is instrumental in capturing your target audience.
5. Find the right partner to deploy digital signage network within your venues
One of the most crucial parts of rolling out a successful digital signage network is selecting the right partner to manage your entire network of displays. The right partner will guide you through your entire project and beyond. You need someone with the experience and expertise to meet all the requirements of a successful rollout. Remember, this is someone who will mount and maintain your screens, as well as deploy and ensure the smooth work of the chosen software. As such, you can't take any chances and must ensure to find the right partner.
Your digital signage network helps you establish a remarkable online presence and impacts your target audience significantly. It also increases your market reputation. You get the perfect platform to advertise your brand while expanding your customer base. Your network is quite crucial, so ensure to follow the proper steps to deploy it successfully.