Modern televisions come with a USB slot, allowing you to save pictures and videos on your USB drive and play them. However, is using a USB drive the best idea for digital signage, or should you have software in place that takes care of everything? Sometimes, you see video ads playing on a simple TV from a USB drive in these exhibitions and shops. Yes, in most cases, the message is driven across, but the TV configuration is off.
If you are using a USB drive, the controls and video info get displayed on the screen every time the video starts. Imagine how many times you will see that happen, especially with the short videos. It will be a repetitive display that can be annoying to your audience and indicate that you aren't using digital signage professionally.
What is even worse, when using a USB drive, you could be playing the same videos for years. In this age, this is not an ideal method to venture digital signage. In 2021 your business should be focusing on taking full advantage of what digital signage software offers if you want to remain competitive. So, why don’t you have a choice when it comes to choosing between digital signage software and a USB drive? Here is why:
Supports remote updates
If your business chooses to store its displays on a USB drive, updates can only be made if someone goes to the area where the screen is located. Doing that can be a massive challenge, especially if you have multiple screens across various cities or a big campus. Thankfully, by using the right digital signage software, you can reduce employee travel time from one screen to the other. With the software, an employee can update the content on display in various locations with one click of a button from wherever they are. It streamlines the employees' work while saving money since the focus goes to more productive responsibilities.
Times have changed
In 2021, your focus should be on remaining as competitive in your industry as possible. You must be keen on emerging trends and practices that can put you ahead of the competition. One of the best ways to ensure your digital signage solution is practical and convenient for your needs.
With digital signage software, you are maximizing what these new times have to offer. You will be refreshing content within seconds of your desktop command. Regardless of where you are, you can add photos, revise your written content, and update your displays in less than ten seconds. With only a single click, all your screens in multiple locations will be playing the updated information. With your software, you create content, schedule your broadcast, and edit it in the most effective way possible. You get to enjoy control over your branding and messaging, which can be pretty instrumental in how you go about business.
It is impossible to show live or time content using a USB drive
Once you have uploaded your content in your USB stick and plug it into whichever display you are using, if there are additional content changes, you will keep on plugging and unplugging the USB drive to make the updates. Whatever is in your USB drive is what gets played on your screen. On the other hand, with digital signage software, you enjoy more flexibility with your content. For instance, if you wish to, you can adjust the timing of your content to showing everything at the time you prefer.
With the software, you can also display live content, like social media and news feeds, online streams and automatically updatable data graphics. If you implement your digital signage software effectively, you should display dynamic content that can change over time depending on the data inputs you have in place.
USB drives are not the right tool for digital signage
While USB display systems might work, you should know that they were never made to support playing videos on loop or run any digital signage, for that matter. If your business relies on them, your hardware will be at risk of overheating or malfunctioning with time. Consequently, you will have to deal with regular maintenance and, in other situations, replacement devices.
There is no way to find out if displays are no longer functioning
One of the most significant challenges faced by digital signage that uses USB sticks is that you cannot know when your display screen malfunctions and stops playing your content. It can be a massive setback, especially for businesses with multiple screens where employees don't visit often. You might find that you have not been showing content for several days before noticing the issue. The problem with having screens that aren’t working is that it destroys your brand’s public image and can lead to lost opportunities. Luckily modern digital signage software has a lot of useful proof-of-play features (online/offline status, live screenshot and etc.), which help you to control your broadcasting at any time and from anywhere.
Digital signage software allows you to know how many times you played an advert
When running any marketing campaign, you must keep track of your progress to know if you are doing the right thing or wasting resources. Using digital signage software allows you to monitor how many times you have displayed a specific advert. Based on that data, you can determine if it is making a difference or if you should increase or reduce the frequency at which you play the ad.
You must schedule what you play on your displays if you want a professional digital signage solution. For instance, you cannot be advertising umbrellas when it is not raining or ice cream when it is cold. Likewise, you can't expect people to be buying Christmas trees when Christmas is long overdue. With scheduling, you can stop advertising something when you no longer need to or plan your campaign in advance in such a way that it will start playing automatically at the date and time you set.
There is no question about what digital signage can do to the bottom line of any business. Everyone is incorporating digital signage into their marketing strategies, and if you are as well, you must make it count. Using USB sticks won't give you the convenience you are looking for, but you can enjoy much more functionality and run your modern business effectively with cloud-based digital signage solution.