Today's world is all about building custom business solutions from the ground up. Not only is customization appealing on every level, but the lowered costs make DIY digital signage attractive to start-ups and SMEs that are concerned about their bottom line. However, customization is only worthwhile if you truly tailor a program to fit your company's needs. Since the average person is not familiar with digital signage software or digital signage systems, it is near impossible to customize a DIY digital signage solution. In fact, many people struggle to even get their solutions off the ground and functional.
However, this should not discourage you from incorporating digital signage into your business model, because it can be an excellent marketing tool and investment. It is just not something that the average business owner should tackle on their own. Instead, there are many digital signage solutions designed for those without a technical background. These solutions make digital signage simple without sacrificing its ability to be extremely effective. Here is an overview of digital signage to help make implementing a strong program within your business a bit easier to navigate.
Can Digital Signage Help Your Business?
Digital signage is a great investment because it can be altered and changed to display new messaging at will. When you use digital signage software, you can control the messaging within seconds allowing you to engage customers based on current trends and sales. Unlike traditional signage which has to be reprinted and discarded on a regular basis, digital signage allows you to create an interactive platform with the potential to entertain and inform.
Digital Signage - How Does It Work?
While digital signage often looks like a monitor with digital input, there is a lot more to it than just casting a digital screen across a monitor. Most professional digital signage software utilizes CMS. If you choose a professional digital signage CMS you will be able to show content across multiple displays at one time, schedule content to appear on certain dates, and create displays using various types of multimedia. When you attempt to DIY digital signage, you lose aspects to all of these features which can make the end result much less appealing.
In addition, in order to be effective, all digital signage must also have a strong media player that integrates with the CMS. If you are truly looking for a simple and easy digital signage solution, choose a digital signage package that includes both the CMS software and media player so that all you need to worry about is plugging in the system and turning it on. If you attempt to piece together the digital signage CMS software and media player on your own there is a very good chance that you are going to run into compatibility issues.
Toss in the fact that you need to purchase hardware and screens that can all integrate and run together, and you have dozens of touchpoints where things can go wrong. For business owners that are not tech-savvy, the task can get overwhelming very quickly.
DIY Digital Signage Vs. Digital Signage Vendor Solutions
The main difference between DIY digital signage and allowing a vendor to handle your digital signage is cost and ease of installation. If you choose to go the DIY route you will be responsible for choosing the digital signage CMS software (or even to develop it by your IT department), the hardware (the monitors and the media players). Feeling overwhelmed yet? By this point, a lot of store owners are because they thought the process would involve simply casting a computer screen onto their TV screen or connecting the USB stick to it. However, reliable digital signage includes a lot more components.
DIY digital signage also means that you will potentially spend hours setting up all of these components and crossing your fingers that your research was correct and all components are compatible with each other. If they aren't, that may be another few hours of attempting to make everything work together and discovering backdoor solutions. If you have a headache just thinking about it, it may be time to consider a vendor to handle your digital signage.
When you choose a digital signage vendor, they will take care of every task on this list and more. Plus, most of their systems come with added features and benefits that can streamline the system from a user standpoint. For example, playback scheduling, remote management, and more. Some of these add-on features that come free from a vendor are the highlights of using a vendor system once the installation is complete because they make advertising so simple and straightforward.
Cons of DIY Digital Signage
So why do so many people entertain the idea of DIY digital signage? The one-word answer is cost. Before even exploring the costs of using a vendor a lot of people decide that DIY digital signage will be cheaper. While it may in fact be slightly cheaper upfront, in the long run when you look at the extra costs associated with time, an underperforming system, or a digital signage system that constantly goes off-network and displays empty content, the savings are not as great.
In fact, DIY digital signage can end up costing you in the long run, especially if you purchase dozens of monitors and CMS software that end up not being compatible. At this point, you will have to shelf your large investment and either pay the money for a vendor solution or just tuck it away. Failed marketing attempts rarely pay off, and a system sitting on the back shelf of your storage closet certainly won't.
Make Digital Signage Work for Your Company
If you are serious about moving your marketing campaign into the 21st century and creating digital signage that effectively represents your brand, it may be time to look into outsourcing your digital signage solution. While you will still have complete control over the system, allowing a vendor to set it up and maintain it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run without sacrificing any of its profitability. And even if you want to arrange all the deployment actions by yourself, there a lot of cloud-based software solutions within the market now, which can significantly reduce your upfront costs and save your time.