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With technological advancements came a boom in the digital signage industry. These multimedia signs and kiosks are found in most restaurants, hotel lobbies, banks, healthcare facilities, movie theatres, and more. Digital signage plays a key role in a business' ability to connect with clients and impact potential customers. But what does digital signage really mean, and how are they utilized today?
Digital signage refers to a flat panel screen, typically LCD or LED, that displays multimedia content to an audience. This can include photos, videos, infographics, statistics, or texts, and, depending on the screen, this content can be interactive or static.
This article will detail the intricacies of what digital signage is, the various purposes of digital signage, and how they can be used effectively by a business to acquire customer information through statistics, increase company profits, and provide vital feedback for improvement.
What is Digital Signage?
As previously mentioned, digital signage is a flat panel screen that allows the user to displace multimedia content to an audience. Screens can be connected and dispersed throughout various locations, or they can be centralized in one building.
The features that come with a digital signage screen is dependent on the company it is purchased from as well as its content management system (CMS). Ultimately there are three elements to digital signage:
- Content: this is the information or media portrayed to an audience through the digital sign. Forms may vary from the text, video, audio, graphics, and more
- Hardware: this is the physical element the digital sign is comprised of. Some might assume it is limited to the screen alone. It could also include mounts, payment devices, cameras, and other elements necessary for the sign to function effectively and complete the desired objective.
- Software: the digital infrastructure that ultimately allows the hardware to function and portray content or fulfill other tasks such as management, analysis, deployment, and so on.
The purpose of digital signage is to inform an audience and impact them enough to ultimately persuade them to take some form of action. This might be something as simple as purchasing a product or subscription. It could be more extensive and provide statistics and arguments to persuade an individual to participate in an event, interact with the screen, or provide vital feedback.
How is Digital Signage Used?
There is a wide range of purposes for digital signage that can fit nearly any business. Ultimately, they are a tool for businesses to help them achieve a particular goal and connect with the individual on the other side of the screen. Here are the most common purposes of digital signage used today.
Consumers worldwide are constantly exposed to various forms of advertisements. Once a business tactic that was only found in public has now found its way into our most private spaces through cellphones and televisions.
Therefore, to increase impact, businesses that once used posters on busses and street corners have now shifted to digital signage. These are often located in high traffic areas where they can impact the most amount of people.
This is especially relevant for health care businesses that place digital signage in their lobbies to help educate patients about potential health risks, statistics on common afflictions and how to prevent them, as well as general health advice.
The same concept applies to other businesses that use digital signage to inform or educate their desired audience on a topic they deem important. They will often follow-up this information with a call to action, such as product purchase or appointment.
Product Promotion and Purchasing
In accordance with an advertisement, companies will often use digital signage to promote a product. If they are interactive, even allow the audience to purchase this product through the screen.
These are highly popular in malls, movie theatres, and fast-food restaurants. This digital signage function can be instrumental in increasing company profits if the content is persuasive enough to frequent on-screen purchases.
Training and Communication
Digital signage isn’t strictly for potential clients and customers; it can be used by company team members. Not only can these signs be used for informational purposes, but they can also help with training and general communication between employees.
These signs can help with scheduling, announcements, reminders, and other forms of content to help a team run more smoothly and increase overall workplace productivity.
Why Invest in Digital Signage?
If you don’t consider yourself to be a tech-savvy individual, or if the mention of digital signage leaves you pondering its overall cost, you might be wondering if switching to these multimedia screens is even worth it.
Fortunately, the potential of digital signage in a business is endless, and you don’t have to be a software or computer expert to utilize them efficiently. Here are our top reasons for switching to digital signage and leave those paper posters and flyers behind.
Once, technology such as this would have been widely out of the price range for most small or medium-sized businesses. Now, digital signage is becoming increasingly affordable to businesses of all sizes thanks to the substantial growth in the industry resulting in an exponential increase in digital signage and software brands.
Businesses can have as few as one screen or as many as hundreds scattered throughout their locations and under the control of one or multiple computers. Digital signage software subscriptions also range from a mere $7 per month to $100 or more.
This ultimately depends on the features you want for your digital signage and how many screens you need to control. So, if you’re a small business slowly trying to expand, investing in even one digital sign is not only affordable but well worth it.
Consider the fast-paced world we live in. Something significant is happening every second of the day and being portrayed in the media or on your personal laptop or cell phone. It can be difficult to keep up when you are limited to paper brochures and handouts.
Digital signage allows you to quickly alter and distribute content in a timely fashion to keep up with what’s going on in the outside world. You can also schedule content to be released whenever you want so you aren’t constantly distributing it yourself daily.
Easy to Use
Although some training will be required to utilize the features on your digital sign to the fullest of their potential, you don’t need to be an expert to have them.
Most digital signage software comes with features, such as apps and templates, that will customize your content for you to be clear and impressionable.
Over time, as you become more comfortable with technology, it is beneficial to explore its features. To start, you need only invest a handful of hours in utilizing it properly.
Company Profits and Improvements
Digital signage is an exceptional way to connect and impress an audience. If your content is effective, most companies see a substantial increase in their overall profits due to their digital signage advertisements, promotions, or retail functions (such as on-screen purchasing).
Digital signage software is also immensely beneficial as it will analyze customer interactions and provide helpful information regarding their habits and interests that can be used for future content.
The global use of digital signage is constantly expanding as it is a highly beneficial technological tool that can not only increase a company’s profits and understanding of their audience but also increase our understanding of human nature as a whole.
Exciting and innovative models of digital signage are being explored to further enhance their impact. Soon, companies will be able to purchase interactive signs through motion, sensory, speech, or even objects.
This, combined with enhanced analytics, will increase audience engagement and provide vital information in regards to what minute details significantly impacts peoples of various genders, ages, demographics, and more.