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As a business, getting your information, pricing, and services out to your customers can be tricky. There are many different advertising avenues to explore varying costs. Digital signage can be an incredibly advantageous option for those looking to get started on a regional basis. To set up digital signage, you will need to build a system, including a digital signage player.
What is a digital signage player? These media players allow you to connect to TVs, screens, and monitors to relay your vital business information to potential customers at your store or even events! Digital signage player prices can match your budget, build an affordable system, and provide a significant Return on Investment.
Before undertaking any purchase for your business, it is essential to know what to expect from its use and how it can benefit your needs. Any investment should be thoroughly researched before implementation to ensure the ROI is worth it. What can it do for your business with a digital signage player, and what should you expect?
How Can I Use Digital Signage Players for My Business?
When considering different advertising or technology avenues, it is crucial to find one that will work great with your business and industry. Digital signage is a versatile system that can be built and formed for various industries, ranging from retail to larger corporations.
The versatility of digital signage continues with its purpose. You can use them to simply advertise to customers or relay information to personnel.
Digital signage allows you to create eye-catching videos, static graphics, or slides that can entertain, educate, and promote your clients. On top of that, its mobility is only determined by how large your system is and the requirements of wherever you are going.
Think of it as a portable billboard you can take to an event to show off promos and products you sell!
Another aspect is to have it in your waiting room to inform those who are at your business of information that may be vital. This can be through a custom channel or infographics. A scenario where this may be viable is a doctor's office or a law firm where you may have certain current events related information about topics that may intrigue your clients.
Finally, if you have a digital signage system, there is always the opportunity for further revenue! You can lease out spots on your signage to other companies or local businesses looking for their own advertising. This can be people you partner with or the business next door. With a regular ad space lease on your board, you can recoup the cost of the system before you know it!
Building a Digital Signage Player
Once you have decided to take the plunge on a digital signage system, it is now time to identify how to build a system out. Many technology-based systems can be complicated and messy to put together. No one likes ugly wires in their space that are unnecessary. Luckily there are only three components to a system: Display, player, and content.
The display is going to be the way your information is shown, while content is the information you create to show.
How it works is you create your content, add it to the digital signage player, connect the player to the display, and presto: your digital signage is ready to go. The great part about this system is that there is no one size fits all: it's completely customizable for your business needs.
Building your system can be as expensive or inexpensive as you would like. The important thing is to consider the purpose of your digital signage and what you expect prior to purchasing the parts.
For example, if your signage is for trips, you may want something smaller and less expensive than a stationary in-office display. With these in mind, you can get started on your display and content.
Creating a Digital Display
Your display is where your information will be shown to anyone passing by. While a PC monitor is an easy example, there are many options you can choose from to be your display. Displays can range from monitors, TVs, tablets, and even full wall visual displays. This means you can find a system that is the right size for your advertising needs.
While many consider bigger to be better, finding the best display for your business is as simple as asking yourself a few questions:
- What type of content will my business be showing people?
- Do we expect to have this system ready for travel to events?
- Will the system be stationary?
- What is the purpose of my digital signage?
The content you may consider displaying may be slides, videos, fading graphics, and more. If you are showing videos, you want better resolution than if you are displaying simple graphics, slides, or facts. You can also consider if audio accompaniment will be with any of your content and affect the need for built-in speakers.
System mobility may also be a huge factor. Unless you have a full team that travels from event to event, large signage maybe unwieldy and lead to damage when moving.
That is why for travel digital signage, a smaller system may be best, whereas stationary systems can be as large as you want for your office!
Content for Digital Display
While advertising is a very general reason for digital signage, there are many other types of content you may consider a digital signage player system for. As always, it depends on what you want to put out to your clients for them to see.
Some of the top content ideas for digital signage are:
- Current Events & Facts
- Social Media Information
- Educational Segments
- Product Promotion
- Building Directory
- Industry-Specific Information
- Emergency Notices
While these are just a few potential options, you can see that the versatility of digital signage gives you nearly unending options of ways to wow personnel and customers. On top of the information you can provide, you have a plethora of ways to relay that information, such as videos, infographics, cartoons, text, and more.
The only limit to the content and the information you can provide is your team's creativity. With the visual aspect of these systems, you can also gather analytics based on client reaction and interaction with the board. This means you get a real-time way to see what works and what does not work for you, allowing your team to adjust and plan as needed.
How Can I Use My TV as a Digital Signage Player?
If a TV can be a display, can you just use one you have lying around the office? Well, the answer is possible.
Depending upon the age of the TV itself and its connectivity, you may be able to retrofit it to be digital signage only. This is great for that old TV your office may have used during meetings in the past.
In order to determine if your TV will be suitable, try to find the manual or just flip the TV around. What you have to find is if the system itself has an HDMI port!
These ports were first introduced in 2002, so if your company has a newer model TV, then you are more than likely in business. However, if it is older than 2002, you will probably need to purchase a newer TV to make this work.
Once the HDMI port is located, it is as simple as connecting your digital signage player to the display to get the ball rolling! Consider prior to set up the resolution offered by the TV, where you want to place it, and if you are looking to do more portrait style information or landscape. TVs can be hard to see if the sun causes glare, so placement may be difficult.
You will also need a mounting system of some kind to get it on the wall if that is your goal. While newer TVs may allow for the shift from landscape to portrait, older models may not. Finally, the runtime can be a big deal as it will cause wear and tear. Make sure to maintain your TV by switching it off at the end of the day.
What Are the Advantages of Using a Digital Signage Player?
As an advertising avenue, digital signage is a fantastic way to reach out to your customer and draw them in. With more and more shopping turning toward online retail when you have a potential customer in your sights, you need to draw them in to lock down that sale.
Digital signage can help you do this in a few ways:
- Grab customer's attention with eye-catching displays
- Easy to Update Content and Get Your Message Out
- Cost-Effective Advertising and Information Relay
- Increase Impulse Buying and Connection With Customers
If you catch the eye of a customer, you are already on your way to the sale. With the versatility of digital signage and a little bit of graphic design, you can create ads and videos that intrigue them and make them linger rather than continue walking. On top of that, it only costs you the price of the system!
Digital signage players allow for easy information update. Sometimes advertising is a series of trial and error. If you put out a few ads to rotate, you can watch for potential customer reaction and go into action if you note one particular aspect of the signage driving them off. Once updated, simply reconnect the player, and you are ready to continue!
We all know how social media and customer relations are important to business in the modern-day. With digital signage, you can create a connection with the customer by making fun graphics and putting out your social info. This allows them to check you out online, possibly creating repeat buying but also driving the chance of them purchasing on impulse from the signage!
Best Digital Signage Players on a Budget
You have your display, and you have your content. All that is left is to purchase a digital signage player to connect the two. You may think that this will be the most expensive purchase of your digital signage system set up. It does not have to be! Some of the top digital signage players are actually extremely budget-friendly.
With such great options, how can you choose the best one? As with the other aspects of your digital signage system, you must consider the goal of your advertising venture, what content you will be using, and how much you are expecting to show your clients during the day. This will have a significant impact on which system you will go with.
Different types of content and how much there is of it to show can impact your storage needs and what type of digital signage player is the best for you.
While storage sticks are small, easy to carry, and easy to connect and hide behind your display, the biggest drawback is that they usually have a limit on storage capacity, meaning for large video-based files, you may want to choose a box type.
On the other hand, if you are interested in connecting to customers through graphics, slides, and facts, a stick digital signage player may be your best bet! Since these can be made more compact, stick systems can hold many and provide you with the digital signage that is ideal for your needs!
Digital Signage Player and Software
When it is time to create content, there is one more part that you will need for your signage. That is the software! Digital signage software allows you to create the content you want your digital signage player to show. You can create graphics, text, animation, and more all from this platform.
You can also use it to manage how your information is displayed. This is done by creating screens and dictating the order of the display. You have complete control over how and when your potential customers see information to create the best draw and story. You can lead them like breadcrumbs through all of the advertising!
Software prices can get ridiculously high, but this does not have to be an expensive purchase. There are several different platforms on the market that provide businesses with digital signage content management and creation. Some of these even cost nothing! Which are the best of the paid and free options to consider?
Purchasing software is a great way to get a quality product to help you create your digital signage. In many cases, a purchased software may have maintenance and updates that come with the subscription to keep you from needing to purchase a new system every year. Some of the top software are as follows:
|Rise Vision Digital Signage||$11 a month||1 Screen Usable|
|ScreenScape||$40 a month for 36 months||1 Screen Usable|
|ScreenCloud Digital Signage||$60 a month||3 Screens Usable|
While price can be off-putting, in some cases, it is important to review what you will be getting for your monthly subscription. Certain products allow you to create and manage your signage alone, while others have maintenance and support. Depending on what you need and your experience level, sometimes choosing the one with additional assistance in spite of price may be best.
The number of displays you aim at coordinating may also be a factor in your monthly cost, so make sure you account for this when searching for software. Some may even offer additional digital signage players to come with your software, at cost. Keep in mind that these are all factors that can affect how much you end up paying every month.
If you are a small business and just starting out with digital signage and advertising, you need to test the waters on your investment. Free digital signage software can help you, and your team gets the ropes of digital signage and content creation before you take the plunge. If your team learns the system well, it may even be the best option for you. Some of the top free digital signage software platforms are:
- Screenly OSE
- Chrome Sign Builder
While these software platforms do not cost, they may have additional features that do. For example, while Chrome Sign Builder is a free Google extension, additional storage using Google Drive has a monthly subscription amount that depends on how big a storage you need. Keep an eye out for factors such as this that can inadvertently lead to cost.
Another possibility is that they will have fewer available features to utilize for ad creation than a paid version. While not a bad thing if you are just learning the software, later down the line, when being more creative, it can be a drawback in how you can use your digital signage player. These remain great for a first-time signage build.
Which is Better: Free or Paid Software?
We have all been there: Choosing between a free and paid option. Have you ever accidentally paid for a feature and realized you do not know how you have been living without it? With free vs. paid digital signage software, this can be the case. Some features can be locked away from you that could be amazing if implemented. So is it better to just get the paid option?
Before you swipe your card, think about your graphic design team and your goal for the signage. If you are testing the waters to see if this is a good advertising avenue, a free option may be more than satisfactory.
It can also be great for your graphic design team to learn the ropes on a free version before really exploring all of the available features of a paid platform.
Your budget is also a huge consideration. The paid options all have a monthly fee that will need to be paid every month in order to keep using the software or an annual lump sum that can make a huge impact on your books. Free software is a great workaround to give you budget-friendly advertising and signage that has an increasing ROI over time.
It all depends on your business and its needs. Take time to consider all of your signage goals and what you anticipate occurring from this venture. There is no harm in starting small and cheap and investing in your business as it grows. Free software can be your first step into a great run with digital signage players and advertising.
Where to Use a Digital Signage Player
Placement has a huge impact on how people view and perceive your advertising. It doesn't have to be Feng Shui, but the placement of your display boards should be logical. Just as your advertising should be eyecatching, you want to have your displays somewhere where you know people's eyes will naturally find the information or rest.
Using these areas, you can create intrigue and get your customers interested in the services and products you may have. Remember, good advertising drives the conversation to eventually lead towards conversion. If you create an environment where customers ask you questions about other aspects of your company, you are on your way to sales.
You can also use the digital signage placement for your internal staff to build a better workspace atmosphere. This is a great way to relay information to your staff and provide morale boosts, especially during tough times in the fiscal year.
Along the Natural Path
There is a flow to a business, a natural way that people move through the office or property. Through this area, there may be walls, corners, end caps, kiosks, and even customer service desks.
These spots are perfect for digital signage! You can inlay them into the surfaces to relay pertinent information to customers.
An example of how to use digital signage in this way would be for relaying deals on end caps for products or books. You can use signage on walls and customer service desks to inform customers and clients of events, market statistics, industry news, and more.
Using the natural flow of your office, you can get customers ready to ask questions before they even sit at your desk.
Elevators serve one purpose: to ferry people between floors. Because they are encapsulated, there is very little to interest those people inside. However, with digital signage, you have a captive audience who will appreciate the diversion from the muzak. This can be a great way to entertain them and inform them of your business or brand.
The high traffic nature of elevators guarantees a high impression rate, which means more eyes on your advertising. This can also increase your ability to analyze its performance and the reaction of those who see it. A greater sample size means more data! You can perfect your digital signage and advertising without ever leaving the building.
Rooms Where People Wait or Relax
Whether it is for your personnel or your customers, placing digital signage in your waiting or break rooms can be a great way to entertain and inform everyone. Replace the standard magazines of a waiting area with digital signage. A custom TV channel of your own design will entertain and intrigue waiting for customers with news, information, and more.
For a break room, you can share business news, sales numbers, and employees of the week with your team.
This can be a great way to build your company morale and keep your personnel feeling like they are really making a difference. You can even ensure no one forgets about the next company event by creating fun graphics to display. Digital signage can be for more than just sales.
Now that you know how to set up your digital signage player and all the aspects of the system, there is the big question: Does digital signage work? The facts do not lie, and digital signage is an effective advertising method for businesses and industries. It provides visual recognition, memorability and can return on your investment quickly.
According to Visix.com, from a poll they took, 80% of shoppers say they have entered a store because a digital sign caught their interest. On top of that, 47% remembered an ad they saw specifically from the digital signage.
An eye-catching display can entreat your potential customer into your store and lead to a purchase. It can also build brand memorability, increasing word of mouth.
Humans are visual creatures. If something catches our eye, we are more likely to investigate, remember, and interact with that thing. Digital signage is a great way to make this very human response a part of your marketing strategy. Draw in your ideal client, tell them about your business and products, and turn them into a buyer.
Setting up a digital signage system does not have to be costly or hard. Starting with a great digital signage player and building from there can ensure a stable system that can be stationary in your property or travel with your event team on the go. Get started on your signage and take the advertising leap today!