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Adding digital signage to your business can be an exciting venture. This system can open up many advertising windows and options for your business. Whether you are just getting started or you have purchased the system, the trickiest thing about getting your digital signage ready may be the setup. Once you have decided on placement, what are your next steps?
No need to stress! Set up does not have to be difficult if you know the steps. Our setup guide will help you get your system up and running before you know it. Here we cover the essentials, assembly, and even some tips on getting your content signage ready. Your digital signage can be ready for your next business day!
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and make the change from static signage to digital, stick around. Up next, we’ll let you know exactly what you need to do to set up digital signage, just keep reading.
So you have decided to get started on digital signage. You read all about the benefits, and now you want to get your system built and ready to show your business information. There are a few key components that every digital signage system needs to function. These components are:
- Screens or Displays
- Digital Signage Media Player
- Digital Signage Software
- Any accessories to mount or connect your system
The great thing about a digital signage system is that the build of your system is custom to your business’s needs. Because of this, not all components need to be extremely expensive. In fact, they can be as low in cost as you need them to be when first starting out. This means you have ultimate control over your investment dollar and where you put the majority of your spending.
Some examples of how this comes into play are easy to find. If you are just starting out and unsure if digital signage is right for your business, you can compile your system using some pieces you may already have, such as an old TV or a Raspberry Pi you received as a gift. The bulk of your investment can be used to buy quality software to create your signage content.
On the other hand, if you are looking to put most of your spending on your media player, you can save by using old meeting room TVs or monitors and free software so your team can learn the basics. Truly, digital signage can be as costly or as inexpensive as you need it to be. Once you have decided on your components, it comes time to assemble the system.
Setting Up Your Digital Signage
Once you have decided on what parts are going to make up your system, it is time to get started with the setup. Digital signage is made up of as many parts as you want it to be, from a simple two-piece set up with some wiring to a multi-display system with mounts. Regardless of the size, there are some things you should consider before set up:
- Where am I going to put this system?
- Do I have all the components?
- What kind of content are they showing?
Considering location and content are not only good for setting up but also good to think about in the long term for your advertising efficiency. You do not want to have high-quality video content showing in locations where people do not frequent. Once you have considered the above questions, it is time to get started!
Purchase Your Screens
Screens for digital signage can vary in a number of ways. You can choose anything from a high fidelity large display system to a simple computer monitor. This is where your content will be shown, so it is important to consider what kind of content you are showing and how the quality of the screen will impact the visual.
Remember: you do not necessarily need to buy a high dollar system for this either. If you have a TV circa 2002 or newer, it can be a cheap option to get your system started. All a digital signage media player needs is an HDMI access port, which was first introduced in the year 2002 to TVs. This can be a great way to save your dollar now if you are unsure if a digital signage system will benefit you.
Another thing to consider is the placement of the system and if you are keeping it stationary or taking it on the road. Some businesses in the food industry and ones that network frequently may find digital signage works best for them at events.
For these businesses, a smaller screen may be suitable for transport. Once you have considered all these aspects of your display, it is time to make the purchase!
Buy a Media Player
There are many different options of media players available for you to choose from when the time comes. They can be broken down into two specific types: box or stick. These designations are given based on the appearance of the media player and how it connects to the display system. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks that you should consider before purchase.
The stick type of media player is small and easy to transport. An example of this system is the Amazon Fire TV stick. It simply clicks into the input on the back of your display system and runs your set content without concern. The major drawbacks of this system are the lack of easy interface capability and the fact it does not have additional room for increased storage.
The second type is the box, such as the Raspberry Pi or the Android Media Player. These systems tend to have larger storage capacity and can be adjusted with a simple connection to your computer or even display. However, a huge drawback is the larger size and the fact they may need wires to connect to your display system which can be unsightly.
When choosing between these systems, it is really a matter of choice and necessity. If you are considering streaming video a good amount of the time for your content, a box may be the better option. If you are showing slides, static graphics, or simple text information, a stick may be just enough for your business advertising needs.
Find Your Software
Software is required to create content and run the display. Within your selected platform, you can style slides, input content, add video, and control when and how your potential customers view your information. This gives you complete management control of your digital signage and information, allowing you to adjust as you go.
You can choose between top paid and free options for your advertising needs. Free digital signage software, such as Chrome Sign Builder, can be a great option for those just starting out and learning the ropes of digital signage. A downside is that some free options may have limitations in their creativity.
Paid options such as Rise Vision Digital Signage, on the other hand, can provide a number of ways for you to create and manage your digital signage content. However, the cost of these can jump greatly depending on which paid software you choose. Some have increased rates depending on the number of displays you will be using and syncing.
Be diligent in your research regardless of what option you choose to go with. You want to find software that is easy to use and will allow you to accomplish what you want from your digital signage. It is all about your digital signage needs and how the software can go to work for you. Once you found the perfect software, all that there is left to do is download it!
Find High-Speed Internet Connection
Let’s face it: just about everything needs an internet connection these days. This is no different for your digital signage media player. Whether you upload your signage data directly or store it on a cloud, you will likely need an internet connection to utilize the system. Some instances may even require a hard line-in connection to use the connection properly.
As a business, you probably have pretty great internet already. Make sure you have an available port to add an additional wire to for your media player. If you do not, you may need to get a system that allows for more wires or just consider if there is a wire that goes to nowhere that can be removed.
The next thing to do is consider the location of your digital signage. Given you may have to run the wire from the router or an outlet to its location, you want to be sure the area you are placing the signage has good access. In some cases, it may be unavoidable to have a long wire running from the outlet to your display.
Consider ways to hide the wire if you cannot avoid having it run this way. You can hide it behind office furniture or blend it into the wall somehow. The final option is inlaying the system into the wall, hiding the wires therein. This can be a difficult remodeling project but is well worth it and gives your business a classy edge on its look.
Find Power Outlets
It seems obvious, but finding locations of power outlets is one of those tasks that seems so common that it can be forgotten. How often in business or personal life has one location seemed utterly perfect for a TV or a lamp, only for you to realize there is no place to plug it in? While it may seem silly, ascertaining these locations is imperative.
Without an outlet, there is absolutely no way to run your digital signage whatsoever. Once you find it, you then need to ensure no other systems are running on the outlet or that there are enough plugs available. Depending on your system and the number of displays, you may need anywhere from two to nearly a dozen potential outlet connections.
Connecting your display and system to an outlet is another instance where exposed wires may become an issue. We want customers focusing on the display, not the wiring behind it. Just like with an internet connection, if blending or hiding the wires is impossible, inlaying your display maybe your best option.
Assemble the System
Once you have purchased all the parts and identified the best location to place your digital signage, it is time for assembly! The actual assembly is not difficult, simply connecting the wires and following the manuals as needed. What may be tricky is how you are placing the system. This will be determined by the additional accessories and vision you have for your signage.
If you are going the in-wall inlay route, you may need the assistance of an electrician and remodeling team to get it accomplished. This is certainly not a do it yourself task. However, if you are using a mount or stand, it can be very simple to complete the installation and set up of your system in a day or less.
Once all the pieces are in place, there are a couple of final steps that need to be taken before you are ready to let your in-store or at event advertising fly. Once these two tasks are accomplished, your digital signage is ready for everyone to see.
Download and Install Your Signage App
As a part of your software, you may have an app that is needed for your media player to read your content from the cloud. These are usually available through appropriately associated stores such as Google Play and the Apple App Store. Simply download them ahead of time and make sure they stay up to date for your presentation.
Pair Your Screens
If you have multiple screens, the final thing to do is make sure they are all synced. This is the process of ensuring that the content you have curated is shown correctly across multiple screens, whether by sliding from one screen to another or complimenting each other with similar content. Your app will walk you through pairing options so that your screens are ready to go!
Designing Your Content
Post set up, your system is ready to share all of your vital content with potential customers and networking opportunities! Now it is time to set up your content. Using your chosen software, you can style slides, videos, social media information, and more. However, what should you share? When getting started, consider the following:
- Your industry
- Location of the signage (is it in-store or at an event?)
- Your ideal customer
Your industry and brand can play a vital role in the actual graphic design aspects of your content as well as what content you can share. An example of this is that if you are in the financing, you may want to relay market-related information to your clients or current loan trends. For this, you may want to add graphics with charts and bulleted, easily consumable information.
If your signage is off-site, such as at a local fair or event, it can also help you create content that will benefit customers. In this case, you want them to connect with you and become a future customer as well. Share your company’s social media information and product visuals that may not be on site.
Finally, considering your ideal customer can put you in their shoes. What would be eye-catching to them? What information do they want from digital signage? What would make them linger? Using this train of thought, your content options are virtually limitless. As an advertising medium, you can then observe the real reaction of those seeing your signage and adjust as necessary.
Setting Up Your New Advertising with Digital Signage
In the modern-day, digital signage is your new business card, billboard, and more. This highly customizable system can be as expensive or inexpensive as you need. Set up is simple for in-store or away, allowing you to make your purchases and instantly see results once your content is ready. Unlike other advertising options, you can actually see digital signage in action and customer reactions.
Remember, even if you start with a less expensive makeshift system, you can always upgrade to a better model once you see a return on investment. Whether you want a multi-display slide show of facts or a single custom-tv channel style display, you can set it up easily with only a few components. These may even be old TVs or monitors you have around the office and free software!
This system also allows you to be as creative as you want and helps your business connect with customers. By visualizing your ideal customer’s interests, you can create an eye-catching visual that will entice them to linger, ask questions, and lead to a sale. On top of that, you get real-world analytics, not a numerical report that tells you data.
Getting started with your digital signage can be simple! Consider your business’s needs and expectations from digital signage and how you want to use the system. Once you have determined this information, you can identify the size of screens you need, what kind of media player, and so much more.