When you think about it, there is almost no aspect of our lives that is still 100% analog. Technology allows us to meet friends and family, learn new skills, enroll in colleges, work, exercise, entertain, and do so much more, all from the comfort of our homes. Digitization has made everything just a few clicks away; it’s incredible what typing in just a few keywords can do. Numerous results that are tailored to your needs and geographical location will pop up. Not only that, but modern marketing tools can target the right audience at the right time and place. Digitization, and the availability of multiple advertising media, are also what makes it possible to spot out brands from miles away.
Digital content, when done right, can be highly arresting and captivating. No one needs to actively search and ask around for their desired products or services anymore. This is why businesses or organizations of any sort must have a strong digital presence, online and content-wise, to succeed- and this is when digital signage comes into play.
Digital signage is the capacity to put any kind of digital media on display. The chances are that you come in contact with digital signage every day; it can be seen at malls, restaurants, universities, hospitals, and on the streets. Businesses need it to promote their products or services, connect with their audience, increase brand awareness, and communicate with staff or target audience and engage them.
Digital signage is among the most effective tools that allow you to connect with current and potential audiences. Traditional marketing and advertising efforts have become relatively ineffective when compared to what the digital world has to offer. No matter your client’s location, age, and how you choose to implement it, digital signage can surely attract just about anyone. Here’s a thought, which is more likely to attract anyone’s attention: a static, printed banner, or a digital signboard? You guessed it- digital signage is likely to attract 63% of people’s attention as it is instinctively hard to ignore. This is why you can significantly improve your advertising and marketing efforts by using digital signage to employ appealing visuals and influential calls to action.
You will also be able to get your message noticed and enhance your ability to communicate with your targeted audience, regardless of whether they are students, staff, visitors, or clients. Besides, there is no need to worry about the costs! A few years ago a digital signage project was considered a hefty investment and required huge upfront funding. However, as digitization grew more and more powerful, parts and media have become more accessible, and therefore the overall costs associated with the application of digital signage have been gradually and steadily declining over the years. Digital signage projects are very vast and scalable, making them challenging to understand. If you are interested in digital signage and are considering getting started, read our article for three important things that you should know before you dive right in.
Aspects of a Digital Signage Project
Before going into details about digital signage, you must first get a better idea of the elements that revolve around it. Digital signage is not just about setting up an electronic signboard beside your shop; it is rather a campaign or a whole project. There are four main components of a digital signage project, the first being software. Software, a content management software specifically, or CMS, is what allows any business to display its content. Each software typically varies in the price range and features. You can find various free software and software that offers monthly or yearly services according to your subscription plan.
Some CMS will limit you to displaying only specific types of content, while others will allow you to show multiple content formats, including images, texts, videos, and webpages. If you plan on making physical displays as well, you may also need hardware, such as wall mounts and media players, which is the second component of digital signage projects. The third component of any digital signage project is the content. Having something relevant and exciting to display through digital signage is essential. The last component of each digital signage project is the strategy. Every project needs a plan to ensure success.
The first thing that you should know about digital signage is that it is only effective when there is a proper strategy in action. A solid plan that explores goals, location choice, content relevance, and viewing height, will help you set your digital signage project off on the right foot. Having a strategy will allow you to measure success, reflect on milestones, and stay on track.
For instance, using digital menu boards for restaurants can help promote a good customer experience and highlight technology adoption to stand out from the rest. On the other hand, retail stores can use digital signage as an effective strategy to announce new promotions and product lines interactively.
Before you move on with your project, you must first establish goals to help you understand exactly what you are looking to accomplish from digital signage. Your goals will determine other factors that are linked to your project, including your displays and their locations, the needed media player, and the type of content that you will produce. You should reflect on why your business needs digital signage, as well as what you expect to gain from it. Determine the messages that you want to get across, the people that you want to reach, and how you want them to respond after grabbing their attention.
Now that you have a clear idea of your goals, you should shift your focus to your audience. You need to identify your target audience and understand what they need and what they respond to. You need to explore their interests, know their most visited locations, their most used social media apps, their intentions, and their habits. Gathering as much information about your audience, and conducting conclusive market research will help you find out the best way to target your audience using digital signage. You can also write a simple user persona or an outline of the motivations and interests of your typical viewer.
Just like any other project, digital signage projects need project managers. Things can easily get out of control and content and reports can go old if you don’t have a proper management system. This is why you should make sure to designate someone for the position of managing and updating your digital signage project. To get started, you will need a media player that powers your display, allowing you to show the content that you produce, a display, and a content management software that allows you to create and schedule content.
Choosing a Location
The placement of your display is just as important as having all the components and the content needed for your digital signage project. The placement and location of your display can directly impact your entire project’s success; your choice of the location should be associated with your goals and your target audience. When choosing a location, think about the content that you want to show your audience. For instance, if your content is intended for students, then you should go for display in busy hallways, entrances are great for sharing office updates and notifications since they are easily noticeable, and interactive displays are best suited for places in which people can stop and wait (i.e. bus stops).
The location of your digital signage should always be somewhere that attracts a lot of traffic. When picking a location, you should always consider what people are doing, how long they usually hang around, why and where they are stopping, and if there are any obstacles in the way. Opt for locations in which people can stay for prolonged periods of time and where they can easily reach and interact with your display. Make sure that your signage is displayed at eye height, as this is the best way to guarantee that it can be easily spotted and interacted with. You can also play around with the angle at which your display is placed. Non-interactive displays with longer viewing time can be angled downwards, while interactive displays can be angled upwards to encourage longer interactions.
Digital signage is generally very fast-paced and dynamic, which is why the results heavily depend on the content that you show. Intriguing messages and designs are needed to attract audiences. Thoughtful design placement, brevity or conciseness, and a clear call to action are some of the things that you should consider when creating content. Your digital signage must be balanced, design-wise; pay attention to how the visual weight of texture, shape, space, and color will be distributed.
Having a balanced design will help you achieve content stability, piquing your audience’s interest. Stable designs are generally very engaging, as they are easy to look at and interpret.
When it comes to design, you should go by the saying “less is more.” Avoid using too many colors, widgets, or words in your design, so that it doesn’t become too eye-jarring. Your goal should be creating a powerful design- one that can get the desired message across with the fewest elements possible. The design aesthetic is indeed key, this is why you should ask yourself whether the simplest things, such as text shadows, underlines, or strokes, are necessary. The digital signage specialists at https://www.indigoworkplace.com/solutions/digital-signage explain that you must pay close attention to the layout, as well. To place your content correctly, you should generally follow three rules: the title safe area, which protects your text or graphics from getting cut off, the action safe area, where you can place motion graphics and moving images, and the no content zone, where you should avoid placing any content.
Left text alignment saves you the trouble of hyphenating words and is more appealing to the eyes. Using a high contrasting color scheme will help your audience discern between different visual elements. High contrasting colors are also more likely to grab your audience’s attention. When deciding on the colors that you will be using, try to stick to only 3 colors. Your first and man color should occupy 60% of your display, the second color should take up 30% and should be used to contrast the main color, and the third color, used in only 10% of the display, should be an accent color to either of your previous colors. Make sure to have a clear and specific call to action that points to a certain time, place, or location, as well as a point of sale that pushes people to make a buying decision.
3. Durability and Visibility
You should always keep in mind that digital displays are constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions, including wind, sunlight, rain, storms, and snow. Investing in a project that can suffer great wear and tear can be devastating. This is why you should make sure that your display is highly durable. Invest in displays that are secured with protective technology, such as an IP56 design, which offers enhanced control of liquid crystals. You should also opt for water- and weather-proof displays. You should also search for displays that don’t degrade the picture quality and provide a true wide viewing angle. This means that the display will not change its brightness, color, or contrast regardless of the angle that it’s being viewed at.
Some displays also come with temperature control that allows them to adjust to the darkness and direct sunlight. These displays are usually supplied with more LED units, allowing them to hive higher brightness levels at lower temperatures. This makes them last longer than other types of monitors.
At the end of the day, investing in a digital signage project can be extremely beneficial for your business. While it can cost much money upfront, you can guarantee a great return on investment if you implement it correctly. Digital signages are great when it comes to attracting an audience; they are captivating, alluring, and capable of getting your message across. They can help improve in-store experiences, promote brand awareness, and improve communication. Setting clear goals, a strategy, and paying close attention to design elements can help you get the most out of your digital signage project.