All too often, we hear horror stories from companies that spent $10,000+ in hardware and $500+ per software license for digital signage software. After getting the system setup and installed, the digital signage software was too hard for the day-to-day users to use and the content got outdated. The digital signage system was never used and the top management team was no happy with the outcome.
To help you from making the same mistake, we’ve created a helpful 6-step guide that will aid you in deploying a successful digital signage solution that is effective and scalable.
If you’re new to digital signage and you’re looking to learn the basics check out our post “What is Digital Signage?”.
1. Involve the right people
Because digital signage is a combination of both technical and content design, you will need to work individuals from your company from the following departments:
- IT: connecting the media player to the screen and installing the digital signage software
- Marketing/communications: creating the initial content that is catered around the viewing audience while being aligned with your goals
If you don’t have an IT department or a marketing department, don’t worry about it. With NoviSign, the media player/screen setup only takes minutes and when it comes to content design, you can choose from over 200+ customizable templates with drag-and-drop widgets to help you get started!
2. Outline your objectives and goals
Sit down and speak with the different departments that will be using digital signage. Gather their feedback and establish each department’s top 5 goals they would like to accomplish using digital signage. If they struggle, try looking at it from the perspective of what would be the things they would like to display on the digital sign. Examples could be:
- Company announcements
- Weekly schedules and events
- Production line metrics and goals
- Upcoming sales and specials
- Employee recognition
3. Establish where the screens will be used
By knowing what you want to display on the screen, you can determine the best location for the screens. Example: you’re looking to reach your employees with company news updates and messages from the president. Because you want to reach employees; breakrooms, cafeterias and clock-in/out areas would all be ideal locations to install digital signage. These are all areas in which your employees congregate and spend time.
- Make sure the locations of the screens are high traffic
- Make sure the content being displayed on the screen matches the screen locations viewing audience
Where will your digital signage be placed? Make sure the content being displayed on the screen matches the screen locations viewing audience and the content is relevant.
4. Finding the right digital signage software
Digital signage success comes down to the content. Keeping it fresh and visually engaging is essential. If you don’t make routine updates, viewers will ultimately stop paying it attention and you won’t see a Return on Investment / Objective.
When searching for the right digital signage software, make sure you look into:
- How long does it take to learn?
- What does the content creation process look like?
- Does the software allow for complete layout customization?
- Can you incorporate your company branding into the content?
- How easy is it take to make on-the-fly changes?
- Is a free trial available that users can access to test?
- What kind of training and ongoing support is included?
- Does the company offer US-based phone support?
5. Finding the right digital signage players
Once you’ve outlined your plan and selected the right digital signage software, it’s time to identify the correct digital signage player to use. When it comes to digital signage players, you will need to check the software player requirements. Things to look for include:
- What kind of operating system does the software run on?
- What are the hardware operating specifications?
- Does the software company recommend or sell specific digital signage players?
Make sure to test the software on the digital signage player before making the final purchase. This allows you to see the stability of the player and the overall performance of the software on the player.
The debate on using TVs vs. digital signage displays is a common topic that many companies get stuck on. From a high-level standpoint below are the key points of going with commercial-grade digital signage displays:
- Commercial grade and designed for 50,000 hours
- Higher-brightness of on average 450 NITS
- 1080p and 4K resolutions are available
- Features aluminum enclosure that withstands commercial environments
- 46″ display on average costs $800
And now here are the high-level takeaway points of using TVs for digital signage.
- TVs are rated for 20,000 hours
- Brightness rate of approx 350 NITS
- 1080p and 4K resolutions are available
- Plastic enclosures
- 46″ TV on average costs $300
The biggest differentiators between TV and commercial grade digital signs are pricing and life cycle. Many customers often tell us the even if they have to replace the TV sooner they still end up saving money when going with TVs as opposed to digital signs.
Right screen for the job: TVs vs. Digital Signage Signs – may customers end up using TVs, which can still be positioned horizontally or vertically based on your needs.
By making sure you outline and understand what you’re looking to accomplish and display using digital signage, the better you will be prepared. From understanding how and who will make content, to knowing where to install the screens, having a game plan for your digital signage will help you eliminate shocks and unanticipated costs.
At NoviSign, we keep it simple without sacrificing functionality. Our digital signage software was designed for the novice user. From being able to preschedule content to play on specific dates and time to create beautiful layouts of content that are engaging and fresh NoviSign does it all!