If you've stumbled upon this article, then you are probably a retail chain or store owner looking to use Digital Signage to attract more customers and promote your products. Before you do, you should check out all the "components" needed to make it work for you. Read on.
1. Identifying your own needs
First and foremost, what's the scale of your business? Do you have one outlet, several outlets, or hundreds of outlets to manage?
If you have one or a few outlets to deploy your digital signages, then what you need is quite straightforward. First, define your screen size needs and purchase the screens either from electrical shops or dealers. Screen sizes range from 32" to 100+" so choose the ones most suitable for you. Secondly, ensure that the screens have "built-in" playback capabilities. You can check with your supplier on this. Lastly, load up your content (Images, Videos) into a thumb drive, and plug it into the screens. Anytime there's new content, update the thumb drive, and you're good to go. It's is the most cost-efficient way to run your digital ads.
However, if your operations are larger or you find it cumbersome to update contents, you will need digital signage software.
2. Buy the right equipment (Screens, LED Wall, etc)
As the name implies, you will need SCREENS to deploy digital signages. There are LED Screens, LED Walls, Video Walls, Digital Standees, and various types of displays. Choose the ones best suited for your needs, and you can mix and match them depending on the location you want to place them.
Consider few important factors in choosing your screen :
- Brightness : generally, you will want a bright screen to attract eyes or in conditions where the sunlight is bright. Commercial TV models are usually brighter than consumer TV models, but the prices will be higher.
- Durability : You wouldn't want your hardware to fail you before ROI right? Ensure that the product has local support and warranty. Also, placing displays indoors is generally better to avoid the climate elements, which will reduce the lifespan.
*Take note that warranties for consumer screens differ from commercial grade screens.
3. Content Management System
Now that you have your screens, you will have to find a way to upload content to the screens. If you have multiple locations, then you will need a "Digital Signage Software" to link all your screens and push content to them. There are various solutions in the market, such as Broadsign, Signagelive, and Navori to name a few. Typically, the software licenses are charged per device. If you have 10 devices, you will need to subscribe to 10 licenses. Most subscriptions are monthly or yearly renewable.
Southpaw has our digital signage solution called SP Signage which is based on Xibo. Our prices per screen are one of the lowest in the market, and Xibo's platform is currently in use in over 60,000 displays worldwide. We are their official distributor and partner in Malaysia. Check it out here.
Besides the software, you will also need a "player" which will connect to each screen. This "player" handles the content to display, and it will also need to be connected to the internet. Most players run on android; you can think of them as an android TV box. They are generally inexpensive. Refer to diagram below for a more precise depiction.
Typical digital signage diagram
4. Update update update! Content is king!
To get the best results from your signage, be sure to populate them with good content. Fully utilize the benefits of having a digital signage system as you are no longer limited to the amount of content you can put up. You won't have to re-print posters, banners, etc. Just upload your content, schedule it to whichever screen you want it to display, and Walla, you're done!
Be aware that, no matter how great or big your displays are, content is king! Continually post new content to promote your products and services. Sometimes, you can even put up non-marketing materials to engage with users. Be creative!
Lastly, do monitor your displays to ensure they are functioning properly. With SP Signage, we have a built-in monitor to ensure the content is being pushed to the displays and also to see if any displays are offline. If you want to know more or wish to consult us, feel free to give us a call.