Digital signage guide for beginners

Developing and executing on a Digital Signage strategy can be daunting.  So, you may find yourself asking, is it all worth it?  I could simply respond yes! However, there are so many statistics now that validate the return on investments of an effective Digital Signage solution – read on! I think we can agree that Digital Signage is here to stay and has measurable outcomes that include increased dwell time, brand awareness and ultimately increased revenues. Here is your digital signage guide to start building your network. 

Building your own digital signage channel

I can list the components of a Digital Signage network: screens, media players, software, content, cables, blah blah blah.  However, as you begin to explore all that is Digital Signage, it’s absolutely critical to start with your target audience and objectives.  This will guide you as you seek out industry partners to make your vision into reality.

So, pull out that notebook and pen if you are old-school, or simply fire up your device and start brainstorming.

Set your sales and marketing goals

Effective Digital Signage isn’t just about bombarding your customer traffic with ads.  First, start thinking about how the signage will support your sales and marketing goals. Below are some objectives that I have encountered:

Increase sales

This is typically top of mind. Digital Signage solutions provide the real-estate to highlight your specials for the day/week/month, suggest complementary products, show your customers how to use key products.  All of these visuals are proven to increase conversion.

Lower your signage costs

Once you’ve made it through the initial investment, Digital Signage can save money over slower and more expensive options to communicate with your organization and customers.  Print media can’t compete in our digital age, however.

Enhance the customer experience

This is the soft benefit of Digital Signage that will ultimately build customer loyalty and sales.  First, make the in-store experience immersive and enjoyable.  Besides that, create an environment that calls to consumers and lures them away from the generic mass retail online shopping experience.

Keep your audience informed

Digital Signage in the corporate culture increases the flow of information and ultimately morale and feeling of inclusion in your office.

Finding the best partner to help you execute the strategy

So, you’ve spent time defining your objectives.  Now you must find a partner that can help you execute.  As you begin to vet the many, many Digital Signage companies out there, make sure you have your checklist ready.  Some key items to include as you look at partners:

63% of people say that Digital Signage captures their attention.

Content – is there stock content available; does the partner have creative capabilities?  Will they help you develop your content strategy?

Software – is it scalable?  You know where you are now, but you must partner with a positive future view.  Can the software handle your initial requirements, and will it scale as you continue to grow?  Is the software provider committed to continual improvement and enhancements?  Do they have the engineering resources to support that commitment?

The software you choose will be a key driver in the success of your network.  It must be simple enough for marketing to use but have the features to accomplish complex targeting and campaigns.  You may not need this now, but you will and switching vendors can be rocky.

Successful Digital Signage strategy

Are they turn-key digital signage solution provider?  There are many providers that can supply components of Digital Signage networks. But if you are new to the game, a trusted advisor who can work with you to design, source, install and maintain your network will make your vision a heck of a lot more achievable.

I would also recommend that you look for partners who are taking advantage of standards when at all possible.  Cloud solutions should work seamlessly on all browsers, for instance; media players should be based upon known standards such as Chrome, Linux, or Android.

You do not want to go with a software provider that will lock you into a media player or a media player manufacturer that will lock you into a software provider.  You should have flexibility.

Bottom line, find that partner who listens, seeks to understand and works in collaboration with you on all aspects of the project.

It is still true, and maybe in an industry with so many players, it is truer than ever that we buy from people we like and trust.  Take your time, seek out that relationship that resonates with you and your team.

Written by Janette Wood