In this post, we’re going to answer the question “what is digital signage.” From how digital signage can be used to the hardware components required we’re going to cover everything needed to answer the ultimate question: what is digital signage?
Let’s start with why digital signage?
Consumers have been trained to automatically look at TVs and digital displays, making it in a business’s best interests to use digital signage to their advantage.
- 2/3 of business professionals report digital signage catches their attention first over other forms of media. Source: OTX/Seesaw
- 63% of people say digital signage is eye-catching. Source: OXT/Seesaw
- 47% of viewers remember specific ads or messages on a digital sign
- 19% increase in impulse purchase sales due to digital signage. Source: Arbitron 2010
- 8% increase in impulse sales due to digital signage. Source: Arbitron 2010
- 35% decrease in waiting times at checkout due to digital signage. Source: Lavi Field Study
Using digital signage, you can easily display your company’s specials, products, corporate communications, information and news in 1080P HD up to 4K resolution. With digital signage, you can remotely change the messages as needed and even schedule your digital signage content to display on the screens on specific days, set recurring schedules, expiration dates and more.
- Here’s a great FAQ guide that addresses additional what is digital signage questions
And now, what is digital signage?
Simply put digital signage is a general but broad industry buzzword word that is used to describe displaying information on a screen.
Part of the reason digital signage is so confusing is that digital signage consists of multiple facets of technology that when connected make the process of getting your message onto a sign easy.
According to Wikipedia digital signage is:
“Digital signage is a sub-segment of electronic signage. Digital displays use technologies such as LCD, LED, projection and e-paper to display digital images, video, web pages, weather data, restaurant menus or text. They can be found in public spaces, transportation systems, museums, stadiums, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and corporate buildings, etc., to provide wayfinding, exhibitions, marketing, and outdoor advertising. They are used as a network of electronic displays that are centrally managed and individually addressable for the display of text, animated or video messages for advertising, information, entertainment and merchandising to targeted audiences.”
How can digital signage be used?
Popular applications in which digital signage can be used include:
- Restaurant digital menu boards
- Corporate lobbies
- Employee communications
- Retail stores
- Manufacturing facilities
- Movie theaters
- Cruise ships
- Hospitals and medical facilities
- Pet stores
- Car dealerships and mechanic shops
- Dental offices
- Liquor stores
- Gas stations
- Credit unions
- Tire shops
- Government facilities
- Medical waiting rooms
- Country clubs
- Pawn shops
- Hobby shops,
- Golf clubs
- Senior living facilities
- Toy stores
- Amusement parks
- Lawyer offices
- Cell phone stores
- Digital directories
- Grocery and supermarkets
- Beauty salons
- Fitness centers
- Fire stations
- Police stations
- Military facilities
- Small business
- Ski Resorts
- Jewelry stores
Items needed for digital signage
To get started with digital signage you will need hardware, digital signage media player, digital signage software and content.
- Hardware (display or Kiosk): use either commercial grade digital sign or consumer TV
- Digital Signage Media Player: Android, Chrome OS or Windows
- Digital Signage Software: design, edit and update your content
- Content: using digital signage software you can design your content. If you need content design assistance see this article.
How do I set up the digital signage hardware?
Connected to your screen is the media player (via HDMI). The media player plays your messages on the digital sign.
Using a digital signage software, you will be able to update the messages from your computer at any time from anywhere.
You can also purchase a commercial grade digital sign or digital kiosk that comes with a built in media player.
- SHARP Digital Signs with built-in media player
- ViewSonic Digital Signage with built-in media player
- United Visual Product’s Digital Kiosk with built-in media player
How do I begin with creating the content for my digital sign?
To get started, outline what is most important to your organization or business and what you would like to display on the digital sign.
- What kind of information would I like for my employees to see on the screen?
- Is your store going to have blowout back to school specials that you want to jump-start early?
- Does your restaurant want to promote your new Triple Chocolate Cheese Cake up?
- Does your office need a new directory that will attract visitors and promote your business?
- Is your store having a big BOGO sale this coming weekend?
- Do you have new Happy Hour specials that you want to advertise?
- Developed a new customer loyalty program and looking to promote it?
Once you’ve identified the top 5 things you’re ready to begin creating your content for digital signage using a digital signage software.
What is digital signage software?
Digital signage software is cloud-based software that allows users to create and manage the content that is displaying on a digital sign. From any PC or MAC users will able to create dynamic layouts of media-rich content and remotely update digital signage screens, video walls, touch screen displays, and digital kiosks.
Now when attempting to find the right vendor for digital signage software it can be overwhelming due to the high number of vendors.
To help you with finding a digital signage software company there’s a great website called Capterra that lists Digital Signage Software Vendors that features real-time validated reviews from customers about each company.
How do I add media and content to the screens using digital signage software?
Using NoviSign’s cloud-based digital signage software, you will be able to easily and quickly setup your digital signs content. From your computer, you can upload images, slides, videos and other media to the library. All of the media that you upload will be saved in the cloud and accessible anytime.
- PowerPoint: PPT, PPTX, PPS, PPSX
- Google: slideshow, spreadsheet
- Word: DOC, DOCX, ODT, DJVU, RTF and PS
- Spreadsheet: XLS, XLSX and ODS
- Drawings: AI, WMF, EMF, EPS, VSD and SVG
- Images: JPG, JPEG, PNG and GIF
- Audio: M4A
- Videos: MP4
Using drag-and-drop digital signage widgets, you can then begin adding your media and customizing the layout. Select any color, gradient, or motion clip to optimize your background. Add custom borders and frames to media. Tailor font styles, size, and appearances.
What are digital signage widgets?
A digital signage widget enables you to display real-time content that auto updates digitally. From live local news feeds to dynamic database integrations you can use digital signage widgets to keep your content fresh and always current. Digital signage widgets are easy to add and can be customized to have an exact look and feel you’re looking for. Examples of digital signage widgets include:
- Live RSS news feeds
- Instagram, Twitter and Facebook streams
- HD videos and live Ustream videos
- Custom scrolling text tickers
- Website Integrations
- Touch screen kiosks
- Google Slides and Sheets
- Multi-widget slideshows
- Weather Forecasts and clock
- Virtual queue and interactive polls
- FTP media libraries
- Countdown and Count-up Timer
How do I create playlists and monitor my digital signage network?
With NoviSign’s digital signage scheduling, playlist creation, reporting and network monitoring are all included.
- Drag-and-drop the template sequence to create playlists
- Built-in live preview of the created playlist
- Set individual or group template time of duration
- Schedule content to autoplay on a specific times and days
- Set content expiration and or recurring dates
- Proof-of-Play: a list of how many times content played and how long it played
- Performance: all media assets that played, exposure time and play count
- View connectivity status of all screens and what playlist is displaying
- Media player status, name and most recent time of content update
- Admin control; create sub-users with limited or full access
NoviSign Digital Signage is a cloud-based SaaS Digital Signage Software provider that has over 20,000 digital sign systems using the platform. Some clients include Disney, Hilton, Cliftons, Freshslice Pizza, Anchorage Medical Facilities and more.
- Full support and training
- Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM CST phone support
- Offer online training videos
- 24/7 email help-desk
- Free software updates
- 30-day free trials
NoviSign has a 100% user satisfaction score on FinancesOnline, an online business software review directory.
NoviSign’s Android app is the highest rated android digital signage app on the Google Play Store with over 80 reviews and 4.5 stars.
If you have additional question contact us anytime.