Digital Signage Guide
Why did we write this guide
It’s hard to find free, educational, and comprehensive content that helps the enterprise and SMB buyer make informed decisions about the digital signage market. We wanted to make it easier for you to refine your strategy, narrow your list of vendors, and plan each stage of your approach to digital signage.
We included worksheets after every chapter that boil down the high-level information and turn it into action-oriented steps so you can take your digital signage strategy to the next level. Download those directly on the chapter pages!
How should you read this guide?
This guide is not designed for you to read from start to finish.
Scroll down and click on a chapter that’s relevant to you and your current stage in your digital signage journey or download the full PDF below. Either way, you can read to your heart’s content for free about any digital signage topic at your own pace.
The History of Digital Signage
Beginners start here. Before you can create an innovative and engaging digital signage campaign, it’s best to understand where signage has come from when it started in the 90’s. We’ll cover the evolution of the technology and how market adoption has influenced its path over the years. You can see the historical trends so you can hone your company’s strategy before you even start. Learn from the mistakes and the wins of those you came before you.
Digital Signage Benefits and ROI
It can be challenging to calculate the actual return on investment for your signage campaigns when other variables come into play like: other campaigns you’re running, seasonal traffic, weather, and many other factors.
Even if you’re not using your displays to sell products, you can still track the effectiveness of your campaign with the hard numbers as well as soft numbers. Make sure you know how to measure success before you begin!
The 10 Biggest Digital Signage Challenges Facing Your Business
There are common challenges that go beyond industries and vertical markets. Make sure you know what these challenges are and prepare for them.
Some of these revolve around lack of planning, execution, vision, or responding to your customers. Consider this as a framework for considering the challenges that might arise with your own digital signage project, so you can create a plan of action to dodge them. You’ll want to read this if you’re planning to roll out digital signage soon!
Digital Signage Software – What to Look For
At best, a CMS can enable you to publish gorgeous content, increase sales and engagement, and make it easier to approve content changes in the software. At worst, the software can fail to offer key features or integrations, have limited scalability, quickly become outdated, and be so difficult to navigate that your users stop leveraging the tool and your content ages quickly.
With so many options for digital signage software, it can be hard to narrow down what makes a CMS a good option, and which software is right for you — because let’s face it, there are no one size fits all. This is what you need to think about when evaluating CMSs, and it will help you narrow your list of vendors.
Digital Signage Hardware – What to Look For
Selecting the right digital signage hardware is just as important as selecting the right CMS, and should be just as carefully chosen to suit your particular use.
The truth is, you need to focus on all parts of the digital signage rollout in order to get not only a cohesive solution, but a scalable, secure network. And the hardware plays a crucial role, from the type of screens you choose, to the media player, to the mount, and cabling, they all need to be selected with your goal in mind.
In this chapter, we share the important information you need to know before buying.
Cloud-Based Digital Signage
Should you go with an on-premise solution or a cloud-based solution? In this chapter, we give you the questions to ask vendors, and the questions you need to think through that influences which option is best for your company. Forgetting to look at these things can result in a bogged down IT department that needs to support and upgrade old technology, and the systems themselves can leave you with a large bill.
We want to make sure that doesn’t happen, and that you have the infrastructure in place that supports your company’s needs today and can support your future.
Google Chrome for Digital Signage
Google is relatively new in the digital signage space, but with their hardware background with Chromeboxes, Chromebases, and Chromebits, it was a seamless transition. Chrome media players are serious contenders in the marketplace and offer the same (if not better) results with a lower price tag. Chrome digital signage is a focused on how simple it is to update your devices and centrally control a fleet.
We put together a list of some Chrome devices to dig into the pros and cons so you could decide for yourself if Chrome is the direction you’d like to go.
What Content to Put on Your Displays
It doesn’t matter if you have the best software and hardware if the content you’re displaying isn’t getting any results. When creating content for digital signage, many of the best practices are unique to digital signage (as opposed to other writing). So even if you’re a confident writer, there are other variables at play like: dwell time, distance from a screen, and calls-to-action.
We have some best practices and a great list of free tools you can use to create your own digital signage content that looks beautiful (without needing a graphic designer).
Installing & Rolling Out Digital Signage
You need to put serious thought into your strategy for rolling digital signage out in order to maximize its usefulness and accessibility to your audience.
Case in point: You need to choose the right digital display to install based on the placement and environment in your store. Of course, the problems can start long before your digital signage is even fully installed. Without a fully planned rollout strategy, costly trial and error can make your expenses quickly balloon above your budget.
In this chapter, we’ll walk you through the digital signage rollout planning process and give you an idea of what to expect along the way.
Digital Signage Trends
There’s a difference between a gimmick and a trend. You don’t want to put money behind something that will fade tomorrow, you want to put money into a trend that is in the early stages of lifting user experience and buyer behavior to the next level so you can have a competitive advantage.
In this chapter, we’ll teach you how to tell a trend from a gimmick, and give you an insider’s perspective of what today’s trends really are so you can hop on while they’re still new!