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How does digital signage work?

How does it work?

One of the most proactive forms of brand advertising in the corporate sector is achieved with the use of digital signages. As a brand owner or office manager looking to set up digital signage, this article will guide you through the fundamentals. Also, we will be evaluating the components and how they interact to display digital signage. 

What is digital signage? 

Digital signage is simply electronic signage, consisting of a digital signage display or projector, digital signage software, and media content. Most brands and businesses utilize digital signage as a medium to disseminate information and advertise products, price updates or even showcase a menu to an audience in public spaces or within the office or store.

Most digital signage applications have fixed digital signage displays that are placed on walls or ceilings, however, some include the use of portable mobile displays, tabletops, car screens, window screens, and other surfaces.

When implemented efficiently, digital signages offer an organization the opportunity to increase customer foot traffic into the store, as well as give prompt updates on the services it offers. The added utility from signages can alternatively provide a brand with a substantial return on investment as attractive advertising equates to increased sales.

Main elements of a digital signage are;

  1. Content 
  2. Display (Screen) 
  3. Signage player 
  4. Content management system (CMS) 

Content

The piece of information that you wish to broadcast on your digital signage screens is referred to as media content or simply content. Content also entails how the entire graphical design and messages are positioned on the screen, as well as how the overall screen layout will appear to the audience. 

In essence, it’s critical to present engaging and informative content that connects with viewers to aid your digital signage goals to be achieved. A brilliant piece of content on your signage, which is typically the first point of contact with the public, can attract attention right away and improve your chances of closing more sales.

Additionally, it is necessary for excellent signage content to be correctly optimized and simple to understand before it is deployed. The length of the content and how it is scheduled should also be designed to engage the audience and compel them to take a particular action, such as buying a discounted product or attending an occasion.

Media content used in signage usually comes in the following formats and file types: 

  • Images (jpg, png, gif, etc.) 
  • Videos (mp4, wmv, mov) 
  • Powerpoint Slides 

However, most signage content management systems allow the integration of third-party content and data from web feeds, e.g.:

  • Social media 
  • RSS feeds
  • News feed
  • Weather
  • Calendar / event listings 

Display (Screen)

The electrical device that is used to broadcast visual information, in this case, media content, to an audience is a signage display, also known as a screen. Every digital signage application needs high-quality screens since they serve as the audience’s medium of interaction with the signage content for your brand.

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In order to ensure that high-definition images are rendered with accurate color and great brightness to capture the attention of any passerby in the vicinity, screens used for digital signage are constructed with potent technologies like LCD and LED screens. 

Commercial-grade digital signage screens are highly advised for your signage applications because they are designed exclusively for signage content and offer longer runtime than consumer TVs.

Signage media player

The media player is yet another crucial element used in digital signage applications. Simply described, the digital signage player is the device that powers digital signage, manages scheduling, and feeds content to the signage screen. 

Within a digital signage application, media players handle content storage and delivery. Most players need to be connected directly to the display using an HDMI cable, and some of these players allow connections to several screens simultaneously. New technology digital signages, on the other hand, are made in a compact design that makes them portable enough to fit on the screen’s body. Media players often operate on a plug-and-play model, which makes it easy to install and set up.

Media players have built-in local storage devices such as a hard drive or memory chip. However, the majority of digital signage players have internet connectivity built-in, allowing them to access content that is stored on a server, download it, and stream it to the display.

Content Management System (CMS)

The content management system often referred to as digital signage software, is a software application that enables a user to produce, save, manage, edit, schedule, and deploy digital signage content. It can simply be seen as the “back-end” of every digital signage application, where all content generation and updating are carried out.

The user interface dashboard of digital signage software has all the tools and pre-installed templates that may be used to edit, generate, and publish content quickly. You may create a playlist and specify restrictions for each playback right from the dashboard.

Digital signage software can also come in the form of cloud-based software, where the advertiser pays a subscription fee to gain access to the server and utilizes the software to create and deploy content over the internet. Cloud-based signage software usually offers the best value and is the easiest to deploy, as the user leaves the maintenance of the server to the hands of the experts. 

How to set up and deploy a digital signage

Digital signages offer a dependable and effective type of branding for any company, and their installation and setup frequently don’t require a lot of technical knowledge. Generally, by following these four essential stages, you can install and deploy digital signage:

1. Create content

After determining the ideal places for your signage display and the finest digital signage hardware to use, the first step in deploying your first digital signage is to produce the visual content that you wish to broadcast. 

In this stage, you’re required to create the design, texts, and layout using images, videos, and any other supported design tools using the content management system. The best practices to observe when creating good quality content include:

  • Keep the entire design simple and easy to read.
  • Use high-quality images and videos for every content.
  • Choose the right font for texts, ensure to use the right font size to maximize visibility and readability.
  • Ensure to use contrasting colors for text, background, and other underlying elements. 
  • Align the elements of your design correctly, arrange them by hierarchy and leave an optimal amount of white space.
  • Optimize your content to be brief and precise so the viewer can get the entire message within a short period of waiting time. 

2. Connect media player to the system

Digital Player

The next stage entails connecting the media players to the various screens you will be deploying your signage content with. For most media players, you will only require to connect via an HDMI cable or portable media stick. However, cloud-based media software will require you to connect your signage setup to the server by downloading and installing the dedicated signage application on any supported platforms, e.g., Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.

3. Deploy content via CMS

Once your media players are connected to the screens and functional, the next step is to deploy your signage content using the content management system. You can simply publish your content right away, create a playlist, and schedule content to be published at a later time. 

4. Update content when required

In this stage, you can choose to update your existing content by altering the details on it, changing the design layout, or adding more information on new events or products that you might want to showcase to your audience through your digital signage.  

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