What are the six key elements of digital signage?

04 Sep 2019

In the global advertising game, digital signage continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries, with a staggering compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that is expected to reach 8% globally by 2025

Since the turn of the century, brands have been utilising this more flexible and aesthetically pleasing medium to sell their wares, create valuable new consumer touchpoints and keep people informed, all whilst blurring the lines between retail, corporate communication, and entertainment.

Digital signage has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool for a number of sectors, not least the retail and marketing industries. But in order to understand why they work so well, we need to break down exactly what it is that makes digital signage such a successful medium. Read on for our exploration. 

Content

A word that has become synonymous with online marketing, but that also holds just as much weight in the field of digital signage - the content is not just the message, but how that message is communicated. 

When it comes to content for digital signage, there are a number of unique considerations to take into account. For starters, it will often involve a lot more than simply copy, pasting and reformatting material from another medium. 

Sure, there are certain logos and ideas that can be adapted to suit the medium, but the best digital signage content is designed to take advantage of the unique opportunity posed by it. With analytics now more powerful and effective than ever before, it is also important that content is created that can be changed to reflect consumer action, without losing the initial message you were trying to get across.

Connectivity

After the initial concept and content have been decided upon, the next stage in digital signage planning should always be to figure out if you plan for it to be ‘connected’ or function as a standalone display. A connected digital display system has many benefits - including the ability to send and receive data and react accordingly. 

Design

Design is all about how everything fits together. In the case of digital signage, it’s also about how to frame your message so that it gets to consumers in the clearest way possible. 

This will include making considerations for not only the digital display design itself (the fonts, the videos and the pictures) but also the location it will be displayed in. For example, if it’s going to be displayed over a busy street, traffic flow patterns, and ambient lighting may need to be taken into consideration. Good digital display design is able to be used in any situation - regardless of external factors.

Software

From the software side, most modern digital signage manufacturers utilise cloud-based content management system (CMS). For this reason, it’s imperative that your designs remain flexible enough to work across a number of different systems. 

Of course, you could always use the CMS of your choice and ask the digital signage solutions company to work around it, but this means more time wasted, and more money spent.

Hardware

Hardware is a little less complicated. It will depend on not only your budget but where you want your message to be displayed, at what resolution and how. There are various options to consider - from giant LED video screens to transparent and flexible screens, large format LCD displays, and even less ambitious scrolling LED signs. 

The use of transparent screen is set to become particularly widespread in coming years as the technology becomes more affordable, so it might be worth considering getting in on that action whilst it’s still new and exciting.

Operation

Finally, the operation of the digital display itself needs to be taken into consideration. There are numerous factors to work around here - installation, management and, of course, maintenance. That being said, perhaps the primary benefit of modern digital displays is that it can be set up and largely left to its own devices, only requiring occasional maintenance.

On the surface, digital signage might appear quite simple, but as we have seen, there are various factors to consider at the start of every campaign. Done well, digital signs can be the Swiss army knives of your marketing toolbox. Done poorly and they can do a significant amount of damage to your brand. 

Hopefully, we’ve given you enough evidence to suggest that doing it well is not as difficult as you might think, as long as you understand the fundamentals and never lose sight of your message.


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