Guest Post Digital Signage: How to Get It and Why It Should Be Utilized
Written by Guest Blogger: Bryan Cochand
Communication is crucial to any type of business, but choosing the right way to communicate can be challenging. Digital signage — a term for publicly displaying important information and announcements on a large plasma, LED, or LCD screen — is a cutting-edge method for businesses or organizations to get their message out to their consumers in an economical and flexible way. Catching up to all the advantages of this method can be an easy and very lucrative improvement. So if you are looking for new methods to increase the exposure of your company or organization, it may be worthwhile to check out the benefits of using digital signage.
In the last few years, there has been a remarkably healthy growth in the digital signage market. More and more companies are beginning to use this tool as they become aware of how it can benefit their businesses. According to ABI Research, a company examining trends in emerging technology, the market for digital signage has grown in recent years at a staggering rate. In March 2009, ABI reported that the use of digital signage was expected to grow by 33 percent for the year 2009.
With market growth like this, it makes sense to take a look at how properly utilizing this technology can help your company. Digital signage is easy to get started with. It’s flexible and fits all types of environments. It’s also inexpensive and practical. For these reasons, digital signage is moving forward as one of the newest and most popular state-of-the-art forms of public communication.
Components of Digital Signage
There are two main components to digital signage: hardware and content. Each of them has a drastic effect on the success or failure of the digital signage venture. A good first step to properly manage these two aspects might be to enlist the service of a marketing or advertising firm.
Basically, all that you need in order to set up the hardware of a great digital signage are three things; a personal computer, some sort of external Content Management System (CMS), and proprietary software for inputting the message you want to display. The display screen that you have chosen to use will typically be a 40-inch to 60-inch plasma screen.
With the click of a mouse, you can change the whole message — text, photos, or animation. The mechanism that controls the content being displayed is known as a “data feed.” This feed of content (running from your fingertips at the computer, sometimes through a Content Management System, and finally to the display screen) can sometimes even be updated via a web browser. Most displays cost several thousand dollars. Content Management Systems can cost less than $100.
As for the content, that will depend on what’s being sold, although the most effective digital signage is always closely connected to a precise target. Some specific ideas include:
- Video feeds
- Customizable RSS feeds for news, weather, sports, etc.
Applications for Digital Signage
One environment in which digital signage can be applied quite effectively is in university-level education and specifically in their libraries. This type of non-profit and informational use of digital signage can be transitioned quite easily into a commercial use just by adjusting the content on the display.
Another effective environment for digital signage is within the public space of transportation. When you think about it, combining a discrete space (train or bus station, etc.), a limited target (any travelers who are right there), and a focused amount of time (right then, eg., before a plane takes off) can be a perfect fit. These digital signs can display important schedules, announcements, weather, as well as extra information like the latest news and sports headlines.
Digital Signage for Your Business
As the above examples indicate, digital signage is a very modern, powerful, and effective form of communication. It’s dynamic, easy to adapt, and simple to re-shape to a wide variety of purposes. These benefits are a major reason why digital signage has become one of the fastest growing business marketing tools available. If you’re looking for a way to give your business the tools to communicate effectively in a certain place at a certain time, digital signage may your solution.