What is digital signage? Even if you don’t know the definition of digital signage, you probably know more about this platform than you think.
Digital signage is all around us, and you have likely engaged with it in the past week. From videos at the gas pump and programming in waiting areas to check-in kiosks at the airport and maps in hotels, digital signs entertain and inform customers in businesses of all shapes and sizes.
But if you are still scratching your head wondering what digital signage is, here is a guide to explain each element of this powerful communication tool.
What Is Digital Signage?
Digital signage is an electronic sign used to convey information to in-store audiences and customers. It uses an LCD, LED, or projection screen to display videos and graphics that educate, engage, and inform nearby viewers.
Digital signage can be used across a variety of customer touchpoints, and its applications are almost endless. A business can design and modify digital signage to meet their unique needs, but it is often employed in the following ways.
Video Display Screens
The most common digital signs are video screens that display information through custom text, videos, animations, and graphics.
Interactive Digital Signs
With interactive digital signage, customers don’t just watch the screen; they engage with it. The sign acts as a customer touchpoint and allows visitors to choose options, enter information, and control content.
While static maps don’t offer customization or real-time updates, digital wayfinding boards provide custom directions for visitors and offer business owners the ability to revise and alter information at any time.
Digital Menu Boards
It’s not uncommon for restaurants to regularly change and revise their menus. With digital menu boards, restaurant owners can quickly make changes to their menus, all while displaying enticing visuals of food to their customers.
The flexibility of digital signage makes it easy to mix these elements and create a custom experience for businesses and customers.
Where Can You Display Digital Signage?
Digital signs can appear at all possible customer touchpoints within a business. Those touchpoints will vary with each business, but they usually include the following locations.
- In Waiting Rooms
- In Exam Rooms
- At the Entrance of a Building
- Around Product Displays
- Near Service Counters
- Near Check-Out Lines
- Outside of a Business
- In Dining Areas
When identifying places where you could use digital signage in your business, consider all of the locations where your customers spend time. Think about how you could use digital information to improve their experience in those places.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Signage?
The benefits of digital signage are also vast and varied. Depending on the way you choose to use signage, you can achieve one or more of the following benefits.
Decreased Perceived Wait Time: When signage is placed in customer or client waiting areas, it provides entertainment that decreases perceived wait times.
Improved Communication with Customers and Employees: People absorb and remember information provided through visuals better than information delivered through text alone. Using digital media methods to deliver vital information helps both customers and employees remember messages longer.
Increased Revenue: Sharing promotions and specials, highlighting products and services, and using extra signage space to show ads for non-competing businesses are all ways that digital signage can increase revenue at a business.
Easy Content Modifications and Revisions: For businesses that regularly change their service offerings or update their menu items, digital signage provides an affordable and simple way to immediately update information. This saves the cost of constantly ordering new signs.
Impressive Modern Appearance: Businesses need to continually evolve to keep up with or supersede their competitors. With digital signage in a business, you put a modern foot forward and show customers that you care about keeping up with the latest technology and providing the best tools to serve them.
To get the most benefit out of a digital sign, consider your goals (increase sales, provide higher customer satisfaction, etc.) then identify how digital signage can be used to reach those goals.
What Are the Elements of Digital Signage?
The elements needed to create a digital sign can be put in three categories.
- Hardware: This includes the physical materials needed to display and play a digital sign. It includes high-definition screens, mounting materials, media players, and wiring and internet access.
- Content and Creative: This includes the content that will be displayed on the screen. It is made up of scripts, video and audio clips, graphic design, animation, and copy.
- Third-Party and/or Bonus Elements: This includes content that may come from a third-party. It is not necessarily created by the business’s content team. It includes private label TV channels, custom-selected programming, custom content wraps, social media feeds, weather feeds, and news feeds.
While all of the hardware is required to get a digital sign up-and-running, different content and creative elements can be used to customize the sign for each business’s unique needs.
What Type of Businesses Can Use Digital Signage?
Both big and small businesses in all industries can benefit from using digital signs, but the industries where we most commonly see signage include:
While certain industries have embraced digital signage more than others, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for this media in other industries. In fact, it’s the opposite.
For businesses in industries that are slow to adopt this technology, there is an opportunity to be an early adopter and one of the first to embrace this useful communication method.
Interested in Learning More About Digital Signage?
Download our free guide and learn even more about the application, benefits, and usage of digital signage. The guide will dig deeper into the practical ways that companies use digital signage to grow their businesses, increase their revenue, and engage with their customers.