17 February 2021

In any digital signage project, it is important to choose software and hardware tailored to your business needs.

1. Determine the purpose of your digital signage

The first step of a digital signage project is to define its objective(s). Indeed, digital signage can be used to:

  • Highlight your corporate image
  • Communicate and manage your communication
  • Promote, increase the visibility of your offers and increase sales
  • Inform, alert, guide, involve your employees, train your staff
  • Improve customer’s instore experience, entertain, dynamize

2. The nature of media content for you digital signage projet 

The content must be attractive. It must focus on short duration content and preferably without sound.
Content can be informational, related to the company, its products, services, etc. but it can also be more general and provide weather forecasts, movie show times, traffic information, information concerning company health and security regulations, etc.
You can also set up signage for alerts, or even planned messages (welcome visitors, staff birthday, etc.) on your screens.

3. Optimizing content for digital signage

Content is often displayed in a "loop" on your screen, so make sure to adjust the length and pace of the loop so that they are striking and they capture your viewers’ attention.
You have to consider regularly renewing the content because the public will get tired of always reading the same message and will eventually stop reading it. The frequency of content renewal must therefore depend on the frequency of passage of your customers, employees, visitors.
It is recommended to automate the import of content by integrating and coupling digital signage with the existing internal data of your company or organization. Indeed, it is possible to introduce “rich” information from the company's information system content in real time (stock levels of products, promotions, calendars, etc.). When you automate the import of your content they renew themselves automatically, allowing you to save time every day.

4. Choosing the right digital signage software

Digital signage software must be easy to use, functional and efficient. The user must be capable to intuitively use the software.
Over time, your initial needs will evolve and enrichen. That is why you have to choose a solution that provides features and functions going beyond your initial needs. Thus, it will save you from having to change your solution after two years of operation. Learn about the roadmap of the software. What developments are planned? At what pace? Do planned developments include end user’s comments and requests?
From day one, consider the possibility of involving various contributors in the use of the software. The digital signage software chosen should allow to delegate broadcast management entirely or partially to local contributors (office or store manager, etc.).
From your software interface, you should be able to remotely control screens on/off function. Indeed, it is pointless and energy consuming to keep screens on when there is nobody to see them (overnight, or outside opening hours for example).
A digital signage software allows you to display content in real time but also to plan and trigger content display according to criteria (date, time, groups of screens, location, external variables etc.).
As mentioned previously (see 3. Optimizing content), digital signage software must be able to interface with your company's information system in order to optimize the content and thus display data in real time.

5. Choosing the right digital signage hardware

First of all, you must choose technology adapted to the needs and environment of the company (screen size, lifespan, luminosity, shock resistance, etc.). They can be conventional screens, window displays, tablets, dual screen point of sale terminals, video walls or kiosks, etc.
In order to choose the best options in terms of digital signage, other criteria are also to take into account: screen size, brightness, etc. For example, if you want to install screens in a display window or outside, direct sunlight will require you to choose screens designed for outdoor use.
The player's performance should be in line with the content to be broadcast so that the display is fluid. You must therefore take into account the players graphic and multimedia capacities as well as its storage capacity, its memory and consumption. Be careful not to confine yourself into proprietary technologies or manufacturers... Rather opt for standard and open technologies that will guarantee greater durability and scalability in your project.

6. Select the correct locations for your digital signage screens

Digital signage screens must be clearly visible without impeding their environment. The screen size should not appear too small or too large for the public, you must place screens at the correct distance from the line of sight of your customers, employees, visitors, etc.
There are different mounting solutions for digital signage screens: wall mounts (tilt, close to the wall, without drilling, right-angled, etc.), ceiling mounts or floor stands. According to your anchoring points you will be able to determine which mounting solution best suits your digital signage screens.
Screen layout is a very important factor for a successful digital signage project. In order to display an efficient communication, you should identify strategic locations for your digital signage screens in order to ensure maximum impact. Therefore you must take into account criteria such as the brightness of the environment, the safety and public accessibility.

7. Involve the IT department in the digital signage project

The IT department of your company will help you choose the most appropriate architecture for your needs and environment.
Be sure to have the choice between an On Premise and a Cloud offer. Indeed, in some contexts, your IT managers can opt for an installation on your own network/infrastructure, or on the contrary, they may prefer full outsourcing in SaaS mode from the software publisher or an AV integrator. This choice is made by analyzing both the technical and financial criteria.
In general, your IT department is responsible for the proper functioning of any software or computer equipment present on their information system. Therefore, it must be involved and most importantly, they can help you make the right technical choices throughout your project.

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