Listening to the feedback from clients, their interest in digital signage solutions is mainly due to the need for maximum effective content distribution. Full control over the content and the ability to introduce efficient changes encourages investment in new technologies.
It can be said that the digital signage software is as important as the advertising screen itself. In the article below I’ll present various options for displaying content on an advertising screen. This basic knowledge should help you choose the right solution that suits your needs and financial capabilities.
No Internet access?
One of the basic ways to upload the content to an advertising screen is the use of external media, most often they are flash drives (however, I met clients who used DVD players…)
Undoubtedly, the advantage of distributing materials using a flash drive is the economic aspect. This medium is extremely cheap, it requires no software or training. It’s enough to upload the video to a flash drive connected to a TV set or an advertising screen and display the ads. I recommend this solution to clients who:
1. have only one TV set and know that they’ll operate it on their own. Attempting to use such a solution in several points and entrusting the replacement of the flash drive to other people is very troublesome or it fails. In this situation, instead of focusing on sales or other important tasks, the employee has to upload the content to a flash drive, then connect it to the screen and set the slide show mode again.
2. know that their offer changes up to once a quarter. If we know that the offer is dynamic (it changes every day, every week or every month), using a flash drive becomes a chore, not a benefit. Most often, clients using this option lose their patience and after a short time they stop doing it. Screens become black, and the investment becomes a cost.
Player + Internet access = unlimited possibilities
In opposition to the flash drive is to equip yourself with a professional player with the uploaded digital signage software.
In practice, this solution is really reliable. It’s true that this is an additional device so theoretically another link that can break. But would we give up the car just because it can break? Probably not.
A solution with a player is more expensive than a flash drive because we need to buy a computer and a license for the digital signage software. Fortunately, the benefits of this method of data distribution outweigh its initial cost and allow for a constant return on investment.
The digital signage software gives almost unlimited possibilities of displaying content, starting from creating display time to the form of presentation and time to make changes.
Quick response, fault tolerance
It’s the main reason why clients decide to display advertising screens. Imagine that you’re a marketing director at one of the drugstore chains and you’ve printed thousands of posters with the product for PLN 10.99. You sent them to all your locations, the posters are hanging and are beautifully presented. It turns out that the day after, your competitor, in the same shopping center, has the same product for PLN 9.29. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do.
What would happen if you equipped your facilities with advertising screens? If you decide to lower the price, you can change this price on all your digital posters within 5 minutes. In this situation, you have an advantage over the competition because you can react very quickly and on a large scale.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s more space for errors in terms of advertising screens. If somehow it turns out that there’s an error in your graphic materials, you can correct it without any costs. In the case of printed materials, it’s not possible.
The digital signage software gives the possibility of multi-level planning of the advertising loop. You can divide your advertising loop into different layers, e.g. main content is displayed in all stores, thanks to which you can update the promotional newsletter in all your facilities with one click. If you need, you can display the tourist-oriented offer in stores that are located by the sea. In this situation, seaside stores display the main and specific offer for a given region. However, you still have 5 stores in Zakopane and this week there’s the Ski Jumping World Cup in this town. So only in these 5 locations you can show special occasional content. The multi-layered advertising loop allows you to control each screen individually and/or combine them into groups.
Digital signage systems also allow for a constant preview of what’s currently displayed so that the client can be sure that the material is actually published on-site. This feature eliminates the problem of not hanging or removing a poster by an employee in a particular store at the wrong time.
Not just images and videos
Thanks to its sophistication, the digital signage software is able to download various external components. If your Instagram account is a medium of great range and you publish high-quality materials there – also show them on screens. You don’t need to copy the same photos and do additional work. In the DS system, you can connect the address of various external services to display exactly what is displayed there. This option gives you full integration with other media and eliminates the need for spending time setting up an additional tool. The most popular way to use this feature is to present the weather service, air condition and traffic volume.
Display what graphic designers can’t create
It seems that a graphic designer can make any material and that’s somewhat true. However, it turns out that it’s not always profitable. A graphic designer needs guidelines, but what if the guidelines change every 10 seconds? Dividing the screen into parts allows for displaying different materials regardless of each other. For example, in the center of the screen you place a video ad that you broadcast on TV or other video media. At the bottom, there’s a bar with prices of products which are below the screen. The update of products to be displayed is based on the computer price system. The right part promotes a bestseller – the product with the highest sales on a given day. Each area creates one image. It’s practically impossible to provide a graphic designer with the above data and hope that they’d prepare even 1 spot per hour. The division into parts and the possibility of downloading data from external websites give great marketing and information opportunities.
The choice is yours
The above examples show possibilities of the digital signage software and how much you lose if you base your system on flash drives. Perhaps your expectations aren’t excessive and a more economical solution will meet your expectations.
If you’re not sure of your choice or it’s difficult to predict the final result, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help you choose the best solution.