The idea of digital signage can be daunting. When starting out, there are so many questions: what sort of screen should I buy, how big should it be, how is it hung, connected, by USB or a CMS, and what will it all cost?
There are so many questions but really, there’s no reason to be intimidated by digital signage. To help clear the air, let’s clear some of the myths that surround digital signage.
Some people still believe it’s too expensive (it’s not, the return on investment has been proven time and time again), or that it’s too complicated. Again, it’s not. Single sites can easily run digital signage from a USB. Multi-site use cases require a content management system and there are many good value packages on the market. Laqorr is a great example of an easy-to-use CMS designed for business small or large.
But let’s take a look at three of the largest myths, and bust them.
Digital Signage is expensive
It’s really not, especially when you factor in the ongoing costs of conventional signage. For a start, you’ll no longer pay for printing and shipping, nor the added cost of distribution. You also eliminate the cost of compliance, that is the waste incurred if signage isn’t hung on time and in the right location. If no one can see your messaging, what’s the point of doing it in the first place? Once your screen, or network of screens, is in place, digital signage eliminates that ongoing expenditure. The return on investment (ROI) is much more tangible, and since the cost of hardware is now cheaper than it’s ever been, that initial outlay is quickly recouped as your business generates increased revenue by targeting customers when it matters most, at the point of purchase. A high-performance HD display and media player using turnkey software can be installed for a very reasonable sum.
A consumer-grade screen will be OK
It might be, depending, and they’re certainly cheaper than their commercial-grade cousins. However they’re not designed for use sixteen hours a day, seven days a week and doing so could void any warranty. A typical consumer warranty is one year (void if used in a commercial environment), whereas commercial grade screens can be warranted for up to six years. They also come with useful features their consumer cousins don’t such as being able to lock down inputs. Most significantly, you have a much greater range of ‘nit’ (brightness) ratings on a commercial screen. This is particularly important if the screen is exposed to direct sunlight. Your content will be almost invisible on an outdoors facing consumer screen, next to useless if it’s facing the sun. Whereas your message will cut through on a hi-brite commercial screen, plus they’re full warrantied. Consider the old maxim of “buy cheap, buy twice”.
Managing content is too complicated
If you know how to create a Powerpoint presentation, or are used to building an iTunes playlist, then you’re good to go. That’s all a Content Management System is – software that allows you to load an image file or a video then play them in the order you want to see on your screen. There are many on the market but ultimately they all do the same thing (although the better the CMS, the more creative you can get with your playlists). Good systems like Laqorr takes the stress out of managing that playlist while ensuring content appears in the right place, at the right time on any number of displays, from one to one thousand. If you’ve only got a couple of screens you might not even need a CMS; loading content on a USB could be all you need to do. There’s a range of solutions available at different price points proving again that digital signage isn’t expensive.
Thanks to advances in technology, today’s digital signage is brighter, energy efficient and more cost-effective than ever before. Consequently the smallest business can now use it to drive higher revenues with up to the minute messaging, meaning the ROI is both real and meaningful.