What is Digital Signage? | Types, Benefits, Software, and Examples

Since the advent of television, the way we communicate has changed dramatically. Businesses that wanted to promote their brand previously depended on newspaper and magazine ads or radio spots. But then came television, the visual medium that had picture and sound in real time, right there in people’s living rooms. Fast forward a few years to the invention of the VCR and the world of advertising would change significantly. The video cassette recorder meant businesses could produce and play information over and over again.

Digital Signage

That’s when digital signage exploded onto the scene. But exactly what is digital signage? It’s electronic signs that display dynamic content via screens. These messages will change and include graphics and text. Display screens and media players loop advertisements for all to see in public places with high volume foot traffic. The ads and information are created using computer software content or content management systems (CMS) and displayed with LCD (liquid crystal display) screens or LED (light-emitting diode) lights and even sometimes projectors.

It’s come a long way as a medium to communicate information and messaging as well as becoming a lucrative industry, expected to reach $29.6 billion by 2024. The technological innovations seem endless. More ideas are evolving, advancing this communication system as one that pulls content from various sources in real-time and has the capability to interact.

<h2> How Do Digital Signs Work?

Screens with digital signs are all around us. It’s become second nature that we receive information via screens. But how does that advertising message actually broadcast to the screen? There are many components to getting the job done.

First, you need a way to provide content or messaging. Computer digital sign software programs or data feeds design and create unique messages and layouts. With digital signage, you can display video, sound, graphics, animation, and more on monitors, projectors, and other multimedia devices. There are a number of software programs to meet your needs.

Next, you need a program designed to schedule the content to appear at the assigned time. That’s the management system or content management system (CMS). It organizes, schedules, and delivers your messages to media players or playback devices. The software may be on a native content server on-site or cloud-based digital signage software; a platform that manages and stores digital signage content from off-site. It allows internet connection to show live web pages, social media feeds and real-time data feeds.

Innovations are streamlining a good part of this process. Now, almost every digital signage hardware manufacturer has transitioned into making “smart” screens, or displays with a “system-on-chip” or SoC. Powerful multi-core processors are mounted inside the enclosure of commercial-grade displays and replace the traditional playback device and its cables. SoC makes it an All-In-One digital signage solution.

Step four is playback. This is how to get the messages on the actual display screen and is usually done via a PC that feeds the content playlist and places it on the screens.

Those actual display screens are flatscreen TVs, LCDs or LEDs that are wall-mounted or contained within a kiosk or video wall. There is now the capability for them to be interactive touchscreens for purposes like wayfinding and menu boards. The actual screens have a science all their own. The difference is in the backlights. A standard LCD monitor uses fluorescent backlights while an LED monitor uses light-emitting diodes for backlights. E-paper is an electronic display technology that mimics the appearance of paper. Using the same inks as the traditional printing industry, e-paper displays have tiny capsules filled with charged ink particles. Projectors with laser light engines have made projection based digital signage another creative messaging technology. They maintain color and brightness for years.

Finally, you need infrastructure or the actual digital sign hardware used to get the job done like the mounts, cabling and network connections.

 Digital Sign Usage

We don’t realize everything it takes to get messaging up on those screens we see every day that have become commonplace in our world. We see them in different settings like public spaces, museums, sporting arenas, churches, academic buildings, retail stores, corporate spaces and restaurants. They are a part of everyday life that we’ve come to depend on. We look toward screens in places like airports and train stations to get information about arrivals and departures. Digital signs provide real-time public information, internal communication, promotion, commercials and brand recognition.

Some specific ways businesses use digital signs and interactive digital display include:

  • Digital menu boards for restaurants. These are a great way for restaurants to show off pictures of delicious food offerings using a digital sign. It allows restaurant owners to change the menu display from breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a click. And it saves on printing menus.
  • Window displays are eye-catching ways to advertise helpful information about your business’ hours, products, deals, discounts and other vital information.
  • Meeting room digital signage provides a more efficient workspace. It allows touchscreen scheduling so that all parties can see what spaces are vacant or what is available. You may have this technology in your company’s reception area, greeting clients and allowing them to check in interactively with whomever they are meeting with.
  • Corporate Digital signage is a great way to reinforce employee engagement by building company culture, boosting morale and fostering inclusion by allowing everyone to see real-time messaging.
  • Interactive digital signage takes your communication ability next level. Interactive signage allows consumers to access the information that’s important to them. Interacting through touch screen has shown to improve customer experiences by connecting on a more personal level.

The technology involves single or multiple touch screens allowing one or more fingers to interact with content displayed onscreen. These fingers could belong to more than one person, resulting in multiple, independent interactions occurring in parallel. It can be done using infrared technology or beacon technology.

There are other ways to interact through digital displays of any shape or size. There is RFID, NFC, AR code, chip and pin that capture unique I.D.’s used to identify persons or information through objects like membership cards.

Benefits of Digital Signage

Electronic signage allows any business to showcase their products and services. Digital signage is essential in building brand visibility and increasing customer awareness. Not only that but eye-catching digital signs increase recall and retention rates. Experts say digital displays capture 400% more views than static displays.

Businesses use digital signage to boost revenues because technology is improving capabilities allowing cost-effectiveness in the brand’s advertising budget. It’s easy to switch messaging with a few clicks on the computer and keep customers updated on the latest information. Digital signage can increase brand awareness by 47.7% and boost average purchase amount by nearly 30% along with improving customer experiences and loyalty.

Image 360 Helps Your Business

At Image360 we are dedicated to helping businesses build their brand awareness through effective promotion. We provide digital displays that are bold, bright and dynamic ways to deliver advertising, directions and information. It’s all part of the business solutions we offer to meet the needs of our customers. As a digital sign franchise, Image360 Centers are uniquely positioned to meet business needs. Image360 Franchise Members are able to provide customers with everything from design and production to installation and service.

If you’d like to learn more about purchasing, converting, or adding on an Image360 Center, submit this form to get started.