Why do most people invest in digital signage?
Among the most popular reasons are improved communication (internal or external) and enhanced brand engagement. Others opt for signage serving a specific purpose – a restaurant might want a digital menu board; a shopping centre might want a wayfinding tool.
There are, however, a number of ‘hidden’ benefits of digital signage. We’ve put together 10 functions you might not have considered to help you further utilise the technology.
1. ‘The digital effect’
Our first hidden benefit is hard to put a price on while being irrefutably notable. We call it ‘the digital effect’ – the reception digital signage elicits from clients, customers or merely onlookers. Whatever your business, embracing technology in such a visible way sends a positive message out about your ethos and intent – you value communication and embrace innovation. While being surprisingly affordable, digital displays nonetheless suggest you have money to spend, which in turn alludes to success. If others have given you their business, why shouldn’t they?
2. Save time – the ultimate resource
If any one thing could make any business or organisation more successful, it would be having more time. This is perhaps the benefit of digital signage most often overlooked. Digital signage replaces PowerPoint presentations, posters and noticeboards. This ‘old media’ is high maintenance. Someone working in a hospital has to go around updating the peeling posters and memos. An estate agent has to replace property ads in their window every time something sells. Digital signage can automate these processes. Content can be scheduled long in advance so never need become outdated.
3. Inventive real-time messaging
We’ve already mentioned enhanced communication as the most obvious of benefits of digital signage. An under-explored capacity of the technology, however, is real-time messaging. On a cloud-based platform, content can be updated remotely and changed on-screen within minutes. This can be utilised in a number of creative ways. The text on a scrolling ticker might be changed to display welcome messages or instant alerts.
4. Give your Twitter wings
Related to this last benefit is digital signage’s support for Twitter. More and more industries today are seeing the value of an active presence on social media. One of the most popular platforms remains Twitter. Embedding a Twitter feed on your digital signage displays is a great way to engage onlookers. Without creating any extra work, content you are already sharing (whether your own or curated) can reach a wider, targeted audience.
5. Instant photo share
It’s not all about text. Ultimately, digital signage is a visual medium. Make the most of those pixels and get sharing your eye-catching images and videos. One of the lesser-known ways to do this instantly is again through digital signage-social media integration. Connect to your Instagram or Facebook account to see your images displayed on-screen as you upload to your profile or galleries.
6. Ten… nine… eight…
A simple feature we really love is the countdown timer. It might not sound particularly useful but it’s surprisingly versatile. Using digital signage for education? Count down to exam season or the holidays. Digital signage at an event? A timer can really heighten anticipation for a keynote speech. Screens up in retail? Use to advertise a flash sale. Even in an office? A countdown can spur on salespeople to meet deadlines.
7. Timetabling – encourage punctuality
You’ve just installed digital signage in your office or around your school. You might not realise it but this is a great opportunity to enhance the punctuality of your employees or pupils. Digital signage can be used to display timetabling information. In a corporate environment, a screen might show the booking schedule of meeting rooms, ensuring the facilities operate more efficiently. A calendar for the week might remind team-members of forgotten events. Up around a college, screens allow students to check their timetable, helping them get to class on time.
8. Traffic and transport info
Another one of the hidden benefits of digital signage can be improved employee morale. Simple factors contribute to this such as its ability to integrate traffic and transport information. Through the use of RSS feeds, digital signage can be tailored to display local traffic reports or transport updates such as the London Underground. Warning your employees about delays on a particular route will be greatly appreciated as they leave the office.
9. Multilingual communication
We were going to try and avoid talking about communication benefits but this angle really is worth mentioning. In a number of locations or environments, for instance at an airport, multilingual communication is essential. We live in an increasingly multicultural world where spaces like university campuses could already do with greater provision for international students. Digital signage is ideally suited to be this provision. Messaging can be translated into a number of languages fairly easily nowadays and rotated to broaden the readability of content.
10. Generate sponsorship revenue
The last of our hidden benefits of digital signage is its capacity to make money. This is a topic we find ourselves returning to. Put simply – attention sells and digital signage is all about attention. Displays deployed in strategic locations engage targeted audiences. Regardless of your industry, there will be third parties who share an interest in your target audience who will pay you for the opportunity to get in front of them. To cite an example, this might be pet supply companies interested in showing ads on screens in vet waiting rooms. Crucially, generating sponsorship revenue through digital signage does not mean selling out. Network owners can be highly selective about the third party content they share.