Table of Contents
This is the second part of our big guide series on digital signage. If the first was focused on the basics, the one you’re reading now is all about the implementation. We will guide you through the deployment process, will show real-life examples of the use of digital signage, and share tips and tricks for choosing the right digital signage software.
Here you can find the first one talking about the basics of screen technology: https://blog.kitcast.tv/what-is-digital-signage-for-business/
A. Assessing your business needs
It’s always hard to start. Deploying a new marketing solution requires full attention and a good understanding of why exactly you need it. Assessing your business needs is the first big step to take to commence your signage technology journey on the right foot.
We can’t stress that enough, preparation is key to adopting a new solution the right way. Not only because no one likes to fail. By rushing the process you risk wasting money. No matter, if it’s 5 screens or 500, doing your homework, is extremely important. If you’re reading this article, you’re on the right track.
Each digital signage deployment needs research on all the crucial marketing aspects of your business. The great news is that you already have it, you only need to organize it properly and understand the information from the digital signage perspective. These are the essential steps of the assessment process to take.
1. Identifying goals and objectives
You know the “what”, but how about the “why”? And while on paper digital signage technology sounds like an amazing tool to have, does your business actually need it? There are just so many dimensions to the “why” and all need your complete attention.
Identifying the goals and objectives of your future digital signage marketing will help you answer this question. Let’s say you have done your research and know what digital signage is and what the screens do. Now don’t hurry up to install the new tech. Instead of buying one hundred Apple TVs and the LCDs, sit down and try to get a full picture of what they will be used for in your case.
Being specific pays off. Digital signage is an extremely powerful visual tool that also happens to be extremely versatile. Knowing its capabilities, what it can do for your business? Here are some of the recommendations for good goals and objectives. Try to answer the following question:
What positive outcomes for your business do you expect from digital signage?
– increase in sales
– boosting customer engagement
– instant attention-grabbing
– decreasing costs of print
– increased interactivity
– getting an ameliorated design
There may be multiple answers (or all of the boxes checked). Knowing for sure what digital signage can help you with will prevent you from spending money on the features that you don’t need and will make your life easier when choosing adequate software and hardware.
For example, if you’re running a traditional pizzeria, you would want the screens to subtly complement the experience and you wouldn’t need interactive kiosks with AR to do that.
2. Target audience analysis
Once you’ve got the “why” figured out, it’s time to take a look at the “who”. Customers are the ones you direct your content toward. Screens are perfect for capturing attention, impressing, and interacting. Make sure you’re doing it for all the right reasons and not because your digital signage is bad.
In order to make sure that the content that you show lands, know your target audience and give them exactly what they want. One irrelevant and annoying piece of content can do harm that can easily destroy all the trust you’ve been building with the good one. So don’t risk it, show only the things you’re absolutely sure will be perceived positively by your audience.
That is not to say that you can’t experiment. Creativity is always about pushing boundaries and digital signage is a visual enabler of the boldest ideas. However, from the business perspective, you want to be absolutely sure that the audience will stay with you. That is why the target audience analysis should be done.
And it doesn’t stop in the preparatory phase. Treat this process as an ongoing one. Make sure to always have the pulse on your audiences’ interests and content desires and be ready to update the existing content strategy accordingly.
Preferably, do everything in the written form. If you already have a marketing strategy in place, you probably operate with audience profiles and have all the stats. Use these stats to form your digital signage audience strategy.
Another thing to consider is the fact that there are different mechanics of digital signage. For example, when you show promotions in the lobby of the company office it’s one thing. Wayfinding screens are a whole different game with a different approach to content delivery.
B. Selecting the right digital signage solution
Oh, the tech meat. We’re finally here. But how good it feels to come to this chapter already prepared, right? Now that you have the “why” and the “who”, choosing the software and the hardware will be an easy task. It’s a bit tricky, though. Software and hardware are defining for the smooth operation of your network and you’ve got to be really focused on choosing the good ones.
Our solution, Kitcast, is a representative of cutting-edge cloud-based digital signage technology. It came as an answer to the increasing demand for simpler, more intuitive signage solutions that have all the powerful capabilities of digital signage. The other approach is called on-site digital signage. The difference lies in the way the technology is deployed.
In the Kitcast case, all you need is the screen, the streaming device (like Apple TV), and an app installed. The solution operates in the cloud and you don’t need to pay for a burdensome physical server to run the system. It’s all online and secured.
But let’s review all the possibilities you have currently on the market to paint a fuller picture of digital signage hardware and software.
1. Hardware considerations
If it’s the on-site digital signage you’re choosing (which we can’t recommend in 2023), you would need to consider operating a whole IT team and keeping all your files on the server which also becomes your responsibility. It’s quite complicated, it requires lots of time to deploy, and you will need to spend more money to deploy it.
The only time when it pays off to run on-site digital signage is for customized solutions and bigger projects. Like an interactive kiosk, for example, or a gigantic stadium screen. Then you would need to have a personalized approach to designing the visual experience and it will be justified to go through the sophisticated technological process of deploying the on-site digital signage with a dedicated server.
In the majority of other cases, the businesses are great to go with the cloud-based solutions. For example, the only hardware you need when choosing Kitcast as your digital signage software will be the screen and the Apple TV. It’s that simple. By plugging the Apple TV to the screen you will be able to download the app. And then the easy-to-use system will help you create the best digital signage experience.
2. Software features and compatibility
Once you’ve chosen the approach (cloud-based or on-site), it’s time to take a look at software solutions on the market. There are many. And they are not created equal. As with the majority of technological tools for business, digital signage software can be good and bad.
When choosing the future software for your company, make sure to keep in mind the following:
– what capabilities does the software have and how it correlates with the needs of your business?
It’s a crucial question that will largely define the future of your digital signage network. When you know exactly what your business needs, it’s easier to choose. If you plan to operate 10 screens in a retail store, you shouldn’t opt for enterprise-level digital signage software. The same goes for the case when you want a large-scale deployment. Don’t go with the cheaper solution because you risk
– what are the specifications?
Specs matter. Knowing them allows you to understand how the digital signage software you choose will work in real life and with real content. If you’re looking for a digital signage network of multiple screens, opt for the software that actually supports it. Running slow and unattractive digital signage is sometimes worse than not running any at all.
– what is the price?
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Before spending your budget on a new solution know exactly how much you will pay. Usually, you pay a monthly subscription fee per screen.
– is the software compatible with your creative plans?
There are many cool ideas that digital signage enables. But often businesses make the mistake of assuming that every solution is equally good in providing support for your creativity. That’s not the case. For example, if you want a touch-based voice-activated screen, you should go with software that is actually capable of providing this.
C. Designing effective content
There are books written about content marketing. Content is the backbone of any network, it’s how you influence people’s decisions, it’s how you sell. Of course, it should be good. In fact, it should be fabulous.
We can’t cover every single aspect of content creation in this introductory guide. We have the annals of our blog for that. Kitcast posts weekly tips and tricks for content production for a variety of industries. Browse through our blog to find information about the industry you’re in.
One thing to understand about designing effective content is that you should never settle for low or average quality. Digital signage is something that you pay for, why blow everything on showing dull stuff?
1. Visual appeal and branding
Visual appeal is at the core of any content delivery. It may be a photo, a video, a direction, an alert, an informational message, etc. But it has to be visually flawless.
Knowing your audience is good. But creating the content for your audience is slightly different. It requires a little bit more effort. In other words, you can make a promotional message that caters to your target audience. But creating it irresistibly attention-grabbing, that’s the goal you want to hit.
The same goes for branding. Digital signage is perfect for that. It’s the ultimate tool for enhancing your company’s brand, making it visible and getting people to love it.
And if you’re wondering how exactly is great content content created, don’t worry, there are tools for that. For example, Kitcast has a state-of-the-art Content Creator that includes:
– extensive library of images
– free icons and shapes
– hundreds of fonts
– photo filters
– smart templates
2. Clear messaging and call-to-action
The general rule is the following. If you have something to say to your target audience, make it clear!
The visual power of digital signage is your big advantage. It allows you to immediately capture the attention of the people and make them interact with whatever you’re showing. Use this power wisely, don’t overdo the messaging, and keep it short and nice.
You may be very familiar with the call-to-action marketing approach already if you’re running a business. The main feature of it is that it evoked an immediate response or immediate sale. The screen is your enhanced canvas for any kind of call-to-action you have.
D. Measuring success and ROI
Analytics is what you should master in order to become successful with digital signage. It’s also something that will show you if things go well or wrong. But how do you actually measure the digital signage impact? We’re talking about the people here and the real world. Humans look at the screens, how to turn that into analytics you can work with?
1. Key performance indicators (KPIs)
Tracking the KPIs for digital signage may seem like a tricky thing to do. Real life is not a website and you don’t usually have the actual confirmation of interactions. Here we’re talking about human-to-screen engagement which on the surface may seem like something impossible to analyze. But is it?
These are the metrics you should work with to measure the success of your digital signage network.
a) average dwell time
It shows you how much time a person spends interacting with your digital signage. You can establish some ground rules for counting, take one day in a week when you’re analyzing the dwell time and look attentively at how the screens are interacted with.
b) social media subscriptions
It’s pretty self-explanatory. If you’re using digital signage for the promotion of your social media accounts, paying attention to the follower count and subsequent interactions with your online content will show you whether your screens do the job.
c) QR codes
This is a great way to track the interaction with the screens. QR codes provide priceless analytics of the link visits that can be effectively used in understanding your digital signage impact.
d) customer feedback
Never underestimate the value of the feedback. Run surveys, ask people about the digital signage, and know their opinion about your content and the screens. It will show you a more psychological side of things and will paint a clearer picture of your audience’s desires.
2. Ongoing analysis and adjustments
Measuring the success of your digital signage is an ongoing process. It shouldn’t stop. Make sure to keep a pulse on the impact of your digital signage network. Experiment with new approaches, know what’s happening in the industry, cut off the old moves that don’t work anymore, and adjust according to market demands.
E. Real-life Examples of Digital Signage Success
It’s no secret that thousands of businesses use digital signage daily. That ranges from small shops to multi-billion behemoths. From 3 screens to 3000 across the country. From boutique indoor solutions to gigantic outdoor installations.
Let’s take a look at the real-life digital signage examples for you to see the practical side of things and get some ideas for your own application of this technology.
1. Case studies from various industries
Case: LUNYA Luxury Sleepwear
Luxury sleepwear from Los Angeles LUNYA has opted for Kitcast to engage with the clients at their showrooms better.
Case: Coker College (Hartsville, SC)
Kitcast digital signage software was used to improve campus engagement and make a more personalized learning experience for the students.
Case: Cider Press Café (St. Petersburg, Florida, USA)
Our software was used to improve customer engagement and upselling at a restaurant.
2. Lessons learned from successful implementations
What we’ve learned from talking to our clients, is that the clearer your strategy and vision for what you need the digital signage for, the better the implementation. This proves our earlier point that you should only go all-in with implementing digital signage technology when you have all the preparatory work done.
Another important takeaway from our client’s usage of the software is that there’s a certain satisfaction with what the digital signage is capable of. When businesses have their content ideas realized their founders and teams are extremely happy.
1. Recap of the potential benefits of digital signage
So we’ve done a long way from the basics of this technology to the best practices of implementing digital signage.
The main benefits of digital signage for businesses are:
– Enhanced customer engagement
– Improved communication
– Increased sales and revenue
– Cost-effective advertising
2. Encouragement to consider digital signage as a valuable business tool
Take your time. Understand the technology. See if the capabilities it offers go in line with your business vision.
Make a plan. Draw up a strategy. Know your audience. Think about the content you’re going to show. Think about how you’re going to show it.
Once you’ve done all the homework, go for it. Implementation of digital signage technology can transform your businesses and bring more sales, more engagement, and more interaction. It’s an amazing tool to have. And Kitcast will be happy to help you to make your digital signage stunning.