Digital Signage – a Beginners Guide

Digital advertising has become a revolution in the last few years and recent studies suggest that the use of digital signage is expected to increase three-fold over the coming few years, despite the economic downturn.

The increase in the use of this type of narrowcast (as opposed to broadcast) is due largely to the falling costs of LCD and plasma technology both of which have plummeted in cost. And although it is often said that the cost of digital advertising is cheaper than conventional methods (such as sign writing, press adverts etc) it is a slight misnomer in that being in its infancy digital signage is still relatively unproven in its effectiveness.

That aside, the uses of digital signage is increasing with LCD displays being situated almost everywhere and for a multitude of reasons, including:
–    Public information points – for news and information
–     Internal information – corporate messages, health & safety, news, etc.
–    General Advertising and brand building
–     Influencing customer behaviour  and enhancing the customer experience
–     Entertainment and aesthetics

For an effective digital advertising campaign there are only three things that are required:

–     A digital campaign – this can include, photographs, videos, music, speech and text and can be as simple or as complex as required. Many companies that manufacture digital signage often try and sell digital campaigns with their products although it should be noted most of these types of ‘deals’ are often just simple Power Point presentations that can be done by literally anyone.  It is far better to either create a simple campaign yourself or if something more lavish is required then it is better to pay a proper advertising agency to create one for you.

–    Display device – the basic choices are really LCD or plasma and while there are benefits and disadvantages of both systems (such as image burn and quality) these have been dramatically reduced as the technology progresses. Some digital signage implements touchscreen technology but this is only appropriate for interactive campaigns such as used at information kiosks.

–    Protection – If the signage is to be placed outside or in industrial or other such areas then the displays need to be protected from the elements and the most effective method of doing this is to place them in an LCD enclosure or plasma enclosure. These display cabinets are often manufactured to industrial standards such as the US NEMA system or the EU IP rating and are ideal for outdoor digital signage.

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