What is Digital Signage?

Brendan McGuigan

Digital signage is a way of displaying information via a digital medium. So rather than using a wooden or plastic sign, which would have a static message, a business may use digital signage to have a screen displaying information that could shift regularly and on demand. Digital signage is a popular form of advertising as well, and is one of the fastest-growing forms of out of home advertising. Digital signage offers a wide range of advantages over traditional signage, from improved flexibility to a higher average return on investment.

Digital signage allows companies to change their advertisements much more frequently than traditional billboards.
Digital signage allows companies to change their advertisements much more frequently than traditional billboards.

An example of out-of-home advertising digital signage that many people will have seen is the use of large screens displaying messages over businesses alongside an interstate or major roadway. Often these will be seen above a mall, or sometimes a car lot, giving information on the businesses that can be found within, and sometimes with specific deals highlighted. Events may also be displayed on this sort of digital signage, allowing it to act as a massive calendar, showing drivers what attractions will be coming to the location soon. This type of digital signage has the advantage of a massive reach, shared by billboards. Unlike billboards, the signs can be changed with a few new inputs into a computer, greatly reducing the cost of shifting advertising messages.

Businesses may use digital signage on a smaller scale to give information to customers they already have. For example, while standing in line at a bank, customers may be informed of new services the bank offers. While this information could be conveyed via traditional signage, using digital signage allows the bank to display a great deal more information with a much smaller footprint. Especially in areas where line waits can be significant, many pages of information can be displayed over time, helping to inform the customers much more than a few static panels. At the same time, customers often find digital signage much more entrancing than traditional signage, as its constant shifting keeps attention fixed.

In addition to static information that changes to another panel of static information, digital signage can also display animations. This allows for information to be conveyed more clearly, and also for more entertainment value to be built into the message than would be possible with traditional signage. Audio, video, cartoons, and high-resolution images can all be used with more technologically advanced levels of digital signage, giving business owners and advertisers a great deal more choice in how they wish to convey their message.

Some digital signage may also have an interactive component, allowing messages to be specifically catered to a specific customer. For example, a kiosk in a store may have messages pertaining to products moving across the screen, with images of these products. Customers can interact passively with the kiosk, simply watching it as they would any other advertisement, or they could use a touch screen to choose a product they wish to know more about, allowing for a much deeper experience that would be more likely to lead to a purchase.

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In addition, digital signage software SaaS can also enable a retailer to sell his ad space giving the retailer another source of revenue. Novisign is a web-based digital signage software that enables this.

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