10 Digital Signage Topics You Need to Know Before Buying

The Complete Guide

Why Did We Write This Guide?

We wrote this digital signage guide because it’s hard to find free, educational, and comprehensive content that helps the enterprise and SMB buyer make informed decisions about the digital signage market. Most of the content out there about digital signage is news, updates from a vendor’s install base, or case studies. 

While those have their time and place, not all of it is useful if you’re looking for how to structure your approach to digital signage. We wanted it to be easier for you to refine your strategy, narrow your list of vendors, and plan for each stage effectively.

How Should You Read This Guide?

This guide is not designed for you to read from start to finish.

Scroll down and click on a chapter that’s relevant to you. You can read to your heart’s content for free about any digital signage topic. This guide is really long, and we realize each chapter is relevant to you at different stages of your digital signage journey. So we made sure you can download the entire guide so you can keep each chapter as a reference.

We also created a unique piece after every chapter that boils down the high-level information you learn in that chapter, and turns it into action-oriented steps in a format that’s more bite-sized so you won’t be flooded with too much information, and can focus on implementing the strategies. These are frameworks, checklists, and resources to take your digital signage strategy to the next level.

I can’t emphasize this enough:

If you’d like to download all 10 chapters along with the corresponding action-oriented PDFs for each chapter, you can download all of it for free below in an easy-to-navigate format that you can print, email to a friend, or to keep for your own reference when it’s relevant to you.

Chapter 1: The History of Digital Signage

Beginners start here.

Before you can create an innovative and engaging digital signage campaign, it’s best to understand where signage has come from when it started in the 90’s. We’ll cover the evolution of the technology and how market adoption has influenced its path over the years.

You can see the historical trends so you can hone your company’s strategy before you even start. Learn from the mistakes and the wins of those you came before you.

Read Chapter 1

Chapter 2: Digital Signage Benefits and ROI

It can be challenging to calculate the actual return on investment for your signage campaigns when other variables come into play like: other campaigns you’re running, seasonal traffic, weather, and many other factors.

Even if you’re not using your displays to sell products, you can still track the effectiveness of your campaign with the hard numbers as well as soft numbers.

Make sure you know how to measure success before you begin!

Read Chapter 2

Chapter 3: The 10 Biggest Digital Signage Challenges Facing Your Business

There are common challenges that go beyond industries and vertical markets.

eye_newMake sure you know what these challenges are and prepare for them. Some of these revolve around lack of planning, execution, vision, or responding to your customers. Consider this as a framework for considering the challenges that might arise with your own digital signage project, so you can create a plan of action to dodge them.

Make sure you read this if you’re planning to roll out digital signage soon!

Read Chapter 3

Chapter 4: Digital Signage Software: What to Look For

At best, a CMS can enable you to publish gorgeous content, increase sales and engagement, and make it easier to approve content changes in the software.

cms_newAt worst, the software can fail to offer key features or integrations, have limited scalability, quickly become outdated, and be so difficult to navigate that your users stop leveraging the tool and your content ages quickly.

With so many options for digital signage software, it can be hard to narrow down what makes a CMS a good option, and which software is right for you — because let’s face it, there are no one size fits all.

This is what you need to think about when evaluating CMSs, and it will help you narrow your list of vendors.

Read Chapter 4

Chapter 5: Digital Signage Hardware: What to Look For

Selecting the right hardware is just as important as selecting the right CMS, and should be just as carefully chosen to suit your particular use.

consumer_newThe truth is, you need to focus on all parts of the digital signage rollout in order to get not only a cohesive solution, but a scalable, secure network. And the hardware plays a crucial role, from the type of screens you choose, to the media player, to the mount, and cabling, they all need to be selected with your goal in mind.

In this chapter, we share the important information you need to know before buying.

Read Chapter 5

Chapter 6: Cloud-Based Digital Signage

Should you go with an on-premise solution or a cloud-based solution?

whitecloudIn this chapter, we give you the questions to ask vendors, and the questions you need to think through that influences which option is best for your company. Forgetting to look at these things can result in a bogged down IT department that needs to support and upgrade old technology, and the systems themselves can leave you with a large bill.

We want to make sure that doesn’t happen, and that you have the infrastructure in place that supports your company’s needs today and can support your future.

Read Chapter 6

Chapter 7: Google Chrome for Digital Signage

chromeboxtextGoogle is relatively new in the digital signage space, but with their hardware background with Chromeboxes, Chromebases, and Chromebits, it was a seamless transition.

Chrome media players are serious contenders in the marketplace and offer the same (if not better) results with a lower price tag. Chrome digital signage is a focused on how simple it is to update your devices and centrally control a fleet.

We put together a list of some Chrome devices to dig into the pros and cons so you could decide for yourself if Chrome is the direction you’d like to go.

Read Chapter 7

Chapter 8: What Content to Put on Your Displays

brush_newIt doesn’t matter if you have the best software and hardware if the content you’re displaying isn’t getting any results. When creating content for digital signage, many of the best practices are unique to digital signage (as opposed to other writing). So even if you’re a confident writer, there are other variables at play like: dwell time, distance from a screen, and calls-to-action.

We have some best practices and a great list of free tools you can use to create your own digital signage content that looks beautiful (without needing a graphic designer).

Read Chapter 8

Chapter 9: Installing and Rolling Out Digital Signage

You need to put serious thought into your strategy for rolling digital signage out in order to maximize its usefulness and accessibility to your audience.

heightdis_newCase in point: You need to choose the right digital display to install based on the placement and environment in your store. Of course, the problems can start long before your digital signage is even fully installed. Without a fully planned rollout strategy, costly trial and error can make your expenses quickly balloon above your budget.

In this chapter, we’ll walk you through the digital signage rollout planning process and give you an idea of what to expect along the way.

Read Chapter 9

Chapter 10: Digital Signage Trends

There’s a difference between a gimmick and a trend.

trends_newYou don’t want to put money behind something that will fade tomorrow, you want to put money into a trend that is in the early stages of lifting user experience and buyer behavior to the next level so you can have a competitive advantage.

In this chapter, we’ll teach you how to tell a trend from a gimmick, and give you an insider’s perspective of what today’s trends really are so you can hop on while they’re still new!

Read Chapter 10