It seems like a simple project. Just hang some displays and put some messaging on them. But before you know it that simple effort can start costing some serious dollars, especially if it is working and you want to expand. How do you plan your digital signage implementation cost effectively? We asked two industry leaders to show us how.
To begin, understand the impression you are trying to make. Take a look at the displays you are buying, says Sean Matthews, president of Visix, Inc.
“[Consider] the use of many smaller displays, versus spending your budget on bigger displays like a $50,000 cube wall in the lobby. A bigger display doesn’t help deliver employee communications any better than 32-inch displays at hallway intersections,” he says.
How you manage content can mean the difference between time wasted and time efficiency, Matthews adds.
“Use a distributed infrastructure, e.g., one media server, versus multiple ones. Centralizing lets you repeat the same content, and avoid having to buy multiple media-player licenses. And you can use Cat5 cabling, which is inexpensive, to carry the video to the displays,” he says.
Having a content management system to handle this distributed messaging is critical to saving time and money as well. A plan for your content is necessary as well, says Clive Fort, director of Product Management at Scala, Inc.
“You need a good content strategy for what your signage will display, reflecting the dynamic features available. Use RSS and other feeds to keep things fresh cost effectively.”
The appearance of fresh content is important, since people stop watching if there’s repetition — and people see repetition quickly, Fort adds
The type of content need not be mind-blowing either, he says.
“Be mindful about creating or using expensive videos, since these can get out of date quickly. We show how to you can create a ‘vanilla’ video, with time-sensitive aspects overlaid, so you can repurpose the base video content more readily,” says Fort.
Thinking about how the content will be used pays off, he adds.