What is digital signage?

One of the first things to keep in mind about digital signage is that it is one of the most important trends in the field of retail. Interactive screens are not only becoming increasingly important in any retail establishment: they are also helping to strengthen the link between the brand and its customers. But what exactly is digital signage, and what is the relationship between this concept and LED screens? We’ll tell you below.   

What is digital signage?

When we speak about digital signage, we are referring to a digital display device that allows you to broadcast messages in stores and shopping malls through advertising displays. Thanks to this, programming content can be modified according to the needs of the company and the time of day or month in which we are, with the aim of prioritizing certain sales, products or services over others.    
 
This is when another term comes into play: smart signage, which is to digital signage what smartphones are to mobile communications. In addition to the broadcast of content, it includes other variables that allow optimizing the effectiveness of content. Among them, the following stand out.  
 

  • Data management  

 

  • The suitability of the contents issued to the context  

 

  • Customization   

 

  • Adaptation to the geographical area or time of day, month or year  

 

  • Inventory management and sales made   

 
In short, the aim of smart signage is to adapt the content to the characteristics of each business, in order to provide the best possible performance. To help you with this task, check out our tips to create content for LED displays here. 

Types of screens for digital signage

We have spoken about the need to adapt the content on an ad hoc basis in order to improve effectiveness. However, this is not enough: to get the most out of digital signage, you also have to know how to choose the most appropriate screen in each case.  
 
Although it may seem obvious, not all screens are the same: every business has its most suitable type of screen (or screens). Among the most common are those listed below. 

Outdoor advertising displays

Both in our blog and in the rest of our website, you will find a lot of references to outdoor advertising displays. They attract the attention of passers-by, encouraging them to visit a certain commercial space or store. Something that is especially important in big cities, where advertising claims are virtually everywhere. In order for them to fulfil their purpose correctly, it is essential that they allow the contents to be displayed correctly even in full sunlight. This is achieved with quality LED displays, which offer vandal protection and are resistant to rain and local weather conditions, as well as sudden changes in temperature.   
 
In some cases, such as in smart cities, the screens can have an informative function, by displaying details such as temperature, weather forecast, current news, cultural agenda, traffic situation, etc. Likewise, when it comes to giant LED billboards, these can be used to carry out outdoor cinema sessions, video scoreboards in stadiums and at sports events, etc. 

Indoor advertising displays

Indoor advertising displays are a good ally to advertise the offers and promotions offered in any commercial establishment. These monitors can be placed both in the shop window and inside the store, which helps the visitor make a purchase decision more quickly. In the case of hospitals and medical centres, they can be placed in waiting rooms, with the aim of providing practical information or entertainment to patients and their companions.   

PoE screens

PoE (Power over Ethernet) displays are small screens (around 10 inches), usually touch-sensitive and powered directly by RJ45 network sockets. However, when buying a screen for advertising, it should be noted that touch screens have a higher maintenance cost than LED screens, as they tend to suffer more failures due to constant manipulation. Moreover, we should not forget that they require constant cleaning for reasons of hygiene, something that many businesses are extreme following the outbreak of the new coronavirus COVID-19. 

Digital Signage Technologies

After seeing the different types of screens for digital signage, it is time to talk about the functionalities or technical capabilities that each of them will have. Here we summarize the most common digital signage technologies.  
 
  
 

  • LCD or liquid crystal display screens. This digital display technology is the one found in all the screens available in the market.  

 
  
 

  • LED screens. Although we have in-depth information on led displays on our site, it is worth remembering that this is the acronym of the English expression for light-emitting diode. Inside it, there are semiconductors that, when crossed by a direct voltage, make the diodes emit light, in what is known as electroluminescence. Applied to an LCD display, this lighting system allows a superior image quality. This is why it is widely used in the advertising field, also bearing in mind that its cost is significantly lower than that of traditional neon lights.    

 

  • Touch screens. Mentioned in the previous point, they favour the interaction with the user inside the store, although they have as great disadvantage their expensive maintenance and the hygiene measures that they need. In addition, since almost everyone has this type of device, whether a mobile phone or a tablet, the impact will always be less than with other digital signage screens.   

 
 

  • Mirror display or mirror screens. This is a unique optical glass (lens) display technology that helps improve image quality.   

Digital Signage Content Management

Managing a fleet of digital signage displays also includes content management. In relation to this aspect, we would like to highlight the following:  
 

  • Image players, whether integrated or not. Just like a computer, advertising displays need a player, consisting of software that will manage the broadcast of text and images, whether they are photos or videos. This can be integrated directly into the screen, to manage this information locally, or you can have an additional external player. In the case of Visual Led displays, the player is already integrated.   

 

  • Remote content updating. This is one of the features of the digital signage software, which allows centralized management, through a connection of the type RJ45 and WiFi, the entire network of digital signage displays and what they broadcast. In this way, it is not necessary to update, one by one, each screen of the device, which saves time and resources.  

 

  • Content server. This is the place where all the files that will be broadcast are stored: images, videos, text, information and dynamic data, sounds…  

 
 

  • Dynamic display solutions. This is the software that allows you to manage your content in real time, so that you don’t have a single video being broadcast in a loop. 

 
In the case of Visual Led, our LED displays, they allow any person to create content, without the need of previous technical knowledge. We have online courses in which we teach you how to get the most out of your LED display content software. We also have a team of advertising creative workers, who can be responsible for generating custom content and high impact.   
 
Do you need more information about digital signage and LED advertising displays? If so, don’t forget that you can call us at (+44) 203 769 5276, send us an e-mail to comercial@visualled.com or fill out our contact form. In Visual Led, we will guide and advise you, without any commitment to purchase, to help you boost sales of your business. 

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