When you begin researching digital displays, it is easy to think of digital displays as just an alternative to the traditional printed poster. You might have seen a digital display communicating information regarding safety and health or advertisements much like you would see on a printed poster. However, digital signage offers a lot more opportunities than you might be aware of. In this article, we look at some of the many types of content you can share on a digital signage display.
The most common uses for digital signage
As mentioned earlier, advertisements and safety and health information are among the most common uses in the world of digital signage. In terms of advertising, digital signage is often used for large billboards, video walls or in-store displays behind the counter or by a new product that is being promoted. Displays come in many different sizes so there really are no limitations to what you can use digital signage for when it comes to advertising – whether it be to build brand or to promote a single product for a limited time. In other words, it is easy to understand why marketing professionals, especially in retail, have since long started using digital signage to drive sales.
For those of you who are unsure of what a widget is, “a software widget is a relatively simple and easy-to-use software application or component made for one or more different software platforms.” In some digital signage solutions, you have access to a library of widgets where you can add everything from the weather forecast to RSS feeds to social media feeds on your digital signage. This can be done in combination with one or several background videos or images or by themselves depending on the widget. For example, a widget communicating timetables could easily stand on its own, while a widget simply communicating the time might work better as complimentary information to your content.
Recently, the arguably old-fashioned, number signs are beginning to get replaced by digital displays. There are now apps that companies can use to handle queues in a smarter way and allow visitors to leave the store and get a notification when they are next in line. Many such solutions have integrations with digital signage so that the app and the content on the display is aligned. There is thus no longer need to replace the ticket roll in the take-a-number dispenser. With a simple QR-code, customers can get the ticket directly in their phone.
But digital signage is not only used for guests and customers. Many companies use digital signage to communicate information internally. This includes anything from internal news and bulletins to “fun facts” such as employee of the month or birthdays. Digital signage can, in other words, be used as a complementary solution to the intranet and ensure that employees don’t miss out on important information.
Speaking of internal information, digital signage can also be used to share data from for example Microsoft Power BI, Databox and other business intelligence tools. This allows employees to keep track of their department’s progress in terms of the company goals. Sharing KPIs internally can be a highly effective way to gather your team around a shared set of goals, and it is important that everyone understands how they can contribute to the success of the organization. By using a powerful business intelligence tool that fits into your cyber security infrastructure and sharing the live KPI dashboards using digital signage, you can ensure that your team is always up to date.
While most digital signage users are aware that images and videos can be used on displays, you might not be aware that you can also use PowerPoint presentations just as easily. In fact, some digital signage software even support publishing to displays directly from PowerPoint making swift work of updating the content.
A common question when starting out with digital signage is if you can display websites on a digital signage display and the answer is yes. Regardless of whether the website is static or dynamic with animations and videos, you are indeed able to use digital signage to display a website. This is ideal for those wishing to show real-time data, for example from the stock market.
Is there anything less appetizing than a faded poster showing food items? We eat with our eyes first, so it is important that your food and menu look appealing. Many restaurants, fast food establishments and diners have replaced their old menus with digital displays, making their menu items always look fresh and appealing. The added benefit is that you can update offers or “today’s meal” with just a few clicks.
Help guide your guests in the building or area by using wayfinding on your digital displays. A major benefit of using digital signage for wayfinding is that if, for example, a company in an office building moves, you can easily update the sign. This is also helpful in other situations, such as during renovations and construction, where you may need to update the wayfinding for a brief amount of time.
Meeting room booking
An innovative way of using digital signage is to sync your software with your meeting rooms’ calendars. You can then have the sign outside of the meeting room automatically display when the meeting room is booked, for how long, and by who. This can be used for everything from meeting rooms to private offices and if you use a touch screen, some solutions have support for drop-in where you can book a room by simply pressing a button on the screen.
How many times have you walked past a bulletin board and not even realized that it was there? While bulletin boards have certainly served a purpose, they are rarely maintained leaving outdated flyers up for months to years. Apartment buildings and office buildings have thus started using digital signage and allow for tenants and employees to post bulletins on the display digitally. You can even set for how long you want the bulletin to be visible, ensuring that the bulletin board is always up to date and relevant.
Front desk / reception
You can also use informative content to greet your guests, whether it be in a hotel, a spa, a conference center or otherwise. Combine a welcome message with helpful information about services you offer, a map of the area, activities in the area or timetables. This can reduce the line to the front desk and increase customer satisfaction.
We have mentioned it before, but digital signage is ideal for displaying timetables. Most airports, train stations and major bus stations have already implemented it – but with digital signage becoming more affordable, this is now also accessible to smaller local stations. Timetables can be updated live automatically and can also be used as a widget in some solutions. This means that you can combine timetables with other content such as an advert or general information.
Staying up to date with colleagues’ calendars can be tricky and time-consuming. If you sync your digital signage software with your colleagues’ calendars, you can create an overview showing everyone’s schedule in real-time. Some solutions even offer easy-to-read designs that will make staying up to track on who’s available when easier than ever.
Another innovative type of content that you can share on a digital display is resource availability. If you have 3 company cars for example, you can display what car is available when or who has booked it. This avoids confusion and frustration when equipment is unavailable.
There really is no end to what kind of content you can share on a digital display. The examples listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. With a creative mind, there are almost no limits as to what you can share on a digital display, as long as you have a software that is flexible enough for your needs.