Poor levels of staff engagement affect absence rates, productivity and ultimately, your company’s bottom line. Some estimates put the cost to UK businesses as high as £340 billion a year.
So it’s no wonder companies are looking for a solution to transform their team’s engagement levels. Nine times out of ten, that solution is to improve communication at every level of the business.
This is where digital signage comes in. More and more firms are recognising the role these screens can play in improving corporate communications.
In fact, a study by Futuresource Consulting found that, almost a third (30%) of companies across Western Europe and the US use screens outside of meetings rooms to display information to staff. Many more are looking to expand their network of displays in the future.
If you’re among those thinking of joining the digital signage revolution, it’s time to get serious and start planning your installation. We’ve explored the three different ways you can tackle your digital signage project, so read on for tips and tricks to get your installation off the ground.
First up, it’s worth having a quick refresh of the essentials when it comes to choosing your digital signage screen.
The screen size you use will of course depend on the installation location and what sort of impression you want to make. Is the screen meant for viewing updates and promotional graphics and video at a glance or for reviewing more detailed datasets and performance figures?
The more detailed the information and the further away the potential audience could be from the screen, the bigger you need to go. Read our guide to screen size here to find out about the 4/6/8 rule and more to help you determine the perfect screen size for your space.
Screen resolution is the second thing to consider. We have a detailed guide to screen resolution as well here, but as a general rule, where you’re showcasing high levels of detail or there is a real need to impress go for a 4K digital signage screen. In most other cases, HD resolution will work just fine.
Finally, remember that for the best impact and ease of use you need to look for professional displays that are specifically designed with digital signage in mind - which means they’re ready for heavy-duty, 24/7 action and are primed to present great visuals from every angle.
Now we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to consider the screen setup that best suits your company’s requirements.
The quickest way to get your digital signage project up and running is with a professional display with a built in media player. This is about as simple as digital signage gets and it’s also one of the most cost-effective options.
By opting for a media player that’s built in to the screen, there’s no need to connect up a PC or another external media device. To load the content you want to display, simply save it to a USB memory stick and pop the stick into the USB port on your screen. Literally, plug and play.
This kind of straightforward setup is ideal for presenting images, slideshows and even video where you know you won’t want to change the content too often. However, the lack of digital signage software could prove to be a limitation if you’re looking to create and control something more engaging and advanced with your display or pull in dynamic content such as RSS feeds.
If you’re looking for a little more control over the style and layout of the content you create, or perhaps you want more flexibility with a networked setup, then step your installation up a level with a network-connected solution and hook your screen up to an external digital signage player.
External digital signage media players, such as the Vivitek NovoDS, come with software that opens up new ways to transfer and manage your content, as well as tools for automating and scheduling content to keep your messages relevant.
They will also connect to your network so you can display dynamic content such as news items or social media feeds as they update and feed them straight through to your display screens in a personalised layout.
This setup allows you a great deal more flexibility and room for creativity. But if you want to just use the NovoDS software to create your content and save it to an SD card or USB stick to plug into your screen you can
However, a lot of users at this level take advantage of the fact that the device can be connected to your network. With this setup in place, you can send content to multiple displays in different locations and instantly update your presentation to reflect real-time changes or mission-critical messaging like policy or procedural changes.
Of course, the other advantage with external players like this is the ease with which you can keep your software up to date with the latest tools and security updates to ensure your signage is operating at peak performance.
Your third option is to buy a built-for-purpose digital signage screen that offers the full package built in to the display; no need for an external media player.
Professional displays at this level will be connected to your network, so you can send content directly to the screen from a PC or portable device. With a large scale installation with multiple screens in different locations you can take things even further with advanced scheduling features. This means that each display can be managed individually.
For example, if you wanted to show targets to your sales team and advertisements in reception, you could isolate each screen and schedule your content to fit without having to physically go to each of the screens in question. Of course, you can do this with a player/screen package but the all-in-one solution means fewer devices to manage on the network and a clearer content workflow.
The advanced signage software built into these screens means you can transfer and display media-rich messaging and video, or stream live content from the internet, like your latest YouTube campaigns to keep your team engaged.
The functionality is similar to that of the ‘connected solution’, but the advantage here is that rather than managing the external digital signage media player as a separate piece of hardware, you have everything built into your display screens.
There is a great deal of value in digital signage when it comes to engaging and focusing teams, but the installation you choose has to work for your company.
If you know the person setting up the content to display isn’t that technical, then keep things simple with a plug and play installation. However, if you have the technical resources to help your staff get the most out of digital signage, then look at the options that include more advanced software so you can tailor the content on display and adjust screens across the network. There’s no ‘right’ setup, it’s about what works for your team.
Know which way you're going? Great! To help you make the right product choice, we've also provided a rundown of our favourite digital signage solutions here.
Displaypoint has a wide selection of digital signage displays to choose from. If you’d like to discuss your options, call the team at Displaypoint and we’ll be happy to talk through your requirements.