The right communications strategy can help products fly off the shelves, keep employees at peak performance and even bring investors knocking. It’s all about giving out the right impression of the business.
There are dozens of methods of communicating with clients, team members and business partners. But a growing number of modern businesses are prioritising the use of digital signage. Once seen as just an external advertising tool, digital signage is fast realising its potential to transform internal communications and more.
We’ve taken a look at some of the steps you can take to ensure your digital signage installation makes an impact and explored just why this technology is proving to be so popular.
Digital signage is quite simply the use of a large format display screen to showcase specific information. The case for digital signage is strong, but some companies are put off by what they see as a costly technical challenge. However, these days it’s really not that difficult (or expensive) to get started.
Professional displays range massively in price and there is no such thing as a right screen; it all depends on your unique requirements. As a general rule, you can expect to pay more for a larger screen, but prices will also rise as you look at screens with higher resolution and brightness specifications.
Here are a few things to consider if you want to ensure your screen is noticed:
While a meeting room tends to have a static audience, digital signage viewers are often on the move, making it that bit trickier to judge the right screen size.
Practical observation is the answer. Scout out the intended location for the screen and observe how people interact with this environment
Armed with this information you can move on to consider what kind of content will be shown on the screen.
The goal is to determine how much detail you expect people to see on the displays.
For passive viewing of large visuals and video, there is a general rule that states the viewer should be no further away from the screen than eight times the height of the screen. At the other end of the scale, highly detailed work demands that the viewer is at a maximum distance of just four times the height of the screen.
Look at the type of content you will be putting on display and where you envision the audience to be before you make a call on screen size.
Once you start looking at digital signage screens you’ll notice a lot of them have a recommended usage time. Think carefully about whether you only intend to turn your signage on during the normal workday, or if it will also be used during a nightshift or even on the weekend.
A lot of digital signage screens are now rated for 24/7 operation, but keep an eye out for screens that are not – and definitely avoid consumer TV’s for digital signage. Buying a screen with a lower recommended usage time leaves you at risk of damaging the technology should you need it to run for longer than intended and the picture quality could be impacted as a result.
Finally, think about the quality of the picture you need. How bright do you need the screen to be? Brightness is rated in candela per square metre (cd/m2) and will be very important if the screen is to be located somewhere with high levels of ambient lighting, for example, an office surrounded with full height windows. The brighter the ambient light, the brighter the screen needs to be to stand out.
What about the clarity of the images on display? Does the content need to be shown in 4K or will standard HD suffice? There are three arguments for 4K here. Firstly, if you’re displaying very detailed information, 4K will ensure it is as clear and sharp as possible. Secondly, if you’re showcasing new products or 4K advertising content, chances are you’ll want to impress your viewers – 4K will impress. The third and final argument for 4k screens is that if the screen is particularly large and the audience are relatively close, the pixels per inch will be higher on 4K screens – meaning a much clearer image.
In many other situations, for example with graphs, text blocks, news feeds and images, standard HD will suffice.
Exactly how you make an impression with digital signage depends on who your audience are. One area where it is making a real impact is in improving employee engagement.
With a growing millennial workforce, it’s more important than ever to keep your workforce informed. Employees expect to know not only what they’re doing, but also why they’re doing it; they want to understand the bigger picture and its relevance to their own tasks.
For businesses, catering to this change in attitude is no longer a choice but a financial necessity. Poor communication costs businesses a huge amount; in fact a CMI study suggested that ineffective management could be costing UK businesses as much as £19 billion a year in lost working hours. The main offender of poor management cited by those questioned was unclear communications.
While email, phone calls and face to face communications remain essential, displaying company information on screens around the office offers an extra layer of communication to support engagement and take things to the next level.
The potential here only increases the more you focus in on a particular audience.
For example, a single screen in the marketing department could display business objectives, new project updates and company announcements. A screen that just caters to those working on the digital marketing team could showcase Google Analytics figures for the company website, ecommerce performance statistics or the latest updates the various social media platforms that may affect the team’s day to day work.
It’s about keeping things as relevant as possible to the viewers; if you want to make an impression, make it personal.
Improving internal communications and team engagement is valuable on a very real level. But there’s a less tangible value to digital signage as well: it looks good.
Digital displays add a contemporary feel to the workplace. Their presence sets a business apart and this aesthetic element can make a real difference with staff and visitors.
You can affect how your employees perceive the business by choosing what to highlight and how to display it. Create dynamic charts and showcase company achievements and you increase the likelihood that workers will feel part of a motivated, successful team because that’s what they see reflected back at them.
Installing digital signage in public areas like reception, meanwhile, is the perfect way to make an impression with visitors – be they clients, investors or partners.
You can show off any particularly impressive projects and recent company events to elevate the company’s standing in the eyes of your visitors. But the simple fact that you’ve used a state-of-the-art piece of equipment to display this information holds kudos in itself, setting the tone for any meetings they go on to attend
The truth is that well implemented digital signage will make an impression with just about everyone who comes across it; we’re drawn to images and visuals by nature. There is real potential to make an impression in the professional environment here but, as with all technology, once you understand how to use it, the real value comes from your own ingenuity in how to make it work for your business.