How Does Smart Digital Signage Work?

Smart digital signage is a great tool that is still a terra incognita for many businesses. This article will guide you through the basics of this technology and will give you ideas on how to use it properly. 

Smart is a big word that can mean anything. Today, with the abundance of the internet and gadgets, manufacturers are quick to label their products as ‘smart’ as a marketing move with nothing (or very little) actually smart behind. 

We’ve witnessed smart fridges, smart microwaves, smartwatches, smart TVs. In every case, the adjective means that there’s some kind of technology that will make life easier for the user. For example, in the case of a smart fridge, there will usually be a display showing the types of products that are inside, their expiration dates and usage. 

In other words, a solution becomes smart when it applies the latest technology to make the use better and more intuitive. In the case of display technology, it is a little bit more complicated than that. 

What is smart digital signage?

Smart digital signage is a type of signage technology that gives users the power to effectively manage content with the help of templates, machine learning algorithms, location tracking and remote control. Not every digital signage is smart though. 

The ‘smartness’ is defined by the software and its capabilities. If the offer is just showing pictures on the screens, it’s definitely not something you should be choosing. On the other hand, a solution that offers 360-degree content management is the one that you should pay attention to.

For instance, if you’re running a restaurant digital signage, you can operate with multiple content types at multiple locations. With smart digital signage software, you will be able to effectively manage the whole network. The solution will let you show interactive digital menu boards at the counter, run branding messages on the screens throughout the restaurant, promote social media channels and ask for feedback from your customers. All of it is integrated into one system that is controlled from one place. Also, you’ll have the flexibility to change the content whenever you like, experiment with different kinds of images and videos as well as gather analytics. Sound neat? I bet it does. 

What are the advantages of smart digital signage software?

There are few dimensions to look at this.

  • Smart digital signage VS static signage 

Oh, the static signage. As an adept of digital, I’m all in for getting rid of it altogether. But as it is still a big deal across the world, the question remains which one should you choose. 

With static signage, your hands are basically tied. You only can show one type of content per board, you will spend money on changing it, you can’t experiment and there’s no analytics or tracking whatsoever. If we’re talking about the advantages of it, static boards are still more familiar to the general audience and they may be perceived well. 

On the other hand, smart digital signage allows you to break the chains of the static and let your imagination fly at a lower cost. You will be able to change content as much as you please and not spend a penny on it in the process. Another big advantage is a much higher engagement rate and selling capabilities. You can show content when you see fit, switch locations in a matter of seconds and capture the attention of your customers instantly. 

  • Smart digital signage VS on-site digital signage

These two solutions are the same digital signage but the installation and maintenance differ. With on-site, you’d have to create and manage your own display network. That includes running your own IT team, operating your own servers and having cybersecurity headaches once in a while. Smart digital signage is usually reserved for cloud-based solutions. This type of software is managed as a SaaS and you will have access to the ecosystem without having to worry about all the tech things. 

Although I am a strong proponent of cloud-based software as a more future-oriented solution, on-site digital signage may work better for those companies that would like to manage everything locally and have the capabilities to do that effectively. And technically on-site digital signage can be as smart in handling your content tasks as the cloud-based one. So do your research and opt-in for a solution that works best for the needs of your business. 

What is smart digital signage content?

The content is everything. It is the element that will keep your system running and make the magic happen. That’s why it’s extremely important to know how to do it right. Smart digital signage software helps you with that. Many solutions on the market offer great content creation tools that guide you through the process and give you the power to create whatever you want in a way that will look great on the screens. 

Smart digital signage content is all content that is created and broadcasted using signage technology. 

Here are the types of content you can create: 

  • Announcements
  • Flyers
  • Schedules
  • Calendars
  • Images and videos
  • Call-to-action 
  • Interactive games
  • Ads
  • Alerts 
  • Weather widgets 
  • Stock market updates
  • etc. 

Basically, if you’re using well-regarded software, the content choices you can create are virtually unlimited. That’s why it pays off to choose the solution that can satisfy your content needs and give you the best performance. No one wants to create a weather widget and then see how it goes to hell with bugs and slowness of the system. Read reviews, check out articles in the press, talk to people who are already using digital signage, watch the case studies. Find the one that is a perfect match for your business and don’t settle for mediocre industry players. 

So here’s the overview of smart digital signage for you to have a better understanding of the matter. If you have any questions and comments, be sure to leave them here, I will be glad to answer and help with your digital signage.