Digital signage deployment is not a penny investment, both when it comes to its potential and its cost. And yet, many who invest in it find themselves making mistakes that would be fairly easy to avoid if appropriate action was taken at the start.
Some mistakes during deployment and installation of digital signage can hinder, if not entirely destroy, your investment, and we’ll take a look at them in this article
1. Insufficient funds for your digital signage project
Running out of money in the middle of an investment can make it crumble halfway through, and often, it can result in having to spend more money with less return than you originally planned.
Before going into an investment of any kind, one needs to assemble a solid prediction of costs from all angles. Software is easier to plan as you can simply research available providers and see which match your requirements the most. However, hardware is a bit trickier, especially since it’s more expensive than software. You must have a good grasp of what equipment you will need to fulfil your plans and how much maintenance is likely in order to have a good understanding of the true cost.
2. Choosing and purchasing hardware before considering software
Buying the wrong product means dumping money down the drain, and that is highly possible if you buy hardware without so much as even considering what software you will use.
When you purchase a product based on its appearance alone, you are not thinking from a business perspective. People often buy phones, displays and similar hardware based on looks, the brand or a recommendation alone. However, they just as often get frustrated when the software they intended to use isn’t compatible with hardware, as this is a very common mistake.
Do not invest in hardware just because you found a sweet deal or because someone decided to give you a discount. The cash saved is meaningless if the hardware won’t function in combination with the software you need to achieve your business goals.
3. Do not fully rely on online storage
If prone to loss of connectivity, cloud-reliant digital signage can crumble your plans to present any content campaigns successfully.
Many services today offer cloud storage to make it easier for you to access your data from anywhere. However, your digital signage network may suffer if you run into limited internet access or glitches. This is why you shouldn’t rely on the internet 100% and instead should always be prepared if the worst happens and your connection breaks. There are ways, if there is a disconnect, that your content can be played even without the internet. Saving your content locally is an excellent alternative in case you have connectivity issues and can serve as a backup solution.
4. No double checks or testing
Glitches and errors are bound to happen, but the majority can be avoided with an installation process which includes double-checking and tests.
Your digital signage network will crave strong connectivity and power, and as such, there is frequently a glitch lurking about, waiting to wreak havoc with your digital signage campaigns. Thus, it’s important to double-check your connectivity, as well as your power sources: a step many installers overlook. And simply preview your work.
It can be a good choice to get a technician to check the network connectivity and power in order to avoid any issues which could easily be avoided.
Additionally, one of the most common mistakes is ignoring security, which needs to be set up by a knowledgeable technician to ensure safety of content is maintained whilst common security policy conflicts are avoided:
- Limited remote desktop access during or after the initial deployment
- Automated password change policies disabling certain applications
- Providing additional security for specific clients who require it
- Providing unattended access for content servers or players in order to keep a constant flow of content, etc.
It is important to create a healthy level of security whilst not limiting your digital signage too much. If you don't take care of the protection, you may end up having an issue similar to the one which recently happened in New York.
5. Lack of inter-connectivity between digital signage and your business programs
Your digital signage should not stand alone. If it does, you will have wasted a great opportunity to enhance not only your digital signage network but also your already existent business programs.
Immediately from the start, integrate your signage message with existing strategy around processes as well as existing sales and co-op programs for optimal efficiency. Collecting data about sales, engagement and general customer behaviour will help. However, for this to be used to its maximum extent, employees must be motivated to use them and provide your system with information.
6. No Calls-To-Action for prospective users
Although no Call-To-Action is a rather content-related mistake, it should still be mentioned in the deployment section as it can be physically utilized with clever positioning and installations.
A Call-To-Action also applies to the part of your marketing effort that tries to engage the customer. Your signage should be deployed accessibly, with adequate content which engages the viewer. A Point-Of-Purchase display is a great way to engage customers as it’s placed right next to the product which the viewer can approach and examine.
7. Not having a contingency plan
Errors happen. It’s your choice how to address them. Report and fix quickly. Feedback is critical as it allows you to correct your flaws and maintain your advantages.
Encouraging your customers and employees to voice questions and feedback is one way of getting honest views, but you should also give them the means to do so. You can either apply interactive digital signage with report forms within your signage platforms, or can simply include information any viewer can use to reach out to you about any issues they may have noticed.
8. Not accounting for additional costs
We’ve already mentioned the mistake of not predicting one’s expenses accurately, but these costs go further as we’ve already hinted on.
Although unpredictable, maintenance, repair and life expectancy should be taken into account when calculating your expenses. This can hinder your overall efficiency if you’re unprepared. Especially take into account the life expectancy of your equipment and keep in mind upcoming renovations or even enhancements to your hardware that are going to be required to keep things running smoothly.
9. Inappropriate use of sound
This particular mistake applies to, most likely, all aspects of digital signage. Sound should be used as a complementary addition and your signage should NEVER rely on it to get the message across.
The use of sound is not as common in the digital signage world since most displays are located in noisy areas where sound will be difficult to understand, say a busy street, or in areas where sound comes off as disturbing, say a library or a restaurant.
Sound on a loop also has the potential to drive people crazy as it grows stale and boring. It’s no wonder classical music is often used in the surroundings of train stations to keep people from lingering around longer than needed. If you intend to use sound, there are certain guidelines you can follow for best results:
- Always use sound as an addition to visual content, never as a substitute
- You can use subtitles if you wish, but if they are too excessive, take it as a sign to give up audio
- Use sound only in areas where it will be welcomed. The rule of thumb is easy to understand and not coming off as annoying or bothersome.
- Use multiple messages in the loop to avoid the content becoming repetitive and boring, and keep it fresh and constantly updated to achieve this same purpose
Digital signage at its best is inter-divisional. It takes more than a skilled technician to avoid these mistakes as well as many others in the different aspects of digital signage.
A business perspective is necessary to optimally use this exquisite tool, and although testing the technology is critical, testing how it works and what impact it has on your target results is also very important. This is only one of the many more complex mistakes in digital signage deployment you should keep in mind when deploying your new tool.