When you are buying a digital signage software and hardware system for the first time, it is easy to make a mistake that you will regret later when you have started using the system to advertise your business or communicate your message. The trick is to understand how each element of the system interacts with each other as well as considering who will install and operate it as well as the content that needs to be created. Keep in mind that a digital signage system is a big investment so you want to make sure that it will deliver on your expectations.
Here are some tips on how to buy the appropriate digital signage system for your business.
•Allocate the right budget. When you are creating a budget for buying digital signage software and hardware, keep in mind that the cost is not limited to just the initial expense of purchasing the system, but also future expenses such as the upgrades to the software so that you can get new features as well as buying new hardware components like the screen. And of course, you should also factor in the cost of training people to use the system, which is an ongoing expense as you will have to upgrade their knowledge to cover new features as well as training new people as the old staff cycle out.
•Don’t forget the creative side. When you are budgeting for your digital signage advertising, don’t forget to allocate money for content creation. You can hire outside designers or develop your content in-house. But even if you use in-house content creators you should still bring in third party designers occasionally to look over your content and ensure that it stays fresh and connects with your intended audience. There is nothing worse than stale content or content that does not deliver for your business.
•Choose a system that can be expanded. Avoid buying a digital signage software system that cannot be upgraded, reconfigured or added to when needed; otherwise, you may end up needing to replace the entire system if you move or want to upgrade.
•Make sure your digital signage software can be used by more than one person. If you use software that can be installed on only one computer and used by one person, you will eventually encounter problems if that person leaves your organization. You can avoid this problem by spending money for a licensing agreement that allows the software to be loaded on multiple computers so that a team can collaborate or use a web-based software that allows several people to access it.
•Hold an office meeting to discuss purchasing the system. Brainstorm with the people who will use the system as to what type of system to purchase and what features it should have. Apart from creative and IT staff, you should also involve finance officers so you can discuss the budget for buying the system as well.
•Do a networking survey of the locations where the digital signs will be placed. Ask your IT personnel to check out factors such as network connectivity, power supply and the digital security policies for the location to be sure that the sign will work when you install it there.
•Remember that the digital signage software is more important than the hardware. Start with deciding which software you will use before considering the display that you will use. Keep in mind that it is the software that your viewers will be interacting with and not the display so make sure that the hardware supports your program rather than the other way around.