Gone are the days when digital signages were the monopoly of big businesses. Now small and medium enterprises (SME) and local small businesses too can use the power of digital signage to offer engaging content. But a question most independent business owners often ask us at EasySignage is whether it’s possible with a limited budget. Can an SME get a low-cost digital signage system that’s easy to manage?
By now there’s widespread awareness of the potential of digital signages to increase efficiency and productivity. They can inform an internal audience of the latest policies, protocols, announcements, employee success stories, and be a crucial tool in upskilling and reskilling.
For the external audiences, digital signages are a cost-effective medium to relay dynamic content to launch brand campaigns, increase brand awareness, encourage time and location-bound sales, get followers for social media, and get customer feedback. But how does one begin the process of choosing a digital signage system that doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket?
Choosing an affordable digital signage solution for your SME
To accurately get a cost assessment, you should begin by understanding the needs of your company. No two companies, even in the same sector, may have similar objectives. If you’re an SME thinking of a digital signage solution, you should consider these factors before you make any purchasing decision
- Audience: Who is your primary audience? Is it your employees or customers? Is it people at the reception or consumers inside your supermarket?
- Purpose: What’s the primary objective of your digital signage system? Is it to offer navigational assistance to staff and visitors? Is it to communicate offers and discount sales? Or is it to raise employee engagement?
- Scale: What’s the area you’d like to cover with your system? Are you looking at a single large area or several smaller areas?
- Content: What’s the usual content you’ll be delivering through your system? Is it mostly text, graphics, or images? Or will there be more videos in your content?
To make sense of it and help your SME get an affordable solution, let’s understand the usual costs associated with setting up and running a digital signage system. No matter the size of your business and the category you operate in, there are three types of costs you’ll have to incur; hardware, software, and content management costs.
Digital signage hardware
Any digital signage solution will have a media player and display screens. It’ll also need mounts and cables to install and connect the system.
Digital signage media player
The media player is what makes streaming content possible for a digital signage system. Its cost would depend on the processing speed, memory, and other features that determine its power and capacity. What you need is a media player that’s the ideal match for your display screens and the content you’ll deliver.
The audiences will see your content through the display screens. The size and the number of units will depend on the area and the proximity of your audience to the screens. In some instances, an ordinary High Definition Smart TV would serve your purpose while for others, commercial display screens are your safe bet.
Importantly, your hardware should be compatible with the signage platform that you choose.
EasySignage can be installed on any Android device - Android 4.4 and up, which is excellent news since Android devices are usually affordable and provide a variety of choices for different budgets.
Nowadays, smart TVs and professional tablets have a built-in Android operating system, which will enable you to run Easysignage on your screen directly without the need to buy an external media player.
What’s even better? EasySignage works on Amazon FireTV stick which you might already have and on some Raspberry pi models.
Check the below page for some recommendation:
Digital signage software
The software is what makes your digital delivery of content possible. What you want is a software platform that’s affordable, manageable, and easy to use; a cloud-based software that would come with a subscription fee.
EasySignage offers affordable packages with prices starting at zero – first screen is free forever. For small and medium enterprises starting out on their digital signage implementation, this offers exceptional benefits as you can upgrade your plan as you expand your system.
Eventually, everything comes down to the content on your digital system. There are two aspects of content management that SMEs should be aware of: content creation and curation.
Digital signage content creation
Your digital signage system shouldn’t force you to hire a professional graphic designer to create content. That means additional human resource expenses. The solution should be easy to manage even by people with no prior experience in design.
EasySignage is exceptionally easy to use. Whether you want to create an infographic, poster, presentation, greeting card, employee appreciation post, or a design to launch a product or service, you can easily do it without anyone’s assistance.
The system comes integrated with Canva and PosterMyWall. All you’ve to do is select a template and customize it by putting your message and the company logo. That’s it!
Digital signage content curation
The primary reason for a digital signage system is audience engagement. For that, along with the content you create, you should also deliver curated content from other sources. There’s a limit to self-generated content which can become monotonous and tedious. So, the focus should be to curate content that adds value to the viewers.
EasySignage can fetch content posted to social media accounts, news sources, RSS feeds, etc. All these come with a ready-to-publish design format which makes your job easy. All you’ve got to do is choose the source and add it to your stream.
For example, you can add your company’s Twitter account or those of famous individuals or organizations. By incorporating Twitter into your content, you’re ensuring that your audience gets to see the latest in news across business, sports, and those related to your category. Similarly, you can add any RSS feed to make your digital signage systems up to date and dynamic.
While bigger brands have been doing it for years, small and medium enterprises have shied away from using digital signages due to the fears of high investment and maintenance costs. If you’re in the SME sector, by now it should be clear that digital signages are not just effective and productive but that they’re also affordable.