Sign of the times: why digital signage is the future of internal communications

Digital signs are more effective at engaging consumers and changing buying behavior than any other form of media, research shows. Now, modern workplaces are capitalizing on this trend and we are seeing digital signage become a cornerstone of corporate communication. Why? In this article we look at why digital signage is emerging as a leading communication solution in the office and on the frontline and what benefits it offers to internal communicators and beyond.

There’s no doubt that employee engagement is a critical component of a prosperous business. In fact, a Harvard Business Review report noted it is among the top three indicators of success. In the modern workplace, however, employees can disengage all too easily, so communicating with the most effective channels available is of utmost importance. This is where digital signage can become a pivotal aspect of your communications, capturing 400% more attention that other communications and delivering messages people remember.

What is digital signage?

In the modern world, digital signage is all around us, all the time. You can’t drive down the street, walk into a shop or even go to a hospital anymore without seeing digital signage.

In the consumer world, digital signage is used effectively to target a passive audience with relevant advertisement while they're most primed to engage; be that in a shopping mall, at the cinema or on the treadmill. Its success has predicated on a few fundamental benefits:

#1. It's cheaper than print media

#2. It's more responsive and can be updated to reflect changing moods or latest deals within seconds

#3. It works - research shows digital signage is 34% more effective at promoting items than static displays

Digital signage has proved hugely successful as a tool for capturing audiences, emphasizing key messages and underpinning powerful communication campaigns. But how can we leverage these capabilities to generate engagement in the workplace?

How does digital signage fit into the workplace?

In terms of the workplace, digital signage is not just a way of modernizing or updating the look of your office. It is a versatile feature that delivers news, interacts with audiences, tells stories with feeds, gathers information and keeps employees in touch with your organization. Digital signage breathes life into your communications and offers a way of producing memorable, dynamic content.

In recent years digital signage has transitioned from its place in cityscapes and public spaces to corporate offices, schools, restaurants, hotels, retail stores and everywhere in-between. The reason it has so successfully infiltrated almost every facet of life is because it has found use in almost any situation, but there are a number of key reasons businesses are choosing to adopt it as an internal communications tool.

Digital signage as an internal communications tool

Deliver essential news and updates

Digital signage is an excellent method for grabbing attention and delivering snippets of information, so it lends itself to broadcasting updates and company news extremely well. When strategically placed in easily visible areas like receptions or common rooms, digital signage can be relied upon to effectively inform employees about urgent changes and information alerts.

The news you broadcast can be linked up with your desktop platform, extending your intranet content directly to digital signage solutions. With this ease-of-use and reliable distribution, digital signage can be the lynchpin of your workplace’s urgent communications.

Elevate campaigns and initiatives

With all the effort that your staff put into planning and carrying out campaigns and corporate initiatives, to see them fall flat due to low engagement is particularly disappointing. In this scenario, you can take a page out of the advertising playbook and use digital signage to create buzz around the workplace.

If you have an upcoming campaign digital signage can be leveraged to extend the reach of your communications, advertising your cause and embedding it in the minds of employees. With constant reminders of your initiative dotted around the office and in your communications, you can expect significant uptake of workforce engagement with your campaign.

Drive intranet traffic

Desktop communications are the foundation on which you engage a workforce. Extending this to digital signage solutions, however, can catapult your communications forward to reach employees and drive greater traffic to your intranet.

Trigger queues, spotlight features, push notifications and popular social feeds can all feature prominently on displays to advertise your content and direct people to find out more on your intranet platform, extending the reach of your communications and boosting intranet adoption.

Connecting your frontline and non-desk employees

Notoriously difficult to reach and engage with corporate affairs, digital signage can revolutionize the way you communicate with your frontline employees. Dynamic content can be specifically targeted for the frontline so that you can rely upon it to deliver important updates to employees that can often feel overlooked. When it comes to reaching the hard-to-reach, digital signage presents a compelling solution for connecting non-desk employees with corporate news and campaigns, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to engage with the latest content.

Future-ready: Workplace 4.0

Workplace 4.0 refers to the transformation of the workplace in the new phase of development in the world of work, dubbed 'Industry 4.0'. It plays on many concepts of Industry 4.0, namely innovations in the fields of the cloud, mobile, and remote access, the Internet of Things, AI and big data. Workplace 4.0 promises to transform the way we work and support employees with a system of technologies that engage employees and disseminates information effortlessly.

Digital signage is built upon the advances of Workplace 4.0, a window of communication providing a bridge between people and technological intelligence. In Workplace 4.0, digital signage is your employees’ go-to hub for important information. 

Just like a mobile intranet, digital signage can operate as an extension of your intranet, another channel for reaching the hard to reach and connecting them with corporate initiatives, important alerts and generally bringing them back into the fold.

What are the benefits of digital signage?

As a flexible and adaptable solution that provides greater control of content, digital signage has a longer lifespan than print or other traditional forms of communication. However, it's more than just a money saver; digital signage offers a host of benefits that can help your business to increase the reach of communications, improve engagement and keep your workforce informed and up to date.

#1. Consistent branding

Significantly, digital signage allows your organization to implement consistent branding across all communications. This has proved to be a key benefit for businesses that have already adopted digital signage, with 38% of companies with multiple locations identifying branding as the “most important purpose of effective signage”.

#2. Easy setup

Setting up digital signage solutions in the workplace is a fuss-free process. Using any display that is connected to the internet, digital signage can be managed with cloud-based software that makes it easy for any user to create, schedule and manage content from any device.

With plug-in-and-play installation and software that integrates with mobile and desktop applications, users can upload dynamic content in real-time and push it across multiple channels and devices, ensuring the content you display is always fresh and up to date.

#3. Ease-of-use

Digital signage is easy to set up and use. It provides a quick method of distributing bite-size pieces of information and has proved to be a great way of informing employees about upcoming changes in your organization.

Digital signage is essentially a content management system that boosts engagement and sparks curiosity. Easily digestible news, videos, images, and articles let employees receive and absorb information with little more than a glance.

#4. Deliver engaging dynamic content

Digital signage cuts through the noise and delivers content in a memorable and engaging way. It also allows you to effortlessly switch between types of dynamic content, such as videos or interactive media.

A report on the effectiveness of digital signage found that 59% of people that see digital signage want to learn more about the topic, leading to a 47% improvement in brand awareness effectiveness. Additionally, more than half (55%) of people that encounter digital signage report that they were highly engaged and able to recall the message on-screen every time.

#5. Inform your workforce

As the above statistics show, distributing information with digital signage catches attention more memorably than other communications. More engaging communications means that you can reliably keep employees informed about important updates and changes.

Humans are visual learners. Studies show that information distributed through digital signage will be remembered far better than through other channels. After three days people remember only 10-20% of written and spoken information, but by comparison, retain 65% of visually presented information.

#6. Improve the reach of communications

Digital signage is overtaking traditional print media for a variety of reasons, such as long-term cost-effectiveness, adaptability and, most importantly, the greater reach it offers. Digital signage is seen by more people than other channels, reaching more Americans each month (70%) than desktop communications or over the internet (43%).

Digital signage solutions in the workplace ensure that everyone in your organization has visibility of internal news, communications and important updates.

It is these advantages that mean digital signage solutions with consistent branding are the perfect communications solution for your workplace. Easy to set up and manage, digital signage lets your content reach more of your workforce so that the key information it displays is more likely to be remembered. Above all, digital signage in the workplace means you can engage employees on levels unparalleled by other channels of communication. 

Want to upgrade your communications and modernize your workplace?

To find out how Unily's DXC can help your business to benefit from digital signage features and many more, get a free consultation today!

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