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Written by Daniel Lummis

The Downsides of Using DIY Digital Signage for Your Business

When it comes to building digital signage for your business, it can be quite tempting to go the do-the-it-yourself route. After all, there are plenty of cost savings to made for building an advertising system from scratch. Business signs are both versatile and adaptable which makes it very attractive to business owners who are looking for an affordable yet effective signage solution.

While there are undeniable benefits to using digital signage, it’s the DIY implementation that can lead to quite a few issues. Like any good signage, it takes a combination of skill and effort to execute digital signage properly and in most cases, companies simply don’t have the necessary experience in building a system that’s reliable and well-put-together.

In this article, we’ll be tackling the downsides of using DIY digital signage so you can determine whether or not it’s the right solution for your business.

System design

Selecting the right tools for the job is a skill in itself. When a company attempts to build its own digital signage, they usually struggle with system design such as choosing the display, CMS, the media player, and so forth. All of these components need to work harmoniously to create a digital signage solution that fits within the desired budget and specifications.

Signage companies that supply their own solutions have ample experience and expertise in designing a comprehensive digital signage system built for commercial applications. They know exactly which components to use and how to match the technology based on their client’s requirements.

Compatibility issues are common with DIY digital signage, thus making it even more difficult for DIY enthusiasts to design their own system, especially if they lack the proper knowledge and experience to do it.

Support and maintenance

Say that a business has acquired the right components and managed to build a DIY solution that works. What happens when you turn it on and it doesn’t work? A system with this many parts is bound to have problems when set up incorrectly. If it’s not a hardware problem, it’s likely a software issue which you will need to troubleshoot on your own.

Of course, general maintenance is also another factor worth considering. For DIY digital signage to run smoothly, the components must be regularly serviced. Without proper upkeep, it’s only a matter of time before the entire system underperforms (or in worse cases, completely fails).

Scalability

One of the hallmarks of a well-designed system is its scalability. DIY solutions mostly rely on ad-hoc methods like using spreadsheets for scheduled content and importing media from USB sticks. This is fine if you’re using two or three screens, but what happens when you acquire a bigger premise? Is your current system able to keep up with your new requirements? Or will you have to redo everything and start again from scratch?

Such inefficiencies can turn into an expensive undertaking which is something you don’t want in digital signage. Having the ability to scale your system allows you to make meaningful adjustments to help support your growing business. Professionally designed digital signage takes this into account so you can upgrade your components without any compromise.

Content quality

Business owners are sometimes forced to cut corners just to get their content to display onto the screen as most DIY solutions are less versatile and engaging than their professionally-designed counterparts. When you compromise on CMS quality, you’ll end up spending more time creating your content which will inevitably hamper your productivity. The last thing you want is to display poorly designed content for your audience to see.

Your system should have the functionality to display elaborate content, animation, and third-party media. Of course, this can only be achieved by outsourcing the task to an experienced signage company to ensure both your content and your system are ready for viewing.

Downtime

Because of the lack of optimisation, DIY signage systems tend to crash frequently. We’ve all witnessed a couple of signage fails where a shop uses a digital display to announce their sale albeit in a PDF file. In some cases, the media fails to load completely due to an unstable network connection, thus showing a network error instead.

Poorly-designed signage systems function a lot worse than traditional static signage, with downtime being one of the major concerns. Even if you do opt for professional assistance, it’ll take them a few hours to figure out your system before they can attempt to fix it.

What to do instead

We’re not saying that DIY digital signages are bad and that they’re not worthy of your time. The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and skill to set up a complete system that’s fully functional and in most cases, companies simply lack the tools and experience to achieve this. Instead of going the DIY route and cutting costs, we highly recommend consulting a professional signage company to help you with your digital signage needs.

Not only do you benefit from expert recommendations, but you also get a system that’s tailor-made for your business requirements. By taking into account the system design, content quality, scalability, and maintenance, you’re getting digital signage that’s bound to increase your brand exposure and leave you feeling confident with spending your advertising dollars.

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