How To Turn Your Venue's Existing TVs into Eye-Popping Digital Signage

June 30, 2021

Digital signage is an excellent way to build even more fun and entertainment into your venue. But if you’re not already using it, the prospect of having to set up a digital signage system from scratch can feel overwhelming.

Turns out, if you already have screens in your venue, then it’s pretty easy to turn them into digital signs. This piece will give you: 

  • Step-by-step instructions for turning your TVs into digital signage
  • Layout tips to maximize your campaigns
  • A sneak preview of how UPshow can help you optimize your digital signage

Here’s why turning your TVs into digital signage makes sense

TVs are a decent way to entertain your customers. But in terms of business benefits, they don’t go much further. 

Digital signage offers superior entertainment value for your venue in addition to an impactful platform through which to realize your business goals. 

Before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at how digital signage works. Essentially, digital signage allows businesses to display streaming entertainment channels alongside curated, venue-specific advertisements and hyper targeted content. 

If your venue doesn’t need a variety of streamed entertainment options, you can forego that entirely for something more appropriate. For example, you might run a trivia night and display the questions on your screens with digital signage software. Then, in-between those questions you could run advertisements or messaging about new products.

The main thing to keep in mind is that digital signage, unlike traditional TVs, allow you to control every single thing that’s on display on your screens. Rather than give free advertising to other companies, with digital signage you can optimize every second of your customers’ viewing time. 

A step-by-step guide to turning TVs into digital signs

1. Determine whether you have smart TVs or not

Your digital signage setup process will vary based on the type of TVs you currently have. Smart TVs have the advantage of connecting directly to digital signage software, meaning that you don’t need any additional equipment. TVs without a built-in internet connection, however, will require you to purchase a digital signage player.

2. Select a digital signage player if you don’t have smart TVs

If your current set up is made up of smart TVs, skip to step 3!

Digital signage players are physical devices that you connect to a TV screen. 

Important: This is not the same as the software that you use to manage your digital signage displays. 

Rather, a digital signage player is the hardware that allows you to connect your traditional TV to digital signage software. Think of it as the go-between. 

There are lots of different digital signage players on the market today, ranging in price from about $50 to $100+. The choice of content management software that can be used with the player is usually up to you. 

Here are some popular options that you may want to look into:

  • Roku devices
  • CTL Chromebox CBX2
  • Ugoos AM6 Pro
  • Raspberry pi digital signage player
  • Chromebox Commercial 2
  • Mac mini

3. Choose your digital signage software

The next thing you’re going to need, regardless of your TV type, is digital signage software. 

This software is what you’ll use to create your displays and manage how they’re shown in your venue. Digital signage software makes it really easy to enjoy the benefits of digital signage without having to spend a ton of time managing it yourself.

If you’re in the market for digital signage software, you want to make sure that the platform you choose:

  • Can be managed remotely via the cloud
  • Allows you to create customized marketing campaigns
  • Gives you complete control over how you deploy those campaigns
  • Provides easy monitoring of campaign performance
  • Is equipped with a variety of entertainment channels for your customers

UPshow offers digital signage software that meets all of these requirements — plus a few more. Our one-stop solution makes it incredibly easy for you to maximize your digital signage. 

4. Set up the content that you’d like to display

Now you’re ready to start choosing the content that you’re going to show your customers. There are tons of engaging, informative display options that can help you reach your business goals.

For example, you could display each of the following for your customers:

  • Your social media profiles (with suggested tags to encourage online sharing)
  • Updates to your menu
  • Trivia questions
  • Streaming entertainment channels
  • Customer reviews
  • Lightning deals
  • Ads for products and services
  • If you can display it on a screen, it’s an option!

5. Use your CMS to automatically rotate your digital signage content

Once you’ve set up your content, the only thing that’s left to do is to figure out the cadence at which you’ll display it. Unless you’re setting up something like digital menus, you’re probably going to want to continuously rotate through a set of images to maintain your customers’ attention.

There is no hard and fast rule for how to do this. The best strategy is to simply try a few display schedules and see what works best for your company. Think about your audience and leverage what you know about them to create a schedule you think will engage them — then be sure to measure engagement to test your hypothesis! 

Testing capabilities are a critical component to your digital signage software. Make sure you pick a software that offers powerful insights into the performance of your displays. Without that information, it will be difficult to assess the efficacy of your signage and to optimize your schedule over time.

Upgrading your screens could be worth it

So we’ve established that your existing TVs can allow you to create and display attention-grabbing digital signage for your venue. 

However, it doesn’t stop there. 

If upgrading your TVs is an option, the type and quality of screen that you have can have a significant impact on how successful your campaigns are. 

One of the biggest factors that can influence digital signage success is how easily your customers can view your screens. While one or two small screens might catch the eye of a percentage of your customers, having larger, or a larger number, of screens will amplify this effect. 

Viewing angles and brightness are another two factors that can really make or break your signage success. If your current screens are at poor angles or are often rendered unviewable by excessive brightness in your space, you’re simply not going to get the maximum effect from your customer base.

For a full guide on the best screens for your digital signage needs, check out our blog post.

How to display your screens effectively

Once you’ve figured out exactly which screens you’re going to use in your venue, it’s important to make sure you distribute them effectively throughout your venue. Proper screen placement will ensure that as many people see your in-venue marketing campaigns as possible.

While planning placement, aim to follow these three tips: 

Install displays in high traffic areas

It’s simple, but essential. By installing your screens in the most highly-trafficked or visible parts of your venue, you ensure maximum viewing time. Entryways and prominent walls are perfect for this.

Keep your screens at eye level

Keep your screens at a level for easy viewing, usually round about eye-level. The last thing you want is to put your customers off by forcing them to strain their neck to catch a glimpse of the screen. 

Choose areas that help you achieve your marketing and sales goals

Opting for specific screen locations within your venue may help you to attract more customers or sell more products. 

For example, you might set up a screen behind your checkout area to upsell customers and keep them entertained while they wait in line.

Alternatively, try placing a screen in a window that faces the sidewalk outside. Doing so could be a great way to grab the attention of passers-by, drawing them in from the street to view what you have to offer. 

UPshow is the perfect content management tool for your new digital signs

Turning your venue’s existing TVs into eye-popping digital signage is easier than you might expect, especially with the right digital signage management software.

UPshow provides digital signage software that is tailor-made for venues that are looking to improve their sales with targeted campaigns. Our one-stop solution means you will soon be creating compelling displays and effectively managing your signage schedule with ease. 

With the bonus feature of 500 streaming entertainment channels for you to show your customers, you’ll have no problem at all leveraging your digital signage to work towards your business goals.But don’t take our word for it! Let us show you how impactful UPshow can be for your company by visiting our website and signing up for a custom demo today.

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