With digital signage analytics, you can monitor the uptime and performance of your digital screens and check the content played to be sure that you're playing important content and getting the business results you expect from your digital screens.
In this guide, we dive deeper into the benefits of digital signage analytics and the types of insights you can collect. Plus, we balance the cost against the impact of analytics, to make sure that businesses aren't overpaying for digital signage software just to purchase insights they may not need or use.
What is digital signage analytics?
Digital signage analytics refers to the analytics dashboards, reports, and statistics generated by digital signage software, which delivers content to smart TVs and other types of digital screens for digital menus, announcements, promotions, product explanations, entertainment, etc.
Digital screens are used by all types of businesses and organizations including restaurants, retailers, medical offices, schools, churches, warehouses, and professional offices.
Why you need digital signage analytics (6 key benefits)
Wondering what you can learn with digital analytics? These are some of the most common metrics and insights.
1. Troubleshoot uptime and performance
Uptime refers to the percentage of time that a device is live and working. Many digital screen providers guarantee 99.9% uptime. With digital screen analytics, you can check uptime and performance for all of your screens to make sure that there are no errors or device issues.
2. Check RSS, social media feeds, etc.
Digital screen analytics can also be used to check that your connected apps and widgets are functioning as they should. Many businesses and organizations choose to embed content from other services in order to make their digital screens more engaging. For example, a high school might add a weather widget to their hallway screens so that students know what the weather will be and can dress accordingly. Or, a corporate office might add a social media widget to their digital screen so that employees can see the company's testimonials, user-generated content, and announcements and feel closer to the brand.
3. Discover over-used content
Digital screen analytics can help you track how many times a piece of content has been played. This is useful for finding content that has been over-played, and could cause viewer fatigue. Corporate offices might want to keep their content fresh so that employees always have something new to discover. However, restaurants might always display the same menu and won't care if the same content is always played.
4. Tie top content to business results
You can use digital signage insights to verify which content has been played the most often. You could then track insights in other related platforms in order to gauge the results of your digital signage. For example, if a retailer is using their digital signage to encourage in-store shoppers to sign up for their email list to get a coupon on their in-store purchase, they might have a static QR code for the email sign-up side-by-side with videos on the company's products. They could then track how many QR code sign-ups they receive in a given period, with how often that QR code was displayed in order to gauge the success of the campaign. If the uptake seems low, the campaign manager could then change the copy or video creative played alongside the QR code to increase conversions.
5. Create better content with view analytics
Some platforms offer viewing analytics powered by facial recognition software to track how many eyeballs are viewing the content. Sounds creepy and expensive, right? This feature is typically only used by large retailers wanting to gauge the success of their content. Without viewing analytics, it's very hard to know what content is popular. A business that doesn't use facial recognition software on screens could use surveys, customer interviews, focus groups, or other anecdotal, qualitative methods to gather feedback on the content being displayed.
6. Utilize footfall analytics
Footfall metrics are gathered with on-the-ground sensors to track how much foot traffic enters a space. Businesses that collect footfall metrics can discover the most popular areas of their retail space and the most popular times of the week and day. They can then use these insights to make smarter decisions about their digital signage. They might play important content at the most important times of the day and place digital screens in the areas that get the most foot traffic.
19 insights digital signage analytics can provide
The available digital signage analytics can vary widely depending on the platform. And that's a good thing. The more advanced and complex the analytics, the more money you'll pay for your monthly or annual subscription.
So it's important to consider which analytics really matter to you. Platforms designed for small and medium-sized businesses will likely offer simpler insights at a lower price. While platforms designed for enterprises will offer reports and statistics to help their clients increase revenue from digital screens—but their subscriptions will cost thousands of dollars per month.
To help put the following 19 insights into perspective, we've got a quick breakdown of the metrics that really matter, so you can be sure you're not paying for overly complex digital signage software without reason.
- What most businesses and organizations care about: Most businesses will want to monitor their digital screens' uptime to be sure that they're working. They might also want to see content statistics to check how many times content has been played so they know when to swap it with something fresh.
- What large enterprises care about: Large enterprises using digital screen software to boost reach and revenue might be willing to pay big money to have access to viewing analytics, which can only be provided by facial recognition software installed in screens.
Uptime analytics can provide basic insights into whether or not digital screens are working as they should. Simple, affordable digital screen software typically doesn't require hardware outside of the smart TV, and so will only report on digital screens. But enterprise-grade digital screen software might require some sort of hardware, which will deliver its own insights to the analytics dashboard in order to review uptime.
1. Device health
2. Uptime per server and device
3. Downtime per server and device
4. CPU and memory performance per device
Some digital signage platforms offer usage statistics, so that account managers can check how screens have been used and how the overall account is being used. Some platforms will offer insights into the number of times admins have logged in, and which admin logged in at a specific time (in order to resolve any errors or train a team member who made a mistake). However, those types of admin usage analytics are typically only offered by enterprise platforms.
5. Active locations per given time period
6. Active on-premise servers per given time period
7. Most active days per month (logins)
8. Most active days per week (logins)
9. Source types used per given time period (such as signage player, web browser, etc.)
Using digital signage analytics, you can also check the way that specific content is being used. You might be able to review the number of times a piece of content or playlist has been played. You might also be able to check how often RSS or social media feeds are playing. These sorts of analytics can help you verify that important content is being played and ensure that notices haven't played too many times (which can cause people to stop checking your screens).
10. Number of times a piece of content has been played in a given time period
11. Number of times a playlist has been played in a given time period
12. Number of times content is played per content category in a given time period
Screen analytics are designed to help you check the number of active screens that you have and which screens are playing which content. This is helpful for ensuring that content is playing as you expect.
13. Number of active screens in a given time period
14. Number of unique content played on each screen in a given time period
15. Number of playlists being played on each screen in a given time period
16. Total playback time per screen in a given time period
17. Number of screens per location (school, restaurant, etc.)
Viewing analytics are more rarely available because they require facial recognition software to work. Enterprises that use digital screens to sell products in their stores might want to use viewing analytics to check which content is the most popular and update their content strategy accordingly.
18. The number of people who view your content in a given time period
19. The age group and gender of the people viewing your content in a given time period
What really matters is getting the right content in front of your audience.
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