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You've seen them in Times Square for decades. Now the lights, movement, and changing advertising from digital signage is available for mounting on cars, businesses, street sides, and everywhere there is electricity for a low price. If you are interested in advertising in a bright, eye-catching way, digital signage is an excellent choice.
Digital signs are ads that show up in windows, countertops, point-of-purchase signs, information stations, or digital menus with LED or other electronic lighting and easy-to-update aesthetics. All you need is to install the hardware (like a screen) and link up with a digital signage app company to manage content.
Advertising with digital signage is a blessing for those who invest in it. Advertising with digital signs will promote your business in ways you may not have even thought of. This guide will give you the advertising prowess for using digital signs in powerful new ways to promote your business.
The Basics of Digital Signage
Advertising is the age-old technique of attracting customers and attention to your business services and products. However, in the digital age, you should take advantage of digital means for your advertising. Digital signs are helpful, efficient, effective, and easy to set-up.
Suppose you run a company with seemingly shorter wait times for customers. You might also provide more information for these customers to browse freely or entertainment and engagement for every person who walks by. Finally, there is streaming content customized on the fly throughout your stores based on data and metrics of how many people are there or interacting with the things in your store. Would you think that this company is successful? Because all of these benefits and more are available when you use digital signs.
Let's look at some of the basics of what digital signage looks like and does for your business.
What Digital Signage Looks Like
Digital signage is any screen with information available on it shown electronically. A digital sign doesn't have to be static, like a menu or billboard. Some of the best digital signage advertising contains streaming video content. Other digital signs are interactive and change on a rotating scheduled basis depending on the time of day or other engagement factors.
The information is usually well lit with LED or LCD and projection displays. Usually, it has at least one of the following:
- Digital images
- Streaming video
- Interactive content
The Location of Effective Digital Signage
You will find digital signage in many public places where your information and advertising are seen and even interacted with by potential customers. You usually see digital signage in areas where the public accesses it or at least sees it. You might have your business advertising on digital signage in places like:
- Public and private transportation: Buses, trains, taxis, subways, airplanes
- Public entertainment spaces: Stadiums, movie theaters, concert venues, bars, amusement parks, and sports venues
- Public/Private places of business: Hotels, restaurants, corporate buildings, apartment buildings, outdoor advertising space like billboards or window spaces, etc.
No matter where you find digital signage, it is visible with light-up displays and interactivity. Digital signs are available for virtually every business. Many purposes of digital signage focus on freeing up your customers to receive information for themselves. The ability of customers to help themselves supports customer satisfaction. Digital signage allows for this while collecting valuable data for your company and promoting it in strategic ways.
The Content of Digital Signage
Digital signs are for the public consumption of advertising, information, and streaming services. Any information that will provide a service or advertise a service is good content for digital signage. The content of digital signs depends on the purpose of the sign. However, for advertising, digital signage usually has content focused on:
- Maps: Helps customers, the general public, or employees find their way around a building or area
- Information: Whether it be an exhibit with detailed information or steps to take before entering spaces, digital signs are great for making information highly visible
- Marketing: Advertising with digital signage looks like either traditional advertisements meant to entice consumers and attract buyers or provides quality and detailed information for the same purpose
What you Need to Set Up Digital Signage
Suppose you are thinking about creating a digital sign for your company advertising. In that case, the chances are that you already have content that would fit on the screen. The biggest problem with digital signage is formatting the content to show up on your digital sign. However, one of the easiest ways to set up digital signage is with a digital advertising and signage app.
Apps made for creating advertising and media on digital signs gobble up the information and details of your content and format it for the screen of your digital sign. The benefits of using an app to format the screen ready content for your digital sign are numerous and include:
- You don't need formatting knowledge: it is easy to choose and apply your content to your digital sign.
- You don't have to update the content: Updating and pulling data to the digital sign is done for you. Even if it is linked somewhere else, you never have to push out new and updated content.
- You won't have to create content twice: apps for digital signs grab your content where it lives on sites like Twitter and Instagram, then splashes it across the digital sign.
(Source: Screen Cloud)
Best Apps for Formatting Content for Digital Signage
Your content is worth as much as gold to your company. Your content, such as from social media, needs to be shared. Choosing the best app to format and pull that content onto your digital screens for advertising is a critical step. The best apps for formatting content so it is usable for a digital sign have a few characteristics in common:
- Hardware: The device you need for your digital signage will connect to the internet, pull content from a source (such as Instagram), and then project it on a digital screen. Hardware is usually wired into the screen but may be wireless as well.
- Software: The apps that convert your content into digital signage require authentication and admin to run smoothly. The better the admin and dashboard set-up, the more user friendly. Most software options are easy to navigate, even for less tech-savvy people.
- Support: The odds are that your digital signage will need updates, fixes, and reboots. It is beneficial to work with an app with a superb and responsive support team ready to help you if your digital signage goes down or needs updating.
Some of the best apps for formatting and projecting content onto digital signage are:
This digital signage app company runs both the hardware and software you need to transfer and control content for your digital signs. Your players are ready to plug and play once received. The best part about truDigital is the customizations and creativity are easy to work with.
- Great customer support
- Pre-programmed devices
- Customizable content on the fly
- Admin levels for multiple content monitoring
- An easy-to-use dashboard
- Updated content has seemed to lag and get glitchy.
- Limited to the transfer of 100MB, which is relatively small when you consider video
- Must submit a ticket to register new admin, which is time-consuming
One of the industry leaders, this digital signage app runs devices for projecting content onto multiple screens at once. The app has software that is compatible with all levels of devices. Also, the company is known for its security and ease of use.
- Easy to use and format dynamic playlists save you time from scheduling out content
- Security is a priority of this company, so you have peace of mind when logging into accounts for your content.
- Easy to install for IT networks because you don't need to modify firewall security for installation
- Static and interactive experiences are available with templates to create
- More expensive than some other digital signage apps
- As with most digital sign apps, there are compatibility issues.
Small or large companies can reap the benefits of this cloud-based digital signage app. The focus of cloud-based is to promote seamless streaming and ease of use. Several features included with this cloud-based digital signage creation app are pretty easy to use. The features are better and more straightforward than comparable platforms because you don't have to format content for your digital signage. The ease of use is made possible using the drag and drop feature for content creation and scheduling.
- Seamless streaming from cloud storage frees up space on your hard drive.
- Easy to use dashboard interface
- Managing multiple devices and scheduling is easy with the visual dashboard.
- Drag and drop feature makes creating playlists simple.
- Knowledgeable and quick responses from the support team
- Limited information around what the updates include
- Glitching after updates reported
- No integration with streaming devices like Amazon Firestick
(Source: Get App)
Effective Strategies for Digital Signage Advertising
Advertising is all about promotion and reaching consumers. It doesn't matter if you are doing print advertising or digital signage. If you don't have a strategy for your advertisements, you won't be instrumental. Advertising with digital signs requires several approaches so that you make the most of your investment.
Some of the most critical factors for your consideration are:
- Purpose: What is the story that you are trying to tell? Who are you trying to reach? Why will your advertising be persuasive to them?
- Action: Persuading your audience with advertising is the central purpose. How does your advertising reach the audience and make that audience act? How and where is it positioned? How are you scheduling the transitions?
- Statistics: Determining how effective your advertising is with digital signs is difficult to see. How will you determine if your advertising campaign has been successful? What metrics will you use to make this determination? Will you collect data from before the campaign, during the campaign, and after the campaign?
Effective strategies are critical for an efficient advertising campaign with digital signage. The only way to gain traction with your campaign is by identifying your goals and using metrics to measure them.
However, suppose you are confused about how using digital signage advertising strategies is useful. In that case, you might want to back up a step to analyze your campaign's ‘why.' You can't decide on the ‘how' of strategy for an advertising campaign before the discussion about the objectives.
Objectives for Digital Signage
When a company's management wants digital signs in each venue or store, you might ask what the objective is for the sign. Strategies for effective advertising with digital signage start with identifying the objectives for your digital sign. Knowing the objectives for digital signage ensures that success is something measurable and attainable.
Objectives for the area of digital signage differ as much as where the sign appears for the public. For example, information on a digital sign might give quick and easy access to passengers' directions at a bus station. However, the setting of a bus station has very different objectives when compared to a high-end boutique. Such a boutique might use digital signage that welcomes and entices shoppers to spend more time and money in a high-end boutique.
You complete the objectives of most advertising and information through the medium of digital signage by:
- Welcoming customers
- Showing current promotions
- Setting the theme or mood for an experience
- Giving fast and easy-to-read information
- Helping people navigate through space easily
- Menus for ordering food or other products
- Rules and regulations that must be visible and enforced
Define and Keep Track of Metrics
The metrics of your objectives are almost as important as the objectives themselves. How you measure your objectives' success is essential for determining whether your advertising campaign with digital signage is a success.
Some standard metrics deal with safety, promotion, engagement, time-spent involved, or sales goals. Here are some examples of each of these types of metrics:
- 15% more sales on products advertised on digital signage
- 30 minutes or more engagement time for bar infographics/games
- Less than 5% of regulation violations at an amusement park
Sometimes the metrics play a critical role in new promotions, interactions, and content on digital signage. Using metrics in a strategic way for meeting objectives is the job of your advertising campaign manager or administrator. They must become intimate with the sales and interactions data and couple this data with your digital sign's current content. This way, they will update and change or schedule the right content to meet your business' goals.
Have a Playlist That Supports Your Objectives
One of the best strategies for a well-run digital advertising campaign through digital signage is a focused playlist. A playlist is a series of videos, information, images, and other content on a schedule. The streamlined content played back-to-back is a campaign of support for your specific business objectives.
The playlist you use in specific areas or venues will vary dramatically. For example, the half-hour long playlist for people waiting in line at an amusement park focused on entertaining while people wait. An amusement park line digital sign is quite different from the short clips of information a customer might receive while at the pump of a gas station.
Since your playlist's structure, mix, and content is specific to your company objectives and the digital sign location, you must consider objectives when creating playlists.
For example, if your objectives are to let customers know about your brand and then increase sales, you might have a playlist with a short video on your company's background, followed by recent promotions and sales prices in this scenario.
Never Copy, Only Repurpose
Straight up copying the content from your social media account and then streaming it to your digital signage is not a great strategy. Sure, you increase visibility, but you lose authenticity for your brand.
Instead, use the tools of your digital signage app or advertising company to take the content from your social media and repurpose it for the screens in and around your strategic points of business.
Consider the flow of foot traffic, the digital signage's objectives, and the reasonability of engagement. All of these factors might not match up with your traditional social media content. You can still use the content in different forms to repurpose for your specific location, situation, and objectives.
(Source: Ad Age)
Benefits of Digital Signage
The benefits of digital signage are numerous, and none are more important than providing a unique and excellent customer experience. Although that is not always possible in every circumstance, your digital signage can make the odds of delivering this superb customer service much more feasible.
When you consider the benefits of digital signage, take the cost off the table. You can't put a price on genuinely excellent customer service because that is a feature of a company that grows your business through reputation and word of mouth.
Instead, consider the benefits below as all attainable with a well-run and focused digital sign of advertising, information, or rules and regulations. Campaigns with focus, finesse, and a bit of charm tend to elevate the customer's experience.
Some of the great benefits of using digital signage include:
Freedom to Customize Displays
If orders are racking up, you run out of a menu item, or you want to boost sales with the last-minute promotion, your digital sign administrator then takes that knowledge and metrics to leverage a change in the advertising campaign in real-time. You will update the digital signs in your business at a moment's notice.
The ability to customize digital signs on the fly saves precious time. It is available for shoppers currently shopping in the store at the time of the change. Customizing in real-time also saves a lot of money and time compared to traditional advertisements' traditional set-up and tear down.
Being able to remotely promote, engage, entice, and regulate customers while shopping is a huge advantage for advertisers and companies.
Not only is the customer experience elevated, but they are more likely to trust the source of information or become interested in sales. After all, engaged customers are happy customers, and happy customers spend more money.
Changing digital signage on the fly is innovative and expert work with advertising. However, the changes can also happen automatically and on a schedule.
Algorithms built into many digital signage apps consider the time of day, recent sales trends, and foot traffic numbers. Based on these metrics and guided by an administrator, digital signage can automatically change playlists. The content is changed on a revolving basis to make it more relevant and engaging in changing situations and occasions.
Changin is automatically called rule-based software. It is beneficial for businesses that regularly change menus, advertising, and other digital signage content. These changes are programmed automatically in the digital signage app system's rule-based software and played out with little need for updating by administrators.
The prominent examples are:
- A restaurant with different menus throughout the day
- An amusement park with changing ride time wait limits
- A department store with changing sales promotions throughout the week or season
Free Up Customers
Sometimes, an excellent customer experience is one of freedom. If your digital signs allow customers to help themselves, you have created freedom for your customers and savings for yourself.
Engaged customers who know the deals, rules, or information they need are more comfortable to engage with or make purchases at your business. When the customer is comfortable, they are more open to shopping or emerging in an experience like an amusement park.
Some of the most egregious customer service trends limit customers with rules, regulations, or promotions that they do not understand. Limiting customer's freedoms within your business is frustrating for customers. Some of the statistics about poor customer service illuminate the need to free up the customer to be comfortable and make their own choices:
- 75% of respondents stated that self-service was a convenient option while shopping
- 67% of respondents said they preferred self-service to speaking with associates of a company
- 91% of respondents said they would use information online that was tailored to their needs more likely than calling about information
- 40% of customers contact phone-line service centers after they have tried to search the answers out with self-help online
Attract the Passerby
This benefit won't apply to every company. Still, if you run a business that gets a decent amount of foot traffic outside and you haven't thought about leveraging digital signage, you miss out. Digital signs are high engagement, bright, and use streaming video and sound, all aimed at drawing people into your business.
Attracting passerby into your restaurant, salon, bar, or nightclub becomes much more feasible with the addition of digital signage advertising. Some of the best parts of advertising to the foot traffic or passerby is:
- Immediate branding for everyone close to your business
- Timely and relevant product pieces of information (sales on drinks, specials on services)
- Eye-catching media that is provocative, insightful, light, funny, or shocking
Leveraging digital signage as a business is one of the best ways to attract foot traffic outside your business, like moths to the flame. Just like the allure of live music brings patrons to jazz clubs advertising fun, drinks, and good times, so too can the specials of the day, the relaxation, and the rejuvenation of content created for something like a day spa.
When people make unexpected changes in direction, this elicits a response of interest. Offering newness, engagement, and fun is valuable, even to someone who wasn't initially looking for your product or service. Leverage this phenomenon with advertising on your digital signage.
Wait Times Seem Shorter
We have all been in that forty-five-minute long wait at an amusement park only to find ourselves incredibly bored with the waiting process. Waiting time seems to go by faster and increases customer and patron engagement and sense of happiness when digital signage is used for entertainment media.
Long lines indeed seem to take longer when you aren't doing anything. If your mind is occupied, the wait time seems to go by much more quickly. Digital signage may offer trivial media. However, the distraction is worth the time because it increases the likelihood of further patron and customer interaction or repeat business.
Some popular types of media entertainment used to decrease the perceived wait times are:
- Essential news headlines from across the country or globe
- Local weather
- Money-saving tips
- Health and wellness
- Sports scores and updates
- Other attractions or promotions at the business or company
- Cartoon, dramatic, or comedies entertainment
Digital signs will elevate your appeal to customers and impact on advertising. The innovative and customizable options available with digital signs bring your company's presence to a new level.
By following these tips on advertising with digital signage, you will conquer the 21st-century advertising problem of engagement and start seeing results.