By making digital signage a part of your marketing strategy, you are assured to have leveled the playing field. When you look at social media, PPC, and online advertising, these pay to play platforms are covered directly from the budget. With digital signage, the implementation depends on how many screens you want to deploy, it’s not really about how many competitors are against you.
With small businesses, there is the advantage of quick decision making as well as being able to identify all the competitors you have. Digital signs can be set up by anyone and it is safe to say that small businesses have a competitive advantage with this investment.
As a small business owner, you must keep in mind that your digital signage investment will only be a success if you have an effective strategy for implementation. Without a digital signage marketing strategy, your content won’t be aligned and you will not be able to decide what action to take at what time. A strategy will also make sure you keep checking into your content regularly and keep it fresh and up-to-date.
Additional benefits of a digital signage strategy
- A strong base for internal communication
- Higher engagement rates through digital signage screens
- Social media platforms will have more user-generated content
- Additional traffic to your website
- Easier updating and management solutions for digital signage content
- The ability to track performance of digital signage investment
Reasons to include Digital Signage to your marketing strategy
Consider a simple business goal – increased sales, more engagement, or better service. The versatility in digital signage can help you solve not just one, but all the goals of your small business. While the technology is really simple, your implementation technique and ability to provide relevant content is what is important.
Unlike traditional signage and communication methods, digital signage is able to adapt to changes as you think them through in your mind. With just a few clicks, content can be updated and scheduled as per your requirements.
Visual cues are what today’s audience is attracted towards. Considering we are all usually glued to our devices, it is not surprising that we are fixated on screens as a medium of communication. Hence digital screens are a very engaging medium which once set up, will handle the job of refreshing content as instructed without requiring regular human interference.
Although you may find it hard to believe, digital signage is actually cost effective! Don’t look at the initial investment. Look at the long term returns and the massive crowds that one screen can reach. Just start out with one screen and observe how minimal the cost per impression is.
Selecting a location for the signage
Whether you want to use an existing LED screen or install a new one, positioning it correctly is very important. It is advisable to place the signage in an area where high foot traffic is seen. Consider how long on average will visitors be in front of the screen and what activity they would be doing while they are near your screen. For example, restaurant menu boards will have a different positioning strategy as opposed to an LED screen in a store window.
When positioning your screen, you must make sure there are no obstruction from the direct line of sight, no clashing backgrounds and colors and also the lighting has to be good for the screen to be visible. When deciding on where you place your screen, these characteristics must be a concern. Also, the internal/external split is important, hence your screen position will make a difference.
Types of Digital signage suitable for small businesses
Indoor and outdoor digital sign boards:
As a small business owner, you can start out by investing in medium sized LED panels for your digital advertisements. Create striking content and place these in highly populated areas such as subways, bus shelters, and other urban installations and you’re sure to reach a large audience.
Interactive digital signage
Also known as interactive kiosks, this type of signage has been around for more than 20 years. With technological advancements, these touch screens have made way for viewers to interact with a brand to find out more about products and services.
More often used for hotels and conferences, these digital screens can display real time information about events, services and promotions offered. Wayfinding is also an important feature to direct customers towards what they are looking for.
Mapping out goals
When your goals are not clearly specified, everything on your company cloud account might end up being displayed on your digital signage. Don’t make this mistake. Ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish with the signage investment? It could be to:
- Increase website visitors by sending a specific URL from your signage
- Increase sales with promotions and upselling techniques
- Increase subscriptions to a mailing list or an event
- Use social media to grab more people’s attention
Apart from this, your digital signage could drive customers and employees within your store/organization towards motivating behaviors such as:
- Better communication within the organization
- Achieving higher sales targets
- Easier wayfinding process and room booking
- Creating brand awareness regarding essential and new products
In addition to these things, small businesses must keep in mind that they need to clearly delegate roles and responsibilities such as who will manage your digital displays and when will this be done. The initial steps are usually taken by the CEO in a small business, and once the roll out is complete, one of the other department heads or teams are given the responsibility of updating fresh content and maintaining the signage. The main thing to keep in mind is that your signage shouldn’t be forgotten awhile after it has been set up. Every now and then there should be a fresh piece of content scheduled on your digital signage software to make sure your signage is noticed and not just ignored by viewers.
Content for digital signage
After gathering so much information on your target audience it would be a waste to not use that information when designing digital signage content. You could use existing content such as videos and images that were previously used for company presentations, or you could also include user generated content from social media.
Your digital signage content should be on the same thoughts as your user’s behavior and must be attractive enough to retain viewers. Do a ‘sense check’ before finalizing your content.
For example, in-store viewers would be extremely angry if your digital signage went on promoting products/services but they are unable to find a washroom in your premises! You might think it is a waste to have your digital signage show where customers can find the elevator and the washroom, but the primary goal of your content should be to help, inform and impress your viewers.
A good strategy would be to insert a wayfinding slide in between other informational or promotional content slide. While you must create content that is interesting and worthwhile of the viewer’s time, it should not affect the overall customer experience.
Here are some tactics you can include in digital signage content:
- Encourage audience to participate in social media conversations
- Organize product competitions
- Create voting and polls
- Display live data such as sales figures, website hits, etc
- Insights about the team behind the success of the company
- Customer reviews and stories
- Create an eye-catching design with colors that are relevant to your brand and fonts that are legible
Tips to drive viewers and increase engagement
While it is very tempting to just share the easiest content in your collection to be displayed on your digital signage, it is important to make sure your objectives coincide with the needs of your audience. If you are a B2C, your signage needs to serve your customers. And if you are a B2B, your signage must serve your clients, staff and other stakeholders.
Let us take the example of a fast-food restaurant – your goal will be to reduce perceived waiting time. Use highly visible digital displays to update each customer on how long it will take for them to get a table or receive their food. Such information will allow customers to feel in control of their experience and will automatically make their perceived waiting time shorter.
Looking at another example, if you have a retail store where your aim is to increase the visibility of your products, just showing images of these products on your screen is not enough. Add a few tweaks such as showing where the customer can find that product. Or display offers related to particular products, seasonal sale items, and so on. Such content will definitely increase engagement and drive sales.
If you really think of it, your objectives are very similar to what your audience wants. You just have to figure out a way to combine the goals.
In addition to promoting your products and services, interactive digital signage can help collect data about your customers. Sensors can collect simple data such as gender, weight, and age of the person standing there. They can also gauge how viewers are reacting to the content, how long they stand to read what is on your display and how they are moving within your store. This in turn will help you with your store layout, figure out if any improvements are needed to products and services and create a more efficient marketing strategy. These useful insights will also assist in determining the type, tone, volume and frequency of content to be displayed on your digital signage.
When your business has a strong online presence, the importance of content marketing is easier to convince to stakeholders. But with digital signage marketing, some are still hesitant. Which means that you will have to show some performance measures to convince those who aren’t up for the spending.
You could choose whatever metric – follower count, referral, currency, web traffic and so on. For example, you could just add a unique URL, a call-to-action, or a promotional code to encourage visitors to make an action, and this will get you your measurables.
Once you know how to measure what you are promoting, you are ready to implement the signage. This is not as confusing as it sounds. Just set a goal, choose a KPI, and repeat the process until every part of your content strategy has a beginning, middle and end.
So, now that you have read about how strategies are important for a successful digital signage marketing campaign, make sure you have one even before you decide which LED screens to purchase. Because the features of the screen depend on your placement and the placement depends on your goals and objectives. Basically, you have to have it all laid out and make sure you follow the steps carefully to achieve your set objectives with a digital signage implementation.