Strategy is everything in digital signage.
Sure, location-based digital signage is cost-effective and better at capturing viewer attention than most other advertising strategies. In fact, research by Arbitron shows that digital video in public venues reaches more Americans (70%) than video ads on the internet or Facebook. But businesses can’t just put up a screen and expect viewers to care. The technology itself won’t drive return-on-investment unless it is implemented with a specific plan in mind. All digital signage strategies, whether they’re used in commercial settings, school environments, or corporate communications, require coordination and planning before they can produce results.
As technology continues to develop and make digital advertising more affordable, digital signage is playing an increasingly significant role in marketing and communication. Rather than thinking of digital signage as an after-the-fact advertising channel, businesses are using it in tandem with their other marketing strategies to completely revamp the customer experience and change the way companies deliver messaging.
This is most apparent in how digital signage supports consumer retail, but can also be seen in the way universities are leveraging it to support education, and hospitals are using it to enhance backend communication for improved patient outcomes. Of course, these benefits don’t appear out of thin air. Like any other marketing initiative, digital signage deployment needs to be informed by the process of careful planning and evaluation:
Broadly, digital signage strategies guarantee that the right content is delivered to the right people at the right time. It supports a positive user experience and gives businesses structured ways to communicate with viewers about the value-added services on offer.
Businesses that haven’t yet begun installation of digital signage infrastructure are in the perfect position to build their strategy from the ground up. But even businesses that have already installed wall mounts and set up their screens needn’t worry—it’s possible to coordinate a strategy without gutting the entire system and starting from scratch.
Businesses must ask themselves the following questions to form the foundation of their digital signage strategies:
For college students, hotel visitors, or corporate businesses, education is more important than driving action. Integration in this way may involve promoting online social media channels where viewers can learn more, different initiatives they can participate in or other programs that can develop their skills.
Regardless of industry, digital signage must be used to push the benefits most relevant to a target market and drive demand for the services in question.
Any review of digital signage strategy must include a disclaimer about screen placement: Screen placement is a critical component of your digital signage strategy.
The optimal location for digital signage depends on the industry in question and the goals of each sign. Of course, the site of each sign must be consistent with its surrounding environment. Don’t place screens in a high traffic hallway and then expect users to stop and watch a long video. Conversely, if users are stuck waiting in line at the checkout, at reception desks, or at concierge services, avoid fast-paced and flashy ads that work better at capturing attention than explaining concepts to a captive audience.
Beyond these initial considerations, screen placement can be a significant driver of revenue when deployed with a strategy in mind:
While these benefits are most evident in retail establishments, the principles hold true in corporate, educational, and hotel settings as well. Place screens where people tend to congregate and make sure the length of the content displayed aligns with what viewers are doing at that moment.
Digital signage excels at capturing viewer attention, but it can’t do all the work on its own. Business owners need to treat their digital signage deployment with the same care and consideration as any other marketing program worth investing in. Before deployment, each business must assess its goals for digital advertising, the methods by which they will measure success, and how they can use digital signage as a functional complement to their other marketing tools. With these considerations in mind, businesses will be well on their way to developing a digital signage strategy that engages viewers and drives continuous value over time.