The fact is that there are many ways you can use digital signs for promotion, PR, branding, and business solutions. They are being used across the board for everything from aggressive street promotion to staff information. Here are a few easy ways to use digital signage to help better your business.
Put Them in Your Windows
This is probably the most obvious use of your digital signs. Put them in your store windows to attract attention and to show off your current inventory or deals. If you are using software to schedule your content, then pick a schedule that suits the time of day and even that suits the season.
If you work to understand your target audience, you can target the sorts of people who are walking past your window at certain times.
Older people may be exploring earlier in the morning, but kids coming out of school may be seen later in the day. You can alter your program to schedule content based on these factors. Your sign could change again to accommodate the sorts of people you will see on weekends, bank/national holidays, and during seasons like spring break.
People’s attitudes change over the course of a day. There is a common belief that people are happier after eating, so consider running your more upbeat content after 12:30 pm. Younger people may be tired during the earlier hours of the morning, whereas older people may be more alert.
Can you use this knowledge to your advantage when planning your digital sign’s targeted content?
Put Them Around Your Store or Business
There are utility signs, like those that tell people when the next checkout is free, or when they may go into the changing room. However, if you are looking at just branding and sales, then strategically positioning your signs is very important. Think of it this way, if you are placing utility signs they should answer one or more of the questions where, when, how.
If you are placing promotional or branding signs, they should answer the questions what and why.
If you are selling a single product, perhaps using advertisements and demonstrations, then put your signs near those products so that people can examine them as they watch your digital signs. In these cases, the types of software you need are pretty basic. You can run a YouTube playlist if you wish or put in a Flash drive and have it loop your content.
If you are putting your signs deeper in your store, perhaps in order to sell an idea, a range of products, or to sell your add-on services, then more sophisticated software is needed. Consider linking your content with your sales analytics. You may be able to catch trends as they happen and then use content to promote sales through the trends.
You could link your software to your stock levels so that if you sell out of a product, then your digital signs will stop showing ads for it.
Outdoor Branding Through Digital Signs
It is quite common in Korea, China, and especially Japan, to have digital signs outside. The sorts of branding exercises taking place are legendary, so you shouldn’t shy away from experimenting. Some companies run simple ads, others show moving pictures. Some show visual effects that draw people in, and some even have graphics that are bound from one sign to another.
Experiment a little to find out what works for you and try to find ways to measure their impact. Even something as simple as using cameras to see who looks at your signs and see who enters your business may give you an insight into your digital sign’s success.
For outdoor signs, you are going to need some sort of Apple Signage streaming hardware since you probably do not want to tape a laptop to the side of your digital sign, nor do you want a flash drive hanging out the side of it.
Demonstrate Your Products
An advertising company called VMLY&R (born from a merger of WPP’s Y&R and the digital agency VML) has had great success with this premise. Rather than competing with other companies with YouTube advert bids, they took their marketing offline.
Rather than having paid demonstrators in stores and at fairs, they installed digital signs above their promoted products. EZ-AD did a very similar thing with their promoted products too.
Instead of having a commission-based promoter giving demonstrations in stores, trying to remain enthusiastic about an unbluntable knife for the 10th time that day, you have a digital sign showing off the product.
The demonstrations themselves are very similar to the things you see on shopping channels, except instead of having two phonies talking about how great a non-stick pan is, you have sleek and sophisticated demonstrations that are produced more like TV adverts.
Demonstrate Your Brand Principles
If you venture into a Volvo garage/showroom these days, the digital signs in the waiting room are all about luxury, comfort, and prestige driving. However, for the longest time, Volvo sold itself on the brand principle that it built very safe cars. Jump back around 15 years to 2005, and their waiting rooms had flat-screen TVs on the walls with adverts promoting how safe their cars were.
Around 70% of the content, you watched while in the waiting room was based on how great their cars were, and primarily how safe they were. There was a time when Volvo was synonymous with safe cars because that was the brand principle they pushed the hardest. If you are installing digital signs around (inside and outside) your business premises, then consider pushing some of your brand principles.
If you ever watch the digital signs in Argos (a UK catalog store turned general goods giant), you see tens of adverts for their wide range of products. But, every now and again, they promote their same-day delivery service. They have four slots in a day that you can pick from and they will drive the product to your house for a fairly low fee.
In order to compete against the likes of Amazon, Argos offers same-day very quick deliveries, the sorts that Amazon cannot (yet). Quick deliveries have become part of their overall brand message, and they promote it both online and in stores with their digital signs and associated literature/posters/banners.
Discover What Other People Are Doing
It sounds like a non-answer, but your best bet is to experiment as much as you can with your signs. Take a look at what other people are doing with their digital signs and try it out for yourself. There is a sweet spot for each business where they find the most productive use for their digital signs.
In some places like vet’s waiting rooms, the signs act as branding tools, selling tools, and entertainment tools. In other cases like car doctor’s waiting rooms, they are branding/PR tools mixed with utility tools because they tell people who is next to see the doctor.
Innovation is impressive but isn’t always effective. The 3D Ad featuring RED XIII in Omotesando, Tokyo was pretty good at getting social media attention, but a sign in your waiting room is probably going to harvest more sales/conversions than if you retrofit two sides of your building with digital signs for 3D adverts.