Digital advertising is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing areas in the advertising industry capable of creating high quality virtual worlds and computer generated graphics and animations. Whereas advertisers were once happy simply to place posters of their products hoping they would catch people’s eye, today things have changed.
Think you can ignore these messages? Think again. The latest (digital) ads use smells and 3D animation to catch and demand your attention, even beaming sound messages to cut through the clamour of a busy street.
Benefits of Digital Signage
Content and messages are displayed on digital signs, typically with the goal of delivering highly targeted messages to specific locations at specific times.
Digital advertising can deliver what is called Point of Purchase targeting. This is the ability to project dynamic, relevant and captivating advertising messages, engaging consumers at a point when their attention is virtually guaranteed. It’s virtually impossible to ignore the advertising messages.
So whether consumers are waiting for a bus, standing in a bank queue or in a shop waiting to be served, they can be exposed to these digital signage displays.
Digital signage can help in communicating brand, building a brand and is interactive and “in-your-face” so to speak. It is without doubt that digital signage potentially offers a superior return on investment opportunity compared to traditional printed signs. It can be highly relevant and targeted.
Digital Advertising and Technology
From conference rooms to outdoor, to retail, digital signage is a way of educating and engaging consumers through unique and innovative display.
The growing affordability of large plasma and LCD screens have caused digital signage deployments to gain in popularity, and can now be found in retail outlets, airports, train stations and restaurants.
Digital signs may be scrolling message boards, LCD or plasma display panels, or other emerging display types like LED screens (OLEDs) that can be controlled electronically using a computer, usually via the Internet).
Unique, electronic advertising is the quickest growing promotional industry and is not set to stop growing, this is due to the countless varieties of solutions out there. If you are a large company you could have enough money to get a video wall and install it the side of a construction near a major road getting the greatest number of audience. Reality is we just don’t have the money for this type of solution so the likes of nail salons, hair dressers and even high street clothing companies are looking at digital posters to publicize their items.
A digital poster is a rather general term and covers both free-standing LCD marketing monitors as well as wall hanging screens, the most cost-effective are the wall hanging units and these can easily be fitted in any salon making it an instantaneous talking point with customers and staff alike.
LCD advertising display.
This type of technology comprises of a LCD display with an inbuilt campaign player that hosts the ads locally on a storage card, in a lockable, safe partition. What makes these unique is that they can be used in either panorama or upright position, so if you plan on using a lot of film clips to sell your goods landscape orientation would be best for this, on the other hand if you are advertising hair products portrait could be your option of how the images are displayed.
Using this equipment it is easy to use promotional videos and pictures to use on your dynamic advertising, for case in point if you are a tanning salon you could offer and advertise skin enhancers so tan’s last longer etc and use the manufacturers marketing products to do this, (all you would have to do is drag-n-drop it from the DVD to the memory card, then select how the media is displayed.)
Self-supporting LCD advertising displays.
Related to a digital poster, but floor standing, these have a LCD screen built-in to the body and are only available with the TV in upright mode. The content is stored just as on a digital poster, using a storage card. These do take up lots of floor space in contrast to the digital advertising poster that can be hung in shop windows and perfect for retailers in shopping centers and malls when consumers pass by they can see the full range of services and goods you offer.
One of the benefits of floor standing advertising screens is that the body can be customized with the corporate decals, this will add to your brand and your consumers will then link you with the leaders in your business industry.
One of the options built into the on-screen menu for either equipment is the facility to have scrolling text at the bottom of the display and this is easily achieved by creating a xml file using notepad and adding it to the memory card and using the menu call up the file and then pick the size of the text, the colour of the setting and the color of the wording.
Dave supplies a range of digital poster these digital posters are used for indoor digital signage and compliment their range of outdoor digital signage enclosures.
Digital advertising is a cheap and effective method of out of home advertising made possible due to the flat screen television revolution. Modern LCD (liquid crystal display) and plasma screens are so much thinner than the CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions of old that they are often placed on walls or on mountings to display advertising information.
Digital signage is very effective for advertisers too, with many benefits over traditional static posters and advertisements. Firstly, on a single advertising screen multiple adverts can be played with each commercial being changed at regular (often eight seconds) intervals.
Secondly, with digital advertising content can be uploaded remotely rather than have to rely on technicians to manually post up adverts and replace older content, which has costs savings in both manpower and fuel use.
Finally, digital advertising is flexible. Not only can content be uploaded remotely but also it can be scheduled for specific times. For instance, food advertisements from fast food restaurants and snack bars can be played at lunchtimes, while local bars can advertise in the evening, providing more targeting for advertisers.
Most digital advertising, however, takes place indoors in locations such as shopping malls, retail stores, rain stations and airports, but these areas are limited with the potential audience they can reach. Retail stress for instance can only advertise to people already on their premises but by taking a screen outside you can lure people into the store and take advantage of a much larger audience.
Outdoor digital signage and digital outdoor advertising has greater viewership potential than indoor screens as the audience numbers are greater. Not only can advertisers using outdoor digital advertising target the pedestrians around a shopping location but also those people who are passing in cars or on public transport.
Outdoor digital advertising uses similar technology, often the same types of screens that are used indoors but they are protected using a form of outdoor digital signage enclosure (LCD enclosure). These outdoor TV enclosures keep the screens protected from the weather and enable them to operate in all weathers providing a cost effective and simple solution to providing outdoor digital advertising.
Richard N Williams is a technical author and a specialist in the digital signage industry helping to develop outdoor digital signage and protection for plasmas. Please visit us for more information about LCD Enclosures or other digital signage solutions.
Since beginning this column last fall, I’ve attempted to point to trends, analysis and reports that gauge the development of digital signage and identify the strengths and opportunities for this emerging medium.
I’m not alone on this mission. An excellent white paper from Profitable Channels makes a strong case for digital signage networks as an effective advertising medium with the ability to compensate for deficiencies in television advertising manifested in increasingly fragmented audiences, digital video recording and its accompanying commercial “zapping,” and the lack of certainty in measuring audience metrics.
The white paper presents highlights of a larger in-depth report entitled “Adding Out-of-Home Digital Advertising Networks to the Marketing and Media Mix” by Profitable Channels partner Stephen Diorio.
The white paper makes a strong case that marketers should take digital advertising seriously. It’s in the best interest of their companies, the white paper contends, to “make sure their agency partners are considering” digital advertising networks “as part of the marketing/media mix.” Additionally, it recommends marketers should be setting aside a portion of their marketing budgets for this emerging new medium.
According to the white paper, emerging digital advertising networks offer five advantages over traditional media offerings, including:
measurable sales impact
proximity to the sale
better ways to target media
greater relevance to the product being sold
tighter integration with local selling efforts
Many marketers have begun to recognize those benefits. The white paper points out that as of August 2006, 37 of the 50 largest supermarket chains “are rolling out, piloting or planning” for in-store digital signage networks and that more than 4,000 “big-box retail stores” display in-store video advertising. Further evidence supporting that marketers see the value of digital ad networks comes in the form of budget allocation.
Referencing research from Veronis Suhler Stevenson, Carat Media and others, the document asserts that by 2011 “up to $40 billion of traditional media spending” will be shifted into new media. Obviously, a large portion of this will be devoted to Internet advertising and other new media, but digital advertising networks stand to benefit as well.
“This reallocation of media spending reflects a shift in consumer “attention” away from traditional newspaper and broadcast media to the Internet and new digital media, including cell phones, video games, podcasting, and out-of-home digital advertising networks,” the white paper says.
It is important to note that the report lumps “cinema” into the overall digital media networks category without distinguishing between commercials and still ads projected on-screen by digital projectors and digital signage in and around motion picture theaters to promote films. Equally important to understand is that the former is likely to be significantly larger than the latter at this point. Regardless, the white paper identifies the overall strength of digital advertising networks, of which digital signage is an important part, and the likelihood that they will only continue to grow.
Perhaps best of all, the white paper identifies five separate research organizations that have found consumers like digital advertising networks. All show these networks have “value to, acceptance by and positive response from consumers.”
If you only have time to read one report this summer, spend it reading “Adding Out-of-Home Digital Advertising Networks to the Marketing and Media Mix” by Stephen Diorio.
David Little is a digital signage enthusiast with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to more effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. He is the director of marketing for Keywest Technology in Lenexa, KS, a software development company specializing in systems for digital signage creation, scheduling, management and playback. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, download our Six Basic Digital Signage Applications [http://www.keywesttechnology.com/component/option,com_performs/Itemid,0/formid,4/] white paper; subscribe to our digital signage RSS feed [http://www.keywesttechnology.com/keywest-blog/] that gives a diverse perspective on digital signage from experts around the world; and sign up for our Keywest Update news brief.
The lure of growing a small online business is ever-present due to the relative convenience and value it offers. However, when it comes to executing digital advertising campaigns, there are multiple variables that determine the success rate and can often be intimidating to those with little to no experience.
Most small scale online business owners are averse to spending the time to implement such initiatives themselves, either due to a very busy schedule or a sense of uncertainty with what the specifics would entail. However, it is also too important to ignore in this day and age due to its vast potential for generating revenues for the business, whether small or large. Online sales currently account for approximately a quarter of the retail industry market alone.
Many times, with an expanding business venture, it is often hard to focus on channelling energies towards encouraging outreach and audience engagement. Since the scope of the advertising work is so specialized, one also has to worry about hiring additional manpower to compensate for any shortage in capacity. Freelancers are quite common in this case, yet interviewing and screening quality candidates out of the dozens that apply can be very overwhelming.
Budgetary constraints are another valid concern if you are just starting out and are in the nascent stages of business growth. If you do not choose a freelancer for his or her services, you might eventually invest in a premium advertising agency for targeted digital campaigns with Google AdWords or Bing – again, the costs here are sometimes exorbitant.
All in all, digital advertising campaigns continue to thrive and grow at an astonishing rate, requiring all businesses to pay attention and undertake the appropriate measures in this regard. There are several alternatives that exist for interested online business owners, in order to minimize the problem of tackling digital advertising campaigns.
The key is to weigh the pros and cons in the individual context, and choose what is most suitable to one’s own business model. Here are a few options highlighted below as next steps:
Develop and implement digital advertising by oneself
Driving sales and maximising your marketing efforts is easily done, if not overshadowed by other aspects of managing a small business, such as administrative work. You can take it upon yourself to develop and implement digital advertising campaigns without using an external vendor. Start by gaining a clear understanding of who your customer base is. This should be done not just by eye-balling numbers but with actual surveys sent online or face-to-face interviews, seeking feedback from both existing and new clients. Sometimes, you may see that your idea of the audience might be very different from what is reflected in the data collected.
The best part about being a one-person show and handling advertising functions by oneself is the opportunity to learn on the job, and discover new skills. Take a certificate course online and build your foundation in these concepts to become familiar with the process. You will also cut back on budget spending when you do not have to make extra hires for marketing and advertising.
On the flip side, you should keep in mind that this will take up a big chunk of your time in the early days, especially as you habituate yourself to the added responsibility. There may be added risks in the learning phase with the advertising budget, in the event that you execute a digital campaign that does not resonate well with target audiences. A low return on investment (ROI) is not uncommon.
Hire a professional advertising agency
Advertising agencies are the most common way to expand digital engagement, and build a strong profile online. While you might have to shell out a generous budget in this regard, the results are usually visible immediately and worth it.
There are several benefits to hiring an experienced advertising agency when it comes to digital advertising, on behalf of your business. For one, you will have more free time to allot to other responsibilities as a business owner, whether it is order fulfilment, staffing and other infrastructural requirements. Compared to a beginner setting up online campaigns, an advertising agency will have an intuitive sense of what works, leading to a higher ROI.
However, if you require pay-per-click and paid search advertising campaigns, you will need to plan the budget requirements ahead and also brief the agency accordingly. Searching for an agency that is the right fit is paramount here, and can take some time. Such organizations have little to no knowledge of individual business operations, and need a detailed overview of aspects like intended customer base, range of products and services offered, etc. Getting to grips with the pace at which an external agency works may often prove to be a challenge. For a small company, the financial strain may prove to be more of a liability in the long run, especially if the business is in a particularly crowded sector.
Use specialized services online
With an ever-increasing demand for effective online marketing strategies, many specialized services are cropping up that are budget-friendly, and provide you with a wide range of services in a personalized manner. Typically, such services utilize integrating traditional marketing tactics along with digital innovations, for B2B and B2C solutions.
For instance, you can explore options like 180fusion, which has helped countless small businesses build their brand via digital advertising. This company was featured at #176 on the ‘Inc. 500 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies’. They focus on creating custom plans for every client, and engage in enhancing search engine visibility while diversifying the online presence of your small business, with the most innovative social media, email and mobile marketing strategies. Another reliable specialized agency is LYFE marketing, which offers a mix of advertising on different promotional networks for small businesses, including Google AdWords, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. They offer search engine optimization, email and content marketing, social media advertising and management, along with web design for all your digital advertising needs.