What Is Digital Signage? Using a Modern Message To Take Your Marketing to the Next Level
Have you noticed how much digital signage you see on a daily basis? Restaurant menus, ads at the gas pump, interactive maps in shopping malls, and ticket kiosks at movie theaters and airports are all part of the growing trend of sharing information with digital displays.
In fact, the IMARC Group expects the digital signage market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.69% through 2027, making for a $35.4 billion industry compared to $23.5 billion today. That means if you want to get in on this growing trend, the time is now!
It can be intimidating to adopt new marketing tactics as a small business with limited resources—especially one that requires installing hardware. But in an increasingly digital era when consumers expect information to be delivered in the most convenient (and timely) ways possible, not taking advantage of digital signage is only doing you a disservice.
One easy way to do that is to adopt digital signage software to do the heavy lifting for you. But first, let’s get up to speed on the details around digital displays and how they can best be utilized. In this article, we’ll walk you through what digital signage is, share some of the most common use cases for it, and discuss the benefits of adopting this digital marketing tactic for your small business.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is digital signage?
Digital signage, also referred to as electronic signage, is a type of display advertising that uses on-premise hardware to display webpages, videos, directions, menus, and other helpful business information. This content is typically meant to inform customers’ shopping experiences or convey marketing messages.
On-premise hardware can refer to a collection of multiple screens that form a video wall, standard televisions installed in the business, or professional displays with interactive experiences like maps, menus or point-of-sale (POS) functionality.
Common types of digital signage
Now let’s discuss some of the most common types of digital signage and their applications. We’ll go into more detail about the key benefits of digital signage further below, but the most important thing to know is that digital signage cuts through the noise.
In today’s day and age, people are confronted with thousands of pieces of content every single day, so you need to make sure yours stands out. It’s no longer enough to hand out physical pamphlets or depend on static signs to get your message across in store (or anywhere for that matter).
Consumers are drawn to dynamic media, and in a marketing environment where your messages are competing with so many others on a moment-to-moment basis, you’ll want to make sure you have every edge you can.
1. Digital menu boards
One of the most common and recognizable types of digital signage is the digital menu board. Many restaurants, retail establishments, and service providers like aestheticians have digital menu boards to display their product and service options.
These are much quicker to update than traditional menu boards and offer the ability to add dynamic signage elements like motion graphics and transitions to other sections of information. They also have the added benefit of providing a level of flair to traditionally static information.
A digital menu board that doubles as an interactive display from SiteCaster Software (Source)
2. Interactive displays
An interactive display is another digital signage solution that has a wide range of uses depending on its location. The main difference between this type of display and others is that customers can interact with the screen to enter information, change what’s displayed, or control other facets of the experience.
Examples of interactive displays include ticket kiosks at movie theaters and airports, directories, maps, art installations, and even gaming tablets found in restaurants.
An interactive display from Arreya Software in action (Source)
3. On-premise advertising
On-premise advertising refers to digital displays at a business that showcase products or services. These can be found inside or outside the establishment and serve to draw people onto the location or inform them of things like new products, featured services, and ongoing promotions.
Just like a menu board, this type of digital display has an advantage over traditional advertising since it gives business owners flexibility in the information they are displaying.
A dynamic ad display in a shopping center from TelemetryTV Software (Source)
4. Directories and maps
Directories and maps are one of the more widely used applications of digital signage today. Most commonly found in office buildings and shopping malls, these digital displays sometimes feature an interactive element, e.g. searchability or the ability to scroll through multiple pages of information.
While the need to edit info frequently or quickly is not as much of a concern with this use case, the ability to dynamically display information is still a major benefit. Businesses can program the displays to primarily feature the directory or map info while also peppering in advertising or other elements.
An example of a digital building directory from TelemetryTV Software (Source)
5. Point-of-sale displays
Point-of-sale (POS) displays are a type of digital signage commonly found at the checkout counter of retail establishments, convenience stores, and restaurants. They often advertise promotions and allow customers to sign up for or participate in loyalty programs.
Loyalty programs at POS displays offer an added layer of engagement with your brand by allowing people to feel invested in their shopping experience through gamification and the joy of earning rewards. More than that, consumers also love them.
Annex Cloud reports that 87% of consumers surveyed want brands to have a loyalty program. Furthermore, 64% of brands surveyed reported an increase in loyalty memberships in the past year alone.
An example of a point-of-sale display in action from Crystal Display Systems (Source)
Digital signage benefits
Now that we’ve covered some of the common applications of digital display technology, let’s answer the question of, “What can digital signage do for my business?” The answer is, a lot.
Improves information retention
As we mentioned earlier, digital signage has an incredible recall rate of 83%, nearly double that of traditional signage. We can extrapolate that this is due to the richness and dynamic nature of visual communication, but the end result is clear either way. With digital displays, more people will remember your content, which means that they’ll remember your business as well.
Reduces perceived wait time
Another benefit of utilizing digital signage in your business is the reduction in perceived wait time for your customers. Digital displays can reduce perceived wait time by as much as 35% which leads to a more fluid and pleasant shopping experience. After all, no one likes to wait unnecessarily, right?
Offers more editing flexibility
It’s no secret that digital displays are easier to edit than traditional ones. The implications of this convenience cannot be overstated, however. From being able to fix errors and change a daily menu to creating specials and promos on the fly, editing digital displays is practical and timely. This simply isn’t possible with traditional media.
Cultivates a modern, aesthetically pleasing experience
Putting your best foot forward is a great way to make a first impression and ultimately win new customers. Adopting a digital signage system with engaging content that cultivates a consistent, aesthetically pleasing brand experience will not only improve the shopping experience in your store but also increase positive perceptions of your overall brand.
Adopting a modern digital signage system can do some amazing things that have the potential to directly impact your bottom line. Digital signage adds a dynamic and stimulating element to your messaging, creates more aesthetically pleasing content, and allows you to add interactive and timely elements to your shopping experience. All this adds up to earn you more repeat customers and ultimately will increase your total sales volume.
Ready to craft a modern message of your own? Make an action plan
After reading this article, it should be clear that taking advantage of modern marketing methods like digital signage will give your small business an edge over more traditional competition.
Now it’s time for you to take the next step. Identify some easy-to-implement digital signage applications in your own business, and give it a go! This could take the form of brainstorming your most impactful potential uses of digital display technology, scoping out a budget for the hardware and software involved, or even comparing digital signage software and scheduling demos to help you get started.
If you’re interested in expert advice as you look to implement a digital signage strategy of your own, consider contacting our expert software advisors to schedule a free consultation.
Note: The applications mentioned in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.