Why choose digital signage advertising over other ad formats?


Digital signage advertising has grown from strength to strength, becoming a familiar sight everywhere you look from the self-check-out aisles of supermarkets to store front windows and commuter stations.

Transforming everyday locations into unexpectedly engaging customer touchpoints, digital signage advertising delivers hyper-targeted, data-driven campaigns that can maximise your reach as well as offer more bang for your buck.

So, what is the secret to its success, and why is digital signage advertising often considered so much more effective than other advertising formats?

What is digital signage advertising?

First off, it’s important to understand just what digital signage advertising is exactly, not least because it’s often confusingly referred to by multiple other names, including “electronic signage”, “signage solutions”, “digital signs”, “LED billboards” and “DOOH” (“digital-out-of-home”).

Essentially made up of a screen, media player and usually a content management system (CMS) as well as, of course, the content you show on-screen, digital signage advertising can be used in pretty much any indoor or outdoor location.

Falling into two categories, it includes “place-based media”, which is indoor digital signage, and “large format media”, which is the digital signage you see outside at bus stops, on the side of buildings, or in city squares, such as Times Square, New York.

Whether it’s outdoor kiosks and giant LED billboards in city centres, or indoor digital signage in lobbies or office complexes, this form of advertising offers interruption marketing at its best. 

Unlike other ad formats that are easy to switch off or avoid, digital signage delivers unmissable, always-on multimedia campaigns that can feature everything from high resolution video and imagery to RSS feeds, and URLs.


The right fit for any space

You can adapt the content to suit the environment. For any campaign, no one size fits all, and with digital signage advertising, you can find exactly the right screen to suit your space, purpose and budget.

Choose from a vast range of digital signage displays. Use everything from digital signage stretch displays that can be fitted, for instance, in landscape mode, above the refrigerated units in supermarkets, to thirty degree tilting digital signage that’s designed for high installations in places like airports.  

You can also deploy LED video walls or big-impact multi-screen LCD video wall formations in hotel foyers and visitor receptions to immerse everyone who visits in your customer experience.

Outdoor digital signage can weather any storm, offering robust advertising solutions, with weather-proof and vandal-resistant screens. 

Look out for digital signage screens that have been rated IP65 or IP66, which means they meet the international standards required to prove that they are both dust and water-proof.  And/or, search for IP10 rated impact-resistant digital signage for urban areas.

Whatever the scale of your digital signage network, you’ll be able to enjoy the many advantages that digital signage advertising can offer over and above other ad formats.

Top 10 advantages of digital signage advertising

1. Boost engagement levels

You can’t miss it. Digital signage advertising is sure to stop you in your tracks, whether that’s because a video or animation catches your eye on a screen in some venue or other, or because your bowled over by the sheer breadth and epic presence of a larger-than-life outdoor LED billboard. 

Offering a whole new level of engagement, it’s an ad format that’s capable of touching people and evoking a response that other media struggle to rival.

There’s a whole library of credible evidence and data to back this up. According to research from Intel, for instance, the dynamic content featured in LED signage generates 400% more engagement than traditional static signage solutions.

While mobile advertisements are usually able to support video, they can be restricted in terms of picture quality, media format, and space, failing to offer the unlimited blank canvas and creative possibilities of digital signage.

2. Easy-to-create impactful content

Designed for a more dynamic multimedia style of advertising, digital signage gives you more possibilities to work with, whatever your budget. 

With many of the free-of-charge or affordable subscription content services that CMS solutions now offer, you can either re-purpose existing content – even web pages from your website with tools, such as Web Page, or easily create advertisements, no matter what your design capabilities, with tools like Canva.

You also have the option of simply featuring your YouTube channel, or even curated, pre-approved social media feeds, which feature powerful user-generated reviews to inspire consumer confidence in your business.

With the right screen and/or media player, you can seamlessly stream, or playback up to 4K Ultra HD 2160p videos, either as full-screen content, or alongside imagery, RSS feeds and web pages as part of a multi-zone design template.

So much more versatile than other ad formats, digital signage advertising also opens up more marketing strategies and techniques to engage potential customers/visitors.

Ideal for helping you keep visitors, guests and customers entertained as they wait in queues or for appointments, entertainment or infotainment, for instance, not only makes perceived wait times seem shorter, but also offers an additional incentive to check your digital signage boards.

You can effectively stream RSS feeds of breaking news to draw the attention of customers to your screens, so that you have an engaged audience for the advertising content you deliver alongside your entertainment.


3. Hyper-targeted marketing

A powerful influencer, digital signage advertising can catch and tempt potential customers at exactly the point of purchase, enabling advertisers to drive up the number of impulse buys, as well as complementary and add-on purchases. 

A well-placed digital signage screen near the supermarket check-out aisle, detailing a three-for-two special is likely to tempt shoppers to add a couple of items to their baskets. While a digital signage display that cycles through a range of looks, made up of clothes and accessories, is probably going to help secure more cross-department sales.

Digital signage can also support hyper-localised marketing. Outdoor LED digital signage boards and billboards can tempt locals, there and then or at a later date, to make a detour to a nearby attraction. Or, alternatively, it may even prompt passers-by to consider taking an action like going to vote, or visiting a drop-in medical centre to receive a booster vaccination.

4. Experiential marketing

Currently the only advertising format that offers the best of both in-person and digital customer experiences, digital signage takes engagement to the next level. 

With the right CMS, you can develop interactive as well as experiential retail options.  

CMS platforms, in Kiosk mode, offer, for instance, highly responsive and interactive customer experiences, automatically launching web applications with single touch screen interactions.

With web triggers, CMS platforms can be used to develop “lift and learn” solutions, which enable you to trigger relevant content to nearby screens every time customers interact and “lift” certain products in a showcase.

5. Omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel, 360-degree marketing is the goal of every marketeer, but the reality is that creating a multi-channel campaign has, historically, never really offered any connection or intuitive continuity between the various customer touchpoints. 

The advent of digital signage advertising is changing this, offering an unprecedented opportunity to ensure that multiple channels work cohesively together to guide customers from one touchpoint to another, ever closer to the point of purchase.

Digital signage displays featuring a simple QSR code can take customers instantly to a competition or special offer via a store’s app, or website. Similarly, bus stop digital signage displaying a social media handle can, for example, drive engagement and interaction, helping to make a public health message go viral, either countrywide, or in the most affected areas.


6. Measurable

Take away all the risk of investment, and advertising becomes a tantalisingly profitable prospect. Whereas historically marketing has required “blind” investment in campaigns, digital signage advertising is quantifiable, making it easier to deduce which campaigns are worth scaling out. 

Even those on tighter budgets can develop, monitor and measure as well as continuously improve upon the performance of their campaigns.

With the integrated Proof of Play functionality offered by some CMS solutions, you can easily assess the impact of your campaigns by checking the asset playback analytics against sales reports and other company metrics.

7. Personalised data-driven campaigns

CMS solutions with integrated platforms, such as vision AI solution, meld CX enable you to use anonymous customer analytics to find out which of your campaigns works best and for whom. 

You can then, with the help of web triggers, automatically trigger exactly the right personalised content to the screen every time customers, who match the pre-defined characteristics of your target personas, enter the store.

8. Up-to-the-minute campaigns

Old, out of date advertisements are the bane of any brand or business, decimating their credibility and appeal, as well as overall image. With digital signage, you can stay up to speed, and keep up with even the fastest trends.

Cloud-based enterprise-grade content management systems (CMS) ensure that you can upload, distribute and edit content in minutes from absolutely anywhere. You and a team of authorised users can edit live content, in the event of any errors. And/or schedule campaigns to run on a loop, or on certain dates and at certain times, either as full-screen content, or as part of multi-zone digital signage designs.

Franchisors can also make use of nested playlists, embedding un-editable content within a playlist template that franchisees can then localise with their own additional information.

9. Scalable advertising

Historically, changing branding or updating an advertising campaign has taken weeks or even months, requiring time and money for businesses to roll-out new creatives across various print media, or to negotiate new deals for online advertising.

With digital signage advertising, you can leverage the power of an enterprise-grade CMS solution to scale out, in minutes, new creatives uniformly for multi-location campaigns. CMS features, such as in-built tag managers enable you to categorise and group players together, so you can, for example, quickly send out content by region, with just a single update.

10. Lucrative third-party advertising

Digital signage advertising is one of the few ad channels to offer the possibility of an immediate return on investment. As well as maximising the impact of your own advertising, it allows you to monetise your network by featuring third party advertising in between your campaigns.

Some CMS solutions are integrated with programmatic advertising platforms, such as Hivestack, Snapp Digital and VistarMedia

Working like your own personal ad managers, they connect you online with genuinely interested media buyers looking to promote their non-conflicting products and services in your part of the world. Through their platforms, you can do everything from finding your ideal media buyers to managing your inventory as well as setting your pricing.

Measurable, impactful, targeted and always up-to-the-minute, digital signage advertising can boost engagement levels and profitability, straight out of the box, whether for big-screen outdoor campaigns, or small-scale, budget-friendly digital signage networks. 

Unlike other ad formats, it offers a more dynamic, and user-friendly solution, that, with an CMS, can help simplify content creation and distribution, as well as deliver interactive, highly responsive customer experiences in contextually relevant “real life” environments.