By Lee Gannon
When people think of digital advertising screens, they think of giants like JCDecaux. They think of bus stop displays, large motorway billboards or those slideshows you see on escalators in the Underground. They think of household brands and celebrity-centered campaigns.
They don’t think of something more akin to a commercial TV you might have at home. They don’t think of locations like the windows of small independent shops in the high street, car parks, hotel lobbies or veterinary waiting rooms.
Advertising is simply about attention. If you have an audience, or at least access to somewhere with footfall, you have an opportunity. Advertising connects businesses with people. It works most effectively when these people are an organization or brand’s target audience. When this correlation is achieved, the value of communication for all involved increases. The owners of an advertising platform, in this case a screen network, can charge premium for ad space and advertisers will see ROI.
You don’t need to be a household name to attract advertisers and you don’t have to own a nationwide network of screens either. Digital signage for advertising is the profitable business anyone can start with a single screen. How? The key is to think local. If you are an independent shop on the main street, perhaps the only one with a screen in your window, other local businesses are likely to be interested in advertising to people walking past just as much as you are. There’s no need to sell ad space to direct competitors but focus on fostering a local network. Your favorite family-run restaurant or your local barbers might love access to the main street, particularly if they are located more remotely. A hotel might want to sell screen time to local attractions like the zoo. This way they would be delivering content genuinely of interest to their audience.
Most small businesses are yet to invest in their own screens for marketing because they think they are too expensive. But the reality is, in most deployments, a commercial grade display will do the job just fine for a few hundred dollars. When it comes to selling ad space, there’s no rule of thumb for how much to charge so think first of covering your costs and then adjust to align with your ambitions. You might just want to sell enough screen time to cover your costs, and then dedicate the rest of your time to your own marketing. That’s absolutely fine.
Even with a network limited to a single screen, pitching ad space to the smallest of local businesses, something like $50 per month in sponsorship is a highly accessible price. Most restaurants would only need to generate a customer paying for a family meal to profit from the venture. This might not sound like a lot but secure ten plus advertisers and a single advertising screen can provide a significant source of recurring revenue. Depending on the market and location, sponsorship fees can increase dramatically, especially as the size of an advertising network grows. It’s good practice to offer a tiered selection of sponsorship packages to accommodate all advertising budgets.
Digital signage can be a vehicle that brings local businesses together. Many organizations, including councils around the country, are investing in screen networks to create unique communication platforms where they can both distribute localized messaging and sell sponsorship space. As long as a reliable and easy to manage signage platform is chosen, digital advertising screens can be a low maintenance and highly profitable business model that anyone can start today.
This guest post was contributed by TrouDigital. Visit the company’s website for more information about digital signage advertising.