There is a restaurant I often visit that recently started offering free drinks with every meal purchase. Apparently, they’ve had a sign up announcing this offer for a month or two. I say “apparently” because I never even noticed it. In fact, every time the cashier asked if I’d like a drink, I declined—much to my regret. If I had known it was free, I would have taken them up on it! Such is the common disconnect between traditional signage and customer engagement.
Static signage no longer cuts it in the modern marketplace. Customers have made it clear they want to engage, share, and actively show their love for the brands they’re using. And they expect their favorite brands to offer them ways to do it—in real time. Enter: digital signage. This increasingly popular technology offers a way to connect with customers on their level—the interactive level they’ve come to know and love.
In fact, digital signage is more than a fun way to market. Research shows instant, immersive interactions are one of the best ways to increase consumer engagement, brand awareness, and overall revenue. Companies using digital signage experienced nearly 50 percent increase in brand awareness among consumers, and a 33 percent increase in sales.
It sounds crazy, right? All that power, just from digital ads? Not quite. Digital signage is more than a place to prominently post news and updates. It’s a way to get customers involved in your brand experience and increase your presence across numerous different channels, especially when incorporated with other technologies like smart beacons and social media.
Imagine, for instance, receiving a text as soon as you enter your favorite restaurant alerting you to their latest incentive. Not only are you likely to take part in the special, you’re also likely to love the restaurant for caring about you enough to mention it. Now take that concept one step further. Imagine receiving a text when you’re within a block of your favorite restaurant—a message indicating you’ve been selected to win a free item. All you need to do is stop by to scan your phone to find out what it is. I’d guess many of us—even those who had no intention of stopping at the restaurant when we left home that morning—would stop in just to find out what we’d won. This is the power of digitally engaged signage—creating loyal customers out of one-time visitors—visitors who share those experiences in the form of user generated content (UGC).
UGC has become one of the most valuable forms of advertising available today. First, it’s completely free. Second, it’s often considered more trustworthy than traditional advertising because it’s created by our friends and family, rather than the companies themselves. And third, research shows it even increases sales conversions by seven percent at point of sale. It turns out people really love sharing—it’s like an aphrodisiac for the shopping experience.
Thinking about implementing a digital signage strategy for your company? Do it—now. The following are a few ways to get started.
- Swipe: Create an interactive sign that allows users to swipe their mobile device to win an item or receive an unspecified incentive.
- Share: Invite users to create UGC that is shared in real-time on big screens within your location. For instance, several baseball teams do this frequently on the Jumbotron, giving fans the excitement of seeing their photo go live—and large—for all in the stadium to see.
- Touch: Build ways for users to touch your digital screen to find more colors, styles, or buying options than what are provided in-store, and give them the option of purchasing in real time.
- Invite: Don’t forget to invite customers to share their meal, outfit, or purchase with friends in real time (using your carefully selected hashtag, of course.)
Digital signage is one of the easiest ways to today’s companies to bridge their digital and physical worlds. In fact, as one of my colleagues shared in her piece “Unleash Your Content by Enabling Digital Signage Using Content-as-a-Service, it is now so easy to manage and schedule your digital content, there is almost no reason not to try. Go on—your customers are waiting.
Additional Resources on This Topic:
Interactive Digital Signage can Improve Your Business
Unleash Your Content by Enabling Digital Signage Using Content-as-a-Service
This article was first published on FOW Media.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.