When Going Digital, Don’t Forget About Outdoor Signage

When Going Digital, Don’t Forget About Outdoor Signage

When Going Digital, Don’t Forget About Outdoor Signage

  • On January 25, 2024
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As evolving technology encompasses our daily lives, it’s no secret that businesses are jumping on board and implementing digital solutions to stay ahead of the curve. With these advancements, many companies focus on internal technical improvements, and the importance of digital outdoor signage is often overlooked. However, digital outdoor signage offers tremendous benefits for businesses. It’s transformative by nature and captivating by design. Outdoor signage enhances how companies communicate their messaging, further broadening their target market and increasing brand awareness. 

This blog will discuss the great digital transformation and how outdoor signage can be implemented into new business innovations to drive results and help companies turn a higher profit this year. 

The digital transformation: A shift in business

2023 marked the year of inflation, but 2024 is looking bright, with new opportunities for businesses to put themselves out there and reap the beneficial rewards. Many companies have taken the initiative to increase their use of digital tools and integrate digital solutions into every aspect of their business. From improving their online presence to integrating digital POS systems and AI automation, many companies are transforming their operations to stay competitive and meet customer expectations. So, what caused this substantial change? 

Many attribute the great digital transformation to the pandemic, as the need for remote digital operations skyrocketed as more consumers turned to online marketplaces. The increased need for digitization accelerated many companies’ technical efforts. While websites and other online digital solutions increased, businesses forgot about traditional solutions like outdoor signage. However, today, exterior signs have gone digital, too, offering a modern take on a conventional method and enhancing how businesses advertise. 

The overlooked aspect of digitalization: Outdoor signage

When you initially think of outdoor digital signage, what do you think of? A storefront sign at the entrance of a building? A giant digital billboard on a highway? Although they have been popular for some time, these traditional digital signage methods are evolving at an increasingly rapid pace. Digital signage is no longer limited to HDMI cords and a single-digitized image. Outdoor signage can take the shape of wayfinding kiosks, outdoor menu boards, and various-sized readerboards. 

The management capabilities are evolving, too. Signage can be controlled from an integrated operating system to display dynamic content and high-definition visuals with WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity. So, you can stream live events or transmit valuable data in real time directly from your phone, computer, or streaming device like Amazon Fire Sticks, Google Chromecast, Roku, and so much more. 

These progressions are the key advantages that digital signage has over traditional signage. Static signage requires reprinting to update messaging and someone to manually change it. This is particularly true for quick-service restaurants requiring daily updates. Traditionally, managers would have to update plastic menu inserts each day. With digital signage, managers can instantly change menu items, update pricing, and advertise specials to promote upselling opportunities. The ability to edit content at a moment’s notice to cater to your audience and meet changing business needs is a groundbreaking tactic that businesses can benefit from. 

So, why do businesses overlook digital outdoor signage

To start, many companies don’t think it’s necessary. They’ve increased their online presence, updated their systems, and stayed on top of trends; is outdoor signage really going to help? Let’s consider the famous billion-dollar corporation, McDonald’s. Despite booming sales year over year, McDonald’s still allocates a significant portion of their budget to advertising, and they’ve implemented substantial changes to stay on top of the latest technical advances to gain new customers and retain current ones. What are their latest updates? Digital signage.

McDonald’s has implemented outdoor digital menu boards at various locations nationwide to showcase its diverse menu. These boards utilize high-quality imagery and additional digital reader boards to promote specials and deals. In addition to traditional methods they’ve used for years, like billboards, McDonald’s implemented self-serve kiosks at many locations to expedite ordering and reduce lines. These innovations cater to customer needs by keeping up with the newest technical advances, like mobile ordering and contactless pickup. 

Another reason businesses may hesitate to use digital signage is because they see it as a costly effort. While digital outdoor signs can be a high initial investment, they are worth a profitable return in the long run. The global digital signage market is anticipated to reach billions in the coming years, with no slowdown of growth in sight. As a dynamic, powerful marketing tool, outdoor digital signage can be used for various industries, such as retail, healthcare, hospitality, and automotive industries, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Benefits of digital outdoor signage

In addition to its advantages over traditional display methods, digital outdoor signage provides many benefits for businesses. 

Enhanced visibility and brand presence

Outdoor signage is highly visible from multiple touchpoints, making it an effective way to capture the attention of numerous people at once, further increasing brand awareness. With high-brightness screens and captivating visuals, exterior signage is eye-catching in daylight and harsh weather conditions like rain or fog. According to a Fedex report, enhanced visibility is crucial for businesses using exterior signs, as 76% of American consumers will enter a store they’ve never visited before based on their signage alone. This means there is a higher potential for visitors and profit solely based on signage appeal. As a result, it’s crucial to make your outdoor signage attractive and noticeable to potential customers. 

Dynamic content and engagement

Outdoor signage allows businesses to display engaging content and taglines from various locations to increase brand awareness. With integrated software, managers can update content immediately to keep messages fresh, relevant, and appealing. Updating content to meet market trends or promotional needs improves engagement and presents new opportunities to grasp the attention of your target market.

Cost-effectiveness and ROI

Unlike traditional static signs that require frequent printing, digital signage can be updated remotely, eliminating the need for physical materials and outrageous printing costs. Reprinting and replacing signage was a standard for many years for businesses; however, today’s advancements no longer require costly and time-consuming overhauls. Signage updates require fewer employees and maintenance over time, improving your ROI. 

Further, digital outdoor signage is solid and durable, held together with strong grommets, and built to withstand harsh weather conditions. Static signage materials like PVC piping and vinyl banners get damaged in even the mildest weather conditions and become more costly to replace. 

Upgrading to digital signage results in cost savings for businesses, a strategic move that will set your business apart from the competition and position it for success in the modern technical marketplace. It also gives your business a modern appeal that consumers today are prioritizing. Recent research has found that 68% of customers who see an advertisement that includes digital signage end up purchasing. Brands staying updated with the latest technical advances appeal to a broader market and the increased brand awareness results in more conversions. 

Eco-friendly and sustainable options

Many digital signage manufacturers are developing outdoor signage to consume less power while maintaining high-quality functionality. Eco-friendly options are more sustainable and often designed with efficient LED lighting and recycled materials. For example, solar-powered digital signage displays are new designs that harness renewable energy sources to operate, making them environmentally friendly and cost-efficient for businesses looking to implement outdoor signage at a price they can afford. 

Considerations for business signage: Designs, styles, and materials

After exploring the many benefits of digital outdoor signage, it’s essential for businesses to carefully plan their outdoor digital signage strategy and select an adequate design to maximize its effectiveness. It’s important to consider content relevance, location, and audience targeting to achieve the desired impact. For example, if your business is looking to target a diverse range of consumers, consider advertising at shopping malls or areas with high foot traffic where people of all ages will see your digital signage. Further, consider the size of your signage. Your location and budget will help you determine which options are best.

Here are some of the most common outdoor signs for businesses.

A-Frame: Digital a-frame designs are a modern take on the traditional sandwich board prop and position boards you often see outside a restaurant to promote menu specials. Today, these sidewalk signs are going digital to enhance the user experience and accommodate changing demands. So if your business is a small boutique or restaurant, a-frames are a popular choice to attract customers walking by. 

Acrylic: Acrylic signage brings a modern, sleek look to displays and is ideal for outdoor use, as its design is highly durable in various weather conditions. Acrylic is also an appealing option for retail stores or businesses looking for a refined look. The best part about this design is that it’s corrosion-resistant, leaving your businesses with an investment that won’t deteriorate as quickly as other materials over time. 

Aluminum signs: Other favorable weather-resistant signage consists of stainless steel and aluminum. Unlike plastic signs, aluminum is a durable material ideal for larger LED displays or those with a heavier base. These metal signs can also be designed with built-in wheels for more effortless movement. 

Blade signs: Blade signs are displays you see mounted over the door of a business to showcase the business name or affiliated corporation. While these signs are often seen as backlit vinyl banners, light boxes, or wood signs, this design is also going digital. Digital blade signs are ideal for theater entrances to showcase show releases and times as well as for businesses like retail stores or restaurants looking to attract a lot of foot traffic. Your business can also utilize traditional design aspects like dimensional letters for your business name in correlation with digital signage to really set yourself apart from other companies on the street.  

Digital video walls: Video walls are ideal for indoors or outdoors but are best for larger commercial areas outdoors, such as stadiums, concerts, trade shows, or commercial buildings. 

LCD screens: From 55″ displays to massive video walls, LCD screens come in various sizes to suit your technical needs. When selecting the right option for your business, consider the messaging you’d like to display to determine the accurate sizing and placement of your signage.

LED displays: LED displays are powered by energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to reduce heat while offering quality full-color images with high brightness. LED displays are best for larger commercial spaces. 

Reader boards: Digital reader boards communicate announcements and other important messages like healthcare, community, weather, and safety information. Suppose your business has a large sum of information to communicate. In that case, readerboards are a great solution to position outside of a company or as a window display to showcase data in a captivating and informative way that is quick and easy to digest. For example, real estate signs often display a realtor’s name, contact information, and business name on a corrugated plastic yard sign. But with a digital solution, realtors can show upcoming homes on the market or eye-catching data like current mortgage rates, how to refinance, and rental opportunities. Digital signage also allows realtors to showcase their personality through different fonts and design styles. Realtors can even share their social media handles through interactive options like a QR code or touchscreen contact form. 

No matter the digital solution you choose, it’s clear that the possibilities are endless. And with the right partner, you’ll be on your way to quickly transform your dated processes into digital ones.  

Work with Keyser: Implementing digital outdoor signage

Digital transformation is a continuous journey, requiring businesses to implement technological advancements consistently to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive business world. But when you work with Keyser, we’ll help your business stay relevant during this digitized era by using innovative signage solutions designed for outdoor use. 

We specialize in custom outdoor signs and indoor signs that leave a lasting impression. From double-sided freestanding signs to wall-mounted LCD screens, we have the expertise and skill to install outdoor signage to your precise specifications, with warranty options and transparent terms you can agree with. No matter your signage needs, we are equipped to handle them. 

The evolution of digital technology has been revolutionary in recent years, redefining how businesses connect with their customers. So, before installing feather flags, wall decals, stickers, or outdoor banners as your outdoor signage, consider going digital to truly make an impact. 

Exterior signage will continue to change and evolve as new technologies come along, and Keyser is here to help you with it. So, if you’re ready to transform your business by installing outdoor signage, contact us today! 

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