Top Ten Tips

Using outdoor digital signage poses different challenges to indoor systems, from protecting the device from the elements to getting the content delivered but the benefits of using outdoor LCDs and plasma for digital advertising or information is that you can reach a lot larger audience. There are of course many pitfalls in implementing outdoor digital signage, here are ten ideas to avoid making costly mistakes:

10. Have a goal – You must have a clear purpose in mind. If you are to invest in digital outdoor signage systems you must have focus on what you want to achieve, more customers or strengthening your brand or perhaps you wish to entertain or inform. Define your expectations before you invest in any system.

9. Plan for costs – digital signage is never cheap, always plan for everything. It never surprises me to hear of companies that have spent small fortunes on outdoor digital signage systems only to have run out of money for things like maintenance or even content.

8. Use the right people to manage your project – often digital signage projects get farmed on to IT. Sure there are technical aspects to DooH (Digital out of Home) but it is far more suited to someone with marketing experience. Also ensure you have a clear project leader, there are many aspects to outdoor digital signage and unless someone is in a position to keep all the facets together your project could soon falter as soon as you hit he first obstacle. Ensure you have somebody to manage and update the content – you’d surprised how often this is overlooked.

7. Position – People can spend huge sums of money on digital signage campaigns but if the LCD, plasmas or LED screens are in the wrong place it could all be money down the tube if nobody pays any attention to it.

6. Weather protection – Outdoors is a totally different environment than indoors and any signage device will need protecting from the elements. Always ensure good quality plasma or LCD enclosure houses the device. Often European IP 65 or USA NEMA 4 standards are applied for outdoor digital signage enclosures.

5. Choose the right software and tools – Don’t get distracted with expensive and often overly-complicated content creation tools. Often the simple desktop office tools like PowerPoint will create good quality and innovative content

4. Testing, testing 1, 2, 3 – Properly test your campaigns ensure. Don’t just test that the devices are working, practice changing content and carrying out general maintenance like cleaning, it is often small practicalities like this that can cause the failure of an outdoor digital signage project.

3. Be Innovative – Don’t be frightened of trying new things. Look at different types of LCD or plasma enclosures and see which looks best. Try placing the devices in unusual areas or trying new content anything that will hope it get noticed. Often the best digital signage campaigns are the ones where they have been bold in attempting something new or something different.

2. Security – It is unfortunate I know but it’s the world we live in and despite the falling costs of LCD and plasmas they are still attractive items for thieves. Ensure the device id properly secure from theft but also ensure the LCD enclosure is rugged enough to withstand attacks by vandals.

1. Content – The most important aspect of any outdoor digital signage campaign by far is content. Content is key, no matter how fancy your digital outdoor signage systems looks if they don’t display interesting, informative or entertaining content they are being wasted. Be innovative and be different. If you are attempting to generate income from advertising then mix in entertainment too, people become advert blind and will simply ignore any messages.

Keep things interesting and mix and match advertising content with more entertainment and informative stuff. Ensure you use plenty of colours, moving images and keep things simple. Too much going on, on the screen, will confuse and distract. Audio works well too but don’t blast out music this can be quite annoying to many people, particularly if they don’t like that genre.

Outdoor digital signage is a great way to expand a company’s profile, advertise, increase branding, influence customer behaviour and generate sales but it only works if you invest the time and effort along too with the money.

Richard N Williams is a technical author and a specialist in the digital signage industry helping to develop outdoor digital signage and protection for plasmas. Please visit us for more information about LCD Enclosures or other digital signage solutions