Where to place digital signage?

The Poor Man’s Method: Where to Place Digital Signage

Digital signage offers owners the opportunity to maximize their investments in space. Some reports have indicated digital signs return on average $14,000 per month, while their static forebears once averaged between $1000 to $2000. The ability to remotely change digital ads is a major labor-saving proposition as well.However, the initial investment in digital signage remains daunting. An operator can spend between $250,000 and $500,000 for digital signage hardware alone. Placement costs and maintenance can make them very expensive proportions. Thus, it’s important to select locations for maximum impact to best recover digital signage multi zone investment expense.

The Importance of Time

The wonderful thing about digital signs: They can change with time, and with varying frequency.

With digital signage outdoor advertising aimed at commuters, a premium should be placed on locations where the viewers are most likely to see more than one advertisement. A free-flowing city street or highway might allow the exposure of only a single sponsor. Areas that experience traffic congestion extend the time viewers have to experience ad placements, thus justifying higher prices during the busiest times of the day.

Even if the location isn’t visible from very far away, it might be visible for a longer period to the average viewer, thus making it more valuable, and more attractive to multiple advertisers.

This means operators must go in search of areas where passers-by are most likely to spend more time, regardless of sightline distance. These “slow” areas are the hotspots.

The Poor Man’s Way To Find a Hotspot

Fortunately for those in the outdoor advertising industry, there’s Google.

Analysts offer their services to mine Google metrics (and information gathered from navigation companies like Waze and MapQuest) to find where people spend most of their time through the day. However, there’s a cheaper solution that might lead in some interesting, creative directions before making a formal commitment to a deeper analysis.

With the Google Maps application on any smartphone, one can enter popular destinations from any starting point and get an approximate drive-time. Checked during the busiest times of the day with the “show traffic” option selected, the routes with traffic congestion show up as color-coded areas: Orange for moderate congestion; red for a near-standstill.

The best placements for digital signage outdoor media are the specific areas that regularly turn orange or red. In those areas, your digital signage multi zone investment is going to have the best chance at making an impression on viewers. When commuters are stopped dead in traffic, there’s a greater chance for them to absorb messages from more than one sponsor.

Maybe Not So Obvious

This “poor man’s” method might be pretty obvious to those who use their smartphones all day for everything. However, it’s just this sort of common-sense situational awareness that can guide decisions on acquiring space before putting one’s faith in the pronouncements of expensive consultants. The advantages of digital signage gets down to time and space: Make sure you’re using every advantage in making decisions on what to do with both.


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