From vibrant downtown centers and lavish resorts to local retailers, a digital message center is one of the most effective marketing tools a business can invest in. According to BTS Consultants, outdoor signage gets 400 percent more attention from passersby than static displays, and businesses that implement outdoor displays see a 32 percent higher return on investment (ROI) than competitors that use static signage.

To attract customers to their brick-and-mortar establishments, retailers, eateries and other businesses used to be dependent on static signage such as billboards, window displays and mailers. But today, business leaders can harness the power of digital message centers to engage consumers like never before. With customizable experiences, outdoor LED can help increase sales, attract new customers and solidify your brand’s position as an industry innovator.

Here’s what to look for as you evaluate the true ROI of outdoor LED displays.

Consider your current spend

To evaluate the ongoing expenses of your current signage solution, you need to look at the whole picture. What are the cost and time commitments required for your signage? And, perhaps more importantly, what are the opportunity costs of not going digital?

With outdoor LED signage, businesses can bypass the logistical gymnastics of printing, shipping and installing new signage. Say goodbye to one-dimensional window clings, manually updated letterboards and committing to the same billboard ad for several months.

How to plan and deploy direct view LED signage

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Since digital signage can be updated instantly with the click of a few buttons, businesses can provide timely, relevant messages that speak to their customers in the moment. Employees no longer have to change out static signs, which saves on labor and reduces the liabilities that come with employees putting themselves in precarious positions climbing ladders or working near high-traffic areas to hang signage.

The cost of LED digital message centers has dropped significantly in recent years — it’s become much more affordable for small businesses. When it comes to maintenance costs, LEDs typically use about 50 percent less energy than traditional outdoor lighting. They can even reduce waste by drastically decreasing the amount of trash accumulated from outdated signage and shipping materials. That means less trash in the landfill, and lower carbon emissions associated with transport.

Evaluate installation costs

When upgrading from static out-of-home (OOH) signage to a digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertising model like LED signage, operators may be surprised to find that much of an outdoor LED project’s costs aren’t for the technology itself but for construction, such as the electrical work, materials, permitting, apparatus and other factors.

These costs can vary significantly from project to project. At Samsung, safety and legality are always the top priority. In high-traffic areas such as shopping centers — from the iconic five-screen LED installation in the heart of Times Square to storefronts along a city’s main street — it’s critical to assess a building’s structural integrity before mounting your LED display. Historic buildings and uncommon surfaces also require expert attention.

Samsung works with local structural engineers who are well-versed in the specific structural and permitting requirements of their geographical area, as well as environmental considerations such as wind and snow loads. This is often the most time-consuming part of an LED project, but it is absolutely essential to keep everyone safe and provide the best long-term results. Once your display is mounted to a building, it’s there for the long haul.

By partnering with a trusted signage provider, you gain the added benefit of minimal maintenance. Once your outdoor signage is properly installed, it’s surprisingly easy to update and maintain.

Calculate the benefits of outdoor signs

Moving from OOH to DOOH has other benefits that can be harder to measure, such as retail foot traffic. Dynamic, ever-changing content, vivid colors and bold imagery can entice window shoppers to come inside in ways a traditional sales poster never could.

Digital message centers can help businesses promote attractive amenities such as on-site EV charging stations. At cafes and restaurants, outdoor LED might advertise lunch specials or seasonal menus.

LED signage is also a fantastic way to actively engage with the community. Your business can, for example, congratulate a local sports team on a recent win. Posting fun, brand-centric content takes minimal effort with digital message centers.

How to maximize the ROI of digital signage

Following a few best practices will help you get the most from an OOH to DOOH transformation. First, it’s imperative to work with a trusted provider and installer — for the sake of everyone’s safety, and the integrity of your brand. You want quality signage that’s built to last and requires minimal upkeep, plus the ability to get timely support and maintenance when you need it. Samsung offers warranties on outdoor LED parts and labor for additional peace of mind.

Next, take a cue from the real estate industry: When it comes to outdoor LED, it’s all about location, location, location. Signage should be placed in the right spot to reach customers at the right time. Once your signage is mounted, it’s there to stay for the foreseeable future — so make sure to place it thoughtfully, for optimal viewing.

Lastly, once you’ve invested in high-quality displays with precise colors and high resolution, you’ll want to create eye-catching content that makes the most of your vibrant signage. Providing viewers with fresh, relevant content in a tech-forward way allows your business to engage with passerby on a minute-to-minute basis.

Digital message centers can breathe fresh air into an otherwise stale marketing campaign and introduce new, exciting ways to connect with your customers and customers-to-be. In addition to saving on labor and materials, the benefits of outdoor LED reach far beyond the C-suite. The only limit is your imagination.

Find everything you need to know about choosing your LED displays for optimal viewing indoors and out in this free guide. And compare all the best LED displays options in Samsung’s direct view LED lineup, which can help your business make a bold impression, wherever you need it.

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Davina van Buren

Davina van Buren is a freelance B2B technology writer who specializes in travel, restaurants and hospitality, retail, food tech and cleantech. A former television reporter and consumer magazine editor, she's found her home in the B2B world, which satiates and excites her entrepreneurial spirit. Davina is currently pursuing an Executive MBA in Online Marketing.

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