Digital Signage, but make it green

Digital Signage

Digital signage has become a crucial part of brand engagement. It can provide a dynamic and engaging means to communicate information to a large audience, displaying a wide range of multimedia content in an attention-grabbing and impactful way. New research has found that 80% of customers admit to entering a store because of digital signage catching their interest, demonstrating its influence on consumers. Its allure is there for all to see.

But the world is confronting an urgent climate crisis. So considerations – and action – around making signs as sustainable as possible have to be made. If not properly managed, digital signage displays can impact the environment. But with proper measures put in place, optimising the efficiency and sustainability of screens, this impact can be significantly reduced.

So how can brands take the steps to implement digital signage, but make it green?


Real-time energy efficiency and content management

It’s a well known fact that the energy efficiency benefits of using LEDs, over LCD screens for example, is vast. Therefore, LED screens are a must-have. But there is a cocktail of innovations that are making these screens much greener. When selecting what signage to utilise, make sure you search for screens that use energy-efficient displays and power management systems to reduce energy consumption.

These could take the form of timers that allow you to preset when displays are switched on or off, real-time sensors that react to daylight (and lower brightness when it’s darker, for instance) or motion sensors that activate screens from ‘sleep mode’ as movement is detected and people walk past them. These can all work collaboratively or separately to maximise efficiency.

This energy efficiency needs to be joined by implementing proper content management practices to reduce the frequency of display updates and avoid displaying irrelevant content. There’s no point having the same advert flash every few minutes when its effect will be virtually no different to specifically timed and targeted content. Likewise, there’s no point scheduling in content that has no relevance at all to factors such as relevant target audience or the area the sign is situated in. ‘Smart scheduling’ means optimising the content you have to its full effect. Less is more and likely to achieve better results.


Sustainable sourcing and materials

How you power your signage, and how you reuse the components and materials it’s made from, is of course fundamental to making it green. Brands need to be creating and adopting sustainable sourcing practices for their displays to minimise their environmental impact.

The future of digital signage depends on its ability to leverage sustainable and renewable sources of energy. Suppliers need to form agreements with renewable energy providers and local authorities to create a network of green energy supply. There is a very reachable and achievable future where all power for digital signage comes from renewable energy, be that from wind farms supplying electricity through the mains to signs powered by their own solar panels.

This framework needs to be joined by implementing proper disposal and recycling practices for displays and components at the end of their lifespan. Screens are made up of a variety of different elements, most of which can be reused and repurposed elsewhere, even if the sign has broken or run its time. Many screen manufacturers will offer recycling initiatives, and there is always a demand to reuse valuable electronics. In this day and age, wasting materials is unnecessary.


Placement and use

Just as we had ‘smart scheduling’ for content, it is also important to implement ‘smart placement’. This involves optimising your digital signage network by reducing the number of displays used and placing screens in areas where they can be seen by the most people. There is no need to overwhelm visitors by crowding the same location with a multitude of screens – in fact, it will probably have the opposite effect and turn people off from the content. More importantly, it’s a massive and unnecessary waste of energy and efficiency.

Instead, it is a far better strategy to pinpoint specific locations where screens will have the greatest impact on viewers. In more general, public and open spaces, this strategy comes from understanding where the most number of people can view the screen and overall footfall metrics. With this knowledge, you can pick the optimal place to position your signage.

But for the in-store experience, brands can accrue more specific data on how content displayed at specific points translates into direct sales or interest in products. With this data, brands can then strategise the best locations to place their signage. Less screens can be used and content can be optimised. Again, it’s the less is more approach, a vital ingredient for sustainable practice.


Make it green

Brand engagement is shifting more and more into the digital world. For this transition to succeed, the implementation of digital signage has to be embedded with a sustainable approach. Inefficient use of screens can use up vast amounts of unnecessary energy, yet the tools and strategies are there to actually create a highly sustainable network of digital signage.

From leveraging real-time technology alongside smart content management to harnessing renewable energy, utilising recycling initiatives and adopting the smart placement of screens, this hub of optimised and efficient digital signage can be formed. There’s digital signage, and then there’s making it green. The latter needs to be happening now.

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