Make Signage Work for You – Five Smart Tips for Your Small Business

Small businesses don’t have the budget or resources that large companies do, which means they need to get creative and spread every dollar as thin as possible. Most small businesses do not have the budget for tactics like television or radio ads, and most businesses large and small know that direct mail doesn’t have a high success rate.

So what does a small business do when they need to market themselves effectively? They turn to signage.

Signage is a tried and true marketing tactic, and it’s especially great for small businesses that are just starting out. Not only is it extremely budget friendly, but it’s also one of the most effective and reliable tactics on the market today.

Digital signage girl
Image by Haruhiko Okumura / Flickr

But like any marketing tactic, signage is only effective and reliable when it is used correctly. As a small business thinking about using signage, the following are tips to help ensure you get the most out of your signage strategy.

1. Choose the right location.

As a small business, you want to ensure that your target market is seeing your signage, which means you need to do your research and find the best location for your signage. Make sure that you’re choosing a high traffic area that contains a good majority of your target audience. This way, your company name and message will be seen by those who will use your products and services, giving you a bigger opportunity to increase sales.

2. Keep it simple.

Your messaging needs to be clear and succinct in order to have the best impact. As a small business, you want people to know who you are and what you do, and if the messaging on your signage is not clear, it will only confuse your potential customers.

It’s also a great idea to make sure that your company name and contact info are easily seen on the signage. If you create a great sign but forget to include this information, nobody will know that it’s your company offering these products or services. Your contact information, especially website or social media addresses, are a great way to generate traffic to your online campaigns to seal the deal.

3. Capture attention.

We just told you to keep your messaging simple, but you still need to create a great sign that will capture your customers’ attention. If you stick with bland colors and boring fonts, your signage will get lost in its surroundings. When you use fun colors, exciting fonts or even a great headline, your signage will get more visibility and be remembered more easily.

4. Don’t overlook mobile.

If you can’t find the one great location to place your signage (or if you have a big enough budget that allows you to have multiple signs), opt to use mobile signage. People are driving or stuck in traffic everyday, and if you place signs on your vehicles, you will easily reach these people.

As a business, you can create signage and place it on one of your own vehicles, or there are companies out there that rent ad space on vehicles and their sole purpose is to drive around large towns all day promoting your sign.

5. Prepare for trial and error.

Signage is one of those tactics that you may have to play around with before you hit the nail on the head. If you place signage in one location and you don’t see a great return, place your sign somewhere new and see how it works out in this location. You may have to place your signage in a few different locations before you find the one that works the best, but thanks to its versatility, this can easily be done without spending extra money.

The use of signage is a great marketing tactic for small businesses, and when you implement the signage with these tips, you’ll find more success.

About the Author: M.P Brown loves providing advice to small business owners.

Don’t Believe the Hype – The Disadvantages of Digital Signs

Exterior and interior signage have changed throughout the years. New technology allows them to be produced more quickly and in different shapes and sizes. New materials allow signage to be created heavier or lighter than before to help them better adhere to their location, and some signs are even made from eco-friendly materials.

Signage can now also contain lighting or be created in a digital fashion instead of traditional print. Many companies are using digital signage because it allows them to constantly change out the message without needing to recreate it.

But just because digital signage is new does not mean that it’s better than traditional signage methods. In fact, there are a few disadvantages to using digital signage.

Chanel digital signage - Ginza building
Image by na0905 / Flickr

They’re expensive.

The use of digital signage is more costly than traditional methods. This is because digital signage requires technology and not standard printing like traditional methods. In order to create a digital sign, you will need to purchase a screen, the software used to generate the content, the technology needed to hook it up and the staff needed to manage the campaign. Plus, digital signage needs a certain level of protection to keep it safe from harsh weather conditions, which is another added expense.

They’re still new.

Digital signs are still the new kid on the block, which means that they will still have kinks that need to be addressed. It’s also likely that as technology evolves, newer digital technologies will be created that will be better and cheaper than the previous technology. Before long, this “new” technology that you spent a fortune on will no longer be as cool or functional as the models created in the future.

They require experience.

Though some digital signage platforms are easier to use than others, it still requires knowledge of the software or technologies needed in order to make the signage work. Even if the software is easy to use, it will require a good amount of use before you have a true handle on how the technology is used. You may end up putting the wrong content in, sending it to the wrong place or making it go live at the wrong time, which can be damaging to your marketing efforts.

They’re harder to replace.

If your traditional sign were to tear, all you would need to do is have another sign printed and adhered, which though frustrating, is a pretty simple task. When your digital signage breaks, it requires more work to fix. There’s technology and electrical involved, which may mean that you need to have multiple professionals come out and fix it. If the damage was severe, you could be without your signage for an extended period of time until it does become fixed, which leaves you with an expensive repair and without a marketing campaign.

They’re chosen without much thought.

Some people make the mistake of investing in digital signage simply because it’s new, but they don’t have a clear purpose as to why they’re marketing this way or the goal of the marketing effort. When you have a marketing tactic without a purpose in mind, it will not be much help to your business.

Though digital signage can be a fun new addition to your marketing strategy, you need to determine if it’s really as valuable as you think it is. It’s possible that you’re just attracted to the fact that it’s something new, and before you make a rash decision, you need to make sure you weigh both the pros and cons.

About the Author: M.P Brown is an avid reader always on the lookout for information that will help him undestand marketing and advertising trends. M.P helps to add insight to the designers creating signs from Icon ID.