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2020 and 2021 have changed the ways people interact with businesses. This also touched the digital signage space. As the world recovers from the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve made this article about the digital out-of-home advertising trends in 2022 for you to better orient yourself in the place the industry finds itself in.
What does 2022 mean for commerce?
You can’t underestimate the effect of the COVID-19 on indoor space. Although, with the success of vaccination and the large return to the pre-pandemic normals, 2022 is still a very much different place. And successful businesses can’t ignore the past and should look for profitable ways to engage with their audience that are durable for the future.
But what has changed? (you may ask)
E-commerce is the answer.
2021 saw e-commerce reach nearly $5 trillion worldwide. All projections point to the steady growth of this sector that doesn’t seem to have anything holding it back. Just look at that graph done by eMarketer.
Although its rise has always been out of the question, the pandemic has accelerated it and put a big question mark on the future of physical commerce.
Two years of isolation and social distancing (that is still very much ongoing) have been enough to change the customer habits that switched to a comfortable click&pay structure of shopping. The latest full lockdown in such an important economic center as Shanghai only showed how fragile the current health landscape is and how quickly tides can turn on physical businesses.
Is it the death of commerce as we know it?
We’ve seen unprecedented closing of big retailers, empty malls waiting for the lockdowns to be lifted, and an emphasis on spending as little time as possible inside the commercial spaces. Does it mean that retail is doomed?
Not so fast would be the answer. There are two ways of looking at it, and two different paths for retailers. Innovation is essential for retail’s future.
It’s either you don’t innovate and die a slow death. Or you innovate and adapt to the changing landscape in the industry. How is this connected to digital out of home? In the most direct way possible. In 2022 digital signage and digital out-of-home advertising are the ways to innovate and save the business in the midst of uncertainty.
Technology is powerful. With the right application, it can do magic, it can transform things, it can be a lifeline to a better future.
What is digital out-of-home?
You may have seen it in its abbreviated form: DOOH. Yes, this means digital out-of-home. In practice, it’s the technology that allows you to broadcast content in outdoor spaces.
Digital signage solutions enable that. That’s why another name for DOOH is outdoor digital signage.
If you’re still doubting whether you got it right, let’s go to the examples. Remember all those billboards found on the buildings, on the streets, on the roads? This is signage too. But it’s called static signage.
Now, if we go to Times Square, there are many digital screens rolling out various promotional content. Bingo! Now that’s digital out-of-home. One of its applications. Because this technology is pretty versatile and can be used not only in public spaces like Times Square but also in the window of a brick-and-mortar store, as a streetside billboard or a shopping mall ad.
Connecting two worlds: physical and digital
If we’re talking about the digital out-of-home trends, in 2022 the most important would be the bridging.
As we’ve mentioned in the beginning, e-commerce has rapidly conquered the world. While many retailers chose the defensive approach by juxtapositioning the physical space to the online medium, there were the visionaries that embraced the change straight away and started using such a wonderful technology as digital out-of-home advertising to serve as a bridge between their online and the offline incarnations.
And instead of confrontation, we’ve witnessed a future. If you think about it, that’s a very smart and worthwhile move.
There is a bookstore. It sells books both online and offline. In order to direct customers to the online store, the physical one installs several beautiful displays in its windows. The great content it shows promotes online-only propositions and constantly shows call-to-actions. Also, it promotes social media channels. This is the way to do it properly.
Being relatable through social media integrations
It isn’t enough to just capture attention nowadays. There is so much content around that the customers are literally inundated by it. Social media helps brands to remain relevant and facilitates the nurturing of trust.
One of the coolest digital out-of-home advertising trends would be to embrace your weird social side. Be playful, ace the current TikTok trends, and get it right on Instagram. And channel it all through the outdoor screens, whatever business you’re running. As digital signage technology is universal, you can experiment with the content you’re showing and utilize those pieces that work the best way.
People love when brands listen to their demands. Be that brand, ask for feedback using the display technology. Talk to people in the language they understand.
Getting creative with outdoor advertising
Advertising is a complex beast, companies tend to get it wrong sometimes. The digital screens and the capabilities of signage technology hand you a tool that opens up a myriad of possibilities to craft an ad that stands out. Use it wisely.
The first rule of outdoor advertising: don’t be boring. But really, nobody needs another boring campaign. Put an effort into creating content that speaks to your audience, that beguiles them, that makes them drop whatever they’re doing and stare at what you’re showing. That’s the recipe for a great creative advertising campaign. And the screens will be happy to broadcast it.
2022 is the year when everything goes. Again, TikTok. If you’re not familiar with the weird things getting a million views there, install the app and take a look. You’ll be surprised. Once an application with a primarily younger audience, it has taken the world by storm, becoming a social media hegemon. But it’s the content there that is interesting from the marketing point of view. And it’s something that every company nowadays should study.
While you can be quite skeptical about the weirdness of it all, this is quickly becoming a new creative normal for brands and it’s definitely worth a notice.
So let’s have a quick conclusion on the top trends in digital out of home for 2022.
The hottest would be:
- Bridging the digital and offline worlds
- Being relatable using social media and the screens
- Not being afraid to get weird
- Not being boring with your advertising
Voila. Now, let’s make it a reality.