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    How Does a Digital Signage Advertising Network Work?

    We see digital signage everywhere — along the streets as we walk across our city’s central business district, in the subway during our commute to work, and maybe even the moment you step into your office lobby. 

    Proven effective as a form of advertising and marketing communications, businesses are quickly hopping into the digital signage craze. While it’s a big step up from traditional signage, businesses can increase profitability and maximize their ROIs by using digital signage as an advertising network. 

    What is a Digital Signage Advertising Network? 

    A digital signage advertising network is built from a group of screens that displays images, videos, or motion graphics with the primary purpose of generating or increasing revenue. It differs from a digital signage network, which functions to inform instead of to advertise.

    For example, digital signs that introduce a brand or its products and services are part of a digital signage network. But digital signs that deploy content that target a specific audience and convert them into paying customers, such as by providing the latest deals or discount promotions, are part of a digital signage advertising network.

    The latter often involves working with advertisers to convert messages into profit-generating advertisements. 

    Types of Digital Signage Advertising 

    Digital signage advertising networks come in many forms, each facilitating the increase of business revenue in its own unique way. 

    Digital Out of Home (DOOH) Broadcasting 

    A guy using touchscreen digital signage in a shopping mall.

    DOOH broadcasting refers to electronic digital displays that promote brands, products, and services and deal with the use of dynamic promotional media. They are often categorized by large-scale displays of videos, images, posters, animations, and even commercials. 

    This type of digital signage is commonly seen in settings like shopping malls, subways, and bus stops — anywhere with heavy foot traffic. This is because DOOH works best in attracting and targeting a larger audience, often the general public. 

    Indoor Narrowcasting 

    Indoor narrowcasting, also called in-store narrowcasting, comprises the digital signs that you see inside retail stores, hotels, restaurants, or cafes. They have more specific locations compared to DOOH because these digital signs target a small and specific audience group. 

    For example, indoor narrowcasting in a retail store selling sportswear may be targeting athletes and gymgoers. As such, the best setting for the digital sign would be in-store, rather than in public areas where they have a lesser chance of being noticed by their target market. 

    Interactive Ad Campaigns

    Woman interacting with a digital sign.

    Interactive ad campaigns take digital signage functions a step further by allowing the audience to interact with the screen. They usually come with touch-screen capabilities or other features that enable guests to engage with the sign as they please, whether to learn more about a product, get a discount, or win a prize. 

    According to Media Fly, interactive content sees 52.6% more engagement than static content. 

    Programmatic Advert 

    Programmatic adverts use advanced intelligence systems and algorithmic tools to show specific types of content based on ambiance or surrounding conditions. For example, a display can be programmed to show an ad for a school when it sees a parent and child passing by. 

    This allows programmatic ads to show the right content to the right audience at the right place and at the right time — making it a highly advanced and effective form of advertising. 

    Digital Signage Advertising in the Business Model 

    If you are looking to run a digital signage advertising network for your business, there are three ad types that you can deploy. 

    1. Merchandising 

    Merchandising digital signage ad content focuses on introducing a brand and its products and services using vibrant images, videos, and animation. It’s an effort to raise brand awareness and serves to kickstart the customer journey through the sales funnel. 

    2. Informational 

    Informational digital ads aim to entertain and educate audiences with information supplemented with a call to action. These are popular in settings like schools, churches, and healthcare facilities

    3. Promotional 

    Promotional digital ads focus on popularizing discounts, vouchers, and other special promos offered by a brand. As such, they find effective applications in high-traffic public areas like airports, subways, and commercial buildings. 

    Benefits of Digital Signage Advertising 

    Digital signage showing weather forecast.

    Digital signage advertising is a step in the right direction, especially for companies that have been using traditional marketing techniques and are looking to make the switch. By powering up displays with targeted, audience-specific content, businesses can convert people passing by to paying customers and thereby increase profit in the long run. 


    Digital signage can deploy more dynamic, attention-grabbing ads that are hard to ignore. With eye-catching animations, value-driven videos, and boldly designed images that target a specific audience persona, digital advertising can capture 400% more views, improve audience recall by 75%, and increase sales by 33%. 


    Digital signage advertising networks can monetize your displays and ensure increased profit. As long as you curate the right content with your audience in mind, you can easily convert them into paying customers. 


    Advertising is very rarely static. The best practices and solutions change over time as they’re highly dependent on market trends and behavior. This is one of the areas where traditional advertising methods fall short, as it would require businesses to conduct a complete overhaul of their materials and collaterals in case of changes in their ad strategies. 

    But digital signage doesn’t share the same problem. Its features make it easy to change and display content with just a few clicks. This also gives you room to experiment and test your ads for maximum reach and conversion. 


    Digital advertising networks are easy to manage and scale. Armed with powerful software, you can add new screens to your network in minutes, without worrying about hardware or software limitations. As your digital ads start gaining traction, the scalability of your network will permit you to deploy your advertisement strategies anywhere they’re needed. 


    As a positive consequence of digital signage flexibility, you also get to enjoy the easy integration of software and databases into your network. One example is digital signage API, which allows you to integrate content creation and management software and immediately upload them to your screens in real time.

    Technologies Involved in a Digital Signage Advertising Network 

    A digital signage advertising network requires reliable software to operate at its fullest potential. These include the following: 

    Ad Server 

    An ad server manages campaigns in the digital signage advertising network. It can streamline and automate network optimization, allowing you to set the rules and parameters for what content to show in your displays, when they will appear, etc. 

    Content Management System (CMS)

    Of course, your digital signage advertising network will require a content management system that is utilized to deploy and set up the content on your screens remotely. Most CMS are also able to monitor the devices in the network, integrate programmable adverts, and deliver targeted content. 

    Supply-Side Platform (SSP)

    If you run a digital signage network and want to transition to digital signage advertising, you may need a supply-side platform for your advertisers. An SSP connects your digital signage advertising network to an open exchange, which gives advertisers the access they need to program and display ads on the screens. 

    How to Maximize Profit From a Digital Signage Advertising Network 

    Advertising through a digital sign is an effective way to engage potential customers and as a result, increase revenue. But in order to fully maximize its benefits, digital signage advertising must be done right. Here are some best practices to take into account. 

    Content Creation 

    The effectiveness of an ad relies heavily on its content. That said, it’s recommended that you work with advertisers and design teams that have experience curating ads that connect and convert. 

    While digital signage advertising networks focus on generating revenue, that doesn’t mean that you can flood your CMS playlist with hard-sell content. This can easily go stale and even throw your customers off. Make sure to supplement your ads with informative, non-advertising content such as weather widgets, RSS feeds, live streams, etc. 

    Display Time Scheduling 

    Digital signage ads play on a loop, allowing you to show different types of content on a single screen. A lot of businesses, however, make the mistake of disregarding display time, which is a very important factor that can affect engagement. 

    The average display time of a piece of content on a digital screen is five to seven seconds. The range is long enough to give your viewer enough time to read through the content and absorb the message, while short enough to ensure your digital sign remains active. 

    Programmatic Adverts

    To increase the efficiency of your ads and ensure they’re visible to the right audience, you should consider leveraging programmatic adverts. By automating your displays to show specific content to target audiences in certain surrounding conditions, you can maximize your efforts and reach the intended people. 

    Get Started With Your Digital Signage Advertising Network 

    Digital signage advertising networks are the future of advertising. Get started adopting it to your business and watch your revenue multiply. Sign up for a free signage trial!



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