How iDigital is Transforming the Billboard Business into a Full Suite of Advertising Solutions
iDigital Outdoor Media is a local outdoor advertising company based in North Dakota. We sat down with Taylor Danielson, community relations manager and account executive of iDigital, and Andy Solheim, COO of iDigital, to discuss the growth of iDigital, the digital advertising industry as a whole and how iDigital is tracking trends within the industry.
Andy Solheim, COO
With the streaming era rising, many are leaving core formats of advertising in the past. As people pay increasing amounts of money to avoid them, advertisers have had to get creative with how they can continue to share a message to the everyday consumer. Many people are often distracted by their phones when watching television, or their television when an advertisement appears on their phone. One place that many are less distracted is during their commute.
As eyes are everywhere on the road, placing a standout digital advertisement along a consumer’s commute can increase the likelihood of an advertisement being seen, recognized and retained. As the team behind iDigital Outdoor Media continuously employs evolving technology within their billboards to catch the audience’s attention, the team also works to develop new locations for their outdoor digital advertising.
We first got into the advertising business because we saw there was a monopoly in the marketplace. Our goal was to make billboard advertising affordable to all local businesses to combat the market share that online shopping was taking from our local brick-and-mortar businesses.”-Andy Solheim, COO of iDigital
The History of iDigital Outdoor
iDigital first launched in September of 2017, with their first billboard being installed at the Dakota Magic Casino. By the end of 2017, they installed a second in Warroad, MN. While it may have been a slow start nearly five years ago, Solheim explained that the company quickly expanded within the following years.
“In 2018 we formed a partnership with BookYourBillboard in Sioux Falls on a sales and consulting basis while we started building out the Fargo, Bismarck, Devils Lake and Thief River Falls markets. 2021 was a huge year for our growth, as we acquired an interest in a St. Cloud-based and a Montana-based billboard plant. Currently, we have assets in ND, SD, MT and northern MN,” Solheim said.
While iDigital is still searching for new, creative ways to continue expanding, they’ve come to a point where they can reflect on their small beginnings merely five years ago. When questioned about what the primary reasons could have been for iDigital’s immense growth and stability, Danielson was adamant about the reliability of the team.
“A cohesive leadership team and great staff all sharing the same vision is what helped us grow so quickly. Having everyone on the team share the same goals is paramount,” Danielson said.
What do iDigital’s dynamic advertising campaigns consist of?
From start to finish, we believe in overall campaign success in all areas – from the initial campaign goal, to creative and implementation, we take great pride in the details put forth. We offer campaign consultations, creative planning and campaign monitoring. We monitor for needed updates and changes as well to ensure overall success from the time the campaign goes live to its end date. We will work with you to make updates and offer advice.”-Taylor Danielson
What iDigital Can Do For You
Location, Location, Location
A client’s advertisement will be placed on the major travel corridors and busy streets that your targeted customers use as they commute to and from work, run errands or attend events. With digital billboard advertising, your message will be where your audience is, when they are most likely to consider making purchases.
Since the client is in charge, they have the capability to bypass printing and installation costs, and change your digital ad whenever you like—monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, or as life happens. In real-time, iDigital can utilize RSS feeds; anything live online can be displayed on your digital billboard, including time and temperature, game scores, trending news, Amber Alerts and more.
iDigital’s Midwest billboard network allows client ads to rotate throughout all locations in the market minute after minute. Each display offers 6 advertisers with 7-second ad-hold times, giving 43% more time per ad than many competitors. As iDigital adds new locations to each market, those new billboards will automatically be added to our network, and clients’ ads will begin rotating immediately. What does this mean for clients? For a single contract purchase, that ad will rotate on every billboard location, giving maximum coverage in a single buy
Cooperative advertising provides small businesses an opportunity to pump up their advertising budget. What happens in this situation is that retailers place local ads and share the cost with wholesalers or manufacturers. Manufacturers usually budget an annual amount of cooperative advertising dollars to ensure product awareness, yet many of them admit that much of this money is left untouched because relatively few retailers pursue the opportunity or fail to fulfill the details of the agreement.
Generally, cooperative advertising requires that the retailer provide proof to the manufacturer or wholesaler that their product was, indeed, advertised in order to receive reimbursement. The required proof is a simple photograph. iDigital has a digital web camera taking pictures of your ads as they run, and we will email screenshots of these images to you at your request, so you can submit proof to the manufacturer and be reimbursed for a portion of your advertising costs.
If you’re aiming to bring awareness to an important issue or to an event, such as an upcoming marathon, political fundraiser, liquidation sale or visiting celebrity, short-term advertising may be for you. Features such as countdown tickers and the ability to change an advertisement in real time make this an effective way to reach the audience you want with time to spare.
• From the iDigital Media Website
We’re locally-owned, on the grow, and working hard to create the largest independent network of digital billboards in the Midwest. Our mission is to install digital billboards in high-visibility, well-traveled corridors and city streets, allowing our clients to make the most impact possible with their money.”-The iDigital Media Website
iDigital currently has:
- 271 billboard structures
- 140 digital faces
- 312 static faces
- 85 bus shelters
- 10 airport kiosks
10 Things You Might Not Have Known About iDigital
iDigital delivers optimized advertising!
iDigital offers specialized networks and customization, allowing all businesses to have their messages optimized to offer maximum potential views. This is done through technology embedded in their billboards that can be used to detect things as a change in weather, the presence of mobile devices in the area or the makes and models of passing automobiles, which may then be used to trigger the appropriate advertisements.
iDigital takes pride in its roots.
iDigital is a small, local company with a deep understanding of what makes a campaign effective in our region. Currently, they have campaigns based out of North Dakota and Minnesota, choosing to focus on and care for the area that matters most to them.
iDigital’s attention to detail through management.
Each campaign is highly monitored and given great attention to detail by a dedicated account manager. This ensures that campaigns are running efficiently and all parties involved are on the same page with one another.
iDigital offers more than just digital billboards!
The team at iDigital prides themselves on having a team of skilled, industry-leading professionals who are trained in all forms of advertising, including digital and static billboards, transportation (bus, airport) and more.
iDigital will cater to your required needs.
Something that sets iDigital apart is that they’re proud to cater to all businesses, large and small. They’re able to create campaigns that fit a client’s individual needs, rather than a “one size fits all” approach. “We believe that an advertising campaign has to work around the client and we ensure clients know that their campaigns are customized to fit and reflect their business needs,” Danielson said.
Clients can update their campaign as often as they would like to, free of charge
With flexible services, you’re not locked into a stagnant campaign and iDigital can help by offering fresh, creative ideas.
iDigital remains committed to following the three C’s.
According to Danielson, three important qualities that ensure iDigital stands out from other advertising companies are customer service, customization and creativity. Keeping these qualities in mind ensures that iDigital will focus on the client’s experience, as well as their freedom in the advertising process!
iDigital advertises on-the-fly messaging capability.
Their digital billboards allow a client to adapt their message to the weather, time of day, traffic flow or outcome of the local football game! For example, iDigital can monitor local weather conditions and activate fitting promotions, making it possible to advertise windshield wipers when a rain shower passes through, electric fireplaces when it’s snowing, or jet skis and fishing boats on a hot summer day
iDigital engages in tag-team advertising!
Tag-team advertising is a process where iDigital will work with the client, as well as other nearby businesses, to combine forces and create a digital billboard campaign that draws customers through doors. Working with multiple businesses in the same area is a technique to save money with a one-two punch by attracting multiple people to the same general area at the same time.
iDigital allows customer-generated content!
Now, iDigital allows the client to let their target audience do the marketing! iDigital will download content from the client’s online presence, such as a website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, and upload it to the digital billboard live, as it happens. It’s a great way to make fans feel invested in the client’s future and encourage them to develop a loyal following to the company, product or service.
iDigital’s Obstacles and How They’re Overcoming Them
Each company faces unique challenges as it grows and transforms into a wide-ranging, more experienced business. When questioned about what some of the biggest challenges for iDigital have been over the past half-decade, issues came forth not just regarding the company, but the digital advertising field as a whole.
“The biggest challenge facing digital marketing is helping companies know and understand the benefits of digital advertising. Oftentimes, digital advertising is still a new medium for companies,” Danielson said. “Where traditional forms of advertising have been around and widely used for some time, we are seeing that digital and digital outdoor advertising are truly one of the only consistently growing forms of advertising in today’s industry. Overall awareness and knowledge is the most important factor in ensuring companies know they have options in their advertising campaigns.
As people are still adjusting to the relatively new world of digital outdoor advertising, iDigital’s goal of staying on top of the latest trends aims to prevent some clients from falling behind on the industry standards, becoming frustrated and abandoning the concept of outdoor digital advertising. In turn, they’re doing everything they can to keep track of the latest digital marketing trends, as well as determining what works and what doesn’t in their ever-changing industry.
“Our team at iDigital believes in regular training and staying up to date on the latest industry knowledge. Whether it be through classes, webinars, networking or personal research, it’s important to us as industry leaders to continue to educate and learn about new and upcoming trends,” Danielson said. “One way we ensure our campaigns are as effective as possible is through constant monitoring and implantation. We encourage our clients to update their creative to stay top of mind to their audience. Each of our clients receives live images, proof of play reports, creative services and guidance throughout their campaign.”
Our team at idigital believes in regular training and staying up to date on the latest industry knowledge. Whether it be through classes webinars networking or personal research it’s important to us as industry leaders to continue to educate and learn about new and upcoming trends.-Taylor Danielson
Why Digital Excels In Digital And Mobile Media
Clients can determine geographical boundaries around desired locations to directly target their specified audience.
iDigital can connect audiences based on locations, lifestyle, brand categories and other specific demographics.
Digital has the unique ability to create dynamic campaigns with the creative to match.
Reporting and Metrics
iDigital’s reporting is detailed and extensive to drive results. [iDigital] will break down all key performance indicators that are important to the brand.
What Is Next For iDigital?
iDigital made an impressive mark on the outdoor advertising industry in the last five years. However, that’s not stopping them from looking ahead with goals for the future, as they still have a ways to go in their eyes. As trends are constantly changing, they’re confident that they’ve found the next major trend in digital marketing.
“[The next major trend in our industry] will be the pairing of digital out-of-home advertising with digital mobile advertising. There is truly no better way to meet your audience where they are at than a campaign that combines both services. iDigital offers free business consultations to showcase our one-of-a-kind abilities to create dynamic and effective campaigns with this highly successful pairing,” Danielson said.
Tracking trends isn’t the only next step for iDigital. Recently, they added their latest vertical digital billboard network in the St. Cloud, MN market. “This specialized market of digitals will allow clients to advertise their message in a unique way as our vertical billboard networks are not only extremely eye-catching, but the only ones in the tri-state area,” Danielson said.
A Cohesive leadership team and great staff all sharing the same vision is what helped us grow so wuickly. Having everyone on the team share the same goals is paramount.– Taylor Danielson
While an immense accomplishment for the expanding company, they aren’t stopping there with their unique advertising. “We proudly offer vertical digital billboard advertising in Fargo, ND and St. Cloud, MN. We recently received confirmation that we can finally put up billboards in the Grand Forks market! This is exciting news for us as there has been a moratorium in place there for over a decade,” Danielson said.
Many companies measure success by hard numbers, such as locations, employees or annual revenue. However, iDigital defines its success by another standard. “We believe success is measured through the clients we retain and the level of dedicated service they each receive when they make the decision to trust iDigital with their advertising needs. We take great pride in the extremely high level of client retention we hold,” Danielson said.
“It is our goal to provide outstanding services to every business, no matter the size of the campaign. We also absolutely love whenever we have a new client referred to us by word of mouth. In the end, there’s nothing better than knowing your service was worth talking about
Three Things That Keep iDigital Motivated to Grow with Taylor Danielson
- We believe in the strong entrepreneurship mindset of this community! We believe our services can help foster a creative and successful community for all businesses.
- We love the diversity and flexibility we have in creating impactful campaigns for our clients throughout the Midwest.
- We are highly motivated to continue to provide the highest level of customer service to all clients, current and future. With the constant growth of our community, we have never-ending opportunities to work with amazing clients and be a part of their business growth.