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How to monetize your EV charging stations with digital place-based advertising

The charging environment is still very new, but it’s not too early for companies to position themselves to compete in it. Sales of electric passenger vehicles have surged in recent years, and there’s an undeniable, and growing, need for public EV charging infrastructure. With digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising already proving itself to be an effective alternative to third-party cookie-based customer engagement tactics, digital signage attached to EV charging stations is a powerful pairing and a smart, future-friendly EV charging monetization strategy. 

EV charging stations equipped with DOOH displays offer site hosts an opportunity to produce new revenue streams or expand on existing ones while also advancing broader efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re thinking about starting an EV charging station business—or you’re considering adding on-site public EV chargers to an existing business location—read on to learn why you should leverage DOOH for monetization along with tips to help you maximize your profits.   

Business benefits of public EV charging

Public charging stations for electric vehicles come with a number of business benefits for both site hosts and network owners (or, site hosts that are owner-operators). They help attract a new, ‘greener’ customer base that’s valuable to on-site businesses, instantly enhance a retailer’s reputation while reducing transportation greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the amount of time (and money) customers spend at a location. But the most obvious way EV charging can boost profits is the revenue earned from the stations themselves. 

Depending on the business model you choose, there is some value that can be derived from direct sources of revenue, like drivers paying a subscription or fee for charging. But while your customers might be fine with paying something for your charging services, convenience appears to have the greatest influence on choice of charging location. That’s why over 80% of EV owners charge at home. So how can you balance customer convenience and affordability with your desire to actually turn a profit? The answer is DOOH advertising.

Why leverage DOOH to monetize EV charging?

If you look at your EV charging stations as potential advertising platforms, everything changes. With the end of third-party cookies forcing marketers to rethink their digital engagement strategies, the ability to reach consumers as they go about their daily lives is more valuable than ever. Ad placements attached to EV charging stations offer brands access to a captive audience that’s highly desirable for third-party advertisers. And with global spending on DOOH expected to reach $15.9 billion by 2027, adding place-based digital advertising to your EV chargers is a great way for your business to capitalize on this demand. 

By including DOOH as part of your business model, you can give customers convenience without asking for anything in return—which is a great way to start attracting EV drivers to your location—and you can also boost your company’s profits with additional income from ad revenue. It’s a win-win-win situation, bringing benefits to you, your customers, and third-party advertisers.

How to make money from EV charging stations with DOOH

In a recent study, advertising revenue was found to have the largest impact on EV charging station profitability of all the modeled revenue sources. Of course, this revenue would be entirely dependent on the value advertisers see in using a particular location as well as the way you choose to manage ad sales, programming, and placement. 

If you want to successfully monetize your EV network with DOOH, there are a few things you need to consider. These best practices will set your business up for future success and ensure each charging station brings in as much new revenue as possible.

Location, location, location

The potential DOOH revenue an EV charging station can generate is contingent on the value advertisers ascribe to its location. Owners that place charging stations in high-traffic areas, like the entrance to a shopping mall, can expect higher revenue from advertising due to the large potential audience and higher number of impressions. Chargers placed in convenient locations with high dwell times are also desirable to brands and thus likely to bring in more ad revenue. 

EV driver behavioral insights

Another way to grow profits is through data-backed behavioral analysis. The retail industry thrives on hard data and customer analytics, relying on shopper insights to make smarter decisions around everything from pricing models to supply chain management. Today’s DOOH platforms deliver similar reporting and insight analysis to help you gain a deeper understanding of customer EV charging behaviour—such as the most popular times of day to charge or your customers’ average dwell time—and determine potential areas of growth. 

Programmatic selling

In 2022, over 90% of all digital display ad dollars will transact programmatically. Tap into this market by enabling programmatic transactions across your EV charging network’s digital screens. This data-backed approach saves you time and opens the door to all sorts of measurable, highly-targeted, and dynamic DOOH campaigns that can be activated in real-time based on consumer behaviour and current audience demographics. All of these advantages make programmatic selling a surefire way to maximize your revenue from ad sales.

The right DOOH software

The easiest way to monetize your EV charging station investment through DOOH advertising is to partner with a technology solution provider like Broadsign. Today’s digital signage software covers a range of roles in the management of your DOOH network and includes powerful tools to optimize effectiveness and efficiency. In addition to managing content and serving ads to your digital signs, digital signage software can help you maximize your network’s efficiency and revenue by enabling programmatic selling, optimizing the direct selling process, and integrating with your EV charging management software.

Choosing the best digital signage software to monetize your EV charging stations: Key features to look for in 2022

Whether you’re planning to build a DOOH-enabled EV charging network from the get-go or looking to upgrade your existing network with new digital signage, your choice of software is going to play a big role in determining your business’s success. 

There are a few different companies that can provide these types of services, so to help you assess which DOOH solution is the best fit for your business, we’ve outlined some key software features that will help you maximize the ad revenue from your EV charging stations. 

Support for SoC

In the past few years, “system-on-chip” (SoC) displays have become increasingly popular as a relatively inexpensive and streamlined solution for digital signage. But the appeal of these all-in-one “smart” screens is partly offset by the limitations of the native software. Because SoC displays are typically limited in their out-of-the-box content and campaign management capabilities, you should look for a digital signage solution that includes support for SoC. This will allow you to roll out lower-cost displays across your network without compromising on potential revenue or efficiency.

Extensibility

Some of the coolest content in digital out-of-home is created by integrating data feeds, audience analytics tools, and other capabilities that aren’t generally included in digital signage software by default. If you want to be able to deliver great advertising, gain insights into the demographic makeup of your audience, or attract  potential media buyers, make sure your digital signage software will be able to integrate with all the tools and data you need. With an automated digital signage solution, you can even connect with your charging station software to trigger dynamic content playback based on the information your charger is reading.

Scalability

Electric vehicles are on track to account for 53% of passenger-car sales in the US by 2030—and EV charging networks will have to scale quickly in order to meet the resulting demand. An industry-leading DOOH solution like Broadsign’s makes it easy to run advertising across your whole network with only a small team to manage your scheduling and screens. The right solution will scale with you, letting you manage 5, 50, or 5,000 screens with just about the same ease. That means you don’t have to stress about growing the way you want to.

Smarter sales

If your digital signage software has limited campaign management capabilities or doesn’t enable programmatic selling, then you’re missing out on potential revenue. A sales and campaign management tool specifically designed for out-of-home can help you optimize your ad sales with real-time inventory availability, intelligent content redistribution, and support for a variety of campaign types. Investing in an SSP built for DOOH will open your network up to targeted campaigns from around the world and help you generate new revenue programmatically. And with an integrated DOOH platform like Broadsign’s, you can connect all of your tools so that booked campaigns, whether they’re sold directly or programmatically

Want to unlock the full value of your EV charging network with DOOH?

Contact our team to get started!