It's all done automatically, with a software app, and the ads can be created and updated from phones or laptops, then posted on TVs in a bar or restaurant.
According to Posters Inc. founder and CEO, Elmer Morales, it's a way to make passive income off things that are already happening in restaurants – people posting and sharing photos of their food as they eat it.
And the first 100 businesses to sign up get a real deal.
Poster is a software product for restaurants and bars that also provides network and software delivery for 3rd party advertisements. “The ad space they sell is to advertisers who are interested in putting their own brand out there, like a local Realtor might be interested in advertising at a local restaurant,” he says.
“If you look at digital signage today and we're much more than just a digital signage player but if a restaurant wants to implement any kind of digital signage, they're going to have to invest a couple thousand dollars, in hardware, software and still have to configure and manage it themselves,” says Morales. “We want to disrupt that industry and say no, why don't we give this to you for free, let's make this a win win, and help you interest third parties to also advertise in your space. We're here to help that small business make additional revenue.
First, some background. Businesses today have to sell ad space in a manual process. “Let's say you want to help a local Realtor sell his services. Today that's a manual transaction. The local Realtor comes in, someone pitches him, then you have to email back and forth with the artwork and approval and plug it into the restaurant's TV. It takes time and money. That entire process is what we've automated,” he says.
Morales says where his company is unique is in offering value to the business itself in promoting its own business. Every display that's running the Poster software app gets a unique short URL – Let's take Joe's Bar. We'll give him, posterads.com/joe's bar. Throughout the display, we're not only showing your media content and third-party advertisement but we're also promoting that ad space to your audience – advertise here, reach x number of people for only $25 a month, we'll put a short URL automatically on the restaurant's display, shown by the software, so when they visit the URL on the phone or desktop, they can place an ad through the Web or our app seamlessly.
“It's like buying an item on amazon.com. We design our own ecommerce platform that's specifically for these types of ads. At Amazon, when you buy a tee shirt, you're going to specify the size of the shirt, what you want on it, and then go through the checkout process. Now, rather than specifying the size of the shirt, you simply upload artwork from your computer and we collect the artwork as part of the checkout process,” explains Morales. “You tell us what day to run the ad – a single day, a week, or into next month. Maybe, at a bar, there's a popular fight taking place on a certain Saturday and you want to buy ad space that day. It's just like booking a hotel. We allow you to specify the date; we take your artwork, and charge your credit card. We're an ecommerce platform for the business. We handle the transaction, charge the advertiser's credit card and through our software and the Internet, we can take that art work and send it directly to the display for it to run on the day the advertiser purchased it. There's no need for any human to be involved.”
He adds, “It's all self-service, fully automated. Our ecommerce system talks to your digital display through the Internet automatically, without any human interaction.”
Once the ad is installed on the venue's TV, “Other than turning it on, there's nothing you need to do, in terms of moving that artwork around or trying to charge people's credit cards on your own,” Morales says.
Many businesses are willing to pay a monthly fee, but Poster is giving away its software for free. “To get up and running, all you need is a small 4×4-inch device we provide. Sometimes restaurants or bars don’t have a TV and need help mounting it. We charge a set-up fee that goes toward the hardware and installation process. But those first 100 businesses get it all for free,” he says.
Rather than a monthly fee, a small percentage of the revenue is split with the business. “What we're saying is, as a business, you get the majority of the revenue. You can dictate the price you want for ad space. We supply the software and service and take a tiny transaction revenue split. If there's a month when you don't have any advertisers, you don't have to pay anything but you can still use our software for your own social media interactions. We're in it together with our partners and that's how we want to build our business – make it very friction-free to give it a shot.”
If Poster can't sell any ad space to a restaurant's customers or find them any advertisers, there's no commitment. “We don't see restaurants and bars as paying customers. We see them as partners. We want to work with them to find advertisers where we can all benefit, while, at the same time, promoting their own businesses, too,” he says.
The big benefit for restaurants and bars is that there is no upfront cost. “If we were to charge, it wouldn't be an honest thing to do,” says Morales. “Businesses love not having to spend anything. It’s almost like we're going into business with them and turning their audience into ad space.”
Poster also offers internal advertising, like specials on meals or drinks. “Every business display can be controlled from a mobile app or from our Web site. You can log in and manage your display right from the Internet. Anything that promotes your business is an internal ad, and you can create whatever you like. They're totally free. We support images and videos, 30- to 60-second clips that show in rotation, that you can upload to the site. You can promote anything you like,” he says.
The company also offers social media ads that are live feeds to social media content. “How do you highlight yelp today? Put a sticker on the door and say, find us on yelp. That doesn't help a lot. We want to take that sticker to the next level, so we hunt down the best reviews we can find and display them on the screen.”
Clients can direct Poster to show only 4-star reviews and above. “Our software will find those reviews, and put photos on the screen. It's a way for them to be proud of what they've accomplished and encourage their audience to go to yelp and post so they can be featured on that display. Everyone loves to see their name in print,” says the CEO. And all of that is free.
On Twitter and instagram? “Give us a hash tag you want us to follow and we'll display it in a beautiful format. You can promote yourself and your advertiser customers while people are at the bar waiting for a table,” he points out.
Morales notes that passive income is a very big deal for restaurants today. “There's no cost. And with people today taking pictures of their food and sharing it with friends, and by us showing that content, we're encouraging others to do the same, so we can increase the restaurant's social media engagement by 100- plus %, just by having this capability,” Morales says. “Now that so many people are doing this, it will bring in more customers and promote the brand for that restaurant. We want to amplify the benefit of this, and through our capabilities, we can.”
For more information, go to posterads.com.