With so many businesses launching on a daily basis, whose first port of call is the advanced targeting platforms of Facebook, Google and Twitter, it’s an increasingly crowded space, especially as consumers get wiser to web advertising and move to block it.
In these challenging conditions, it’s wise to take a step back and think about more traditional marketing methods. We speak, of course, about outdoor advertising (sometimes referred to as OOH, or, out of house advertising). Although much of our lives may now be spent online, the world around us is a permanent fixture, and so outdoor advertising presents an opportunity for unavoidable, high visibility advertising.
Outdoor advertising comes in many shapes and sizes, from billboards to bus stops but at its core is one simple idea – getting your business in front of interested eyes. It might not have the specific targeting features of, say, Facebook but what it does have is one huge advantage – it’s local.
Local advertising has become a huge focus for the tech giants as they attempt to lure small and medium-sized businesses to the web, but they still can’t touch the instant impact of outdoor advertising.
In this guide, we’re going to share with you exactly why outdoor advertising still has a role to play, the types of outdoor advertising you can employ, their uses and some invaluable tips for launching an effective outdoor advertising campaign. Let’s get started.
Is outdoor advertising still important?
Trendy it might not be, but outdoor advertising is far from dead. Take a walk down any street in any town and city, and you’ll discover that there are dozens of advertisements from companies large and small, international and local.
It’s not a fear of change that’s keeping their money invested on the ground but the simple fact that outdoor advertising is hugely effective, even in a digital-first world. According to Statistica, outdoor advertising (called ‘out of home advertising’ here) spend within the UK has increased steadily YoY since 2011, hitting 1.14 billion pounds in 2017.
It’s growth that is being driven by the advent of digital outdoor advertising, which combines text, images and video to create dynamic, fluid advertising campaigns, although that’s a subject for another day
Companies aren’t simply throwing money away here; they’re making use of a platform which delivers results time and time again. What’s bringing businesses to outdoor advertising though? The answer is simple; local eyes. Attempting to launch or break into a new area is exceptionally difficult, even on digital platforms. It requires real savvy and, even then, can be a struggle.
By opting for outdoor advertising, your brand is unavoidable. It’s next to the Tesco as potential customers shop, it’s on the bus stop on their way back from work, and it’s on the billboard visible from their office window. It’s real, it’s there, and it firmly establishes you in the area. Better yet, outdoor advertising is within reach of even the smallest businesses. However, what types of outdoor advertising are there?
The types of outdoor advertising
One of the greatest strengths of outdoor advertising is the sheer variety of options available to businesses both big and small. Indeed, it’s entirely possible to run a compelling OOH campaign with minimal funds and still work with reliable material. Here are a few of the most common types of outdoor advertising:
- Point of sale advertising – The adverts which appear as you approach the checkout to pay for your products.
- Billboard advertising – Billboards offer huge visibility and, with digital billboard technology, allow you to tailor your advertising for the local market closely.
- Street advertising – Street advertising covers a whole range of platforms, including bus shelters, telephone booths, benches and more. Even a weatherproof board attached to a street lamp falls under the street advertising banner.
- Transit advertising – Buses, trains, taxis and trams often support advertising space, both inside and out.
- Mobile billboards – Far less common in the UK than they are in, say, America, however, mobile billboards offer a large surface area and can move from area to area.
- Guerrilla advertising – Ideal for the business looking to generate hype, guerrilla advertising methods are those more innovative methods, like ‘reverse spray-painting’, flash-mobs and other intriguing advertising methods.
These options ensure that, whether you’re Coca-Cola or Carl’s Comics, there’s an OOH advertising opportunity for you.
How to make the most of outdoor advertising
Like any advertising medium, outdoor advertising has its own advantages and weaknesses which need to be considered when rolling out a campaign. Here’s how to make the most of the medium:
- Make it memorable – Advertising is everywhere in our modern lives, so ensuring that your campaign is memorable is vital. Shock, surprise or delight – the choice is yours – but ensure that your campaign captures the eye and lodges in the memory.
- Avoid information overload – OOH advertising is typically only seen fleetingly, so get your point across quickly and don’t demand too much attention from passers-by. If you catch their interest, they’ll be ready to learn more online.
- Do your location and market research – The location of your campaign will determine plenty about how effective it is. Consider your target demographic, the level of traffic in the area and its value. There may be a better option out there than your initial choice.
By keeping these elements in mind, any business can create effective, valuable OOH advertising campaigns that dovetail perfectly with online advertising.
Related: What is market segmentation?