One of the questions we get asked a lot here at Billups is how Out of Home (OOH) advertising compares to other media channels. Our clients also often are using multichannel strategies and want to know how to best integrate OOH into their other marketing efforts. OOH can be both an effective standalone channel, and with lower CPM rates than other forms of advertising it can be a budget-friendly way to expand the reach of your audience.
Whether OOH or another form of advertising is better for your campaign depends on what the advertising goals are and the target audience. OOH can be effective for creating broad brand awareness and reaching large audiences in specific locations, but some other forms of advertising such as digital or social media advertising may be more straightforward in their measurements.
However, using OOH strategically in conjunction with your other media channels can amplify your chances of a successful campaign tremendously. In this article, you will learn about several different advertising channels, the pros and cons of each, and how to best integrate them with your OOH marketing strategies.
OOH is advertising that reaches your audiences when they are on the move in the physical world. It has the ability to reach a large, diverse audience and generate massive brand exposure. More than just putting signage on a billboard, effective OOH marketing strategies require significant planning and research. The target audience and appropriate markets must be identified, the formats and placements must be chosen and the design of the ads must be eye-catching to really make an impact on audiences.
Because of their physical nature, OOH advertisements often are up longer than other forms of advertising. In the US, a typical OOH campaign runs for four weeks, giving more time for your audience to be exposed to your message time and time again. OOH media done well has the potential to make a strong visual impact and create a memorable brand experience for audiences.
Though measuring the success of an OOH campaign can potentially be more challenging compared to other forms of advertising, data, analytics and insights continue to evolve in the space that allow it to be comparable to other forms of traditional advertising and digital advertising.
OOH advertising can be effectively integrated with other forms of advertising, such as online, social media, television and radio to create a multi-channel advertising strategy that is sure to reach your audiences and encourage them to take action on your brand.
Even though OOH reaches broad audiences it can also reach highly targeted audiences through the use of analytics and planning tools. The first way to find your target audience in any campaign is to consider the demographics of your audience. How old are they? How much money do they make? What is their lifestyle? This can help you to choose locations and formats that will reach them effectively.
Beyond figuring out who your target audience is and where to find them, the messaging that your creatives use to engage them is important. Create messages that resonate with your target audience and ensure that the formats you are using will reach them effectively.
Timing is another important consideration. What time of day is your target audience likely to come across your message? If you are running programmatic or digital ads you may have more flexibility in determining what times your OOH ads will run, but for any campaign you can consider based on the location what time of day your ideal audience is likely to see your creative.
As mentioned earlier, the Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of OOH advertising can be lower than other forms of advertising. However, there are other ways that OOH can provide cost efficiency. By targeting OOH to specific locations that will reach the target audience, organizations can reduce waste and increase the effectiveness of the advertising spend. Also, there are a wide variety of formats available at different cost points. A bus shelter or bus bench ad may be less expensive than a Billboard or Transit Poster in the same market, while still reaching a large number of people.
And of course, as mentioned above, OOH is a great medium to integrate with and amplify your other channels’ efforts.
Though measuring the impact and attribution of OOH advertising can be challenging there are several methods and technologies that can help.
Mobile location data can be used to track the movement and behavior of target audiences. This can provide information about whether or not someone saw your OOH advertisement and about what actions they took afterwards related to your campaign, such as whether they visited a physical store or even made a purchase. However, with OOH attribution, the controls put in place to measure mobile ad id data is very important.
Brand surveys can also be conducted to gain a sense of the audience’s sentiments about a campaign pre-, during, and post- campaign. OOH campaigns can also be integrated with other channels such as online that will encourage users to engage on social media or visit a website and take action.
Working with an OOH specialist can help advertisers to find the right measurement and attribution studies for their campaigns.
According to OAAA, OOH can amplify efforts on other marketing channels by more than 90%. Let's see how advertising works with a few popular mediums and show how those can be integrated with OOH for successful multichannel campaigns that reach, interest and engage audiences.
Now we will dive into other media types, such as television. Television advertising promotes products, services and ideas through video. A company will purchase airtime from a television network, cable provider or streaming service that may be broadcast during specific programs or commercial breaks for shows that the target audience typically watches. Television advertising impact can be measured through a variety of methods including surveys, website traffic and sales data.
Television advertising can be an effective way to reach a large audience and generate brand awareness, but it can also be expensive and less targeted compared to other forms of advertising, such as digital or social media advertising. A successful television advertising strategy typically involves careful planning and targeting, as well as regular measurement and optimization to improve targeting and reach the desired audience effectively.
However, there are some drawbacks to modern television advertisers. Less and less people use linear television in favor of streaming apps that may allow users to skip advertisements entirely. Television has also become more fragmented, making it more difficult to fully reach target audiences through a single television platform. In spite of this, there are benefits to reaching audiences through streaming networks, including the ability to target by specific audiences rather than by show or channel.
Using OOH in conjunction with online video advertising has the ability to double, triple or even quadruple the reach of your message, according to a study by OAAA.
Advertisers that are already using television to reach their audiences can integrate it successfully with an OOH campaign. Because of the short dwell time with OOH ads, often a simplified version or a reinforcement of a television ad story can help audiences to take in the brand’s message. Try using TV to create an iconic storyline with characters and then using OOH to pick out the key driving items like brand or images to extend the message of the television advertisement. When working with OOH and TV ads together it is important to create a connection between the two campaigns, whether it is through use of color, branding or imagery.
Some of the benefits of integrating the two mediums together include increased frequency of messaging, cross-channel reinforcement, and measurable impact. It can lead to increased brand recognition and recall while reaching target audiences with a consistent and impactful message.
Online advertising promotes products, services or brands through the internet using various digital channels including search engines, social media, websites, and email to drive traffic, engagement and conversions. Deep audience targeting in the digital space makes it possible for advertisers to ensure that their ads are seen only by the people that fit their desired audience profile.
Online advertising utilizes user data to create personalized ad experiences.By collecting data on users’ browsing habits, search queries and social media activity, advertisers can build a profile of each user that includes information on their demographics and interests. This allows them to segment their audiences based on the data collected and target their ads to specific audience segments that are more likely to take an interest in the brand. Through use of A/B testing and real-time performance analytics, advertisers can continuously optimize their ad targeting, messaging and delivery to provide more personalized ad experiences for each user.
The personalized ad experience of online advertising can lead to higher engagement, brand awareness and conversions. However, it's important that advertisers ensure their use of data aligns with privacy, ethical and regulatory requirements.
It’s now possible to apply the same rigor of audience targeting to OOH campaigns as digital campaigns. Many people are now constantly inundated with digital ads and have grown weary of them, choosing to click out of the ads or ignore them altogether, even when the experience is personalized. Because OOH exists in the physical world, it is unavoidable.
Because it is part of the landscape, viewers see the ads passively and they are less “in your face.”
Using OOH in conjunction with an online campaign is a marketing marriage that makes sense. OOH ads reinforce the message of digital advertising and may even drive traffic to websites or additional search queries of a brand. In fact, although OOH made up 4.1 percent of total ad spend in 2021, it generated a similar or greater share of online action than TV, video, radio and banner ads, according to a study from OAAA. Those who participated in the survey said they were just as likely or more likely to download an app, visit a website, or make an online purchase after viewing an OOH ad.
Any campaign that uses online advertising with OOH advertising is very complimentary. They are so in sync that they are almost needed in tandem. OOH has the ability to create a PR buzz, social media buzz and online buzz that allows people to take action and click through. For example, in Calvin Klein’s “This is Love” campaign, users were encouraged to use photo booths inside a Calvin Klein store for family photos. These photos could then be shared on social media or even to a digital OOH format nearby.
OOH, though it can be targeted to your specific audience, will also reach a broader audience, and then the online compliments it to hyper-target the desired audience. They support each other in a natural way. Someone may see a Billboard and then go on to see a related ad on social media and have brand recognition and affinity that leads them to seek more information. Advertisers also can geofence their OOH to deliver online mobile ads to targeted consumer groups' personal devices, extending the impact of OOH exposure by days or even weeks through online retargeting ads.
When online and OOH are combined effectively, engagement goes through the roof. Online data capabilities complement the data available from OOH advertising to help track the effectiveness of a campaign. For example, an OOH advertisement with a QR code for a promotion can be tracked to show how much digital traffic was driven by the OOH.
Though it is a far less popular advertising option than it was in the past, many organizations still use magazine and newspaper print advertising to reach their audiences. Newspapers can reach a large and diverse audience in local, regional or national papers, whereas magazines can reach more specific target audiences depending on the magazine’s topic. They are both cost-effective ways to reach an audience and build brand recognition and trust. Many of those who still use printed newspapers and magazines tend to be an older and less digitally savvy demographic, but there are many consumers who still find printed content appealing.
Combining an OOH campaign with print media can help support a brand’s presence and to personalize the ad experience. OOH ads can also extend the shelf life of a newspaper or magazine ads. QR codes can be leveraged to use print and OOH in tandem to support digital advertising methods.
Sometimes when an OOH placement is particularly novel or experiential it can generate enough buzz to be newsworthy. When this happens, then the newspaper article amplifies the reach of the OOH advertisement across channels.
Combining print media and OOH advertising can help you reach your target audience with a consistent and compelling message, build brand recognition and trust, and maximize the impact of your advertising spend.
Though radio advertising is one of the less popular advertising channels these days, it still holds significance. Radio advertising is unique in that it is often a passive or ambient medium that audiences listen to while commuting or traveling in their cars. Radio is also often used for local advertising and can be a cost-effective way to build brand recognition, generate leads and drive conversions. Advertisers can target their audiences by airing their ads at specific times or during specific programs. Ads can vary from 30 seconds to one minute to longer and tell a sound-only story that appeals to their target demographic.
Nowadays, rather than traditional radio, many audiences use digital radio platforms such as streaming services and platform networks. Streaming services and podcasts often have higher targeting abilities and more access to performance data including reach, engagement and conversions.
Radio advertisements lack a visual element, which can be provided through OOH. Consider the effect of a person listening to a radio advertisement perfectly timed with their passing by a complimentary billboard advertisement on the highway. When OOH and radio are paired together, the personality or person of the podcast, audio streaming service or radio station can be tied directly to the visual that the audience would see in the real world. OOH helps to boost the personality of the radio advertisement and to create additional brand affinity. Though they reach different senses and create very different experiences, using them together can help a brand to be more memorable and thus for your audiences to take an action related to your brand.
Though in many instances it can be, OOH is not always the right answer. When we provide our strategic recommendations here at Billups there are certain situations where we may tell the client that OOH is not the most impactful medium for their campaign.
If you have a niche target audience or one that may be difficult to reach through outdoor advertising then you may not get enough reach with your advertisement for OOH to be effective in a local market. Likewise, there may be limited or no OOH in the targeted area. However, OOH has many options and there are workarounds in the form of Place-Based OOH advertising. Another situation where OOH may not be effective is if you have a short-term campaign or one that requires a quick turnaround time. OOH can have a longer lead time than some other channels for planning, production, and installation. However, the rise of Digital OOH and Programmatic Digital OOH have shortened lead times to match that of most other marketing channels.
When comparing it to other possible marketing channels, it ultimately depends on what the campaign messaging will be and what is the goal of the campaign. For example, if your purpose is lead generation and getting someone to click a link in an email, then OOH could support that, but it won’t be the catalyst driver for the campaign. If you are trying to tell a longer format story around something using television and multiple visuals, then OOH wouldn’t be the main part of your campaign, but could emphasize and drive home the key points of the story.
OOH’s mass reach makes it most useful as a standalone when trying to break into a new audience or market with a new product or service, or trying to build the brand name. In those situations, OOH works well as the first line item on a marketing campaign with other channels supporting it.
Multichannel campaigns done right perform better than any one channel on its own. OOH may not be the answer for everything, but when it is, it really shines. Explore how integrating OOH into your next media plan can yield stronger campaign results. Contact Billups today!
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