In an era of cord cutting, fake news, and rampant click fraud, advertisers are looking for alternatives to TV and digital advertising. Some may be surprised to hear that out-of-home (OOH) advertising is making a comeback.
Many people think of OOH advertising as broken wooden billboards — abandoned for years on a little-used back road and seen by few. But OOH has come a long way. Many billboards are electronic now, and OOH encompasses much more, such as subway and bus enclosure ads in high-traffic areas.
Most importantly, new technology enables OOH advertisers to quickly find inventory and measure ad effectiveness just as they would online.
Who’s Using OOH?
Mark Steverson, the owner of Orangetheory Fitness of LA, wanted to try something new to drive leads and new clients for his fitness center. A big fan of digital marketing, Steverson had always avoided traditional ad channels such as print and outdoor, believing that they weren’t measurable. A colleague pointed him to AdQuick. Steverson decided to run a local outdoor campaign featuring shortcodes to drive SMS engagement. The campaign achieved 560% ROI, as measured by shortcode usage.
Many other advertisers are giving OOH a try due to these new capabilities. Among them:
- Bright Cellars, a monthly wine club based in Chicago, ran an SMS campaign on L trains. Bright Cellars obtained nearly 100 new wine club members in six weeks at an acquisition cost of just $17 per customer.
- Drake’s record label OVO drove nearly $6,000 in Instagram value in its first week with one billboard in Soho. The billboard earned 34,000 weekly impressions. Images from the campaign received almost 4000 Instagram likes, generated hundreds of comments, and reached 233,000 followers.
Tactics for Measuring OOH
- API integration with Google Analytics, which measures lift in site traffic by area. Advertisers add a location snippet into their site code to breakdown increased site traffic by geography driven by outdoor advertising. This technique has been proven to increase site traffic by more than 40% percent versus controls.
- API integration with Google AdWords, which measures cost per click by area to quantify performance efficiencies in online advertising. As outdoor advertising drives up a company’s awareness, its online ads perform more efficiently.
- Social Media Image Recognition, an algorithm that scrapes social media images to quantify the number of additional impressions using campaign images or tags.
- SMS Short Codes, beneficial for transit and pedestrian-focused campaigns. They give any campaign a call-to-action and make it more engaging, and results are easily measured simply by tracking shortcode usage.
- Geo-fenced Mobile Ads, which measure engagement rate by area. AdQuick can create and serve ads on smartphones that mirror the message on outdoor advertising. This gives advertisers another way to measure engagement and provides consumers with a way to learn more about a brand’s offering and quantify the boost OOH drives in other channels. This technique has led to engagement rates that are 30% to 50% higher in areas with outdoor ads versus controls.
- Geographic Surveys (based on zip code) track brand awareness and channel attribution in the areas surrounding the outdoor advertising locations.
- Movement Tracking for quantifying the increase in foot traffic an outdoor ad drives to a brick-and-mortar location.
- Voice Activations: As Alexa, Siri and Google voice skills propagate, outdoor advertising is becoming more and more actionable and attributable.
But How Do I Buy OOH Media?
Remember the travel industry before Expedia? Travelers had to go to individual airline and hotel websites to gather availability and pricing information. Expedia made that process infinitely easier by pulling it all together in one place. The same thing is now happening in OOH.
New marketplace models make finding OOH inventory simple for advertisers. Using maps, zip codes and demographic information, advertisers can target the right areas. They can then buy inventory from multiple owners all at once and upload graphics online for near-immediate posting. All of this enables advertisers to launch campaigns in less than an hour, compared to the weeks, or even months, it used to take.
Marketers who haven’t explored OOH options for a few years should take a look at the newest alternatives. You may be surprised at the new, measurable options at your disposal.