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Search engine optimization, social media branding, and other forms of digital marketing are hot topics to discuss in the world of business right now. There are good reasons for that – the internet has revolutionized how we do business and is today one of the main tools we use for marketing. But we mustn’t forget that businesses promoted themselves for centuries before the internet became a thing. Many of the methods they employed are still effective today with only minor updates. One such method is OOH advertising or out-of-home advertising. But what exactly is out-of-home advertising, and how can you employ it to grow your business?

What is OOH advertising?

OOH advertising stands for out-of-home advertising. It is a form of marketing that can serve as an alternative to online and digital efforts. Although social media advertising, content marketing, and other digital methods are still important and effective, people are finding more ways to avoid them every day. So it’s good to work another angle too. Out-of-home advertising can be the alternative you’re looking for. As the name implies, it refers to advertising outside of the home – in the streets, on public transport, in other stores or shopping centers. These types of ads pop up while consumers are shopping, going to work, or walking their dogs in places and forms that are difficult to ignore.

OOH advertising on a subway. OOH advertising is all about meeting your customers where they are - in public, on the streets, in metros.
OOH advertising is all about meeting your customers where they are – in public, on the streets, in metros.

What are the different types of OOH advertising you might consider?

Out-of-home advertising comes in a variety of different forms, including:

  • billboards: analog and digital billboards, bulletins, posters, and murals
  • street furniture: signage in bus shelters, on benches, on kiosks, on street poles, and elsewhere
  • transit: ads in airports, on buses, on trains and metros, on cabs, and other types of mobile advertising
  • place-based: marketing in cinemas, shopping malls, stores, concert arenas, and similar locations

Place-based OOH ads and billboards accounted for the highest percentage of OOH campaigns. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best choices. In fact, the best option will depend on your business and your audience. You want to place your OOH ads where your target demographic will see them. If your target demographic takes public transport, then that’s where you want your ads to be. If they go to the cinema, then place-based ads are the best for you. It all depends.

The benefits of OOH advertising

The practice of out-of-home advertising has been around for centuries, even if the term itself has not. The reason why it’s made such a long-lasting career in the marketing industry is simple: there are many benefits to marketing to your customers when they are outside of their home.

Billboards on the side of a building.
Companies have been using OOH marketing for years and continue to do so today.

To begin with, customers trust ads they see outside more than those they see online according to research by MarketingSherpa. So your OOH ads may lead to a higher rate of conversion than your digital campaigns. Furthermore, customers are less likely to be able to avoid OOH ads than online ads. There is no way to install an adblocker for billboards or skip forward in a video played at the cinema. Finally, OOH ads can make your other campaigns more effective. When people are already familiar with your brand from OOH ads, they’re more likely to respond well to digital marketing.

How to run a good OOH marketing campaign

Like digital marketing, TV ads, grassroots marketing, and other advertisement methods, out-of-home marketing can be highly beneficial, or it can be a waste of resources. What makes the difference is how well you run your OOH campaign. So what are some of the most important things to keep in mind?

Choose a place and format your target audience will respond to

The most important thing in all street marketing tactics is to meet your customers where they are. Out-of-home advertising is not an exception, so start by doing some thorough market research. Find out who your customers are, where they like to go, and what kinds of ads might grab their attention. Then use this information to design the perfect OOH ad campaign for your target audience.

Be creative

As always, standing out in marketing requires creativity, so get your best creative minds on your OOH campaign. This is an excellent opportunity to test some new ideas because OOH ads don’t depend on search engines and rankings to be seen, so you don’t have to worry about abiding by strict rules. Furthermore, you’ll have more space than usual to put something together – billboards and posters are a lot larger than small phone screens. Finally, OOH ads can take many different forms, so you’ll also have a chance to test out different formats and see what works.

Colorful billboard.
The best marketing campaigns are the ones that make an impression.

Use the environment

OOH marketing gives you a unique opportunity to turn the very space around you into an ad. So scope out different locations and find ways to incorporate the outdoors into your ads. Paint a park bench with flowers in the winter, use a brick wall to create interesting patterns in a mural, make your ads into games to pass the time on public transport – the possibilities are endless so let your creative side run wild.

Make it modern

Don’t let the fact that OOH advertising has been around for a long time fool you – this method is all but outdated. The digital era has revolutionized out-of-home marketing along with everything else. These days, you can make digital OOH ads to increase their impact. A great example of DOOH marketing is seen in Times Square in New York – hundreds of colorful, high-impact ads running 24/7. You might not be able to afford an ad there yet, but you can employ digital techniques in your out-of-home advertising at bus stops, in stores, on billboards, and elsewhere. So bring your OOH campaign into the 21st century!

See article on 3D Mapping ProjectionsBook out of home advertising here.

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