Once upon a time, entrepreneurs were reluctant to advertise online. In the early days of the internet you advertised in daily newspapers, magazines and other analogue media as standard, and the step to online marketing was a big one. The tide has now turned and online is the standard. Many entrepreneurs have only online, digital assets in their marketing mix, ignoring offline assets. Outdoor advertising is such a means that by no means every entrepreneur is considering. That is a shame, because out of home (OOH), as outdoor advertising is called in the jargon, can still be very effective and thus valuable for many businesses.
What exactly is outdoor advertising?
'Outdoor advertising in Pompeij in the form of a tablet' Source Mball93
The name says it all: outdoor advertising is an advertisement that is visible from the public road. Outdoor advertising takes many forms: facade advertising, bus shelters at the bus shelters, billboards, stickered cars and public transport, free-standing billboards (called mupis), street furniture and digital projections on buildings. As a medium, outdoor advertising offers advertisers a stage to quickly get your message across to a large group. Outdoor advertising is as old as the road to Rome, where you already found outdoor advertising as a traveler. The word advertising comes from the Latin reclamere, which means to broadcast loudly.
Why bet on outdoor advertising now?
Almost every company advertises online and online spending is still increasing every year, especially in times of need. That makes sense, because online marketing has many advantages. You can target your audience, you can measure what your ads deliver to you, and you can quickly make adjustments to the messages you send. Still, online isn't always the holy grail, let alone the only one.
After all, the effectiveness of a marketing method is determined not only by its objective characteristics, but also by the way in which consumers usually deal with it. There is a lot of difference between the different media. For example, television advertising has been losing effectiveness for years, as have the somewhat more traditional online advertising methods (pop-ups, banners, et cetera). This is partly due to consumer behavior: consumers prefer a night out on Netflix instead of RTL with cheesy advertising every 2 minutes. The use of ad blockers is also increasing to limit the abundance of online advertising.
This video from the Consumers' Association explains exactly how ad blockers work:
In part, the success of ad blockers and video streaming comes from the nature of the ads they serve. A place in an old-fashioned commercial break ('between all other commercials) is simply not very attractive. The commercial break is a zapping moment or a moment to grab a drink. The same sometimes applies to online advertisements. The range of online advertisements is so great that it is difficult to attract (and keep) the attention of the internet user. The risk that your online advertisement will not work then becomes great.
'Outdoor advertising is 7x more effective than TV advertising'
Outdoor advertising, on the other hand, is and remains one of the most effective methods of marketing communications. Outdoor advertising, compared to the costs involved, is seven times more effective than TV ads and nearly four times as effective as print ads. This effectiveness is then measured on the basis of follow-up behavior: does a consumer investigate online channels as a result of such an advertisement? In outdoor advertising, the answer to that question is surprisingly often yes.
This connection with your online resources (website, social media) makes outdoor advertising extremely suitable for almost any entrepreneur, even if you currently focus exclusively on online media.
Advantages and disadvantages of outdoor advertising
When it comes to outdoor advertising, many people think mainly of its disadvantages, seen from the 'digital revolution' perspective. Yes, there are indeed those disadvantages, because outdoor advertising:
- You cannot target specific visitors, for example on the basis of cookies;
- You cannot adapt quickly if the situation requires it;
- You cannot easily analyze when it comes to effectiveness;
- And are relatively expensive compared to an online advertisement.
However, what's important to realize is that all those drawbacks are just drawbacks in the light of the digital revolution. In other words: only if you assume that online resources are always the best, outdoor advertising will turn out worse. But those online resources are not always the best for your business. The ideal world is usually somewhere in the middle between online and offline.
What are the advantages of a billboard outside? First of all, there is the effectiveness. An outdoor advertisement often receives more attention from a consumer, because it cannot be clicked away or filtered out. Think of a sidewalk sign, lettering on a building or an advertising column on the street. Unlike TV commercials or online advertisements, outdoor ads are often not a distraction from the information you are actually looking for. If you watch TV or visit a website, you are not doing it for advertising. The advertisement is then distracting and that is undesirable. But if you drive on the highway and there is a large LED screen next to the road, you do not experience that as undesirable. You look at it for a moment and take note.
In addition, outdoor advertising also affects your brand and you image. Companies that advertise offline are perceived as more serious and reliable than companies that only operate online. Outdoor advertising gives your company the stamp of reliability and professionality.
When should you use outdoor advertising?
In fact, outdoor advertising is worth considering for any company that is serious about marketing. If your company is successful but you currently only advertise online, the step to outdoor advertising is a very logical one. It adds value to the image of your company and you broaden your marketing mix.
Incidentally, there are many forms of outdoor advertising that you can choose from. If your company makes innovative products or mainly provides online services, it is wise, for example, to focus on digital outdoor advertising (digital out of home, DOOH). This means that the means you choose is somewhat in line with the nature of your company.
Outdoor advertising in your marketing mix
Are you going to use outdoor advertising as part of your marketing mix? Doing well! Remember that your outdoor ads work with your online assets. Always refer consumers to your online channels, for example through a QR code that can be easily scanned. And, just as with online resources, consider carefully which target group you want to offer your outdoor advertising to. Shopping families can be approached in the shopping center, commuters next to the motorway and average working citizens and students can be approached via public transport (stations, bus shelters). You should therefore carefully consider the location of your outdoor advertising, as you do with online resources.
This makes your outdoor advertising a nice extension of your marketing mix, which will have a reinforcing effect on all your other initiatives. You will be able to welcome more website visitors, more searches and more clicks to your social media. If you are there (also) a good one content marketing strategy that allows you to get the most out of your online content, you will be able to recoup the investment of outdoor advertising in no time.