Some say out of home marketing is no longer relevant due to the prevalence of other forms of digital advertising. Yet out of home advertising trends reveal a thriving industry. According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, ad spend for out of home marketing reached a record $8 billion in 2018. Clearly, many advertisers believe out of home marketing remains relevant for their brands.

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What is Out of Home Marketing?

Out of home marketing refers to visual advertising placed outside of the home. Common types of out of home marketing are:

Outdoor advertising includes billboards, posters, signs, and murals.

Placed-based ads are found in settings like sports arenas, restaurants, shopping centers, movie theatres, stores, and gyms.

Street furniture usually refers to advertising incorporated into items like bus shelters, newsstands, and bus benches.

Transit advertising may be placed at airports or transit stations. This category also encompasses the ads posted inside of planes, trains, and buses. Another example is a mass transit vehicle that’s wrapped with an ad.

Benefits of Out of Home Marketing

Consumers Can’t Block Out of Home Marketing
For ads to be relevant, they first have to be seen. Viewers skip ads on YouTube. They fast forward the ads that accompany the shows they watch via DVR. Many consumers even pay for an ad-free experience on their favorite platforms.
Consumers can’t skip out of home advertising. Drivers stuck in rush hour traffic can’t avoid the billboard next to the highway. Commuters waiting for the bus can’t block the ad on the bus shelter. In fact, a 2019 Nielsen study found that 90 percent of travelers reported noticing an OOH ad in the previous month.

Out of Home Advertising is Effective
When people see out of home ads, they take action. The same Nielsen study reported that seeing an OOH ad resulted in 66 percent of smartphone users taking action on their device. Nielsen also reports an impressive 74 percent of consumers who visited businesses in response to a call to action on an out of home ad made a purchase.

Out of Home Marketing is Innovative
Although static billboards and other traditional types of out of home marketing are still effective, the out of home sector has embraced innovation. Digital billboards and other forms of electronic messaging continue to capture a growing share of the out of home marketing ad spend.
One of the key advantages of digital out home marketing is it’s dynamic. Advertisers can change images at any desired interval. Therefore, one digital billboard can convey several messages about the brand. Another way to use digital images is to have the image move to capture attention.

Digital Out of Home Ads Provide Enormous Flexibility
The dynamic nature of digital out of home marketing gives advertisers tremendous flexibility. Advertisers could choose to lead with content and let the ad follow.
Also, the creative can be designed to change based on real-time data. For example, what commuters see on a digital bus shelter ad can change based on current weather conditions. Traffic data, flight data, and local search engine queries are among the other data types advertisers are using to increase the relevance of their out of home ads.

Opportunities for Consumer Engagement Are Plentiful
Both static and digital media in the out of home space can be designed to provide avenues for consumer engagement. A QR code on a static poster can direct the consumer to an app, unlock a special offer, or provide a way to make a purchase.

The increasing use of digital out of home marketing strategies has expanded the ways consumers can interact with a brand. Out of home digital ads can be designed to change based on consumer input from a touchscreen or an app.

In summary, out of home marketing provides brands with unique opportunities. Successful advertisers in the out of home space find creative ways to take advantage of the innovations offered by digital out of home ads.