A Look at the Best Practices for Outdoor Advertising

A Look at the Best Practices for Outdoor Advertising

Although many businesses rely on digital marketing strategies, the more traditional method of outdoor advertising is also a great way to reach your target demographic and introduce new consumers to your brand. This type of advertising is powerful because it is hard to ignore—you can’t just click the close button on a billboard or sign the way you might on a pop-up ad on your browser. If you’re making outdoor advertising part of your next marketing campaign, you’ll need the right knowledge to make it a success. Read on to explore some of the best practices to follow when utilizing outdoor advertising strategies:

Know your method.

You aren’t limited to one type of outdoor advertising. Depending on your advertising campaign, you can use one of several different methods to engage your audience and expand your reach.

Billboard advertising is one popular method. The size and location of billboards make them a sure-fire way to attract the attention of motorists and other passersby. Billboards also give you a great deal of freedom to be creative with your advertising. You are no longer limited to traditional still billboards; digital and moving billboards allow you to develop innovative, eye-catching advertising campaigns.

Many businesses forget that outdoor ads aren’t just limited to billboards alongside roadways—you can also advertise on public transit, street furniture, and retail spaces. Even augmented reality has begun to make waves in outdoor advertising, giving companies new opportunities to develop creative marketing materials.

Don’t go over the top.

The phrase “less is more” is a mantra in outdoor advertising for good reason. Whether you use a billboard, an ad on a bus, or whatever else, try to keep the visuals you use as clutter-free as possible. Choose a color scheme that is centered around a single bold color with muted hues instead of opting for several contrasting, flashy hues. Simplicity can help you convey your story much more effectively. Think of it this way: your outdoor advertising campaign is supposed to pique the interest of consumers, not tell them everything there is to know about your company. 

Get your point across quickly.

On average, you will only have a few seconds to catch the eye of consumers with your outdoor ads. That’s why it’s important to convey your message as clearly as possible. Relying heavily on visuals can help you accomplish this. Incorporate too many words in an ad, and consumers won’t have the time to read the information you present. They’ll quickly lose interest. If you do need to include text, many experts advise keeping your message under six words. Visuals can help you convey complex, lengthier concepts to your audience. 

Focus on your target demographic.

No advertising campaign can succeed if you fail to identify and target your core demographic or audience. Before launching any campaign, you’ll need to determine exactly who you’re trying to target. Where do these people live? What is their age range? Do they work? What is their income level? Do they have families? How does your product or service benefit them? Understanding your audience is critical for creating effective outdoor advertising and placing these materials in locations where your target audience will notice them.

Use it for branding.

Outdoor advertising can help you build and solidify your company’s brand, but only if you are consistent in your marketing. For example, if you are marketing with billboards, make sure that they share the same colors, fonts, and layouts as your digital and print advertising materials. With little time to take in your message in an outdoor ad, your audience must be able to recognize your brand immediately.

Use timing to your advantage.

Depending on your business and your customers, running your outdoor advertising campaigns at specific times of the year can be a good idea. If you’re a retailer, then launching a billboard campaign during the holiday season can help you garner more interest in your brand. If you cater to tourists, then it would be best to launch campaigns when the most vacationers will be in your area. Timing is everything, so you should consider it carefully.

Create something buzzworthy.

Social media has changed the way companies market to consumers, even when it comes to outdoor advertising. One great bus or billboard ad can draw the attention of passersby—but when social media gets involved, it can have an even greater impact. As such, you should seek to develop outdoor marketing materials that will generate positive buzz.

Make something that consumers will see and want to share on social media. Or, you could go the route of companies like McDonalds, which made one of their billboard campaigns through gamification. They even rewarded participating consumers with free food. Anything that you can do to make your own outdoor marketing campaigns interactive and shareable can create buzz and interest in your brand. 

Choose the right location.

Location is, perhaps, the most important element of outdoor advertising. You don’t want to waste your time designing a beautiful ad that no one sees. As such, purchase advertising space in the locations that your target audience frequents the most.  Determining this may require a little research. To ensure that your outdoor ads have the most impact, you also want to purchase space in spots with optimal visibility, and without heavy competition from other advertisements.