Short-term success is something you experience immediately, like selling out a concert. Long-term success comes with time, like spreading the word about a new artist. Out of home advertising can help you achieve both types of success.
In fact, there may be no medium better suited to these twin undertakings. With all the opportunities for smart billboards, you can harness your creativity into something truly impactful for your brand to reach all your goals.
So how can you get both short- and long-term success using billboards and other outdoor media? Let’s take a look at these distinct yet complementary goals.
Short-Term Success Using Outdoor Advertising
First, you need to set a goal. You won’t know whether your campaign is a success if you don’t know what you are aiming to do. Examples of short-term goals you want to accomplish in the near future might include:
- Informing people about a special sale
- Getting the word out about a new address for your business
- Promoting a release date for an album
Think of short-term goals as activation, i.e. getting people to do something. Short-term goals tend to be concrete and measurable. For example, you can see how much merchandise you move during a sale you advertised on a billboard vs. one you did not. You can have success in the short term with a billboard because of its immediacy.
Long-Term Success Using Outdoor Advertising
Branding is generally the aim of most long-term advertising campaigns in any medium. You establish what your brand is about and why people should give it a try.
Let’s say you own a pizzeria. There are dozens of other pizzerias in your area, and all of you claim to make the very best pies. Why should people come to your place over the other choices? Because you brand yourself as the one that cares.
Maybe you give 5 percent of your profit to charity or maybe the guy who works the register remembers everyone’s order and calls them by funny nicknames. You want to focus on your unique attribute in your advertising and turn it into your calling card, which draws people to your restaurant.
Examples of long-term goals may include:
- Increasing profits year-to-year
- Creating greater brand awareness
- Accomplishing all your short-term goals
Short-Term Success Does Not Guarantee Long-Term Success in Outdoor Advertising
While short-term success can contribute to long-term success, something designed to achieve a one-time goal will not help you build your brand. Someone who visits your store because they’re passing through town and saw the billboard on the highway won’t become a long-term customer once they go back home.
What is the optimal mix? Some experts have posited a 40:60 breakdown, as in 40 percent of your outdoor ad budget toward short-term goals and 60 percent toward long-term ones. This mix works in other media, too, such as digital.
What Is Flighting and How Can It Help?
Flighting means investing your money in advertising at the optimal time. For instance, many advertisers stay away from fourth quarter because it gets noisy. Everyone is trying to advertise for the holidays, and you can get lost in the clutter. A long-term advertising strategy will take this into consideration and perhaps hold back new spending until the start of the new year.
If your messaging has nothing to do with something time-sensitive, like a sale, then you can run it at any time – and it makes sense to buy when inventory is cheaper. Certain advertisers won’t have that luxury (a movie company, for instance, whose film opens a week before Christmas). For them, getting in and running as many ads as possible in a short time is clearly the best decision and will result in the short-term lift they’re looking for.
But many advertisers can afford to be pickier with their ad spend, especially when the goal is long-term success and their budgets are more limited. Plus, you can make your budget and your campaign seem bigger by amplifying it, investing in multiple types of outdoor advertisingthat run all at once, such as:
Though each can be used for short-term advertising, the cumulative effect of cycling through these different ad formats builds awareness of your business and its identity.
Outdoor Advertising: The Rational vs. the Emotional
Short-term outdoor advertising should be rational. You pound home the positive impact of choosing your brand – the customer saves money or gets a free refill after six purchases.
Long-term outdoor advertising should be emotional. You emphasize the emotional benefits of choosing your brand, something that resounds with people and builds over time. Emotional advertising doesn’t mean cheap tricks that pull at the heartstrings. Instead, it means forming connections with your audience and returning to the same themes in your ads.
The One-Day Billboard and Other Stunts: Can They Help Your Campaign?
Perhaps the best example of aiming for short-term success is a recent trend we’ve noticed in OOH. Companies put up a billboard for a single day — yep, just a one-day flight. Then their agency shares the attention-grabbing, over-the-top ad from that campaign across social media to give the campaign a secondary, digital component that will resonate for far longer.
Of course, you need to buy a digital billboard for this to be cost-effective, because the time and effort you put into a vinyl billboard make a one-day flight a money-losing proposition. But if you have pictures you can tweet for months of your 24-hour digital stunt, and they’re effective at building brand identity, then a short-term ad can also actually result in long-term lift.
Creating Desire and Building Relationships
Ultimately, the success of any campaign demands you meet your goals. Outdoor advertising can assist you with producing both short- and long-term results. When you can create desire for your product and build lasting relationships with your customers, then you have succeeded.
And if you still aren’t sure how to do all that, reach out to DASH TWO. Every brand is different, so let us talk you through it.