When we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that will happen, there’s going to be a huge demand for outdoor advertising. Everyone will want to be outside as much as they can, and many companies that haven’t invested much in outdoor until now suddenly will be searching for billboards.
Whenever and whatever you advertise, you need to be able to gauge the success of your campaign. Taking stock of your efforts provides valuable guidance for the future. You can determine whether you had the best placement for the campaign, for instance, or you should try another area next time. You can decide if your creative was smart enough to stand out.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with nine markers of success to judge your next out of home campaign on.
1. Delivering on Quantifiable Goals
Here is one thing we are surer about than anything: Time spent outside is going to go way, way, way up when we exit the outbreak.
Right now, everyone’s cooped up in their homes. Yes, you can go to the park or for a hike, but for the most part public spaces are off limits. Most outdoor gathering places are shut down. People scurry across Times Square with their heads down, scared of ending up downwind of a cough or sneeze.
But oh, when this is over? People are going to be outside All. The. Time. They will want to make up for weeks (or probably months) when they haven’t been able to gather at will. The start of summer and warmer weather will increase that urge.
Times Square will see record crowds. People will hang out at the Grove and soak in the sunshine. Baseball games in Chicago and St. Louis and Washington, D.C., will attract record crowds as we revel in the simple pleasure of a ballgame. Drivers will cruise through West Hollywood.
All those things will happen outside. And all those places have ample opportunities for advertising, which will be necessary when this outbreak ends. So many businesses are suffering without patrons to keep them afloat. They will need to reconnect with their audiences, from Broadway shows and tours to restaurants to retailers. You will see a demand for outdoor billboard space, bus benches and other transit ads, mobile billboards and more.
The last thing people will want to do is stay inside and watch more TV or be on their phones. We’ll all be so over that by the time summer rolls around. Outdoor will definitely be where it’s at.
2. Taking Advantage of Technology
Out of home has experienced rapid technological advances, along with so many other types of advertising. To achieve a truly successful campaign, you need to employ the pieces that will help spread your message. You can optimize your OOH advertising using:
- Geo-location data
- Data science
Ask about data that can be implemented to your campaign. Your options depend on where you live, as the most sophisticated ones are available in the biggest markets, such as New York City and Los Angeles. For instance, some billboards have sensors that collect data on passersby. You can build a better, more successful campaign when you understand exactly who will see your advertisement.
3. Getting Play on Social Media
These days, messaging reaches far beyond the location of your billboard. The best billboards and other OOH ads are so clever, so interesting, so absolutely amazing that people have to share them. Social media has given online ads a second life online.
Scroll through any timeline, and you’ll see examples of things that catch people’s eyes. A successful outdoor campaign will stand out enough that people will want to share it with their friends. (Our recent campaign for Klarna is a great example.) Not every campaign will go viral, but some do, attracting enough attention that the advertiser gets an even bigger return on their investment.
Think about how a billboard or other campaign will play online as you get organized. While this shouldn’t be the main factor in your decision-making, it should certainly be a secondary one.
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4. Following a Specified Strategy
Out of home is a creative medium, and there may be a temptation to be loose with implementation. But trust your agency on this one. The best OOH campaigns have a tight vision and execution. Stick to the plan to reach the deliverables you desire.
5. Capturing the Essence of Your Message
No advertising campaign is worth if it’s not true to the brand. We know this from experience. Our most successful campaigns reflect the client’s taste and their target audience’s sensibilities. Personal connection sits at the center of any successful advertising experience.
When someone sees your sign, you want them to feel stirred, interested. The only way to do that is to present something that speaks to your brand. Your brand may be breezy, sarcastic, humorous or earnest. Your message should match. When you present things in an interesting and honest way, people will get what you try to convey.
6. Standing Out From the Crowd
You probably don’t remember every billboard you see on the road. That’s because too many of them look alike. We see every new campaign as a chance to deliver a fresh message. Standing out is the only way to ensure your message gets through, whether you buy advertising in rural Iowa or on Sunset Boulevard in LA. Standing out leads to:
- Better deliverables because your ad is seen by more people
- Better recognition because people remember what you said
- Better long-term recall because you touched something that connected to your audience
7. Building Your Brand
In addition to reflecting your brand, a great out of home campaign should build your brand, too. Cornerstone advertising content tells people what you are about. When people see your billboard, they gain a better understanding of your company and how you can benefit the passerby.
8. Keeping It Simple
When someone whizzes past your billboard going 60 miles per hour — or even going 30 — they don’t have time for nuanced information. You need to convey one point and one point only that will stay with them and motivate them to take action.
This may be the hardest part of putting together a successful campaign. Simplifying a new product or service or even a sale into six words is difficult. You need to be succinct, direct and brief. And you need to capture attention, too.
Use the words to complement the imagery, not the other way around. It’s easier for people to see a picture than read a sign. Your creativity will generate a message people remember. This is a challenge, but the greater the challenge, the greater the reward when it comes to advertising.
9. Finding the Perfect Location
We cannot stress enough what a difference the right location will make to the success of your campaign. If you want to reach young people, advertising in a place where mostly Boomers live isn’t a good strategy. A smart agency will research placement and have a selection of places where you can advertise to greatest effect, reaching your target audience with ease.
Billboards offer a fantastic way to spread your message and reach the right audience. The fun part is figuring out how to do it right. If you need some help executing a successful advertising campaign or determining what metrics to use, contact DASH TWO today to discuss your ideas.