Why Small Businesses and Startups Should Invest in Out-of-Home

Photo of Casper's logical puzzle out-of-home advertisements in New York subway

Thanks to recent technological advances and development, out-of-home (OOH) advertising is now more affordable than ever compared to other traditional media and newer digital media. If you’re a small business owner in search of innovative marketing strategies that increase brand awareness, you should look no further and invest in OOH today.

Out-of-home is one of the only traditional mediums that delivers linear incremental returns and consistent ROI growth. When incorporated into a broad media mix, OOH improves the overall campaign revenue ROI – increasing the effectiveness of digital search by over 40% and print by over 14%.

This article covers everything you need to know about OOH advertising and how it can be the game-changer for your company – from building brand confidence and credibility to targeting local demographics, accelerating your digital presence to differentiating your brand from competitors.

OOH gets attention

When people are outside their homes, they’re more alert and attentive to their surroundings – 33% more alert according to COG Research, a consumer insight company. The benefit of this lies in the fact that OOH cannot be skipped, deleted, or ad-blocked – unlike online advertisements. This means, any time an onlooker catches a glimpse of your OOH ad, it will have a lasting impression on your brand. According to Nielsen’s 2019 study, 80% of the U.S. population notice out-of-home ads – including bus shelter ads, billboards, truck-side ads, mall kiosks, and airport displays – every week.

Photo of Blink Bluewater indoor advertisement placed in a high foot traffic mall.

When consumers are impressed by your ads, they recognize your brand, and thus are more likely to engage in some form of post-impression action related to your brand. Post-impression actions, such as awareness for a product/service, online search, in-store visit, and word-of-mouth sharing, ultimately lead to real sales growth. 

OOH delivers targeted and mass impressions

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of OOH is that it generates mass reach quickly and effectively. Regardless if you’re launching a short-term promotion campaign or releasing a new product, OOH can help you either reach as many people as possible or target a specific audience according to socio-demographic data, geography, and spending habits. The key here is that, by leveraging location, timing, and ad placement, you can directly deliver eye-level ads to potential customers.

Opened a smoothie bar? Target nearby gyms and shopping malls. Opened an automotive center? Target nearby car dealerships and residential areas. If you’re finding that there are slim OOH options available in your target areas, you can opt for transit advertising or truck-side ads, which can reach an even greater audience than static ads.

OOH builds trust and gains consumer confidence

When we think of out-of-home ads, we often think of some of the world’s biggest brands – that is, household names with established credibility. By choosing OOH to advertise your product or service, consumers, buyers, and potential investors will naturally perceive your brand as legitimate and trustworthy too. In simple terms, OOH signals to stakeholders that you have high ambitions and mean business. According to a U.S. study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, consumers trust out-of-home ads to make purchasing decisions far more (around 70%) than they trust any form form of online ad.

Bar Graph of the percentage of respondents that trust each type of advertising media. In the order of most-trusted advertising medium to least-trusted advertising medium are print ads, TV ads, radio ads, outdoor ads, search ads, pre-roll video ads, social media ads, online banners, mobile ads, podcast ads, and pop-ups.. Data is according to a U.S. study conducted by Marketing Sherpa.

OOH boosts your digital campaign

Perhaps you’ve decided to launch a digital campaign to get the word out about your new product. The problem is your digital campaign isn’t getting many click-throughs. Although it is somewhat ironic, OOH has actually been proven to drive online consumer action. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), out-of-home is 382% more effective than TV, 200% more effective than print, and 63% more effective than radio in driving consumers online. This means that coordination and consistency between your OOH campaign and digital campaign is a must in order for the two to work in tandem. What’s more? Take advantage of OOH technology, such as geofencing, which allows you to re-target consumers you’ve already impressed in the physical world, on their devices.

Cartoon showing geofencing capability of sending advertisements to mobile devices that have come in contact within a certain radius near an OOH ad.

OOH adds dynamism to your campaign

Thanks to the increasingly affordable programmatic capabilities of digital out-of-home ads, you can really tailor your OOH campaign to reach the right eyes at just the right time. For example, if you’re opening a local coffee shop, you can book times for your ad to be displayed during morning rush hours or afternoon traffic. This way, your message is contextually relevant to onlookers and more likely to make an impact.

OOH sets you apart

You probably haven’t seen too many startups adopting an OOH marketing strategy as much as you’ve sees big brands do it. This means that by leveraging OOH early on in your marketing mix, you gain the aforementioned competitive advantages over your rivals.

One notable startup success story that relied on strategic, yet aggressive, OOH marketing is the US online mattress company, Casper. Launched in 2014, the direct-to-consumer mattress giant has made a name for itself from creative OOH campaigns throughout different cities over the past six years. In their iconic New York subway campaign, Casper delivered playful logic puzzles that caught the attention of millions of daily commuters. In the words of Casper’s CMO, “Bringing joy and wit to an otherwise mundane and stressful daily commute has paid dividends for [them].”

Photo of Casper's logical puzzle out-of-home advertisements promoting their mattresses in New York subway.

Why wait? Harness the power of OOH today!

With a better understanding of the unparalleled advantages out-of-home offers, you now know how to improve your next marketing campaign – and, more importantly, how to make it the best one yet. In an increasingly digital age, it seems that OOH is the answer when it comes to seamlessly integrating your brand’s physical and online presence. Whether you’ve just opened a local coffee shop, started a new app, or launched a new retail product, OOH will help take your marketing to the next level.

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