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Home » Research » OOH advertising attracts more attention than social media, streaming ads: UK-based 75Media

OOH advertising attracts more attention than social media, streaming ads: UK-based 75Media

By M4G Bureau - April 19, 2023

Joe Lawson, Sales Sirector, 75Media shares 12 tips to ensure OOH campaigns drive sales

The out-of-home advertising sector continues to flourish. According to the latest statistics, classic billboard revenue grew 33 per cent year-on-year in 2022, whilst digital billboards grew by 30 per cent*. 

Given the impact a billboard can have for an advertising business, that’s perhaps unsurprising. According to YouGov data analysed by 75Media (an outdoor advertising operator with a growing network of classic and digital billboards in towns and cities across the UK), 23 per cent of people say they are likely to pay attention to out-of-home (OOH) advertising – higher than social media advertising and over double that of streaming ads. 

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Joe Lawson, Sales Sirector, 75Media explains: “Out-of-home advertising can really create some impact. People sometimes think online is the only way, but billboards reach a huge number of people – and they can’t be skipped or switched off! Many of our billboards have over 350,000 people walking or driving past them every week – and the YouGov figures show at least one in four is actively engaging with outdoor ads. That figure rises even higher for 25-49 year olds.

“A billboard campaign can be under £500 for two weeks, so they’re very cost effective. But, of course, to get the best return on investment, you need to know the tricks of the trade to make sure your advertising is converting to sales.”

From its years of experience in the industry, 75Media has pulled together 12 top tips to ensure your OOH campaign drives sales:

  • Define your goals and objectives up front. Who do you want to reach? How do you want them to react? If you haven’t set clear targets for your campaign, it’s going to be hard to determine if they’re being met, or consider how to improve performance. Avoid some of the most common OOH mistakes.
  • Be data led. Your OOH media provider should be able to provide you with data about the sites that you’re interested in. Some digital billboards can even monitor views in real time. Research the ways OOH advertising can be measured and look at that data alongside your own goals and target audience.
  • Keep branding recognisable and consistent. The biggest brands can be spotted with simply a small logo or a colour scheme. Whilst your business may not be at that stage, make sure your billboard design complements the rest of your marketing and branding, so it all links together in a consumer’s mind.  
  • Use the power of a great headline. You will likely have six seconds to make your impact – you really want no more than seven to eight words. Read 75Media’s article on how to write a headline for hints and tips. Being clear is better than being clever. With such a short time to make your mark, you don’t want to be too cryptic.
  • Think about fonts. Written content must be easy to read both up close and at a distance. Your font should be a minimum of 18 inches in height on large format 48 and 96-sheet billboards. 75Media often recommends using Sans Serifs fonts that are clean and crisp, and which offer increased legibility at a distance. Avoid using all caps as this diminishes readability by as much as 10 per cent.
  • Create a sense of urgency. An active tense in any writing can help you to do that.  
  • Go high quality with your imagery. Photography needs to be of the highest quality – at the size it’s being reproduced at, any blurring or unwanted additions will be obvious. Try not to use anything too complex or cluttered, as you only have six seconds to make an impact.
  • Use multiple sites to maximise reach. It’s important to strategically plot where the most impactful billboards will be for your business – bear in mind they may target different demographics for you, so do you want to alter the messaging slightly? Digital billboards can be helpful in switching adverts at different times of the day.
  • Time it right. What is the best time to advertise? Is there a key time of year that works for you for sales? Or if you’re trying to extend that time frame, think about why your brand is topical right now. If you’re using digital billboards, are there specific times of the day you want to catch attention? If you’re a food brand, for example, how about trying to grab attention when people are likely to be hungry leaving work? Or for a holiday brand – how about the miserable winter morning commute?
  • What is your call to action? Some people include unique QR Codes or tailored URLs in their advert but you could also focus on driving people to a website, a physical business or social media as well. Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear what you’re asking people to do.
  • Make it socially shareable. Encouraging social media interaction through OOH is a powerful sales and awareness tool. Interestingly, a poll by OAAA and The Harris Poll revealed that 91 per cent of Gen Z-ers and 82 per cent of Millennials say they would reshare OOH adverts on social media – proving that an impactful creative has the potential to go viral digitally too.
  • Keep tweaking to ensure engagement remains high. You don’t have to keep running the same advert – in fact it might be best not to. If something is working well, consider making small tweaks so that it looks fresh and grabs attention again.
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