Business development 22 January 2018

How to achieve effective out-of-home advertising in a digital world

Spotify used user data to inspire its out-of-home advertising

Despite digital ad spend reaching record levels, messages delivered in public spaces continue to influence consumer decisions. Tim Fuller, managing director of Discount Displays, explains how to maximise your out-of-home advertising.

Do you want to save money whilst building strong brand awareness and increasing sales? This may seem near impossible but the answers to your problems are easier to find than you may first think.

Carefully crafted advertising campaigns that are specific to your target market appear to be the way forward in cutting costs whilst achieving results.

Read on to find my top tips for achieving this cost-effective solution in ensuring your displays signs make an impact.

Know your audience

Although it is thought that traditional methods of advertising are less effective on younger generations, researchers have found this to be incorrect. An estimated 56 per cent of millennials trust this medium as they consider it less intrusive than digital advertising, but it still leads to them take action.

So why waste additionally budget on expensive online campaigns when traditional advertising is still having the desired impact?

CV-Library targeted commuters to advertise its job site

According to Adlucent, 71 per cent of people prefer to see adverts that are tailored to their personal interests and shopping habits. Perhaps investigating who the majority of your clientele are would help you tailor advertising campaigns to their specific tastes thus attracting more interest.

For example, say you are a company selling cars. Once you’ve looked more closely at your target markets’ preferences, you may find that they value safety in the car over additional fancy features such as heated seats and improved sound system. In terms of tailoring advertising towards this demographic, you can now focus your attention on where they are willing to spend their money.

This level of detail will cut costs in the long term as advertising efforts will get more recognition and this will avoid wasted spending on unsuccessful campaigns.

Keeping your customers happy is the key, therefore knowing who they are and what they want will save money by not having to amend messages down the line.

Quality over quantity

One of the keys to success is prioritising location and getting as many eyes on your display signs as possible. Visibility, traffic count and proximity to your business are key for your signs to be successful.

Focusing on better quality locations will boost your exposure and effectiveness whilst cutting costs. Typically, businesses tend to think that the more signage and billboards you have out there the more eyes and footfall it is going to attract. Therefore, by opting for the cheaper locations, you will make cost savings and get more brand awareness? Wrong, when it comes to location quality wins over quantity.

Use events and exhibitions as further opportunities to show off your signage- they can be used to catch the attention of people who pass by and could be the starting point of a sale. However, they need to be purely this as making display signs a sales pitch will lose consumer interest and cost organisations. 

Ad copy


Ten top tips to keep your advertising copy legal

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve written advertising copy yourself, or engaged an agency to write it for you, you’re ultimately responsible.


Intrigue not inform

If you can create messaging that tells a story to your customer, then you are on to a winner. Capturing your audience’s attention by telling them how they could use and benefit from the product is more effective than giving them a long list of benefits.

As discussed previously, customers prefer advertising that is tailored to them so producing carefully strategised campaigns will be cost effective as well more attractive to consumers.

For example; the “Shot on iPhone 6” campaign centred around what users can do with the phone rather than the capabilities of the product itself. Your story should revolve around the user’s experience, not around the company’s objectives. 

Offline to online

Did you know that people who see an outdoor advertising campaign are 17 per cent more likely to engage with a brand on their smartphone? Why not include your social media details as part of your display signs to encourage people to spread the word? Drop a social media icon into the bottom of a sign and see your following and mentions grow without spending a penny.

Integrating social media advertising with traditional offline methods will help promote your products and can also be used to draw attention to your attendance at certain events at no cost. For example, offering customers with an incentive to come along to your stand at an event through social media comes at no cost but promotes interaction at events.

Ensuring your messaging is clear, concise and aligned with your target market’s needs should enhance your brand awareness and the impact of display signs. Having a clear strategy for your traditional advertising campaigns will save you money and maximise the effectiveness of your efforts.

Marrying offline advertising with your online space is another beneficial tactic to in helping your business stay lean in spending while growing revenue.

Find out how Facebook algorithm changes will affect business owners advertising on the platform

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.