Digital billboards and posters are a highly effective way to build brand recognition and communicate your message to a wide audience. However, unlike the world of online advertising, which offers a whole host of tools to help you reach your audience, it can be difficult to effectively target and track the results of your out-of-home marketing campaign. How can you ensure that your digital poster is reaching the right people and bringing you a good Return-on-Investment?
A successful digital billboard requires careful planning
Creating a successful out-of-home marketing campaign doesn’t need to be a guessing game. With careful planning, you can develop a strategy and target your campaign in a way that ensures the best possible ROI for your digital poster. Targeting the right people at the right place in the right way and at the right time will guarantee you a better ROI on your digital billboard or poster.
1. Identify and define your ideal target audience
Whatever the medium, any successful marketing campaign requires a clear understanding of the types of people that the advert aims to reach. Defining your target audience should be at the core of your digital poster campaign. What are the demographics of the people that you are trying to reach with your advert? Are you targeting men or women? What age and income bracket will they be in? Who is your ideal customer?
Analyse existing customer data in order to get a head-start on understanding your target audience. Who is already buying your product/service? Who are they buying it for, and when do they buy it? Think about the need that your product fulfils. The more you know about the audience you are aiming to communicate with, the more likely you’ll reach them.
2. Choose the right time and location for your digital poster
Advertising in the wrong location is a waste of time and money. Quite simply, if your target audience isn’t going to see your digital poster, then it won’t be able to realize its purpose, and you won’t get a good ROI.
Use the demographic data about your ideal target audience to determine when and where to display your ads. Look for digital poster sites that are in the locations with the greatest number of people in your target market. Location-based advertising can ensure you gain exposure to the relevant people at minimal cost. There are various tools and resources to enable you to find out which locations would be most successful for your campaign. Most media owners (the people who sell advertising space) will be able to present you with data that shows you the amount of pedestrian or vehicular traffic for each location.
One of the advantages of digital billboards and posters is that you can specify exactly when you want your ad to be displayed. Displaying your ad at a certain time of day may be a more effective way of reaching your target market.
For example, earlier this year, Gett made use of location and timing-based marketing to entice customers away from their biggest rival, Uber. Highlighting Gett’s no-surge policy, they used demographic data to ensure their ads were displayed in specific locations at busy “surge” times when existing Uber customers would be expected to pay more for their taxi service. So armed with the knowledge of customer behavior, coupled with a solution to a problem they faced, Gett was able to capitalize on demand and capture a new customer-base.
3. Present your message effectively
The very nature of out-of-home advertising is that you’re communicating to people when they’re out and about, on-the-go. You have a short time-frame to capture attention and to get your message across. Be brief, clear and concise. Don’t overload passers-by with too much text, complex metaphors or industry jargon. Keep it simple. If you can’t get your message across in six words or less, you probably need to think about other forms of advertising to reach your audience. Using one simple call-to-action at the center of your campaign is very effective. Use images and graphics to grab the attention of passers-by and to support that call-to-action.
A great way to check that your message resonates with your target audience is to test it for minimal cost on social media or using Google Adwords. See what results you get online, tweak if necessary and re-test before committing to a digital poster or billboard.
Digital posters offer lots of opportunities to communicate your message creatively. Women’s Aid won the 2015 Masters of Marketing award for their ‘Look at me’ digital poster campaign that highlighted how domestic violence often goes ignored. The posters used interactive digital technology to communicate a clear and powerful message. When passers-by walked past the image of a battered and bruised woman, the image stayed the same. When someone stopped to look at the woman, the bruises slowly started to heal.
4. Extend your reach by interacting with other advertising mediums
As smartphones increasingly become an extension of our own hands, the opportunities to connect with consumers on a more personal level will become increasingly powerful. New research shows that people who have seen an out-of-home campaign are 17 percent more likely to engage with that brand on their phone. Take your digital poster beyond a brief encounter at the bus stop and use technology like NFC, iBeacons or augmented reality to develop a relationship with your consumers.
For example, in May of this year, the NHS launched an augmented reality billboard campaign called “The Power of Blood” to engage with the general public and show the power of donating blood. NHS volunteers gave members of the public an iPhone that used an augmented reality app to connect to a digital billboard featuring an ill patient and an empty blood bag. The app used visual recognition to detect a sticker on the participant’s skin which then superimposed a plaster, needle and tube onto their arm. As the iPhone virtually took the participant’s blood, the empty blood bag on the billboard would begin to fill up, and the patient would begin to look healthy.
5. Open a conversation to track the success of a digital poster campaign
Tracking the success of an out-of-home campaign can be tricky. How do you know you’re getting a good ROI on your digital poster campaign if you don’t have any concrete evidence to show your ad has resulted in customer engagement or sales? Capture information about ads that have been successful by developing a strategy to track an ad digitally.
For example, you could include a promotional code on your ad that offers an exclusive discount to consumers who respond to the ad. Consumers enter the code when purchasing online, and you can see how many sales were as a direct result of someone seeing your digital poster.
Alternatively, create a unique landing page to display on your advert. You can then track the number of online visitors that have arrived at this landing page after seeing your advert. It’ll need to be a short, memorable URL as most people won’t have a pen handy or the time to stop and write down a long web address. Hashtags are a similar way to track the effectiveness of an out-of-home campaign digitally. Just be sure to choose a memorable, yet unique hashtag to encourage consumers to engage with you on social media.
Once you’re able to track an out-of-home campaign digitally, you can use that information to evidence the effectiveness of an advert and to calculate the Return-on-Investment that your campaign has seen.
Once you know how, digital billboards can be highly effective
Out-of-home advertising can be one of the most effective forms of advertising. British media research firm BrandScience recently ran a study on 600 case studies to gauge the impact of out-of-home campaigns on sales results. Their study found that out-of-home marketing has a higher Return-on-Investment than TV or print advertising. On average, for each dollar spent on out-of-home ads, $2.80 were made on sales. That’s a huge Return-on-Investment.
The opportunities for digital out-of-home are out there. All you need to do is to invest some time in building the right strategy to go and get them. For more tips on getting your out-of-home campaign off the ground, check out our 11 considerations for taking digital signage outdoors.