Guide to Creating an Effective OOH Advertising Campaign | Clear Channel
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Guide to creating an effective OOH advertising campaign

While there is no one-size-fits-all process that will guarantee a perfect ad campaign, there are definitely things you can focus on to improve your chances of success. Out of home (OOH) ad campaigns can give you the opportunity to push the boundaries of advertising and create truly unique displays, perfectly designed to capture your target audience's imagination.

What steps can you take to ensure that your ad makes an impact? Allow us to explain with this step-by-step guide on how to make an ad campaign that effectively utilises OOH advertising.

What is an OOH ad campaign?

In brief, OOH ad campaigns are campaigns run via ads found outside of people’s homes;  billboards and bus shelter posters are both forms of OOH advertising. These ads can also be digitised (becoming digital out-of-home advertising or DOOH) and programmed with engaging interactive features. OOH ad campaigns, in the same vein as print ad campaigns or online ad campaigns, are a series of targeted ads all focused on spreading the same message.

Where OOH has the advantage over other types of campaign is that OOH ads are visible every hour of the day, occupy physical space in your audience’s day-to-day lives, and provide a unique canvas for creative flair. 

Here are the things you need to know in order to use OOH to create an effective advertising campaign.

Understand your campaign objectives

Your objectives are the foundations upon which your campaign will be built. They provide an outline for how much your ad campaign can cost, what sort of locations you should be considering and how long your advertisements should run for. Objectives should be decided strategically and should be in line with your overall business goals - it’s not helpful to run an ad campaign which promotes a conflicting message to the rest of your brand, or detracts from your long term targets.

Campaign objectives can revolve around goals such as generating traffic, building awareness of a new product or service, or increasing revenue for an existing product or service.

Know your audience

A middle-aged nurse coming home from a night shift and a teenager on their way to college might both pass the same billboard every time they leave the house. However, despite them both coming into contact with the billboard on a regular basis, what are the chances that this particular piece of OOH advertising will appeal to both of them? It’s not impossible to think of a product or service these two consumers might both use, but it’s a fair assumption that they will likely have different factors influencing their buying behaviour. They will have different drivers, be facing different problems, and might even have differing opinions on what makes a good ad. 

This is why it’s important to have an idea of who the ideal audience is for your OOH ad campaign. Casting too wide a net in an attempt to attract the attention of anyone and everyone can be difficult. Consumers appreciate personalisation in advertising, and are more likely to be interested in products they feel offer something to them as an individual. Create buyer personas for your ideal audience so as to better understand who they are, what problems they might be facing, and how you can speak to them directly.

Decide on campaign type and choose the right format

The type of campaign you run and the medium through which you choose to run it will all depend on the previous two points; your objectives and your audience. You might also want to consider what it is that makes your brand unique, and how you can carry that personality through in your ad campaign.

For example, if one of the aims of your ad campaign is to show the diversity of your product’s audience, or to clearly visualise the way your product works differently to others on the market, a DOOH video ad might be the perfect choice.

There are so many OOH ad campaign formats to choose from, it’s important to zero in on the one that’s going to work best for you.

Design for impact

Speaking of design - the creative possibilities of OOH ad campaigns are so vast, it can be easy to get carried away. But when thinking about designing for impact, try to keep your message clear. For example, a billboard is already impressive because of its size - having a large canvas doesn’t mean you need to fill every square inch with copy and imagery. Yes, you want your advert to be noticed, but it also needs to be understood - even in situations where someone may only give it a fleeting glance.

Leverage technology in OOH advertising

Technology is always evolving in every branch of advertising, and OOH is no different. The kind of technology available allows you to really grab the attention of your audience. Whether it means using interactive displays, creating 3-D immersive installations or using technology such as facial recognition, there’s plenty of incredibly creative avenues to take to amplify engagement. 

Choose the right location

We previously mentioned the ways in which your ideal customer’s preferences should influence your campaign decisions. One of the most obvious areas in which this happens is the location of your ads. Whether you plan for your ads to be localised to a specific area or shown country-wide, think about what the geographical location implies and the people most likely to see them. For example, are your ideal audience more likely to be drivers or public transport users? Depending on the answer, it becomes an obvious choice when deciding between a roadside ad versus one placed at a train station

Determine your budget

While you might be able to pour an unlimited amount of imagination into your ad campaign, rarely can the same be said for the money. In the second quarter of 2023, OOH advertising generated nearly 9 billion impacts (the number of times an ad is seen) in Great Britain - so the reach is far, and (as we’ve said) the potential for ROI high, but you need to make sure you’re budgeting for success. You might need the help of OOH specialists when deciding not only your budget, but how to make it stretch as far and as effectively as possible.

Your budget will vary depending on your industry and the audience you’re trying to target - and remember, OOH advertising campaigns are often supported through other channels, so you might not want to commit your entire budget to OOH alone - considering how different media channels can complement each other.

Measure campaign success

One of the few drawbacks to OOH advertising is that it is often considered hard to measure the success of your campaigns. However, this is a common misconception; especially with recent technological advancements, there are lots of ways you can judge whether you’ve run an effective advertising campaign with OOH ads. When outlining your campaign in the planning stage you’ll want to decide how you intend to measure its reach, engagement, and conversion.

Some of the key metrics you can track to calculate the impact of your campaign include:

  • Footfall past your ads

  • A rise in sales

  • An increase in traffic to physical stores

  • An increase in traffic to websites

  • A rise in mentions, followers and impressions across social media

Not to mention if you run a particularly creative campaign there’s always the chance it could go viral, opening the door for lots more publicity and interest and an untold amount of ROI.

For ads that stand out from the crowd

When it comes to OOH advertising, Clear Channel UK are the undisputed experts. Whether you’re in need of research and resources, help with creative campaign planning, or are already ready to buy yourself some OOH space, we can help