Covering all of the bases: Outdoor marketing methods to round out your campaign

Even in today’s constantly connected world, businesses still need to add some traditional advertising to their marketing strategy if they want to stay ahead of their competition. People respond to traditional advertising — television ads and radio spots — because they are comfortable with them, but they can also tune these out for precisely the same reason.

shutterstock_436933465There is one type of traditional advertising, however, that still resonates with people and forces them to take notice: outdoor advertising.

Think about it. When you are stuck in traffic, you notice the billboards that line the roads. You always notice the balloons at car dealerships. A plane with a banner trailing behind it is impossible to ignore. If you want to keep you business competitive, you should look into outdoor marketing as part of your strategy.

What is outdoor marketing?

Outdoor marketing is exactly what it sounds like: leveraging outdoor spaces for use to help your business grow. Having an online presence is all well and good (and even necessary), but sticking to traditional outdoor marketing — and even nontraditional outdoor marketing — is a great way to get your business noticed.

Many companies still opt to advertise their services on billboards, and this is not an accident. Billboards are typically located in heavily-trafficked areas such as interstates and main avenues through cities that can have thousands of people a day passing by. This provides companies with an automatic audience, one that takes no more effort to gain than the money it costs to place a billboard ad.

This is vital because 68% percent of drivers have admitted to making their shopping decisions while they are driving. That means that if you can find a billboard that is in a great location and advertise your business, you are sure to see sales perk up.

Other traditional forms of outdoor marketing include bus stop benches, retractable pull up banners and on public transportation like subways.

Non-traditional outdoor marketing

There are newer, non-traditional methods of outdoor marketing that have gotten popular over the years and have had meaningful impact on companies’ bottom lines. Because more and more companies are turning to outdoor marketing, there is a competition that forces marketers to become more innovative.

Known as guerilla marketing, some companies will turn to decidedly non-traditional forms of advertising to gain people’s attention. Flash mobs — a group of people who have arranged a predetermined meeting place and time to perform an act — have been popular in recent years. Some marketers have used this to their advantage by creating flash mobs of their own to advertise their products and services.

Large sculptures of products, interactive advertisements and odd placements of ads in public spaces are other examples of non-traditional marketing that may work for your business.

Keep it real

Before you decide to take advantage of outdoor marketing, think about what your company stands for and use the correct type of marketing accordingly. If you are a financial institution that caters to the older generation, you may not want to consider guerilla marketing because it may seem too odd to your customer base.

If, on the other hand, your company caters to the younger crowd, you may be able to try new things without the possible negative recourse and find what works best.

The most important thing is that you keep it consistent with your brand. If you want to get ideas, you can conduct customer surveys to get a feeling of what your customers respond to. If you try something and it doesn’t work, pull the plug and try something else. The right outdoor marketing is sure to help your business, so keep trying until you get it right.

General outdoor marketing guidelines

First, keep your outdoor advertising simple. If you buy a billboard, or have signs along the road, the people driving by will only see it for a brief second, That means you need to clearly show who your company is and what services you offer. Simple layouts, designs and colors will help get your point across quickly and effectively.

Also, remember that outdoor marketing is a long-term strategy. Don’t expect results as soon as you buy your first billboard or place an ad in the subway. Some online advertisements may be immediate, but outdoor advertising will slowly work its way into the public’s conscious. Do it right, and you’ll eventually see results.

Outdoor marketing is a great way to supplement any marketing strategy you may already have.

Owen Morton has worked in marketing ever since leaving college. He has worked in roles handling both offline and online marketing for clients and uses his knowledge to write his articles.