With the world beginning to open back up and consumers starting to navigate post-lockdown life, it’s a good time for businesses to reintroduce themselves to current and prospective customers and re-establish their place in the market. But because consumers have been inundated by digital ads for nearly a year, business owners are forgoing online advertising and instead turning to highly targeted and affordable out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaigns to stand out from the competition. Here’s why:

OOH Enables Businesses to Make a Splash (Within Their Budget) 

In advertising, businesses of all sizes look for the same things: memorability, affordability, broad reach, conversions and accessibility. Here lies the strength of OOH as a medium.

According to Nielsen, 90% of U.S. travelers notice OOH ads and 85% notice ad messages. From billboards and park benches to mass-transit wraps and street posters, visual OOH advertising is eye-catching, which is why it’s no surprise OOH drives consumer action. Think about it. Do you share web ads with friends? Unlikely. Would you snap and share a photo of a clever street-level ad? Probably. In fact, the same study by Nielsen reported that 66% of smartphone users took some type of action on their device after seeing an OOH ad.

With a plethora of media types falling under its canopy, OOH offers advertising options at every price point for every single business. Broad reach? OOH checks that box too, allowing small businesses to target customers in the heart of the places they live, work and play. And making an impactful impression there translates to sales both online and off.

While difficulties in purchasing out-of-home media used present a significant barrier to entry for SMBs, new technologies and platforms enable business owners to purchase and manage OOH ads from thousands of media vendors right from their computers in a matter of minutes. Modern OOH buying platforms make it easy for businesses to test the waters by not requiring a minimum ad spend the way some agencies and ad partners do.

OOH Helps Businesses Own Their Region

In addition to pushing people to their websites, certain types of businesses, like quick service restaurants, need a regular stream of foot traffic. By launching an OOH campaign including ad placements within close proximity to their physical locations, these businesses can drive incremental traffic to their doors. Outdoor media such as billboards along highway turn offs, wallscapes, and bus benches within a certain radius of storefronts are also effective at reaching  people that walk, ride, and drive by.

This holds true in markets of all sizes. Business owners can experiment and analyze their campaigns, in any region, no matter their budget. They can also see what formula works for them within a specific radius of their location, whether it’s a seasonal campaign such as those financial service businesses may introduce during tax season or a year-round campaign for gyms, retail stores, and other evergreen businesses.

OOH Offers Low Barrier to Entry

Competition for clicks in the digital space is fierce. With consumers already overwhelmed with digital ad noise, it’s hard to break through if you’re using only digital channels. Thankfully, OOH offers a far less competitive alternative. Aside from high-profile placements (think Times Square billboards in New York, the Hollywood strip in Los Angeles, and similar spots in major metro areas), it’s rare to find businesses bidding up the price of OOH inventory. What business owners will find instead is a cost-efficient, low-competition channel providing broad reach in targeted markets.  Roadside, shopping mall, and transit ads all provide a wealth of ways to build impressions and reach a mobile or site-specific population.

Another benefit of OOH is the flexibility it allows. Whether a business decides to start slow with a small buy and scale up as needed, OOH buying platforms make it quick and easy to take a short-term test run before committing to bigger, and pricier, spends.

OOH is Highly Measurable 

Data and measurement are key for every modern marketer. Map-based OOH buying platforms allow small business owners to complete the planning, buying, executing, and measurement of OOH advertising in one stop. The days spent making calls, comparing prices and inventory, playing the back-and-forth negotiations game, and sifting through spreadsheets are gone –– thanks to technology.

In the past, small businesses may have considered OOH advertising strictly as a means to raise awareness. But new technologies make it easier for businesses to plan, buy, and execute OOH, as well as directly attribute online sales and traffic, and gain actionable insights. With a digital OOH campaign, they can even change out creative based on a unit’s performance with a few quick clicks.

While competitors continue to rely solely on digital and add to the noise online, small business owners can attract their prospective and recent customers that are moving about in the physical world. As an advertising channel, OOH is extremely diverse and presents a variety of opportunities that fit into a small business’s campaign strategy. With the help of technology, small businesses owners can now easily launch and measure memorable, cost-efficient OOH campaigns––and enjoy meaningful results.

Matthew O’Connor is the CEO and cofounder of AdQuick, the first platform to allow brands, agencies and individuals to complete the entire process of planning, buying, executing and measuring out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaigns anywhere in the U.S.

OOH stock photo by Qualit Design/Shutterstock