With digital marketing budgets higher than ever, you may be wondering if there is still a time and place for traditional marketing. While you may take your print marketing budget down a notch and upgrade to online marketing and digital signage, there’s still great value in outdoor media. What is outdoor media? Your options are endless and continue to evolve. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Outdoor Media?
Almost 70 percent of purchasing decisions are made outside of the home or office. This includes impulse buys while in-store shopping, but also the coffee shop you decide to pop into because you saw a sign that they are just a block away. Or the dentist you decide to call after seeing their freeway billboard. Or the website you buy a gift from after seeing their enticing but vague hashtag pass by on a taxi sign.
These are all examples of different types of outdoor media. Outdoor media spending was gradually on the rise pre-pandemic, while print budgets continued to decrease. With everyone being cooped up inside during 2020, outdoor ad spending took a nosedive across all segments other than digital signage—which skyrocketed. Outdoor ad spending is already on the rise as the country begins to reopen, including increased spending on LED signs. On top of that Digital Signage is considered essential in that they can provide safety guidelines and protocols on how to conduct yourself with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Standard Outdoor Signage
Let’s first take a look at the primary signage that almost every business can benefit from. While signage, it still counts as a way to advertise and brand your business.
Primary Exterior Sign—every business needs one of these. The key to having maximum impact is to create a branded sign that makes a powerful first impression. This means that everything from your business name to your logo, font, color choice, and sign materials need to be taken into consideration. Primary signs include roadway signs, awnings, mounted entrance signs, and Outdoor digital signs.
Banners—banners are sometimes restricted to special occasions such as grand openings, anniversaries, store closings, and other short-term placement. While short-term, your banner can effectively drive targeted traffic. Focus less on design and more on impact with a short, sweet, and concise message. Instead of branded colors, go for contrast and maximum visibility.
Flags—flags mounted on light poles are increasingly popular. They can be designed to look chic, branded, uniform, or bold. If you don’t have a light pole to hang them from, they can be added to a specialty mount.
Window Signs—window signs aren’t for every business as a decorative display may be more effective for your business. Scrolling LED signs are the fastest growing trend in window signs as they have maximum visibility, are highly customizable, and can be programmed to display different messages based on the time, day, or event.
Posters—posters can be placed in windows and mounted in weatherproof outdoor displays. Many businesses and rented ad spaces are upgrading to digital interior and exterior signs to replace their posters.
If not a full-sized billboard, oversized signs remain a popular type of outdoor advertising. Static signs are more creative than ever before, being made from mixed materials and often with 3D elements that extend beyond the square or rectangular frame. Billboards can be highly effective, but you must consider if the location has enough targeted traffic before you invest.
From mobile billboard trucks to car wraps, bus wraps, train wraps, interior transit signage, mini taxi billboards, and even bicycle signs. Unlike static billboards, these smaller ads will make their way around your city. With cars and taxis, they will go everywhere, but you can be a bit more strategic with the bus or train route you choose. If it’s a billboard truck you can create a custom route at strategic times of the day.
You can’t answer the question of “What is outdoor media?” without mentioning digital signs. With every media option we’ve mentioned above, you can upgrade to a digital option. Digital signs:
- Increase viewing distance up to several blocks away
- Increase brand awareness by almost 50%
- Ensure viewing 24 hours a day
- Can post text, images, video, and motion graphics
- Can alternate a variety of signs for maximum impact
- Can be prescheduled and updated in real-time
- Is the most effective form of marketing, even beating out word of mouth!
Interactive And AR Signage
Interactive and AR signs are still fairly new, and the sky is the limit. Some are digital and some are print, but most have some type of technology integration. For example, the Reebok ZPump shoes sign and display that had a speed camera to measure how fast people could run past their interactive sign. Or mirror signs with a branded hashtag that encourage selfies. Or signs that (typically after an approval process) post user-generated content.
Interactive signs can also have touchscreen features or augmented reality features. For example, a sign that allows you to digitally “try on” different outfits that your retail shop is selling in-store.
Creativity is key, and space is limited, so be sure to consider placing signs in non-traditional spaces. We mentioned vehicle wraps above but consider other alternative areas that can be utilized as ad space. For example, painting or wrapping a commercial garage door or adding a sign display to a park bench or other outdoor seating. Even sign spinners are an effective but non-traditional sign. The more walkable your area the more effective these eye-level signs will be.
What Type Of Outdoor Media Is Right For You?
Now that we’ve answered the question of “What is outdoor media?” it’s time to consider what type of outdoor advertising is right for you. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to advertising, as what works will vary by factors such as your industry, local area, and demographic.
Pay attention to what works for your competitors and test different ad methods until you find what works. The company you rent the ad space from will be able to give you an idea of your ROI before you invest but leave a bit of room in the budget for creative and out-of-the-box ideas.
Looking For A New Digital Sign?
Digital signs can be utilized as one of your outdoor media options or you can purchase a sign to monetize by posting other people’s ads. Reach out to Mega LED Technology today to discuss your LED sign options!