While the digital age has created new opportunities for marketers to successfully engage their audience, it has also established a generation of brands that are obsessed with the notion of measurable, online advertising techniques.

This has made outdoor advertising something that some online marketers typically fear, primarily because it has historically be difficult to apply common metrics or measure your ROI with web analytics.

However, this is gradually changing, with the ability to utilise customised promotional codes and unique call tracking numbers making it easier than ever to measure the impact of your campaigns through outdoor advertising. For example, companies such as Mediahawk can comprehensively track international calls, providing key data that drives performance and informs future decisions.

Given the cost-effective nature of outdoor advertising and the fact that consumers are 17% more likely to interact with a brand through their smartphone after engaging with OOH materials, this is the final piece of the puzzle for marketers. This is especially true for e-commerce brands, who can generate more leads and increase conversions measurably through billboards.

Let’s explore how you can make the most of billboard advertising to maximise e-commerce sales.

 

1 – Create a Sense of Urgency to Boost Engagement

The fact that consumers who have seen a billboard are much more likely to interact with a brand through their mobile is interesting, particularly as the majority of these interactions will take place in real-time.

This, along with the fact that the average customer will be exposed to messaging for between seven and 10 seconds, underlines the need and the value of creating instantly engaging adverts that generate a sense of urgency. There are two key elements of this, with the first being to establish an eye-catching and visually striking advert that captures the attention of customers and encourages them to digest your messaging.

The second element revolves around the use of an emotional hook, which elicits a real-time reaction from customers while establishing a sense of urgency and action. This can take many forms, whether you leverage a limited promotion and customised incentive or create a proposition that appeals to emotions such as excitement, passion and the fear of missing out.

Make no mistake; urgency can serve as an excellent catalyst for your campaign, especially when you leverage the potential of OOH as a key driver of online traffic.

 

2 – Emphasise the Domain Name

In a bid to strike the right creative theme for your billboard campaign, it is easy to lose sight of the most fundamental design elements. The most important of these is the emphasis placed on your e-commerce domain name, as is pivotal if you are to generate online leads and ultimately boost conversions.

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This can be a challenging exercise, particularly for those used to online marketing. After all, advertisers can make their domain name actionable and clickable online, creating a direct link between the marketing channel and the proposed destination for customers.

Outdoor advertisers have no such advantage, but fortunately there are other steps that can be taken to place an emphasis on the domain name. Firstly, you need to ensure that this is the focal point of your advert from a messaging perspective, while using bold fonts, colour contrasting and lettering that is as large as possible to engage customers.

Also, you can create additional space and increase the size of lettering by removing the “http://www” from the domain name, as the proliferation of websites and online usage means that today’s generation of customers are more than capable of using the Internet effectively.

 

3 – Don’t Forget the Branding!

If your domain name is a central aspect of your billboard when looking to optimise e-commerce sales, then so too is the use of branding. After all, the current generation of customers are far more likely to buy from a familiar and brand that they trust, while studies have proved that 73% of modern consumers are willing to pay more for a branded product that promises total transparency.

Billboards in particular offer you an opportunity to leverage your brand, either as reassurance to customers who catch a reassuring glimpse of your logo or as a way of targeting new audiences and generating previously untapped leads.

With this in mind, the key is to use a familiar colour palette while ensuring that your logo is placed prominently on the advert. Consistency is also crucial across both off and online channels, as using precise colour shades and dimensions makes it easier for customers to recognise and identify with your brand.

Without this, you could lose returning customers while also missing out on a unique opportunity to build your consumer base.

 

4 – Keep it Concise and Limit Your Word Count

According to studies, 71% of customers remember the billboard ads that they see, and this can encourage some to become too ambitious with their use of messaging. More specifically, they strive to include secondary and tertiary messages into the space, which actually dilutes the impact of their advert rather than giving their customers additional takeaways.

So, rather than attempting to cram your advert with text and information, you should strive to refine your messaging as much as possible to create a clear and compelling proposition that resonates in the minds of customers.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to limit your word count, as you look to craft concise and punchy messaging that is easy to understand. You should definitely avoid writing sentences and paragraphs, or attempting to combine different strands of messaging within a single ad.

You should also adopt a similarly concise approach when determining the core purpose of your ad, especially if you want to ensure that you direct customers to your e-commerce website. While you can still drive awareness with the use of branding, you should focus on driving traffic to your site and generating as many leads as possible as a key priority.

 

5 – Location, Location, and yes, Location

Instead of applying a scattergun approach to billboard advertising, it is crucial that you leverage ideal locations to target specific audiences and behaviour types.

This remains true when looking to optimise e-commerce sales, even though you do not have a physical to direct customers to. Remember, a common tactic is to use roadside billboards in close proximity to a physical location, so that passing customers can be targeted and turned into actionable leads.

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When looking to target and convert online sales, you can focus primarily on specific customer segments and the best locations through which to engage these demographics. Brands advertising professional services should target commuters and prominent train stations and roadsides, for example, while those marketing to students and younger demographics can advertise near shopping centres and local universities.

This ensures that you optimise the reach of your adverts, particularly when you use traditional billboards that offer maximum exposure.

 

The Last Word

While billboards and OOH were once feared by marketers, improved metrics and analytics is gradually changing this perception. As a result, now is the ideal time for your brand to leverage cost-effective and profitable billboard advertising to effectively drive e-commerce sales and online conversion rates, while potentially introducing new demographics to your brand.