The Trusty Old Billboard Becoming A New Social Media Hit

Out of home advertising is said to have 10.3 billion impacts each week (JCDecaux), when this is mixed with social media’s reach, the ads impacts can be huge. Think, if you, the target audience, liked an ad, took a snap, shared it on social with your friends, who some are probably the same target audience, they will also see the ad. This seriously extends the good old posters reach.

The fact that people are turning to social media to share their favorite ads means that there is more data for advertisers. The number of mentions, shares, likes, comments and the public’s reaction can help determine whether the campaign was a success.

Social Media has helped businesses in their marketing efforts tremendously. The small business with an even smaller advertising budget can share their products, services and ideas with their customers for little to no cost. Provided they have the time and creativity to do so.

Social media and OOH advertising can seem like a very unlikely pair, but together they can provide an effective advertising force. Studies show that the average person spends 1 hour and 40 minutes on social media each day, so this presents an huge opportunity for brands to present creativity in the offline world by creating a compelling message to drive engagement through social

A case study: How social media and OOH advertising can work in tandem

To understand precisely how social media and OOH advertising can work in tandem with one another, you need look no further than the 2016 campaign initiated by R&B star Drake. He commissioned the construction of numerous billboards in strategically selected parts of Toronto, in a bid to promote his new album Views from the Six.

The results of this brief but impactful roadside campaign were extremely impressive from an online perspective, generating an estimated 127.2 million social impressions and in excess of 5,000 mentions. While these OOH adverts may have been digital, this was not the trigger for such high levels of engagement. Instead, Drake commissioned a campaign that optimized the natural advantages of both techniques, showcasing just how social and OOH channels can work together in perfect unison.

To begin with, the team leveraged the reach and targeted impact of OOH advertising by selecting strategic locations that could drive social conversations. More specifically, large billboards were placed in pedestrian-concentrated regions throughout Toronto, particularly those with excellent transportation and direct rail links.

This not only targeted a large and alert audience, but it also made it far easier for civilians to connect with the advert and share it socially across their individual networks.Another crucial element was the nature of the content, which remains central to the success of any OOH advertising campaign.

After all, studies have shown that an estimated 71 per cent of customers connect to outdoor adverts when they are on the move, so by creating engaging content you can initiate conversations and bring your calls to action to life.

Drake’s adverts used a concise and simple creative to capitalise on this, utilising ambiguous tag lines and hashtags to generate hype, engage the consumer’s curiosity and compel them to share the content across outlets such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. These elements of the campaign highlight the tangible connection that exists between social media and OOH advertising, particularly in terms of optimising reach and driving higher levels of engagement.

Just as billboard locations can be strategically selected to effectively target pedestrians and their social behaviour, so too engaging content and relevant hashtags can initiate conversations online. With this in mind, marketers can create more compelling and impactful campaigns that combine the very best elements of on and offline advertising.

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