Outdoor advertising vs digital advertising is an industry debate that has been gathering momentum lately, especially in the wake of increased influence of marketing technologies on advertising globally.
Getting your products to reach your target audience might be tedious, especially when done abstractly. Advertising has been evolving from the stone age to this present age, and it is far beyond saying, “come and buy what I have got for sale.”
The Battle of Media Channels
In today’s world, the two most strategic advertising media channels are digital and outdoor.
Digital advertising refers to marketing your products through digital spaces like social media, websites, blogs, email marketing, etc. It can be accessed globally with an electronic device and a mobile network connection.
Just as the name suggests, outdoor advertising is the advertising that is done out of the door. It involves the use of colors and designs to create aesthetic and attractive marketing strategies that would quickly get to the attention of everyone outside their respective homes while going through their respective daily activities.
Why Choose Digital Advertising?
1. Digital advertising is a vital advertising strategy because of the vast adoption by audience segments of all socio-economic classes across digital channels. A 2019 survey revealed that 56.7% of the world uses the internet.
If positioned effectively, digital or internet advertising is a go-to for brands seeking to connect with consumers on a personal level.
2. Digital advertising gives room for reviews and feedback. On the comment and chats section of every digital space, one can view reviews from past buyers, which would assist in making rational decisions and provide effective service. This gives consumers a sense of ownership of your brand which usually increases brand love and loyalty.
3. Digital advertising is great at building. Digital advertising can build trust and provide efficient service to consumers even when you haven’t met them.
4. Digital advertising is a great advertising strategy for new businesses with a very limited budget. Creating an online presence with digital advertising would aid your brand’s growth as prospects are numerous online and you can pay as you go using advertising models such as cost per click (CPC), cost per mile (CPM), cost per acquisition (CPA) and so on.
5. Digital advertising can easily boost your brand discovery and visibility online. Through consistent advertisement on web, search and social channels, digital advertising would create brand recognition which can lead to increased reach and or sales.
6. Digital advertising is scalable, measurable and has a high return on investment (ROI ): The investment in digital advertising is not as huge as outdoor advertising – if you consider ROI on advertising achievable via Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, etc.
These digital channels can reach millions of consumers regardless of their location on all devices within a split second, at a very cost effective rate.
Why Choose Outdoor Advertising?
1. Outdoor advertising media have a longer lifespan, which is great for brand recall and top of mind awareness, than some digital channels that flip content intermittently. In the case of posters, wall paintings, and stickers, they are usually durable and long-lasting to ensure that the public accesses the products advertised.
2. Outdoor advertising is accessible by pedestrians and vehicles. A greater percentage of our daily activities are spent outside our homes – middle to lower social class consumers who make the mass market.
This makes outdoor advertising a great fit for selling fast moving or retail products and services to largely low income consumers who spend a great deal of their time outside their homes.
3. Mobile outdoor advertising is engaging, causes talkability and can reach consumers at different locations within a short period of time. Even in rural settlements, popular markets and densely populated areas where the internet is not very good or consistent, outdoor advertising would assist in delivering brand messages and engage your target audiences.
4. Outdoor advertisements are found everywhere: From streets to minor and major roads, we would always come across posters, stickers, cardboard, etc. Because outdoor ads are always present in strategic places such as shopping malls, restaurants, boutiques, and shops, they have somewhat become a part of everyday life for many consumers which is great for conversions.
With the right colors, letters, aesthetic designs, and bold messaging, outdoor advertising would easily get people’s attention in situations where digital ads can be easily ignored or skipped.
5. Outdoor advertising gives room for immediate sales. Unlike digital advertising, where you can procrastinate by promising to come back to that ad, outdoor advertising requires you to take action immediately after you come across what interests you. As a result, it is a trusted advertising strategy.
6. Outdoor advertising aids brand recognition. The way the human brain has been programmed, we tend to recall and trust what we have seen repeatedly. Therefore, continuous display of the outdoor advertising media would boost brand recognition, making consumers trust the brand and even recommend it.
Getting the Best of Outdoor and Digital Advertising
1. Use digital display ads on billboards at strategic high traffic locations as well as lamp posts on streets and major cities to stay top of mind of consumers. This is common with telecommunication brands such as Airtel Africa and Globacom.
2. Use mobile billboards with interactive messaging and move them from place to place intermittently. This assists with passing information and driving consumer actions.
3. Consider multi-channel targeting whereby you use digital channels (eg: blogs, social media and influencers) to amplify outdoor advertising, especially viral or guerrilla marketing tactics that can cause buzz across all channels.
4. Combine different outdoor media formats (static and display) at different locations within locations such as shopping malls such that you use different screen sizes carrying personalized messages to capture and recapture attention of your audiences while they remain at the location.
5. When you deploy transit advertising such as bus shelters, bus stop or terminal branding, complement it with location-based targeting through which consumers can see your ads on websites they visit on their mobile devices while in transit.
Above all, it doesn’t matter if your business is small-scale or large-scale, you can only get better results when you effectively combine digital with outdoor advertising to reach, engage and attract consumers to your business.