An Agency’s Guide to Tapping the Benefits of Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

With changes in the ad world already upon us, advertisers are turning to digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising to boost brand metrics and keep consumers engaged with relevant content. A potential antidote to device fatigue and privacy concerns, DOOH advertising has shown that it can reach the right audience in a wide variety of settings. Not only are brands finding their intended audience, but they’re also driving traffic, improving brand appeal, and encouraging elevated rates of purchasing.

The versatility and many benefits of digital out-of-home advertising also provide a multitude of pathways for advertisers looking to increase their reach. While more traditional digital billboards and videos in public places can still be helpful, offices and multifamily housing buildings outfitted with digital screens can connect patrons to brands using a more targeted approach during opportune times. Both office and home have proven to be excellent places to showcase relevant content and advertising. It is here where viewers are ready to engage while being in close proximity to where purchase decisions are made.

As the DOOH market continues its ascent, right alongside the decrease in cookie-based approaches, there will likely be an even greater focus on generating the type of content that can maximize its impact. Here’s a look at the numbers of DOOH advertising and how brands and agencies are using the model to their advantage.

Understanding the Benefits of Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

Consumers are inundated with ad content on their personal devices, with quantity-first approaches often missing the mark and causing frustration. When people are away from their homes or desks, however, they seem to have few distractions engaging with digital ad content. According to a survey sponsored by Nielsen, Verizon, and OAAA (Out of Home Advertising Association of America), DOOH advertising consistently hits its mark.

Some of the key findings include the following:

  • 65% of respondents visited a business (or website) after seeing a DOOH ad
  • More than 90% of those visiting a business made a purchase
  • Respondents tended to immediately follow up on their own devices
  • Both static digital billboards and mobile digital billboards showed similar reach

The OAAA survey shows a remarkable level of engagement for DOOH advertising across a variety of different metrics. Regardless of how the digital content was displayed, consumers were engaged, willing to follow up on their own, and consistently inspired to make purchases. 

Beyond merely motivating individuals to visit a business or business website, DOOH ads were encouraging them to take immediate action: whether for a stationary digital billboard or a mobile one, more than 50% of consumers who noticed an ad quickly followed up.

These types of findings are not unusual in the DOOH market, either. Another major study showed that 83% of respondents paid attention to DOOH content and advertising at least sometimes, with half saying they pay attention to DOOH signage most or all of the time. 

These numbers show that well-placed DOOH content can appeal to consumers in the moments when they are not focused on their personal devices. The messages are not only noticed on a regular basis, but consumers have developed a level of comfort with them, opening the door for brands to leverage this attention to move the viewer further along the buyer’s journey.

While advertisers are still fine-tuning their approaches to maximize engagement, there is a significant opportunity within DOOH to increase brand recognition and forge connections. As the third-party cookie model winds down over the next couple of years, those opportunities could become even more critical to a brand’s promotion as advertisers hope to stimulate their intended audiences.

How Advertisers Are Improving Brand Metrics with DOOH

In addition to reaching out to consumers, the OAAA study also surveyed brand decision-makers in an effort to find out how they see the DOOH market. One consistent theme was that ad agencies believe DOOH helps to counter “device fatigue,” providing a user-friendly experience that breaks the monotony of seeing ads on personal devices. Out of the 250 agencies surveyed, more than 90% said that DOOH enhanced their brand appeal and helped with both upper and lower funnel metrics.

Related: Comscore and Captivate Make the Case for Incremental Ad Spend in DOOH

This close correlation between advertiser and consumer opinion shows that many agencies are already well aware of the impact of DOOH ads. Looking beyond the basic numbers, we can better understand how the benefits of digital out-of-home advertising come to the surface.

Moving From Quantity to Quality

In the rush to maximize impressions on personal devices, there is often a significant disconnect between consumers and advertisers when behavioral targeting is used. According to one study, about 70% of consumers say they are shown irrelevant ads at least once a month, with nearly one in four acknowledging that it happens daily. This experience can frustrate consumers and potentially even lead to a negative correlation with a brand.

While this type of targeting still has value in many situations, DOOH advertising can offer a more quality-based approach designed for a more seamless fit. DOOH ads can be aligned with the types of consumers who will regularly come in visual contact with the ad content, providing a quick dose of relevant brand marketing for consumers on the go.

Beyond digital billboards, video content on well-placed digital screens can provide relevancy and increase quality of the impression delivered. The best public-facing digital video content is curated to include news, entertainment, stock info, travel info, and other topics that interests viewers and organically works with advertising content. 

More than just piquing the interest of an individual, DOOH video content can provide a meaningful experience. By matching an audience with content they value, brand advertisers have a positive environment in which to present their brand.

Easy to Update and Maintain Relevance

One of the biggest complaints about ads that use personal data is that they often miss the mark. Instead of viewing ads that organically fit with the main content being consumed, viewers might be shown ads for products that are only vaguely related to something they searched. Often, a consumer has already made a purchase and the presented ad is completely irrelevant to their current lives.

Contextually relevant ads aim to correct this issue while maintaining privacy – two principles ideally suited to DOOH. Advertisers who team with curated networks of digital video content (e.g., weather reports, market updates, business news, entertainment news, tech reports) can ensure their brands are appearing next to current content that will draw viewers. Instead of relying on a consumer’s past like ads based on individual personal data must, DOOH ads can reflect the present and even serve as a conversation starter.

This mentality also reflects the hyperactive digital world with which we’re all familiar. Supplemental content that is outdated can negatively reflect a brand, while regularly updated content can spark a viewer’s attention. With the ability for DOOH content to be consistently updated to maintain relevancy, ads always appear in a digital world that reflects the present.  

Measurability in the DOOH Market

One aspect of DOOH that has sometimes been challenging is measuring the reach and effectiveness of the advertising, although that has also changed. More sophisticated measuring techniques are available today than in years past, providing a supportive data set that can help advertisers fine-tune the experience. Tools like web conversion trackers, foot traffic studies, sales lifts, and more can help brand promoters determine an ad’s impact and facilitate adjustments to the process.

Related: Conversations With Captivate: Q&A with Adrian Witter, Director of Programmatic & Partnerships at WPP’s Kinetic

Enhanced measurability in DOOH even helps to ease concerns as we move away from the third-party cookie model and programmatic advertising geared for personal devices. Although these methods come with privacy concerns, they are also reliable because of the measurability factor at their core. As DOOH expands its reach, a higher level of measurability for DOOH campaigns provides an auspicious landscape for advertisers. With the right advertising appearing alongside curated, relevant content, advertisers can confidently move forward on their goals with a much greater sense of control.

Visibility and Targeting the Right Audience

Digital screens have become ubiquitous in today’s office buildings and apartment complexes. While digital billboards remain a positive example of the DOOH market, many advertisers are taking the next step and targeting networks of digital screens in specific areas, such as gas pumps and office elevators. Instead of digital billboards that tend to be overly broad, digital screens in specifically chosen common areas give advertisers a chance to hone in on their target audience and provide the most relevant content possible while people are waiting and have little else to do.

Such next-generation DOOH advertising allows brands an ideal way to increase visibility with their target audience. Digital screens in places like elevators and common areas can fit a broader modern aesthetic while encouraging community and causing viewers to discuss content with their peers. Like a digital billboard, where a momentary notice can gain the right attention, a well-placed digital screen can provide a seamless brand impression that inspires a consumer to follow up.

DOOH is Well-Positioned in a Shifting Advertising Landscape

It’s difficult to overstate the impact of the ongoing shift in advertising, as brands across the globe deal with a profound change in how we target consumers. By late 2024, when Google is scheduled to go cookie-free, the entire advertising world will have moved on to different strategies.

One of the strategies consistently mentioned by media experts as a path forward is contextual targeting, a popular model before the nearly ubiquitous acceptance of behavioral approaches. With contextual targeting and contextually based advertising, advertisers aim to showcase current, organically relevant ads that fit a consumer’s day-to-day activity. On a personal device, an article about exotic travel destinations might be paired with airline or hotel ads to help an individual get started.

But this strategy also translates exceptionally well to the DOOH market. While digital billboards can attract some of their intended audience, more refined approaches pinpointing key demographics in locations close to point of purchase and influence can be an even more effective path forward for advertisers. If the goal is to appeal to busy professionals, succinct content paired with relevant digital ads in an office elevator can be an ideal way to attract attention to a brand. Just as importantly, advertisers can organically reach the specific types of decision-makers with purchasing power they’re hoping to locate.

For brand promoters and ad agencies looking to pair ads with updated content relevant to the lives of their customers, Captivate has a network of digital screens offering curated, eye-catching content in high-traffic areas. To find out what Captivate can do to help improve your brand’s reach through DOOH advertising, contact us today to get started.

Would you like to extend the conversation?

Book a demo to learn more about impactful, engaging digital signage solutions from Captivate.