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How to encourage engagement with OOH advertising

In our previous article, we explored the sophisticated metrics that are available to measure exactly how many people are seeing OOH adverts. 

But while this is extremely helpful, especially for planning, one question still remains: how do we know if the people seeing adverts actually care or engage with them? This subject is trickier to answer, and in this article we explore the importance of building brand reach and knowledge over time so it has the desired effect on the public, and we will also take a look at some creative techniques to measure the interest in your OOH adverts. 

What is the biggest influence on ROI?

Standing the best chance of getting the best ROI in the first place is all about length of time

Only having an advert erected for one or two weeks is not likely to give you a great return on investment. That’s why Clear Channel Direct, a leading provider of OOH and DOOH, has a minimum spend in place. This ensures your advert is given an adequate time period, and therefore the amount of coverage it needs, to get seen by plenty of people to build up influence and make a return on your investment. It is also a vital step for reach and brand building – let’s explore this some more. 

Long-term reach & short-term activation

Simply put, your OOH advert needs to run for a long enough time to build brand identity and to establish your brand in the public psyche – even when the public may not be in need of your service at that very moment. When they do require your service or product in the future, however, brand memory will have grown thanks to your OOH advert’s exposure time – which in turn could positively influence your ROI. 

This is based on the “reach and activation” approach, as explored in a study named “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”, commissioned by Rapport, a branch of IPG Mediabrands. Reach is the number of people that are exposed to your brand, which can positively influence the public’s knowledge of your brand – this will depend on the length of time your brand has been in the public eye and how long campaigns have been running. Activation focuses more on immediate purchases and transactions. 

Case Study findings

The analysts used many case studies to draw their conclusions, examining both advertisers who used OOH and those who did not. The study’s key findings included: 

  • Almost half of all OOH users employed OOH advertising to build brand reach, with roughly 24% using it for just sales activation – while roughly a further 28% used OOH for both brand building and sales activation.
  • Most importantly, OOH was found to boost the brand memory, stature and fame (32% increase) with the public to deliver better business results in the long run. 
  • OOH has a positive influence on the business effects of other media, including search and social. 
  • Advertisers who invested 15% or over in OOH experienced a profit growth of 20% when compared to advertisers who did not invest in OOH. 
  • This long-term brand building then went on to have a positive influence on short-term activations e.g. encouraging someone to make a purchase. 

So, to conclude we can see that using OOH to build long-term brand awareness and memory is just as important as sales activation when influencing buying decisions in the public. Therefore, it’s a key consideration for all advertisers to ensure any OOH campaigns run for long enough to establish this brand fame and stature in the consumers’ minds. This way, you get the most from a campaign and reap greater ROI when it comes time for sales activations. 

How to judge audience interest in OOH adverts

As we have seen, length of time is the most important thing an advertiser can do when running a campaign. Also, for the duration of the campaign, there are other ways you can measure or judge audience interest in your OOH adverts. 


  • Before and after: This may seem like an obvious technique, but looking at your sales stats before you launched a campaign compared with stats after the campaign is over can be a surefire indication of how influential the OOH has been. Take into account any other campaigns you may also be running at the same time, for example online campaigns or any other factors that may skew these results. 
  • Ad-specific URLs and codes: You may wish to set your advertisement up with its own unique website/URL or promo code. This way, you know that any hits to this website, any sign-ups during visits, or any uses of this promo code are definitely coming exclusively from your OOH campaign and not from any other sources – making it an accurate way of assessing how many people have truly interacted with the advert, and therefore your brand. 
  • Hashtags: Similar to the previous tip, you can assign a unique hashtag to a campaign. This way, you can accurately measure how many people are interacting with the campaign on social media by using this hashtag. You can also view what they are saying about your brand through their hashtagged posts and comments. This can be an authentic reflection of how engaging your adverts have been to the general public. 


    • Keyword tracking: Perhaps you might like to give your ad campaign its own slogan? This way, you can easily track who has been Googling your unique slogan using keyword tracking. You can also keyword track other unique keyphrases or words associated with your campaign and see if they have spiked over the course of the campaign. 


  • Survey visitors: When visitors land on your site or visit your establishment, you may wish to quickly ask how they found out about you. While this can reap plenty of useful information, it may not be 100% accurate as some people may not choose to, for example, fill out an optional survey. 



Clear Channel Direct is an industry leader for affordable ad spots. We’re here to help you build an effective OOH advertising for your SME business, and have a vast UK-wide network of digital billboard and poster spots, to help you reach the right customers at the right times. Discover more about how we can maximise your advertising reach – contact our friendly team today. 

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