Become a small business poster boy

The iconic digital billboards at Piccadilly Circus have hit the headlines recently with the news that TDK, the Japanese electronics company, is not renewing its contract. The company’s blue and white branding has lit up the heart of the West End for the past 24 years, and the auction for its space will inevitably attract the biggest brands from across the globe.

But digital and traditional billboards are no longer sole preserve of big businesses. With a simple poster in an Underground station costing as little as £37/ week, organisations of all sizes are turning to Out Of Home (OOH) to run engaging, captivating and even emotive campaigns in local areas. They’re using them to reach the heart of communities, to ultimately drive footfall and sales to their businesses.

And there’s pioneering work going on too. Several small businesses in the UK are currently trialling beacon technology on buses so passengers can receive location-based messages on their smart devices from retailers in the local area as they travel. So how can small businesses make the most of OOH advertising?

Be creative. OOH advertising is designed for consumer engagement and it should grab the eye. Make it memorable and integrate social so it’s something passersby will remember, can interact with and share. Remember, less is more when it comes to advertising – keep your message clear and simple and people will take it in.

Have a clear call to action. Whether it’s using QR codes, a Twitter handle, NFC, Beacons, or just a simple message that strikes a chord, make sure there is a clear call to action to make it easy for a consumer to engage with your brand further. This will also help you to measure the results of your campaign.

Make it relevant to your audience. You need to understand who it is you’re targeting and why. Most media owners will have research and audience measurement tools at their fingertips – ask your Account Manager for insights into your target audience so that you can reach them more effectively.

The screens at Piccadilly Circus will always be the “poster boys” of OOH. But keep your eyes peeled in 2015 as SMEs bring innovative and engaging campaigns to your local area.

Article by Shaun Gregory, CEO Exterion Media

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