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Many people think of out-of-home (OOH) advertising as billboards and street furniture. Although those are certainly available ad formats, OOH offers other options and plenty of opportunities for creativity. The possibilities with the medium are more extensive than most marketers realize.

B2B advertisers, in particular, would be wise to tap into OOH's creative solutions and think outside the box as they plan their OOH ads. Here are six specific ideas to try.

1. Focus on place-based ads

Sometimes people mistakenly think of OOH as outdoor only. But it's called out-of-home instead of outdoor for a reason. OOH refers to indoor placements as well as outdoor placements that passers-by may see while going about their day.

B2B advertisers should broaden their horizons and consider placing ads in office elevators, office vending machines, and similar areas. That helps to establish a brand presence in your target audiences' actual office as well as to integrate yourself into daily routines in locations they spend a lot of time in.

2. Become part of the commute

Most office workers have a daily driving routine or commute, and it's easy to identify popular routes that get dense amounts of traffic in your target market. By buying OOH ads along those common routes, B2B advertisers can ensure their brand is seen by their target audience members every time they head to and from work.

That can work nearly anywhere, but it's especially effective in hubs such as Austin, Denver, and San Francisco. It also works best when your graphics and messaging are eye-catching and succinct, because people may pass by your ad and need to absorb the information quickly.

3. Keep QR codes in mind

Like most marketing tactics, QR codes had their moment in the spotlight a few years ago, when it felt like every brand used them every chance they had. Then they faded from many people's minds—only to return when the pandemic hit and many restaurants and other brands started using them again.

In that most recent context, QR codes have served as a touchless way for consumers to access information—the contents of a menu, for example. And although the menu example is in the B2C realm, B2B companies can get just as much value from QR codes. They still provide a highly effective method for getting ad viewers to interact with your ad and your brand. Even post-pandemic, touchless and bring-your-own-device trends are expected to remain intact.

Plan to use QR codes in your OOH ads to push people to product demo pages, allow them to request a quote, or take another action.

4. Target events and tradeshows

Another effective tactic to use to reach B2B audiences is to buy ads near events and tradeshows that your target audience is expected to attend. You can use transit billboards, for example, to grab the attention of attendees as your ad is driven around event hotspots and nearby offices before and after conference hours.

This method maximizes every dollar and can make for serious ROI, as it did for a legal technology company that used such a campaign and generated 2.2x its goal number of social shares and a 329% ROI for business generated during the conference.

5. Use retargeting

Marketers are well aware that repeating a message leads to familiarity, and familiarity leads to preference. Studies on the mere-exposure effect have found that preference requires at least 10 exposures. So, the more times you repeat your messaging to the same people, the more likely they will take action.

That's is why retargeting is so effective. The right OOH platform can help you retarget people who have already been exposed to your campaign, reinforcing your messaging via other media channels. That greatly increases the impact of a campaign and ensures that buyers will not remember only your ad but also your brand.

6. Measure results

Advertising can seem useless without measurement, so it's imperative you know what to measure in your OOH ads—and how frequently—to continue to get better results.

Multiple approaches can measure the effectiveness of B2B OOH campaigns, including brand-lift studies and casual impact studies, as well as measuring the halo effect of OOH campaigns on online campaign performance (including LinkedIn performance). Have a plan in place well before you launch any ads, ideally use a platform with measurement built in and easily accessible.

* * *

OOH ads are more effective than most people realize, especially in the B2B world, and those ads can be made even more so based on the format you choose, the level of targeting you enact, and the creativity with which you approach your campaign message and tactics.

Keep thinking outside the box, and you'll keep getting more and more powerful results.

More Resources on OOH Advertising

Attention-Grabbers: Five Publicity Lessons From Unique Billboard Ads

The Advertising Media That Consumers Trust Most

How to Target Millennials With Billboard Advertising

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Six Out-of-Home Advertising Tactics to Reach B2B Audiences

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image of Matthew O'Connor

Matthew O'Connor is the CEO and a co-founder of AdQuick, an advertising platform that allow brands, agencies, and individual people to complete the process of planning, buying, executing, and measuring out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaigns in the U.S. and across the globe.

LinkedIn: Matthew O.