outdoor advertisingMost marketing chatter of late has focused on the importance and growth of digital and mobile advertising. But one marketing channel that still gets results (though very little press) is outdoor advertising (or out-of-home advertising). With more than 100 different formats ranging from billboards to park benches to busses and trains to reach to consumers while they are outside their homes and on the go, outdoor advertising is no minor league channel, generating $5.3 billion in revenue for the first three quarters of 2013 and making up 4.9 percent total market share.

And even in a digital world, outdoor advertising is growing, with positive year-over-year growth since 2010 and revenue projected to reach $132.4 billion in 2015.

Don’t Forget the Phone Number

If you decide to test an outdoor ad campaign, it goes without saying that your ads should be eye-grabbing, concise, and persuasive. After all, you may only have a few seconds to grab a person’s attention and generate interest.

And when it comes to a call to action, one of the best assets of a successful outdoor advertisement is the strategic placement of a telephone number that can quickly be punched into smartphones by consumers. Because they are out-and-about, consumers looking at outdoor advertisements are more inclined to call a brand rather than spend time going to and exploring the website from their phones, which makes number placement a top priority.

Track Calls from Outdoor Ads to Measure ROI

Any time you use phone numbers in your ads, you should strongly consider using trackable numbers from a call tracking provider. The calls will still go to you, and callers will never know the difference, but you will be able to track calls (and the revenue from those calls) back to the specific ad and placement that originated it. You will then know which ads are working (and which aren’t), so you can make adjustments and optimize ROI.

Intelligently Route Calls from Each Ad to Optimize Conversions

Some call tracking providers will also enable you to set up call routing that automatically directs callers seamlessly to the appropriate agent or location. Calls can be routed based on a wide range of criteria, including:

  • What day and time the call comes in
  • What ad the caller is calling from
  • The geographic location of the caller

Set Up an IVR and Capture and Qualify Calls 24/7

Outdoor advertisements are made available to consumers’ eyes all day and night. If your business is not open around the clock to answer calls, it may make sense to direct after-hours callers to an automated IVR. Rather than have the call go unanswered or directed to a voicemail box, the IVR’s is an automated phone menu that can gather a caller’s data and answer their questions and provide information. IVRs are also effective at qualifying and scoring callers before passing them to a sales agent.

Play Outside with A/B Testing

You should also consider using A/B tests to determine with outdoor ads and placements work best, and your data from call tracking numbers can help. If you are developing a new billboard design, for example, and are split on which message or creative direction to go with, you can test both versions of the advertisement – each with a unique trackable phone number – to see which gets you the most calls and sales. Similarly, if you have an ad you love but aren’t sure which billboard location to spend your budget on, you can put the same ad up in both locations, but with different call tracking numbers, to determine the winner.

To learn more about call tracking, check out our on-demand webinar on call tracking and scoring.