Influencer marketing has become a key consideration for brands in the digital age. According to Linqia, an estimated 39% of firms planned to increase their influencer marketing spend at the beginning of 2018, with a further 21% maintaining the same budget they had last year.
This type of marketing is particularly popular (and effective) in the world of fashion, with some 78% of brands building campaigns around influencers in 2017. This number increased from 65% during the previous year, while it’s expected to rise further in the years ahead.
However, it’s not necessarily good for brands to become consumed by digital techniques such as influencer marketing, particularly as integrated campaigns offer far greater value in terms of building brand awareness and driving assisted conversions.
Make no mistake; outdoor advertising can also be highly beneficial to online fashion brands, particularly if OOH campaigns are executed well. In the article below, we’ll look at the advantages of outdoor advertising for fashion brands and offer some advice on how to engage customers through channels such as billboards.
What are the Benefits of OOH for Fashion Brands?
When investing in influencer marketing, fashion brands are restricting their potential audience to social media users who follow a chosen group of high-profile individuals. This is relatively prohibitive when compared with the exposure provided by outdoor advertising channels, which are estimated to reach in excess of 90% of the local population.
This includes multiple demographics who are active both on and offline, enabling you to reach a vast target market and potentially increase your marketing ROI.
In this respect, outdoor advertising is the ideal channel for building brand awareness on a vast scale, particularly for small or medium-sized fashion retailers.
Then we come to the engagement levels associated with OOH, and particularly channels such as billboards. For example, it’s estimated that 71% of potential customers look at and engage with messages on roadside billboards, ensuring that a vast audience interacts with your brand and its primary messaging.
This type of engagement can be worth its weight in gold given the saturation of the online marketplace, which is extremely competitive and challenging for new brands to crack.
This is reflected by various data sets, which have helped to established billboards and other OOH channels as key drivers of assisted conversions for brands. The visual and prominent nature of billboards certainly has an indelible impact in the minds of consumers, making published content memorable and easily shareable across a variety of social media channels.
In fact, OOH drives a disproportionate share of online searches and social media activations, particularly in relation to television and print media.
According to a study by Nielsen, OOH triggers 10% more activations on Facebook, and similarly superior engagement rates of 7% and 8% on Twitter and Instagram respectively. The link between OOH and Instagram is a particularly important consideration for fashion brands, as it enables businesses to raise awareness offline before driving increased interaction through a prominent social channel.
As a general rule, fashion brands are also partially reliant on imagery to market and sell their products to customers. It’s therefore crucial that they use graphics and pictures to capture the quality of their garments and share this directly with potential customers.
Outdoor advertising channels are ideally suited to achieving this aim, with large 96 and 48-sheet billboards capable of delivering big and bold images to customers. 96-sheet billboards feature dimensions of 3m x 12m and can captivate an audience at busy roadsides and junctions.
In this respect, smaller and medium-sized fashion brands can bridge the gap on their more illustrious competitors, as they present themselves as larger-than-life retail powerhouses that boast an exceptional product range.
That’s the ‘Why’ – Now Brace yourself for the ‘How’
While these points may highlight the potential benefits of OOH for fashion brands, this means little if you’re unable to execute your campaigns effectively. So, here are some key points to keep in mind when leveraging outdoor advertising and promoting your brand.
Consider Using Paper rather than Digital Billboards
While it’s natural that you’d consider using digital billboards in the current climate, this may prove counter-intuitive for small or emerging brands.
After all, paper billboards offer optimal and extended exposure for advertisers, whereas digital platforms often rotate between five or six different messages per minute. As a result, they’re far more effective when looking to build brand awareness and successfully hold the interest of potential customers.
Similarly, paper billboards are far cheaper than digital alternatives, enabling you to reduce your marketing spend while also optimising the potential return.
Create Bold Visuals with Consistent Branding
We’ve already touched on the importance of visuals, and in order to create an impactful billboard, you’ll need to utilise bold and colourful images.
This will help to capture the attention and imagination of your audience, while providing a platform from which brand messaging can truly resonate.
However, the colours that you use should also reflect the visual identity of your brand, as this helps to create a holistic advert that drives recognition alongside awareness.
It’s important that your branding remains consistent across all channels, while you should also adhere to any colour palates that are synonymous with the business.
Include Contact Details that are Relevant to the Customer Journey
If you’re to leverage your billboard as a driver of assisted conversions within an integrated campaign, there are two key considerations.
Firstly, it’s crucial that the advert includes contact information so that customer can engage with the brand further. Secondly, the details that you include must be relevant to the customer journey, as you look to direct them to specific channels and ultimately optimise your sales conversion rate.
On a fundamental level, this means displaying your website address prominently on the billboard. This provides a direct link to your online store, allowing customers to browse your offerings through their mobile device.
Given the capacity for OOH channels to drive interaction and engagement through social media, it also makes sense that you include selected profiles on the advert. You’ll need to select a range of social channels that reflect your customer demographics, of course, but we’d recommend including Instagram and Twitter account details to all brands.
This way, customers can engage further with the brand through its social profiles, learning more about the business, its range, and unique value proposition.
The Last Word
As we can see, OOH advertising channels can offer genuine value to fashion brands, particularly small and independent outlets that are looking to build awareness.
Most importantly, techniques such as billboard advertising can be effectively used as part of an integrated marketing campaign, and one that optimises exposure while also driving higher levels of engagement and sales over time.