15/02/2023 • Tom Berridge
Last week, Google announced that advertisers using their platform can now access inventory across digital advertising locations, outside the home. This means anyone with a Google Ads account, and the right sort of creative, can buy digital ad space on bus stops, shopping centres, elevators and even in Tube stations across the capital.
This is big news. Previously, digital out-of-home inventory was hard to come by unless you had a media buying agency or partner to purchase this for you. However now, even a business owner with only £200 monthly spend on Ads, can effectively access some very tactical ad inventory, across any digital out-of-home signage across the country, and beyond.
Previously, buying display ads from a prospecting point of view was reserved mainly for brands with decent budgets. However, this development now allows many businesses who hadn't previously considered out-of-home advertising, to see it as a real opportunity.
For example, think of a local furniture retailer, that has one store somewhere like York. On a Bank Holiday weekend, major retailers like DFS and Furniture Village absolutely pile the advertising up to the rafters. They drive people online and in-store. So imagine, the local furniture store, placing an ad, on a digital sign, outside a DFS store, as the masses come to see what's in the sale. Absolute gold dust.
The trick with any digital out-of-home is measurability. Clearly, the need to measure the impact for smaller advertisers is even more important with a limited budget available. But with a simple QR code or a specific URL that you can take potential customers to, you can absolutely track this impact (obviously only for people who see the ad and act on it).
Other ways to track impact, would be to track brand search volume or search volume based on the ad, around the time and area these ads were placed. Activating a paid search campaign to pick up this volume, would be a good idea to ensure no searchers slip through the net.
It's a very interesting move from Google, one that's entirely predictable, but yet another step to increase their dominance in digital advertising, and attempt to crush the recent growth of platforms like TikTok.
As with anything, it is important to test and learn how these things work, but it's certainly an exciting move that we will all be watching closely!
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