Amplifying your direct sales team with ecommerce for OOH comes with a host of benefits and is a great way to drive extra revenue for your Out-of-Home business. By making your inventory available to buy online you’ll capture long tail advertisers efficiently, and allow them to purchase from anywhere, at any time and in any language or currency they choose. There are a few companies doing this well already, take a look at JC Decaux’s Mon Affiche in Belgium and Ocean Outdoor’s OnScreen in the UK.
But for your OOH store to be successful, you cannot simply build it and expect them to find you. You’ll need to support it with a robust marketing plan to ensure you reach the right advertiser at just the right moment.
In this article we’ll look at five tried, tested and almost free strategies for marketing an online store for OOH.
Set some goals for your OOH e-commerce store
First things first, you need to understand what success means for your business and set some goals to keep your team on track. For most businesses, money in the bank is the most important metric and an easy one to measure through an ecommerce store. But additionally, you might want to measure your success against other, less direct metrics. Is your online store driving more enquiries to your direct sales team? Perhaps brand new advertisers have discovered your poster sites? Or maybe you’re seeing greater retention of existing customers who are impressed by your new service?
Figure out what success means to you then set your team some SMART goals to aim for.
Turn existing traffic into revenue
Unless you’re just starting out, you probably have a strong online presence with established traffic already. Nurturing that traffic and converting it into revenue is your website’s most important job. So why delay and risk disappointing customers who are ready to purchase by making them fill in an annoying form in the hope that someone will call them back? By which time they may have changed their mind or worse, heard from your competitor.
By adding an online store to your OOH website, you will transform your website into a revenue generating machine that allows visitors to act right away with no barriers to purchase.
Review your website for every opportunity to call a customer to action. Your website will be filled with opportunities to entice advertisers to search your sites and book. Do you have a blog? Pages dedicated to your different OOH formats? Evaluate each page for opportunities to add contextual links and a compelling call to action. Taking the time to do this will not only drive visitors to your online store, it will also encourage them to browse more content and help search engines crawl and rank your site.
Using a pre-built ecommerce platform Console, which has been specifically designed for selling OOH, you can curate the experience to focus on what your customer is looking for. For example, if your customer is reading a page dedicated to the benefits of advertising in railway stations, you can display live availability for all the sites you have in that environment, without any distractions.
Generate more traffic
It only takes one Google search to know there are a multitude of tactics for driving more traffic to your website. Here are a few that have been tried and tested specifically for getting more eyeballs on your OOH inventory.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
One of the most effective ways to drive quality traffic to your website is by making your site visible to those searching Google for the solutions you sell. This is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Very broadly, there are two main types of SEO: on-page optimisation and off-page.
On-page optimisation is about improving the technical workings of your website to be more ‘Google-friendly’. If Google likes the way your site is built and functions, you’re more likely to rank highly for any given search term. There are a vast array of things you can do here (many of which need a developer to implement) but as a general rule Google likes anything that makes your website more user-friendly for humans. If you choose an off-the-shelf solution like Console by LDSK, a lot of these hard yards will be done for you. But given you’ll usually drive traffic to your homepage or landing page on your site first, you’ll want to make sure it’s optimised too. Here are just some of the things you can do to make your website more Google-friendly.
- Speed up your site’s loading time by ensuring you’re using the correct size images.
- Structure your heading tags correctly Make your copy clear and easy to read and break it up with images Give those images good ‘alt attribute’ descriptions that allow screen readers to describe them.
- Include plenty of relevant internal links to help people navigate your site.
The list of on-page SEO tactics you can employ goes on and on but even tackling a few things will amplify the work you do next.
Once again, the off-page optimisation list is long, but here are some of the tactics we’ve seen work well when it comes to promoting an Out-of-Home ecommerce store.
It’s no secret that converting a customer who is already looking for a solution will take less work than someone who has no idea they even have a problem. That’s why creating articles or blog posts that answer the questions your customers are asking Google is so powerful. And if you answer it well, Google will reward you by ranking you highly!
Online tools can help you with keyword research however the best resource is often the experience of your sales team. What questions are they always being asked? What language do their customers use? Writing content that speaks directly to the things customers are searching for will always perform well and drive traffic to your site.
Nurture your leads
We don’t have to tell you that nurturing customer relationships is your sales team’s most important job. Just because they are now interacting with an online platform instead of calling them on the phone, doesn’t mean you should leave them to their own devices. With an OOH ecommerce platform like Console, you can configure things to suit your business’s preference. You can choose to keep it open and allow users to browse the map anonymously. Or you can ask them to create an account before they’re able to search. Asking for a few simple details like a name and email address can create a golden lead opportunity for your sales team. You can then connect your ecommerce store with your existing email marketing software to capture information about their behaviour on site. Armed with this information, you can amplify the work of your sales team by distilling their knowledge into a series of educational and informative automated emails. Exalt the benefits of OOH to a first time visitor, remind someone who abandoned their campaign before purchasing, reach out to someone who hasn’t been back in a while. All while your sales team concentrates on up-selling, closing bigger deals and nurturing your top clients.
Then test, test, test
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many different ways to market your OOH inventory’s online store and what works for you depends on your audience. As any marketer will tell you, the secret is to create a plan, test what works (and what doesn’t!) for your business, then repeat. We hope some of these ideas offer up a starting point.
If you are a D/OOH media owner interested in selling your inventory online, take a look at Console, our white-label ecommerce solution. Or get in touch to discuss how we can help you sell more of your space.