How to Optimize DOOH Ads in Real-Time

Douglas Lusted Digital Signage, DOOH

In any out-of-home advertising campaign, you want to play the perfect ad, at the perfect time, at the perfect place – but too often, advertisers don’t know what the highest performing combinations are until after their campaign is over. In online advertising, campaigns are constantly adjusted and optimized to ensure maximum performance, and it should be the same for DOOH.

That’s what we’re working on at LINKETT – our analytics platform helps out-of-home advertisers optimize their campaigns to run the best performing content. In this post we’ll explain how DOOH optimization works, and how you can use our three step approach in your next campaign.

What is Optimization?

Optimization helps a DOOH advertising campaign perform as effectively as possible. This is done by gathering reliable data through an analytics platform like LINKETT, determining what content, screen locations, and times are most effective, and doubling down on the best-performing combinations.

This is a completely new capability for DOOH – it enables you to play the best content, at the best location, at the best time, generating the best possible results for your budget.

There are three steps to running the best DOOH campaign possible: Analyze, Optimize, and Experiment.

DOOH Ad Optimization Process

1. Analyze

Before you can optimize your campaign, you first must analyze your initial results. LINKETT-powered DOOH networks collect a wealth of information for each campaign they run – not only content, location, and time, but also important metrics like impressions, dwell times, conversions, and more. All of this information can be used to best optimize a campaign.

To get started, launch your test campaign and do not make any changes for a reasonable period – in the DOOH advertising industry, 1-2 weeks is a common duration for trial campaigns in order to get a reliable amount of data. Once the test period is over, analyze how location, time slot, and ad performed according to your goals, and determine what tweaks need to be made in order to improve performance.

2. Optimize

Based on your analysis, adjust your campaign and run content that performed best at each location and time slot. Perhaps one call-to-action worked best at driving conversions – if that’s the case, then run that CTA and remove the less effective ones from your playlist. The same goes for times and locations – finding that your morning content had the highest dwell times? Then shift more of your campaign spend to that time of day.

This process is done either manually or automatically: some DOOH networks make the changes themselves, but others are progressing towards automatic optimization powered by machine learning. Automatic optimization ensures that the best ads are automatically played at the appropriate time and location. Just as programmatic buying has changed the nature of online advertising, machine learning is starting to revolutionize the DOOH industry as well. Either way, the goal with optimization is clear: use the data you have at your disposal to improve your campaign while it’s still live.

3. Experiment

At this point, whether manually or automatically, you will have improved campaign performance by learning from your data and making any necessary adjustments. You will have weeded out underperforming content, doubled down on the most effective scenarios, and improved your campaign’s performance rating.

This process teaches you a lot about what messaging resonates with your target audience, and we’ve found that clients often have new ideas and hypotheses they want to test to make their campaign even better. Maybe, based on campaign results so far, your client has created new content that they think will make an impact. Now is the time to experiment with this content, get immediate feedback, and continue to optimize the campaign. The same can be done with locations and times – test your ideas, and see what sticks. No matter how high-performing your campaign is, never stop experimenting – there’s always room for improvement.

This cycle – analyze, optimize, experiment – is how a modern, data-driven advertising network operates. Advertisers are increasingly demanding transparency and actionable data, and DOOH networks can deliver that by integrating with an analytics platform to optimize their campaigns in real-time.

To learn more about optimization and how analytics can increase DOOH profits, check out our eBook, “The Complete Guide to DOOH Analytics”. 

Learn more about test piloting a Linkett sensor here: Test Pilot Linkett Sensor.