Gephart on Using Social Media to Sell OOH

Kevin Gephart spent 35+ years selling advertising including 12 years at Clear Channel Outdoor in Minneapolis.  Last week he gave 3 tips for effective out of home prospecting.  Today he’ll discuss how social media fits into out of home prospecting. 

Kevin Gephart

Some of the ideas in this column require you to invest money in “your business”.  You need to think of yourself as an “INTRApreneur. You are operating your own business within a bigger business.  Google yourself periodically to see how/if you show up. There is a lot of great training available from LinkedIn and others on how to maximize your search results. (more below). Spend the money and do the training.

Social media

  • Pros: Instantaneous and inexpensive. Effective for the right demographic. Be sure you are speaking to the prospect in the way the prefer to be spoken to. It varies widely by demographics. Don’t assume a GenXer would like to be reached the same way as a Baby Boomer.
  • Cons: Takes lot of training, planning, and time slowing down results.

LinkedIn   The gold standard of business commerce. Have a compelling, customer-focused LinkedIn profile.  LinkedIn is the “main street” for professional commerce/contacts. Bounce it off others who can offer relevant critique. When your prospecting efforts pay dividends, prospects will check you out on LinkedIn.

  • Pros: One place for almost everything you need. I would suggest paying for the premium and/or Sales Navigator levels. It gives you great tools, insight, and training.
  • Cons: Many people are pursuing those prospects for the same purpose. It may be a very crowded marketplace and because people do their own updating, data can be old.


  • Pros: Also real time and very effective for the right target audience.
  • Cons: High level prospect have little time to use twitter. You may be ignored by the very busy prospects that you were trying to reach.


  • Pros: A high reach channel. It allows you to know a prospect on a very personal level and follow what’s going on in their lives.  It is also a great place for you to display personal characteristics (personal branding) you want to promote to a potential prospect.
  • Cons: Many people consider being approached for business reasons on Facebook to be inappropriate.  “Friending” a prospect too soon in the process may seem like stalking.

SEO/Paid search/leads   Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very sophisticated strategy for having your name pop to the top organically when someone searches billboards in X town. Pay to get some training in this. It may pay big dividends.  Contact Google to explore paid search. When you see the companies that now pop to the top of your “billboards in X town” they have cracked the code on SEO. Find out if you can purchase leads from them. Typically about $25+ a lead. Be sure they guarantee their leads. I worked with a company that did. It worked well. Contact those leads instantly.  They want info now.

  • Pros: Some of the very best ways I know to get immediate leads.
  • Cons: Out of pocket costs (career investment) May not produce leads at a very fast rate

Local Business Journal/newspaper

  • Pros: this is the best source of ongoing, real-time business news. (We covered the importance of this in last week’s column).  For newspaper specifically, because it can take 100+ days to contact and sell new prospects, find a  source of back newspaper issues back 14-18 months (there are many services your company may have access to IE: Media Monitors, Kantar etc.).  Advertisers tend to promote the same yearly offers etc.  It will tell you who was spending money (pandemic aside) say last summer. Purse them now with time to make a sale.
  • Cons: Everyone else sees this info too. It may be crowded when you try to connect

You can contact Kevin with feedback and questions using the form below.

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