Billboard advertising is one of the oldest and most successful forms
of marketing around the world.While it seems fairly simple, a billboard
advertising campaign requires a lot of thinking and planning in order to
achieve the desired effect. There are a number of important factors you
when planning your campaign in order to get the highest level of exposure possible for your money.
Planning and Choosing Locations For Your Billboards
Where your billboard ad will be placed is key to your success. For brand building, you should use a large number of locations in busy places over as wide an area as your budget allows in order to get as much exposure to the public as possible. However, if you are a local company or have just opened a new store, fewer locations will be needed to get your point across (for example, one or two billboards saying ‘New Fuzzy Friends Pet Store Left in 500 Yards’ will channel customers to your new shop effectively). These may also be in small towns or cities rather than on large motorway-side boards.
Choosing prime locations can be very expensive, and big cities can charge a lot of money. Billboards are usually priced and rated according to how many people will pass your advert every day. The US has a system called GRP (gross rating points) which is based on the traffic, the billboard size, the area, and a few other factors. If a billboard has a rating of 65, it means they expect that 65% of the population in that area will see at least one of your boards once per day.
What Is the Message You Would Like Your Billboard To Present?
With a billboard advert, less importance is placed on what you say,
and often the first thing a potential customer sees will stick longer.
When we view a billboard, it is often while travelling, whether in a
car, on a bus, riding a bike, or even on the train and it is estimated
we spend six seconds taking in a billboard. Bear this in mind, and keep
text short and easy to read, focusing more on accompanying images where
you can. Sometimes, a 3D ad may be more useful to communicate your
message. Bold, bright, short and snappy should be your watch words when
you plan the advertisement content.
Is Your Advert a Attraction Or A Distraction
While we all want our adverts to be noticed, a piece that is too distracting can cause accidents. There is a fine line between ‘eye catching’ and straight up distraction. Your product, brand or service may be more inclined to distract than others, and it might pay to test your ads on a small group before you launch the campaign. In the past, a famous lingerie brand caused a few issues among commuters, when a number of crashes were reported because drivers were too busy staring at the model’s assets.
Phone numbers and websites: to include or not to include?
Since the audience probably only spent six seconds checking out the
ad, how successful is it to include contact details? In short, not very,
unless is it part of your advert headline. Reportedly, there has been
more success from suggesting the customer initiates contact via ‘Text
(keyword) to (5 digit text number)’, #hashtag and Facebook links due to
the change towards social media. However, billboards are usually to
support a campaign rather than do all the work. Use the billboard advert
to give a lasting impression and use print advertising as part of your
campaign to converse in more
detail with your audience.
Do these key points vary depending on the type of advertising campaign?
Absolutely! Sometimes, campaigns have to break the rules a little in order to be successful.
If your ad campaign is intended to drive your customers towards
engaging with your company for the purpose of buying your product or
service, you will need to include your web address or phone number.
However, quite often customers use a search engine, so if your SEO is
strong, just having the brand name can be effective in helping your
customer find your site or contact details. Large companies or
up-and-comers launching brand building campaigns ideally need to target
as many sites as possible, and to have adverts that stand out as much as
possible. This should not be done at the risk of distraction but
keeping ads as eye-catching as possible is essential. Think outside the
box for maximum impacts that your customer will remember. When promoting
a special offer or a new service, your ad may need to be slightly more
text heavy, including details such as prices, the date of when the offer
runs, and even a
disclaimer in some cases (although this is often small print).
What About Cost? Does Spending More On A Billboard Ad Campaign Mean You’ll Get A Higher Return?
Cost is not always directly linked to the success of a campaign, but it would be lying to say that if you have a low budget that you will have the same success rate as a high budget campaign: it all depends what you are trying to achieve. If the intention of your advert is to get people to stop at your store around the corner, and you only need a couple of local sites, then it will be a lot cheaper than a nationwide brand-promoting campaign. Discussing your needs with a broker or billboard supplier can be very useful in helping you to decide which locations and the number of locations you will require to get what you want from the advertisements. You don’t always need multiple 96-sheet city centre placements! Give yourself a little flexibility in your budget to get the best results.