Utilising the advertising power of the billboard

Utilising the advertising power of the billboard

To advertise well is to use eye-catching visuals that will capture the attention of potential customers. Arguably, one of the most effective methods of making someone pay attention is with a large billboard placed strategically in a public place. Where The Trade Buys Print, specialists in printing banners, takes us through why this traditional method of advertising it still a powerful marketing technique.

The first-known instance of the billboard was thought to have originated in New York around the mid-1830s, with the earliest record of a leased billboard space being documented in 1867. However, since then, this form of print marketing has become a staple of advertising and has even played a part on the big screen as a crucial prop in recent blockbuster, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your budget, why not invest in billboard advertising that is easy to orchestrate with little support required? If you’re not convinced, find out why billboard advertising might be the boost your brand needs…

How much influence do billboards wield?

Delving into some stats, research by Route found that the average Brit is known to be ‘out and about’ for three hours and ten minutes daily, spending around 16 minutes in the view of advertisements. Why not target your consumer during this window of opportunity with a large, quality, well-located billboard in a place with high footfall or traffic?

Billboards are an attractive advertising option for marketing a service or new product due to the fact that they are easy to design and print — no clustering multiple pages in a single brochure. Need something effective up and running in a hurry? A billboard is a single page of design, which should save you time when putting together a template that will offer maximum ROI.

Many marketers believe in the psychological theory of the ‘Marketing Rule of 7’? it claims that a consumer must hear or see an advertising message at least seven times before taking action. This is why ‘annoyingly catchy’ adverts have a lasting impression in your head due to the quirky nature of the audio. By placing an outdoor banner in a public place where people will pass every day or a few times a day — like on the way to work or when dropping off and picking up their kids from school — you can help hit this number and potentially increase your brand’s chances of a conversion.

Designing a powerful billboard

Thinking strategically, the location of your billboard has to run parallel to the font and imagery used. All ads need to be eye-catching. However, if your billboard will be placed at the side of a high-speed road, this creates an even greater demand for noticeability. Someone driving past at 40mph+ is only going to be able to take in so much – a driver typically has five to ten seconds to view an ad, which means you need to consider copy length. What is your marketing objective? Do you want to sell a specific product? Are you spreading brand awareness? Promoting an event? Determine exactly what you want to achieve from your advertisement and provide only the essential information — like contact number, name of product or date and location of event.

The biggest and most obvious advantage of a billboard is its size – a great platform to convey a big, conceptual image, a great tool from a marketing perspective. According to research, people generally only recall 10% of information they hear three days later. However, using a relevant image alongside this information increases retention by 55%. When designing your billboard, try and think of a funny or quirky image that will grab and hold a passer-by’s attention — such as cake brand, Mr Kipling’s, clever and unusual image of a bunny made using only Cherry Bakewell cakes as part of its Easter marketing campaign. Due to the size of a billboard, your images can pack a more powerful punch, so focus on getting the image perfect and then build your design from there.

Standing-out is essential in advertising, but you also need to ensure your message is clear to read, and not a riddle. You want your target audience to not only notice your billboard but also consume the information on it. Utilise bright and bold colours to catch the eye — contrasting colours are reportedly stay in people’s memories for longer, too — and opt for a simple background and large, readable text — Sans Serif is a good shout.

The location of your billboard has to complement the target audience. For example, if your products are aimed at 18-21-years-olds, find a site near a university or college. Otherwise, you could reduce your ROI due to not being in sight of the people who are most likely to engage and act on your ad.

The effect of brand familiarity is huge. If your billboard is localised, why not build a connection with the residents by including something that references the town or city? Or a use of colloquial language? Include an image of a local landmark to create a sense of familiarity or reference the local traffic in a funny way. Humour generally works in advertising. According to a review of 6,500 ads, the funniest were usually cited as being the most appealing and memorable. What’s more, adopting this personal and familiar approach creates a sense of friendliness, so you’ll also exude a more welcoming brand persona — which will be more encouraging to a potential customer.

With the above advice in mind, billboard marketing is a great way drive a successful marketing campaign — try it at your business and start increasing sales and customers!

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