For your billboard ad to be effective, there are certain marketing strategies you should think about during the creation process. Who are you creating the billboard for? Why would that be the best location? How can you make it stand out as much as possible?
Identify your target audience
A big part of any successful outdoor advertising is knowing your target audience. Gear the wording and imagery towards them and persuade your audience to take an interest by concisely identifying why this product may appeal to them. You should also consider choosing a location that is specific to your target audience to evoke a strong response from them.
Design eye-catching and memorable ads
Your billboard design is one of the most crucial aspects of your advertisement. Keep sentences snappy, using only a few words, and keep the focus on exciting, enticing imagery that will capture the audience's attention.
Perhaps include a few call-to-action phrases and a unique attribute that will make your billboard stand out from the rest and create intrigue in your brand.
Choose the right billboard location
Choosing the correct surrounding environment for your billboard is essential to its success. Positioning your billboard on a quiet street or in rural areas where few people will see it would be pointless.
Instead, try to think tactically about your target audience—do you want commuters to see it on their way home from work? Do you want people at the office to notice it during their lunch break? Do you want something that will catch a shopper's eye?
Time your advertising campaign
As billboard costs can be expensive, you might want to think about the time of your billboard release, especially if you are thinking of doing a shorter four-week campaign rather than a year-long campaign.
For instance, if you are a brand that sells lawn mowers, advertising in the spring months just before the hot weather sets in would be most beneficial. This could also be relevant if you are thinking of doing different seasonal campaigns in which you promote certain products at different times of the year.
Measure the success of your billboard advertising
How do you tell if your billboard is effective? You can use "impressions"—a statistic calculated through various other stats, including traffic data, travel surveys, census data and data modeling, to name just a few.
By understanding how many people have looked at your billboard, you can judge the effectiveness of this mode of advertisement. You can look at weekly impressions, daily impressions, or fortnightly impressions to get an accurate idea of the impact of your billboard.
Above all, however, sales are always the true testament to showing how successful a billboard advertisement is. If you have noticed an influx in sales since you used billboard ads, then that is a clear indicator that they are effective, so when using billboard advertising, keep a record of your sales to track this. You can also track engagement with your brand across social media or your website to see if you have garnered any more interest or traffic.
Challenges of billboard advertising
However, there are some downsides to billboard advertising. While there are obvious issues like billboard costs and expenses, there are other factors that may also affect the success rate of your billboard ad.
An unpredictable downside to outdoor advertising is weather conditions. When using OOH advertising, there is a reliance on good weather.
If you live in an area that is more prone to rainy, stormy or colder climates then the inhabitants are more likely to spend less time outside, meaning there is less exposure to your advertisement.
Another factor that could be considered a downside of using billboard ads is the limited time you have to capture audience attention, especially if you opt to use a mobile billboard. A digital billboard also gives you limited time as generally, each advertisement is only on in 6-8 second sprints.
Even a static, vinyl billboard has its downsides though as commuters or passersby will only see the advertisement for as long as they are traveling past. In this time frame you must capture the attention of the audience, so you might want to look up some billboard design tips to make sure your advertisement is effective.
Along a similar line, billboard advertising might not be for you if your advertising strategy requires a lot of information. Typically, billboards have minimal writing and information, usually with just a catchy slogan and enticing imagery doing most of the work for you.
Therefore, the amount of advertising space is impacted, with only the strip of billboard space you pay for your area to work in, unlike other forms such as video, where you may be able to pack more in.
There may also be some regulatory issues. Due to the public nature of this advertising strategy, it might so happen that some of your creative issues are denied for whatever reason. Billboard advertising can also be considered disruptive to the local area if it is not positioned in an awkward space.
Finally, billboard advertising costs are by no means cheap. There are other methods of effective advertising such as advertisements across social media networks or email marketing. Typically, OOH advertising costs require a lump sum or large deposit which may mean that this form of advertisement is not achievable or realistic to you. If this is the case, then don't worry—there are still plenty of other advertising strategies that would work well for you.
Don't overlook billboard advertising
Billboard advertising has never really left the scene. With several different types of billboards to choose from, several locations to choose from and a wide reach, using billboard advertising is a great way to get your brand out there and raise awareness. When planned right, billboards can have a large impact on sales, so be sure to monitor your stats so you can identify whether your billboard is having the desired effect or not.
For more tips and tricks about advertising, consult our other Mailchimp blogs. Here, you can learn more about other advertising examples, including traditional marketing techniques, as well as newer, cost-effective strategies such as retargeting.
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