Outdoor Advertising – Is it the Right Choice for Your Business?
By T.E. Cunningham
With so many mediums to pick from today to get your branding and marketing messages out, it can be challenging for small business owners to decide which marketing vehicles are right for their business. Very few small companies can afford to “do it all” so you want to choose wisely.
One of the many choices is outdoor advertising, the most common of which is billboard advertising – both static and electronic.Outdoor advertising can be challenging as billboards offer a large area that needs to be programmed strategically in order for your message to be quickly comprehended by people traveling by in mere seconds.
Several eye-catching ideas include illusions of people interacting with the sign in some way, breaking out of the bounds of the sign and into 3D space and even flipping the sign upside down just to get people to read it! Here are some straightforward tips for those that are new to outdoor advertising.
When to Use Outdoor Advertising:
- As a branding/image supplement to a significant branding campaign with broad audience appeal. Most small business owners can not afford this type of marketing investment. It belongs to the advertising world of alcohol, soda, banking, healthcare, major sports teams and such
- Directional signage: A typical example of this is the fast food signage you see before almost every stop on the interstate with “Exit #” ahead
- Certain calls to actions that are relevant to those driving: Companies that do this well include insurance companies, DUI attorneys, and personal injury attorneys
- Mass appeal offers such as a special price offer on a fast food item
- Special events
- Grand openings – select billboards located within a 5-7 mile radius of your new store
When Not to Use Outdoor Advertising:
- Direct advertising for a particular demographic (age/sex/income) for a very qualitative offer; there are many better ways to target and get a better ROI
- When the message is complicated and requires explanation or detail
- When other options that are more focused give you a better ROI, which is often – this is an expensive medium
- If you can only afford one or two in lesser traffic areas and your business is metro-wide. You just can’t get enough impressions to make it worthwhile
If you have decided outdoor advertising is you, remember some speedy tips about your creative design:
- The creative is everything so if you don’t have a graphic designer, pay for one – it is money well spent. A picture is worth a thousand words here
- Keep it simple. No more than 6 – 8 words, with a very legible font – plain is better in this instance
- Use one point of contact; we prefer a website. If it’s a phone number, make sure it is easy to retain
- Make an impression. Don’t get wild on the design, colors, starbursts, etc. Again, make it easy to read. That said, a super creative idea is always great. Some examples of that might include signage that encourages social media interaction, exceeding the standard board space, going 3D and more!
- Include a call to action. Think of ways that create engagement. For example, create curiosity that will lead a person to look up your website or follow you on social media
- Be consistent in your messaging. To be effective with your marketing, your messages should be consistent across multiple platforms and complement each other
- Finally, and most importantly, one of our pet peeves – don’t rip off other people’s creative (like the Got Milk? campaign). If it’s been done, don’t do it!
For tips on how to create compelling marketing messages, visit our blog page: http://tlcmarketingconsultants.com/creating-compelling-marketing-messages/