Billboards are a great medium to use when you really want to get your message to your customers. Some people think they’re outdated in an increasingly digital world, but there’s a reason they’re still going strong. Everywhere from Times Square to Puerto Rico, they work! However, there are a few key factors worth noting that really contribute to effective billboard advertising.
Some say TV and radio advertising are losing out to streaming services. Others champion using online ads, but each channel there has a critic claiming no one uses that social network anymore. What’s undeniable is that people will still venture out into the world on a regular basis, and there’s no need to update their device in order to read a billboard.
The effort and detail put into everything behind the billboard will help maximize its message and effectiveness. In other words, the more you focus on the goals behind the ad, the audience, the design, and the location, the more optimized your billboard is for maximum effectiveness.
Here’s where to start your quest for effective billboard design:
Tips for Most Effective Billboard Advertising
To make sure your billboard advertising is reaching its full potential, there are a few things you’ll want to pay close attention to.
Follow these 7 guidelines:
- Make sure you know your target audience
- In most cases, simple is better than complex
- Use clear messaging
- Follow best practices for ease of reading
- Always aim for a goal
- Focus on one call to action
- Never forget to use this to build your brand
This may seem like a lot of steps, but it really isn’t since many of them build on each other. Learn on to read how to best accomplish each one of these.
Define a Target
The first important aspect of creating effective billboard advertising is making sure that it’s targeting a specific group of viewers. Since such a wide variety of people will be exposed to it, it’s very tempting to try to advertise to everyone. Studies have shown that targeting a specific demographic using your billboard can often get the message across far more clearly than going after a broader group. Instead of a lot of people getting your message, it generally turns into no one hearing it.
When you decide on a target group, you’ll know who you’re talking to. Once you know exactly who’s going to be listening, you know how to craft your message in a way that they’ll hear it.
Keep It Simple
Too many words end up being too much information to remember. Don’t forget that people often see billboards when they’re driving or busy doing something else, so they don’t always have the chance to stop and read – even if they want to. Make sure you get your point across as quickly as possible.
A good general rule is to use a maximum of six words on your billboard, as this is about the most that people can quickly take in.
But, just because you can use six doesn’t mean that you have to. Using only one word can be great. Zero words can be amazing.
Make Sure People Understand You
The next step is to keep your billboard understandable. When you’re trying to sell something, you don’t want to show off in a way that strains the brain of your customer. If someone really has to stretch to understand what you’re saying, they might start feeling stupid. Once they associate your brand with that feeling, people aren’t really going to have a lot of motivation to give you their money.
But, if you make your billboard easy to understand, your customers will start to feel good about themselves. Suddenly, you’re the brand that they relate to, and that’s who they want to have in their life.
Make Sure People Can Read It
We’ve already covered why your billboard should only have a few words and why it should be easy to understand, but it’s also extremely important to make sure people can read it. By this, we mean to make sure the actual design can be taken in by the eyes of your customers.
Don’t use elaborate fonts that are difficult to make out. Don’t use colors that are so similar that they’re hard to tell apart. Make sure the billboard has lots of contrast between the different elements, but also make sure they’re colors that go well together.
Set a Goal
This is near the bottom of the list, but it’s still one of the most necessary parts of creating an effective billboard. It really should be done at the same time that you define your target. Make sure that you have a specific result that you hope for the sign to accomplish, or you’re just going to be creating a colorful banner.
Are you looking to create more brand awareness? Perhaps you’re marketing a specific product or service, for which you can track sales through the billboard campaign?
It doesn’t need to be a complicated or difficult goal.
Do you want to get more people in your store? That’s a great goal.
Do you want to make sure potential customers learn about a promotion? That’s another.
What about just making people interested in your brand? That’s one of the most common reasons for creating a billboard.
Define a Single Call-To-Action
What are you wanting your audience to do when they see your ad? Is there a phone number you want them to call? Maybe a website or social media channel you want them to visit? Is there a discount code you’d like them to enter? Don’t forget your contact info somewhere within the billboard advertisement, to make sure viewers don’t just see your ad – they engage with and respond to it.
Go With Brand Building
Now that we’re talking about your brand, that brings up a really good piece of advice. Think about using the billboard mostly to keep your brand in the eyes of your consumers. They’ll see your message every day on their way to work, but they don’t always have the chance to stop and read it. Or, they may not even have a need for your products or services at the moment – but the sign will still be there.
If your name has been melted into their brains during a morning commute every single day, they’ll take that into consideration when they encounter you in a shop. You’ll feel like a trusted friend who has always been there for them.
Don’t Be Intimidated By Overdone Effective Billboard Advertising Examples
If you do a search for “effective billboard advertising examples”, you’re likely going to come up with some pretty impressive results. You might find these amazing pieces of art to be inspiring, or you might be prepared to throw in the towel because you’ll never be able to think of an idea so great.
Take a deep breath and remember that out of millions of billboards, the internet will be happy to point out a few amazing success stories. These were developed by the top advertising agencies, and often had a bit of luck to really make them happen.
Just focus on the fact that the point of your billboard is to achieve your goals with your customers. Having an award-winning ad that will go viral online feels great, but it doesn’t contribute to your bottom line. Stick with the tips above, and you’ll be fine.
How to Buy Billboard Advertising
Now that you have more of an idea of how to do billboard advertising, you’re probably wondering the specifics of how to buy billboard advertising. Essentially there are two ways to go about it: building a billboard or renting space on one that already exists.
Pros of building a billboard:
- You have more control over the billboard as a whole.
- You don’t have to worry about the contract running out and not being able to renew.
Cons of building a billboard:
- You need to either own or rent the land where it is placed (or the building it’s attached to).
- You’re responsible for building and maintaining it.
Pros of renting an already existing billboard:
- There is a lot less planning and commitment on your part, and the whole process can be significantly faster and easier.
- If you decide the location isn’t working for you, you can move when the rental term is finished.
Cons of renting an already existing billboard:
- Depending on the contract, the price or availability of the billboard could change in the future.
- Some (but not all!) companies will place restrictions on what you can put on the billboard.
How bMedia Can Help With Effective Billboard Design
Now that you have all this new knowledge about billboards, why not put it to the test? Give us a call, we are the largest provider of outdoor media in Puerto Rico and can help you get started with creating effective billboard advertising. As we consider your audience, your message, and the size of the ad, we’ll make sure that your billboard ad is most effective in its location and performance.