They dot the landscape along America’s busiest highways. Statista.com estimates that there were over three hundred and forty-three thousand billboards in the USA in 2020. Nearly ten thousand of them were digital. This number has been increasing by ten percent a year. But how are billboards put up?
Drivers and pedestrians pay more attention consciously and unconsciously than you might think. An Arbitron study notes that over seventy percent of American drivers surveyed stated that they consciously look at billboard messages. Almost sixty percent learned of an event or restaurant by viewing billboards. Up to 15% shopped at a place they saw advertised on a billboard the same day they read the ad.
While many read billboards, most give little thought to how billboards are put up.
Choosing a Location
As with real estate, the three most important things about billboards: location, location, location. Location often determines the size or type of design. The best locations have high-density traffic—either pedestrian or vehicle. Billboards can also be found in shopping malls and neighborhoods.
In choosing where to put that billboard, you should consider things like:
- Sign face alignment: Your sign must be read within three seconds and placed at a readable height. The location must have no visible interference from trees, tall buildings, bushes, or fences.
- High Traffic Count: Check with the Department of Transportation or do an informal assessment of traffic in proposed billboard areas.
- Audience Demographics: Who is your ideal consumer? Consider gender, education, profession, income, age, and other factors. Is the location the best place to reach them? For example: If you want to reach young adults consider a location near a college or university.
- Residential or Commercial? Is your business geared to residential or business audiences? Consider whether to locate your billboard within a commercial area or one located in a residential area.
- Local ad placement: If your business is reliant on local customers, place it in a spot where local foot traffic will see it.
- Consider the intent: If you sell surfer sportswear, it makes sense to locate your billboard near the water. Place your sportswear billboard near major sports facilities. Whose eye are you trying to catch? Where are they likely to travel?
- Busy traffic areas: Where is high traffic in your area? Look for areas that get traffic congestion during rush hour. Also, consider locating near traffic circles, city centers, and areas like pedestrian crossings where there is a natural slowing of traffic.
Keep the message simple. Drivers who pass may be going fast. You have seconds to make an impact with a single photograph or short colorful text. Use seven words or less.
Put a premium on typography. Consider which font and size will offer the quickest read.
Focus on a single idea. Billboards aren’t meant to give facts about your brand. What is the one lasting impression you want your audience to grasp?
Aim for a visually memorable billboard. Try to incorporate surprising—even shocking—visual elements.
Aim for a call to action. Entice audiences to act like Chick-fil-A’s cow signs.
Include product demonstration. Think about your product’s function and how you can illustrate it.
Make your billboard design fit your overall marketing strategy. There should be continuity in your logo, brand, and your other advertising.
Color is important. It both attracts attention and leaves a lasting visual impression. Penneco.com advises that choosing the right colors can make the difference between standing out and fading into the background. They suggest picking no more than three colors and making them vibrant. Good choices are high-intensity shades that stand out against the background.
How are billboards put up physically?
When it comes to building a billboard, size, cost, materials, and design are all important considerations. A typical billboard is twelve feet high with an upper height twenty-five feet off the ground. Billboards may be anywhere from twenty-five to forty-eight feet wide. Billboards may take the form of bulletins or poster panels. Bulletin-sized ads which we normally think of as billboards may be as large as twenty feet by sixty feet.
The cost of the bulletin board is based on size and materials. Billboard costs range anywhere from ten to twenty thousand dollars.
The most commonly used material for traditional billboards is polyvinyl chloride. Polyethylene has taken the lead in recent billboard construction because it offers an attractive recyclable option.
Some billboards use computer-aided or hand-drawn messages. Thirty-sheet poster panels measure up to twelve by twenty-five feet. These are lithographed or silk-screen-printed.
Billboards often appear for thirty days. Advertising space may be rented for only a week or two before a special event and replaced the day after the event. Billboard space may also be purchased for multi-month contracts.
Technological Influences on Billboard Design
According to business2community.com technological advances have changed billboard design. Digital out-of-home advertising now accounts for over $35 billion in revenue.
Billboard advertising is increasingly smarter. Today’s billboards may show information and react to their viewers through sensors and facial recognition software.
Modern digital ads use augmented reality and other interactive technology to increase viewer engagement.
Billboards do more than show information, Bluetooth energy beacons send information based on demographics to interact with the reader. Advertisers can tweak details to appeal to specific demographics.
Integration between billboards and mobile technology allows interaction, data sharing, and customized experiences.
Thanks to technology, advertising placement is almost limitless. Digital ads can be placed on building walls, passenger shelters, buses, taxis, trains, and inside airports.
Why Invest in Billboards?
There are many advantages to using your advertising budget to buy billboard space. Large and eye-catching, billboards target a huge, diverse market.
Even for those whose first language is not English, billboards offer important information about a product or service. The largely pictorial information has a strong visual effect.
People in America spend a significant amount of time in their cars. Billboard advertising has a captive audience. It isn’t dependent on their buying a newspaper, a magazine, or a tablet to view the product or service. Billboard advertising lets businesses reach more people faster and cheaper than any other form of marketing.
- For middle and upper-class target audiences, billboards allow companies to build and strengthen their brand recognition, reputation, and product image.
Running TV and radio spot ads is very pricey. These run, at best, only a few times a day. Magazine and newspaper ads are also expensive. They cost both the business and the potential buyer and are dependent upon the customers purchasing that paper or magazine. On the other hand, the message on billboards is always working.
With other forms of advertising, potential buyers might be exposed to a brand or service just once or twice. With billboards, drivers and pedestrians have repeat exposure day after day.
A billboard’s brief message has the potential to remain in the viewer’s mind. Because it is succinct and repeated, the message is long-lasting.
How Can bMedia Group Help?
With over three hundred attention-generating locations in Puerto Rico, bMedia Group offers its valued clients a wide variety of effective billboard formats. Our skilled designers and construction staff members are masters of taking your design wants and creating effective billboards.
There is a good reason why bMedia Group has the highest consumer traffic in the area.
For more information regarding how we can increase your brand recognition contact us.