Outdoor advertising holds its place throughout history. The first record of what are now billboards were inscriptions on the side of ancient Egyptian Pyramids. Illustrated outdoor advertising became a process in the 1700s. Today, billboards line major highways in almost every city. Most are large print creations but some are moving to digital. With the internet reigning king over advertising and marketing practices, traditional media forms must be utilized correctly in order to be effective.
You have eight seconds with a billboard. The average speed on billboard covered freeways is 65mph meaning realistically, people will be cruising along at about 70-80 mph. Eight seconds is generous for the amount of time someone will have to read the billboard. The design needs to articulate the most important information quickly and clearly. That info is the name, offer and product. If any of those three can be condensed, that is ideal. Design is important for effective billboards to drive information. The style should be large, easily readable and bright. If information must be searched out on a billboard, it will not be read. Pay careful attention to color on billboards as well depending on where you live and where the billboard is placed. Avoid colors that mirror the backdrop of the city or the sky. If you live in a blue sky no clouds area of the world, light blue will not make a very fitting color for your backdrop.
With the use of a billboard, you are shooting with a shotgun. You’re blasting your message to everyone on the road regardless of age, demographic or if they are a good fit for your company or services. This can be effective because your reach is wide but it means your message must also be wide. Targeted marketing is impossible while using a billboard. Hundreds of different types of buyers will pass by it so making it attractive to all of them is very important and also challenging. The mass of people that will view the billboard will be good for brand recognition but it does nothing if they cannot recall the brand and services.
Digital billboards are much harder to navigate. If your message is on a loop and it is only live for eight seconds of every consecutive twenty, that’s a huge pocket of missed views. Billboard transitions to digital have been one that is very good for the digital billboard owners and not so good for those advertising on it. Print works because it is standard and everyone passing by will see it. Digital billboards will take your shotgun and fire at every eighth target.
Creating a successful piece of your campaign employing billboards requires a careful attention to design. The design must deliver your message in record time. Be especially selective in which boards you choose to advertise on to ensure that the advertising partnership is an investment on both ends as it is intended to be.
Consider the information you would add while social media publishing. The same ideas should be considered when deciding what to put on your billboard.