The average person today has tired eyes. Advertising is a huge contributor to the fatigue generated by all that time spent looking at screens. Animated banners, pop-ups, streaming video ads, television commercials — too much screen time is dulling the senses when it comes to advertising. All is not lost though. Your advertising can still stand out and leave an impression with your audience. Stick with an oldie but goodie — billboards.
While digital advertising and email campaigns go straight to your targeted audience in a highly-calculated way, billboards and other out of home advertising (OOH) continue to prove effective at reaching a targeted audience when part of a marketing strategy.
You can’t ignore a billboard
In this age of digital saturation, people are becoming desensitized to ads appearing online. As soon as an ad pops up, people close the window or wait impatiently to click the ‘skip ad’ button. Billboards, however, are different enough that they’re still eye-catching. When designed correctly, they’ll grab the attention of passersby, and it only takes a moment to absorb a marketing message high up on a billboard. Crafted with the quick glance of a commuter zipping down the highway in mind, you not only have a good chance your ad will be viewed but also more opportunity for your marketing message to be absorbed and potentially acted upon.
According to a Nielsen study, a majority of individuals who notice a billboard will look at the message at least some of the time. Those who see it are then about 50% likely to highly engage with the ad, meaning they’ll remember it and take advantage of the billboard’s call to action.
The secret is to make a billboard that people can’t ignore. Create a memorable experience through your billboard design and messaging, so it pops and stands out. Make sure you’re promoting your brand in a unique, memorable, and digestible way for people moving quickly past in their cars. You’ve got a limited window to make an impression, so every second counts.
Proof OOH still works
It’s one thing to talk about outdoor advertising in the abstract, but it’s another to see how it’s actually working today by looking at how one company is taking advantage. Shared by entrepreneur.com, Cracker Barrel’s marketing strategy devotes a significant portion of their budget (49%) to outdoor ads because they’re seeing results.
Billboards are strategically selected along major highways near exits close to a restaurant branch. A consistent design provides brand awareness, and Cracker Barrel makes sure their name is highly visible. Each billboard’s call-to-action is to take that exit and grab their next meal at a Cracker Barrel.
When combined with the rest of their overall marketing strategy, using billboards is contributing to an estimated annual growth rate for the chain of 10.4%.
How to make outdoor advertising work for you
Now that you see how billboards can be put into practice for one brand, it’s time to think about how you can make outdoor advertising work for you. Here are some important tips to remember:
- Analyze what’s already out there and working. What brands have successful billboard campaigns? Why are they successful? Can you take what they’ve learned and apply it to your own strategy?
- More is more when it comes to billboard advertising. In the same study referenced above, Nielsen concludes that the more billboards you’re able to have, the higher percentage of recall viewers have of both your brand and message.
- Commuting is still the norm. Even with the spike in telecommuting and working from home, the majority of individuals still work in an office. That’s a captive audience for your billboard who will repeatedly travel past your ad. Do some research into what the average commute is like in your area and how long it takes. Knowing the patterns of your audience will help you target your campaign to the busiest areas with the highest density of folks.
- Demonstrate a return on your investment. Utilize analytics to prove billboards are working for your business. Mobile data is now available to track who’s seeing your billboard, leading to a more informed campaign. The better prepared your tracking strategy, the easier for you to show the ROI for your campaign.
- Don’t forget you still have digital options in this traditional format. Going digital on a billboard isn’t the same as flashing an ad online through a screen. It’s still well received and viewed by your commuting audience, and isn’t subject to screen fatigue.
In Closing… Billboards Are Effective!
With so many methods out there today for advertising, it’s nice to know the screen isn’t your only way into the minds of your audience. Out of home advertising remains relevant. When properly utilized, it can add a diverse element to a successful advertising campaign. Getting the right help when thinking about using outdoor advertising is essential to a properly-executed campaign. The experts at EOM take the guesswork out of billboard placement and design by partnering with your business to develop the best plan of action for you.