Billboard advertisements: using them to your advantage

The main objective of advertising is to grab a person’s attention and encourage them to follow through on an action. There are many marketing methods to propel a message to the right audience Arguably, one of the most effective methods of making someone pay attention is with a large billboard placed strategically in a public place.

The history of the billboard dates back to 1867 and has continued to prosper in modern-day society. However, since then, this form of print marketing has become a staple of advertising and has even played a part on the silver screen as a crucial prop in recent blockbuster, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The billboard can help your business strike a balance between modern and traditional advertising. If you’re not convinced, find out why billboard advertising might be the boost your brand needs…

Is the billboard still influential?

An interesting fact: the average Brit is in the view of advertisements for 16 minutes. Why not target your consumer during this window of opportunity with a large, quality, well-located billboard in a place with high footfall or traffic?

Billboards are a straightforward marketing tool because they’re very simple to design and print. Need something effective up and running in a hurry? A billboard is a single page of design, which should save you time when putting together a template that will offer maximum ROI.

If you’re a marketer, you’ll know about the Rule of 7 for inspiration. This theory claims that a consumer must hear or see an advertising message at least seven times before taking action. By placing an outdoor banner in a public place where people will pass every day or a few times a day — like on the way to work or when dropping off and picking up their kids from school — you can help hit this number and potentially increase your brand’s chances of a conversion.

If you’re looking to expand your reach, a billboard is a great idea.  So, how do you make sure your billboards are as effective as possible?

How to go about coming up with a great design

Billboards need to be visually appealing, otherwise they won’t work. However, if your billboard will be placed at the side of a high-speed road, this creates an even greater demand for noticeability. Think strategically about what you want on your billboard — someone driving past at 40mph+ is only going to be able to take in so much. What is your marketing objective? Do you want to sell a specific product? Are you spreading brand awareness? Promoting an event? Determine exactly what you want to achieve from your advertisement and provide only the essential information — like contact number, name of product or date and location of event.

If you want to make a lasting impact, investing in a billboard can be a good call. According to research, people generally only recall 10% of information they hear three days later. However, using a relevant image alongside this information increases retention by 55%. When designing your billboard, try and think of a funny or quirky image that will grab and hold a passer-by’s attention — such as cake brand, Mr Kipling’s, clever and unusual image of a bunny made using only Cherry Bakewell cakes as part of its Easter marketing campaign. Due to the size of a billboard, your images can pack a more powerful punch, so focus on getting the image perfect and then build your design from there.

What else is important when you’re planning the design of your billboard? Utilise bright and bold colours to catch the eye — contrasting colours are reportedly stay in people’s memories for longer, too — and opt for a simple background and large, readable text — Sans Serif is a good shout.

Don’t underestimate the importance of location. A driver typically has five to ten seconds to view an ad, which means you need to consider copy length. The more relevant and informative your image is, the less you should need to convey with text — stick to a brief, punchy message of seven words and you should get your marketing message across, no problem.

Think carefully about the audience you’re trying to reach. For example, if your products are for 18-21-years-olds, find a site near a university or college. Otherwise, you could reduce your ROI due to not being in sight of the people who are most likely to engage and act on your ad.

Think about adding an image of a local landmark when your want to build a sense of familiarity. Humour generally works in advertising. According to a review of 6,500 ads, the funniest were usually cited as being the most appealing and memorable. What’s more, adopting this personal and familiar approach creates a sense of friendliness, so you’ll also exude a more welcoming brand persona — which will be more encouraging to a potential customer.

Where The Trade Buys are print experts and retailers, based online and in the UK. As well as offering cheaply printed estate agent boards, they specialise in promotional and office print services for small and large businesses.