If your business can use outdoor advertising, it can be a very effective way to convey your message. Unlike on radio or TV, your ad is available and on display 24/7/365 for as long as you run it. You can rent billboards on main highways to reach a general audience or in specific neighborhoods to reach a particular ethnic group, for example. A great place to reach prospects and consumers is on an expressway or a busy street where traffic backs up during rush hour. Depending on local regulations, you may be able to add neon lights or raised and extended copy over the edges. There
are even changing signs now that you can share with a couple of other businesses. These should cost less than if you paid for the entire space yourself.
Billboards work for impulse buying or building a brand. They must contain short, targeted messages and easy-to-remember contact information. Always put your phone, email, or web informationin a big, bold font. With a billboard, you only have from roughly 2 to 30 seconds to capture your prospect, depending on how quickly traffic is moving past your sign. If it’s near a stoplight, you will even get longer exposure.
Anything that attracts attention over and over will give better results and draw more business. Keep your billboard copy short, large, and to the point. Let pictures do some of the talking when you can show people using your product or service. Entice prospects to take action with phrases such as, “Call 1-800-555-5555,” or “Turn right at the next corner.” How about this idea: “Order a pizza on your handsfree cell phone now and pick it up 10 miles ahead at Joe’s Pizzeria”?
Don’t use long website addresses on your billboard, because passersby will never remember it and will not be able to write it down.
Finally, keep information current. As seasons and holidays change, change your message. Don’t keep running a Christmas ad in January.
Outdoor advertising can be much less expensive than the newspaper, radio, or TV and can give much more exposure. Billboards are great when you’re opening a new business, so that customers will know that you’re open and how to find you. Further, billboards are also still affordable for small businesses if you’re selling to a local or regional audience. Some of the biggest users of billboards are fast-food franchises: They attempt to attract motorists to stop along the way. Talk to billboard owners to come up with ideas to make billboards work for you and your budget.
Other methods of outdoor advertising include bus and train benches and shelters, sports stadiums, city buses, taxis, your vans and trucks, the outside walls of your business, and walls in airports. People are spending more time in their cars and sitting at traffic lights these days; they might as well look at your message instead of at the car in front of them.
Remember that placement of your ad can be just as important as the ad itself. Find the best location that your budget can afford.