I’m a big fan of the billboard.
Because with a little research and a good, creative message, billboards can work stunningly well for medium – to large-sized remodeling companies.
But you have to do them right; otherwise, their big old wastes of space in the sky.
Here are the nine secrets of billboard-advertising domination:
1. Use billboards to supplement other advertising
Use billboards as part of a larger marketing campaign—they are most effective when they extend your brand’s reach. Radio and billboard go especially well together, since both are experienced (primarily) while driving.
The key here is to educate people about your company and identity (brand promise) in other media so they already know who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re a good choice to buy from. Then the billboard does its job by triggering that pre-existing information in their brain.
2. Location, location, location
Usually, your best bet for a billboard is a “right-hand reader,” which is a billboard on the right side of the road (and therefore closest to the cars passing it). “Cross readers”—billboards on the left side of the road—are often harder to see.
That said, I’ve seen plenty of right-hand readers placed right after a bridge or another spot that allow for only a split-second view.
The key is to make sure you see where the board is located before you invest in it.
3. Avoid roads with a lot of billboards
The more billboards on any particular road, the harder it is for yours to stand out. Nab yourself a prime billboard location in which yours is the only one clearly visible from a 100-yard range.
4. Brand consistency
If you have multiple billboards, make sure they have a consistent look, tone, color, and feel among them, as well as the rest of your marketing materials. Remember, one of the primary goals of the billboard is to trigger someone to remember what they already know about your company. Having consistency in your billboards will enhance this effect.
5. Simplicity is your friend
One of the most egregious mistakes I see with billboards is too many words, and/or text that’s too small. Billboards should generally be limited to three to seven main words (i.e., not including phone numbers, web addresses, etc.) so that people can read it at 60 MPH and absorb the message. Don’t assume people will pass the billboard several times a week and have a chance to “read the rest of the sign.”
Ensure the billboard contains enough color contrast so the words “pop.” Also make sure the font is clean, clear, and simple… and do NOT put words on top of images.
6. Get clever, get noticed
Like any other advertising, getting noticed is half the battle. And since there is so little space on a billboard, I’m a proponent of getting clever with the image and message. Don’t do anything obnoxious, but feel free to flex your creative muscle.
Here are a few ideas I came up with for a home services company:
- Ph.D. in PDQ (fast service)
- Greased Lightning (fast service)
- Orange Ya Gonna Call Us? (picture of their signature orange trucks)
- Faster Than A Speeding…. (picture of signature orange truck)
7. Memorable phone and email
Anytime you utilize a non-print advertising method, you need to make sure you’ve got a good, memorable phone number and web address. You can research good phone numbers at TollFreeNumbers.com. I highly recommend going toll-free due to the large number of area codes in most areas.
Don’t worry, for most parts of the country (small towns excepted), people won’t be scared off by 800 numbers. Also, make sure your web address is easy to remember!
8. Let your billboards percolate
Like other types of branding, billboards become more effective the longer they run. Don’t run billboards for a few months and quit—you’re just wasting your money.
Instead, find good locations, put up a good message, and let your billboards build powerful brand recognition for your company over the years. Change up the message every four to six months (negotiate this into your contract) to keep your billboard advertising fresh.
9. The moving billboard
If you have trucks, wrap them in your branding and—voilà!—get instant mobile billboards. The few thousand dollars it takes to wrap your plain work vehicles will pay off many times over in sales.
If you need help creating an effective billboard campaign message, MYM can help. Shoot us an email or pick up the phone and call us at (682) 514-9199. We’d love to help.
P.S. Next blog post I’ll reveal a PPC tactic that works amazingly well that practically no one uses. Why? Because they think it’s unethical! I’ll not only tell you why this PPC tactic is 100% ethical, but also how to use it as a weapon against your competitors.
© 2016, Rich Harshaw. All rights reserved.