In a world full of fast-paced consumers, perpetually improving electronics, and added distractions, some business owners wonder whether billboard advertising is worth the money. Does billboard advertising still work? Or has it been replaced by new forms of marketing campaigns? You may be surprised to learn that billboards are not only effective, but they tend to be a particularly valuable part of a company’s advertising toolkit.
Billboards work very simply: potential customers drive past large, obvious advertisements on their way to work, on road trips, and through daily life. In an age of advanced technology, this can seem too simple to be effective. But it helps to remember that just because new forms of marketing have been created, it does not mean that traditional forms (including billboards) have lost their advertising potential. Knowing the benefits of billboards over other forms of marketing helps you get the most out of every dollar in your advertising budget. So, why does billboard advertising still work?
The Hard Evidence
According to research, billboard advertising remains one of the many effective advertising tools available to modern businesses. At least 70 percent of Americans look at roadside billboards often. Most Americans report learning of an interesting event, business, product, or service from billboards. In fact, most Americans report patronizing restaurants after seeing their billboard advertisements. Over half of Americans say they told friends or family about humorous billboards they saw while on the road. Many also look further into websites, TV and radio shows, and are more likely to visit physical locations.
You Have a Captive Audience
The average American spends about 20 hours in their vehicle each week. This means they are either driving or a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. Americans with longer commutes spend more time driving or riding in cars than reading magazines, watching TV, or listening to the radio. Note that each of these incorporates forms of popular advertising — but for many Americans, billboards have a wider reach. Reaching customers who spend much of their time in vehicles becomes difficult or even impossible with some forms of marketing. Unless you take advantage of billboards, you may fail to engage or miss these customers entirely. A clever, memorable billboard can go a long way.
Influence on Purchasing Decisions
Even if billboard advertising works for brand recognition, does it still help improve a company’s bottom line? The answer, according to research, is a resounding, “Yes.” Every business wants customers to take action and make a purchase after viewing their ads. This makes billboards a great opportunity. Over 70 percent of customers who see billboards do their shopping on their way home (often from work). Just under 70 percent decide their purchases while still driving. These factors mean that billboards are the perfect way to influence these decisions in a short time frame. Almost a third of drivers say they visited at least one business they saw advertised on a billboard during the week. Half of the drivers say they have gotten directions to businesses from billboard ads, too.
Designing Effective Billboards
Billboard advertising can be effective, but businesses need to know how to optimize their advertisements. You should still create a strategically designed, interesting, and memorable advertisement to make the most of a billboard campaign. The goal is always to catch drivers’ attention and influence their purchases by communicating the value of your brand. Ads that are too busy with information or images can be overwhelming, causing drivers to either tune out or forget details. Make sure your billboard marketing is simple, direct, and conveys your message very quickly.