3 min 45 sec read
Living in the 21st century, we’re all familiar with billboards and how they work. We’ve seen them around our neighborhoods, busy intersections and every time we go on a highway. So, what can they offer home builders? In this article, you’ll learn the marketing benefits of billboard advertising and how to create the perfect design and message.
Billboards have two primary purposes: directions to your target audience and building brand awareness. They are an important part of the marketing mix because it adds a physical, traditional media element to your omnichannel marketing plan. Bear in mind: the more platforms you advertise on, the greater your brand exposure.
Did you know Americans spend an average of 17,600 minutes in their cars each year? 17,600 minutes or approximately 293 hours, gives your audience a lot of chances to see your brand. Potential reach is not the only reason why billboards can be highly effective to promoting your business, let’s take a look at more benefits…
When you pay for an ad on TV or radio, your ad runs on specific days, with a selected time window, and on selected channels or stations. But when you utilize a billboard, your message always appears in the same location all hours of the day. Billboards allow for a constant touchpoint for your audience to recognize your business.
Billboards remain in the same place for years, not months. Geo-targeting and research can aid you to use billboards to your advantage. There is no reason to invest in a billboard ad that’s nowhere near your business or even your homes. Strategically determine which areas have the most buyer potential and traffic in relation to where you build, for the best possible reach.
Many companies believe you can’t track the effectiveness of a billboard. However, the advertising industry has advanced over the years. Now billboards can be tracked. For example, you create a unique telephone number for your billboard which automatically forwards to your sales team. This unique number can track location, name, and can even record all calls consumers make from a particular billboard.
71% of Americans consciously look at billboard messages while driving. So, not only are people looking at billboards, but they are also taking note of important information. In fact, 26% of Americans used a phone number written on a billboard and 28% visited a website shown a billboard. As a marketing expert, it’s intriguing to see these statistics and recognize the continued importance of billboards as a part of a marketing strategy.
Besides contact information and/or website address, what else should you include in your billboard design?
One of the many challenges of the advertising world is to create unique and captivating materials, and billboards are particularly difficult due to the nature of this media. Making your billboard creative requires out of the box thinking, short but memorable messaging, and location consideration.
For instance, take a look around the surrounding area of your billboard and ask yourself if any of the physical elements can be incorporated into the design or story. These can be cable wires, the weather or even neighboring billboards. Tying in your piece with the surrounding environment will catch more eyes and build a stronger brand awareness. The key is to be creative and memorable.
You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of a driver from a billboard, especially if they’re going over 60 mph. By using big and bold fonts as part of your billboard design, drivers can recognize your brand and resonate with your message. Adding intended white space can help make your billboard appear simple as well. There are many proven design concepts that can be incorporated to increase your success with billboards.
Billboards are a visual experience and you only have a few seconds to leave a lasting impression. Solely relying on text for a billboard can be a mistake, instead, be sure to include visually appealing images of your brand or products. Consider only using one image in your design, this contributes to the simplicity factor and not overwhelming your target audience visually. Too many images can make the billboard appear cluttered and can confuse the consumer.
If brevity is the soul of wit, then billboards are soulful. You should always strive for a short message on your billboard design. As a matter of fact, when writing, make it six words or fewer for best results. This is important because the industry average of a consumer time for viewing a billboard is six seconds, and six words in six seconds will get your message across more than that will be lost.
These tips are designed to help you get familiar with the strategy behind creating the perfect billboard. I recommend taking it a step further by engaging a marketing or advertising firm to help assist you in the billboard development as they can help to increase your success due to their knowledge of this important marketing platform.
You, as the client, will have ultimate say on design and message for your billboard advertising. It’s incumbent for you to oversee your brand messaging for a successful billboard. What’s stopping you from investing in a billboard and other traditional media approaches? Comment your feedback below.
About Terry Zelen
Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.
He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.
Fill out the form below to subscribe for the The Punch List Newsletter. We'll send our latest news & industry insights, directly to your inbox.