Can You Afford a Billboard? 7 Things You Should Consider

From television advertisements to YouTube ads, the modern media landscape presents many distinct ways to reach potential customers.  Communication professionals can help companies discern which types of advertisements to invest in.  Companies can consider maintaining an active Twitter or Instagram account.  They can offer Facebook posts every couple of days.

A somewhat old medium that will remain for as long as there are cars on the road is the billboard.  Often advertising whatever’s at the next exit, billboards are as useful today as they’ve been for the past several decades.  Any large company should consider billboard costs.  A singular question remains, “How to go about it?” Here are seven items to keep in mind.

1.   Location

Most billboards are in dense areas in which there will be a lot of traffic, though boards’ locations continue to set those billboards’ values apart.  A billboard in a rural area will cost less to maintain than a board in a metropolitan area or city.  You should also see billboards for yourself before purchase to ensure that trees or construction are not obstructing the billboard and that many potential consumers are able to view the board from their vehicles.

2.   Format

The format of a billboard is important because there is not simply one type of billboard.  Consider advertisements on the sides of buses, advertisements at bus stops, or smaller boards inside a store.  Perhaps a smaller billboard campaign will succeed for your purposes, and your company will be able to depend on bus advertisements in contrast to massive, digital billboards in New York City.

In modern times, almost any inanimate object can advertise something.  Centrally, an inanimate object’s size will have a direct relationship with how much you’ll have to pay for that object to advertise your company.  Bigger options will invariably cost more, while smaller options will be less expensive.

3.   Circulation

The number of consumers who will see your advertisement is referred to as circulation.  With regard to all types of outdoor advertising, including billboards, demographic data about those boards’ locations can be found on the websites of transportation authorities among other municipal authorities.

While the data will not offer a perfectly clear picture as to who will see your advertisements, data will shed a lot of light on the impact a board can make on your behalf.  Demographic data and visibility should be at the forefront of your research efforts.

4.   Impression

Another major dimension to consider is an advertisement’s impression.  While circulation accounts for potential consumers in a very general way, “impression” is in reference to how many potential consumers actually see your advertisement.

For example, an advertisement facing an intersection will be much pricier than one on the side of a highway because the one at the intersection will leave a greater impression: Both options’ locations are equally dense, but people are more likely to see something if they are not moving.

5.   Design

Say you’ve found the best billboard on Earth or the most high-traffic bus stop on Earth.  A bad advertisement that fails to be impactful by itself will botch the entire enterprise.  Make sure your advertisement thrives in its environment.  If you’ve purchased a massive billboard, stick to simple images and few words.

If you’re using a bus stop to advertise a product, consider offering more visual details and more words: After all, someone may be standing at that bus stop for a while.  More generally, as you consider your board’s visuals and wording, consider your target demographic, and do enough research on what that demographic is looking for.  A billboard demands as much effort as a television advertisement does.

6.   Demographics

When appraising these disparate facets of billboard advertisements, demographics are certainly significant, but how do you know which demographics to target?  Today’s marketers can do as much research as they want on items like age, gender, and income.  Income is especially important with regard to advertising because people with more money to spend will spend more.

Accordingly, billboards in affluent areas may perform better in the sense that the people viewing those boards will be more likely to buy the advertised product or service.  A call to action doesn’t work if the price turns away the vast majority of viewers.

7.   Installation

Finally, you’ll need to consider installations because physical installations are more involved than digital ones.  If your advertisement is on a screen, then no repainting has to be done: Just play the advertisement.

A digital advertisement may often be better than a more “analog” gig that ticks all other conventional boxes.  Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot else to consider.  The major items you have to think about most meticulously are all here.  All in all, it’s up to you to find the perfect billboard for your perfect advertisement.


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