Does Billboard Advertising Work for Local Business Growth? - Fora Financial
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Does Billboard Advertising Work for Local Business Growth?
December 19, 2019
Displaying of billboard

Does Billboard Advertising Work for Local Business Growth?

In regards to advertising and marketing processes, small businesses often need to walk a thin line defined by their advertising budget. This is because many small businesses don’t have a bottomless well of financial capital available for investing in ads and marketing.

Due to this, it’s more important than ever for business owners and marketing managers to develop effective campaigns. The effectiveness of a campaign is measured by how well-optimized brand promotions are and how competitive you appear in your market. 

The Surprising Recent Truth About Billboard Advertising

Two considerations are crucial for small businesses to keep in mind when determining how to spend marketing capital best.

First, business owners need to capitalize on cost-effective marketing channels. This includes social media advertising, as it’s one of the most well-targeted options that currently exists. 

Ad channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn provide impressive ROI compared to many alternative advertising options. Per Impact, when building awareness, the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) for Facebook ads is around $7.29. This is compared to television commercials, which are upwards of $35.

Second, it’s vital to invest your marketing budget strategically. To do this, focus your capital on channels identified as bringing about the best value for your small business. If you run products or services, one of the surprising champions of marketing ROI remains the physical billboard and outdoor advertising.

Why Do Billboards Still Work?

You might be surprised to learn that, in the era of technology and web traffic, billboards may still reign supreme for local advertising. Factoring the cost of billboard advertising leads many to believe it remains one of the most effective marketing methods.

An Arbitron study reported that 32 percent of drivers visited a business they saw advertised on a billboard within a week. Even amid the digital revolution, offline and outdoor advertising can provide massive benefits to business owners. This goes double for those looking to establish their brand within a local community further.

How You Can Benefit From Billboard Advertising

Billboard advertising has extensive benefits for your small business. From hotels to accountants, restaurants to law firms, there are opportunities for all walks of life. Whether you want to cultivate a customer base or leverage existing relationships, there are ample tactics to benefit your overall strategy.

Developing A Loyal Local-Area Customer Base

It doesn’t matter if your small business is service or product-focused. You are going to need a local and loyal base of customers to ensure growth.

Loyal customers do far more than assist in driving repeat business over time. They also spread positive impacts and testimonials by word-of-mouth. These reviews are then hammered home by your brand’s prominent display on local area billboards and outdoor advertising.

While your budget determines the number of billboards you can place, it’s recommended to perform due diligence. This is necessary to ensure placements are strategic with regards to visibility among the largest possible cluster of potential and repeat customers.

Laser Targeting Local Demographics

It should be noted, though, that not every small business will appeal to the needs of the masses. For smaller, more niche operations, it’s crucial to reach out to correctly targeted subsets of consumers.

However, even in these situations, local billboard advertising is still useful. In many cases it’s a stronger alternative to radio and television advertising as well. This is because the cost of billboard advertising is far lower per view than comparable media buys.

Leverage Your Relationships

If there’s one benefit of local area growth, it’s leveraging existing and future relationships with businesses in your area. 

Display your partnerships with local area entities on an advertising platform medium that is entirely free for the user. No cable subscription is required to drive past a billboard!

Local Partnerships

If there’s something local business truly thrive upon, it’s partnerships developed from within their local communities. This applies to far more than mere customers. 

When you form partnerships with other local businesses it can be benefit your company, especially in today’s cost-conscious climate.

These local partnerships can be easily leveraged with researching local billboard placements. Have a good relationship with a vendor with fifteen oil change locations throughout your area? Why not see about advertising your services on their property?

Advertising Platforms

Face it; the economy has been strained for a while now. With rising inflation and stalling incomes, there’s a detrimental effect on disposable income for many families.

Due to this, customers are becoming more price sensitive. Due to this, appealing to potential consumers through local billboard advertising is ideal. This is because there’s no cable or magazine subscription needed to view ads. 

By displaying print advertising at no expense to viewers, you can show that you understand the challenges that your customers face.

Tips for Billboard Success With Your Small Business

You may be asking yourself several important questions at this point. How much does billboard advertising cost? How can I ensure my marketing strategy is optimized to get the most eyes on my message? How can I craft the perfect message for potential consumers? 

These are legitimate points of concern. Below are some tips to help boost your billboard marketing strategy.

Borrow Ideas From Other Industries and Businesses

Outdoor advertising works wonders for brands large and small. If you find a marketing tactic that you’d like to try, take the concept and use it in your existing strategy.

One example of this is the tale of the expansion manager for grocery delivery service Instacart. Concerned with the decline in the success of their online advertising, they looked to offline alternatives. Two of the most effective options were subway posters and billboards. While measuring key performance indicators proved difficult, the surprising increase in subscriptions proved success more than backend data ever could. 

With you business, you can repurpose inspired strategies to fit your brand. Maintain consistency with the voice and values, but inject some new style to maximize billboard impact.

Develop Compelling and Eye-Catching Advertisements

Billboards and outdoor advertising exist in an interactive space. For this reason, you shouldn’t push dull marketing ideas and expect your customers to flock to your business. Check on regulations in your area, then brainstorm methods to utilize visual expectations to engage your viewers with ads.

Take a page out of the brands that advertise in Vegas or Times Square. A billboard transforms into an experience. You want an ad that “pops,” and is something that people will remember and even want to take photos of.

Cars in traffic

Take Advantage of Increasing Commute Times

Commuter data from the 2017 American Community Survey reveals that commute times continue to increase in the United States. This is not ideal for those not looking to spend more time in their vehicles.

However, business owners can utilize these longer commute times, and consider it an advertising opportunity. When commuters travel by car, they are highly receptive to advertising opportunities on outdoor billboards placed on major routes.

Longer commute times provides business owners more of a chance to grab attention with their advertising. Ensuring your message hits home compared to competing billboards will give you an edge.

Something Old, Something New: Think Retro

Outdoor advertising such as billboards typically inspires retro-style vibes. However, this doesn’t mean billboards are outdated. Utilize interactive elements, dynamic content, and location-specific information to combine modern touches with classic modes of marketing. This article about billboard advertising provides case studies on effective outdoor advertising from brands like Panasonic and McDonalds.

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].