Free Ice Water. Coffee 5 Cents. If you’re planning a trek on the open road in the old family roadster this summer, you’ll probably encounter one of these marketing come-ons. All signs lead to Wall Drug. A company in a small South Dakota town of less than one thousand residents attracts over 20 thousand tourists a day thanks to a billboard campaign that started at the brink of the Great Depression.
This billboard campaign, along with free bumper stickers, has gotten visitors involved in possibly the first-ever viral marketing campaign posting “How Many Miles to Wall Drug?” signs throughout the world – a true marketing success story.
Ever since we fell in love with the open road, billboard advertising has proven an effective marketing method for all types of companies wanting to build brand awareness and attract new customers. If you think you’re ready to hit the road with your message, consider this:
Location. Location. Location. You hear this time and time again for selecting a business location. The same holds true for billboards. Work with your local outdoor advertising company to select high-traffic locations and specifically the type of potential customer traffic you want to get. Certain locations will cost you more because of the views the billboards receive but it may be worth it if that’s where your customers are driving.
Size Matters. There are two standard sizes for billboards: 8 sheets (6’x12’) or 30 sheets (12’x25’). Oftentimes locations will dictate what sizes you will need to produce. Make sure you know what material will be used to print your boards. Some locations require using the traditional “sheet” printing method while others can use a single vinyl sign. While more expensive, vinyl signs can be stored for additional uses if you’re planning long term campaigns.
Less Is More. People are moving past your advertisement in traffic. There’s not a lot of time to grab the driver’s attention. So keep your billboard simple. The fewer the words the better and consider contrasting colors. Design something unique and entertaining but don’t forget your purpose, a call to action.
Billboard contracts typically run for months and the best locations are booked several months in advance. Keep that in mind as you’re planning your marketing.
With the right message you may just be the next marketing success story.