billboards

Dogwood is a full-service agency that deals with all forms of marketing, digital, print, radio, TV and even billboards! I thought I’d share a recent experience we had with billboard advertising and some new developments that have started in this area.

Quick fact:

Did you know that billboards have been around since the 1830s? Some of the first ones were to advertise the Barnum and Bailey circus!

Billboards

For a marketing agency, billboards are not a typical means of advertising our services. There are times as we continue to build the Dogwood brand that we want to place billboards in our home community. Depending on the use case, we have recommended them to clients also in both traditional and digital formats.  

We still affirm that if you have a limited budget, digital ads will bring a bigger, quicker punch than a billboard. For us to include billboards as part of your ad campaign means that you most likely have a budget closer to $5k a month and that your goals are more focused on branding, location, etc. Some of the biggest issues that billboards have to overcome are the design and actual expense for the space. These can be overcome and here’s how:

Designing Billboards

If you’re a client of Dogwood you know that we have multiple graphic designers on staff. Several of our clients choose to keep us on retainer for design services. Our retainer clients are getting more favorable rates and their projects are given higher priority over hourly projects. We do still accept projects by the hour too!

Having our designers on call and that expense as part of your regular budget will reduce some of the anxiety that the cost of billboards may cause. 

Affording Billboards

The expense piece is always a consideration as mentioned earlier. There is definitely a need for print boards, but digital boards can also be a solution to reduce expenses. With a digital board, you can share the expense. The board has a larger upfront cost for the ad company to get the board running, but they are able to sell the space to multiple clients. For example, you may spend $1500 a month for one single board. For say $1000 a month you can change your boards more frequently (no print cost), and share the space with 5 or 6 neighbors. Your ads will change – which by fault, the actual changing ads brings more attention to the screen. 

For our own purposes, Blip Billboards has recently acquired access to multiple digital boards in the Montgomery area. We ran a 10-day campaign with two purposes – tell people Merry Christmas, and increase brand awareness. We budgeted $30.00 per day. Our ads were shown 9,190 times in that period to an estimated 32,979 people. We had our message shown on all 15 boards in the Montgomery area. We set the per view budget the same for all boards based on what time a day it was.

Digital Billboard Results

On the first day, we saw a 500% increase in new viewers to our website. It immediately returned to normal the next day though. From there, our stats stayed flat. We even ran a campaign on social to ask our followers if they had seen our signs which received no response.

I know they were seen, as I saw them, but views to our site were minimal. The phone didn’t ring. At this point, our $300.00 experiment can only be chalked up to brand exposure in hopes that future clients saw it, liked our message, and thought maybe I’ll look them up another day. 

This is not to discourage other people from using billboards, it’s just our experience, our experiment, and was run for a short time. It’s also a great example of how we can help you with boards and then analyze if the results warrant the expense going forward. Sometimes it can be the boards’ location, or even messaging that needs to be adjusted before giving up.

Who hasn’t noticed the apx. 2500 billboards for Alexander Shunnarah? It’s hard not to notice that Katie Britt is running for senate either. Both are examples of billboards being used to bring awareness. 

The main conclusion from this is billboards are useful when used in the right context and with a proper budget. It has to make sense when viewing the overall marketing plan and in most cases should not be the first form of marketing.   

If we can help you get started on your next campaign whether digital or traditional, contact our office today!

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