9 Secrets to Award-Winning Billboard Advertisements

In this age of the Internet, there are still many old-fashioned ways to advertise outside of a computer screen. A billboard is a great way to market effectively, providing high visibility for your company. However, to guarantee your billboard is doing all it can to attract customers, here are nine things you should keep in mind.

In this age of the Internet, there are still many old-fashioned ways to advertise outside of a computer screen. A billboard is a great way to market effectively, providing high visibility for your company. However, to guarantee your billboard is doing all it can to attract customers, here are nine things you should keep in mind.

The 6-Word Rule in Out-of-Home Advertising:

When people pass a billboard, it is likely they are not going to take time to stop and read it … especially if they are driving. A billboard must rely on delivering a message using images and a minimal amount of text. As a rule, it is best to keep text to six words. Although you can go over this recommendation by a bit, if you need a lot more words to advertise your product, billboard advertising may not be for you.

Noticeable Billboards that  Don’t Cause a Huge Distraction:

Most people look at billboards while they are driving. An image that is too distracting could cause accidents, resulting in a negative perception of your brand. Avoid overly sexual or controversial images.

Know What a Billboard is For:

Billboards are a great way to promote consumer awareness. However, they will rarely lead to a direct response from customers. This is due to the fact that consumers are not likely to take the time to read the ad for a website or phone number and, if they are, they are not likely to take the time to write it down. An exception to this may be if the phone number is highly memorable or if the website or phone number is the billboard headline. Otherwise, if you are looking for direct action, you are better off relying on print advertising, television, radio, flyers, websites, and mail for promotion.

Send a Simple Message:

When advertising your company on a billboard, it’s a good idea to be creative in sending a message to customers that will really stand out. However, remember that billboards are usually sending a message to passerby’s that they need to absorb quickly. Creating a message that is overly complicated might confuse them, so it is best to stick to something that is smart, but simple.

The Billboards More the Merrier:

Every billboard has a Gross Point Rating (GRP) which is based on traffic, visibility, location, size and more. If a billboard has a GRP of 50, that means that at least 50% of the population in the area will see your billboard at least once a day. To increase exposure, its best to have several billboards. Of course, this can be expensive, but it is also effective.

Consider Using Digital Advertising

A flat billboard can be effective in promoting your business, but being creative can be a great way to make your sign really stand out. Adding moving parts and 3D elements and using a means for people to interact with your sign are all excellent ways to grab people’s attention. Signs such as these can even attract press so that the billboard can generate its own publicity … totally free!

Be Concise

Use your space wisely. Avoid repeating any sort of information, even if you are using text to explain your visual. Also, make sure your imagery pops so that you are using your advertising opportunity wisely.

Think About Your Logo Size

When creating a billboard, often companies want their logos to be as big as possible. Although we can all probably see the logic in this, it is also important to make sure the logo is in proportion to the other images that will appear on the ad. Some companies market effectively with billboards without even incorporating a logo.

Do the Arm’s Length Test:

Billboard advertising is not cheap and, if you’re going to invest, you need to make sure it’s going to be a worthwhile investment. One good way to do this is to take the ad and print it on a business card, then look at it at arm’s length. This will provide the same effect as someone passing by your billboard quickly. If the image still pops, and you feel the message it is sending is clear, then you are good to go. If not, consider tweaking some elements. Billboard advertising can be an effective way to market your company. However, it’s important to make sure your billboard gets a message out to consumers in a concise and effective way.

6 Pro Tips to Customize Your Local SEO to Your Type of Business

Local SEO is a big deal. Whether you run a small business or a larger company with several locations, you risk being invisible to ready-and-willing customers without a viable local SEO strategy — you might as well take the signs off your building and wave as shoppers pass by. Capitalizing on this growing trend isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of work.

Grass Roots SEO: 5 Ways to Win Over Local ConsumersLocal SEO is a big deal. Whether you run a small business or a larger company with several locations, you risk being invisible to ready-and-willing customers without a viable local SEO strategy — you might as well take the signs off your building and just wave as shoppers pass by.

What exactly is local SEO? It’s what gets you found when people speak “chimney sweep company in southeast Portland” or “24-hour laundromats in Phoenix” into their smartphones. Search queries are becoming increasingly conversational as Web users shift from desktops to mobile.

Of course, local SEO benefits traditional desktop searches, too (i.e. “Portland chimney sweep company” or “24-hr laundromat Phoenix”). But local SEO flourishes by capturing mobile users in your neighborhood.

Capitalizing on this growing trend isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of work. Here, we’ll review six pro tips to customize your local SEO strategy according to your type of business.

Tip 1: Get Squared With Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free listing service that can get your business seen on Google Search and Maps. In addition to being a valuable tool for consumers, you can use GMB to read and respond to customer reviews, learn how customers find your website online and more.

Just one listing is needed for businesses with single brick-and-mortar locations. If your business has multiple locations, then you’ll need more GMB listings. Or you can hide your address in GMB if you don’t want your address shown, which is useful for home-based businesses.

In a nutshell, your customers must be able to find contact information that’s local to them. You can’t cultivate a good local SEO strategy without that foundational step.

Tip 2: Localize Your Website Content

People who search for goods and services on Google aren’t interested in general, non-specific information — they want localized information that’s relevant to where they live. They want to see local contact information, familiar locator maps and endorsements from neighborhood organizations. They also want to see exactly how you serve their neck of the woods.

If your business is based from a single brick-and-mortar location with just one service area, then your website should have pages for each service, product model or category of products you provide. If based out of more than one location, then your website also needs pages for each business location with unique contact information prominently displayed. Single-location businesses with multiple service areas need separate pages for each major city or region they serve — you get the idea.

Tip 3: Don’t Thin out Your Content

Thin content is an SEO killer. Website content is regarded as thin when it’s too short, low-quality or hardly changed across several pages. The problem is that thin content creates a poor user experience. Google doesn’t want to give its users a bad experience so the ranking algorithm penalizes websites with thin content.

Why does this matter for local SEO? Some marketers attempt to cut corners by reusing content when making region-specific webpages. Don’t do this! Invest the time (or money) to get unique, high-quality content for each of your locations or service areas.

The Digital and Content Team: Is Splintering a Verb?

In this post we explore the organization of a digital and content team, which we will call “the digital team,” and may include the designers and producers of the website and other digital properties. How you do organize around content and the website at your firm? Is your website appropriately categorized as content and managed out of this group?

target_marketing_blog_part5_1In last month’s blog post, I discussed the ideal demand generation group structure and exactly which functions are best centralized within. In this post we will explore the organization of a digital and content team, while touching upon Web designers, producers and other digital properties.

How you do organize your firm’s content and website? Is your website appropriately categorized as content and managed out of this group?

The Digital and Content Group

The charter of a digital and content group might look something like this:

Create compelling content to drive higher customer and prospect engagement, resulting in more qualified leads for sales. In addition, we will create a fluid customer experience, whether it is through inbound or outbound communications, to create one company feel.

Notice the word “engagement” in there? Companies are spending up to 30 percent of their marketing budgets on content and many have no clue if said content is actually engaging their prospects and customers. Are you measuring the level of engagement with each piece of content you produce today?

The digital and content group is the source of fuel for the demand generation engine. The group builds a roadmap based on input from the subject-matter experts (SMEs), product marketing, sales, requirements gathered from the demand generation team, field marketing and other marketing teams.

If you agree with my premise that the website is content, and as such belongs in the group where content for other media is created, then we arrive at an organizational crossroads. Do the search-, display- and paid-traffic gurus (or agencies) who are traditionally tightly linked to the website designers and producers also belong in this group? Or, since their function is really demand generation, do they splinter from their website production comrades and move into the demand generation group? I won’t rehash what I said in the last post on this, but suffice it to say most organizations have kept them in the same group — at least for now. So the organization chart probably looks like this:

target_marketing_blog_part5_2As marketing organizations shift toward building omnichannel campaigns in order to give prospects and customers a consistent multichannel experience, the inbound team is forced ever-closer to the marketing automation team in the demand generation group. If you leave your inbound and social team in the digital and content group, ensure they develop a very tight relationship with the demand generation team, as they will be working together more and more.

The Traffic Manager

I’m going to digress for a minute here, but I assure you this will have implications for the organization of the content group. Let’s talk about the life of an asset — a piece of content. You find an SME in the firm to write up a nice whitepaper (WP) and you put it on the website and you’re done, right? Not so fast …

target_marketing_blog_part5_3Developing the core content, the basis for the subsequent assets, is probably a third of the battle. These days, extracting the value from the core content probably looks more like this:

  1. Develop the core content and produce the first asset (a WP, for example).
  2. Write a blog post to promote the WP.
  3. Write email copy to promote WP with outbound email channel.
  4. Write landing page (LP) copy.
  5. Write ad copy if you are going to do some display ads or paid search to promote WP.
  6. Get a creative designer involved to add the graphics and images for all of the above …