How to Tie Billboards into Your Marketing Campaign

How to Tie Billboards into Your Marketing Campaign

While we don't think of billboards as prime space in the age of social media, they still have their place in modern marketing campaigns. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising reached eight billion dollars in 2018 and still shows signs of growth. If you're considering billboard design as part of your marketing strategy, Cain & Company can help you get it right.

Pay Attention to the Fundamentals

Begin by keeping some fundamental principles in mind.

  • Keep it Consistent: Branding matters, and your billboard design should be completely consistent with your brand and the campaign it's a part of.
  • Keep it Short: We hope you find this blog post useful, but let's admit something: it'd make a lousy billboard. With billboards, brevity is your friend, since the average person has a six-second attention span and much less than that when your message is whizzing past at 55 miles per hour.
  • Remember What It's For: Billboards are less about a call to action (though they can be) than about awareness. Don't overload that short attention span.
  • Clarity Over Cleverness: It can be tempting to squeeze everything you can into a small slice of real estate. However, simplicity will get you farther than overloading your message with metaphors and subtlety.
  • Invest in Repetition: Brand communication relies on multiple touchpoints, and billboards are no exception. Repetition builds reinforcement./li>
  • Don't Skimp on Visuals: Visuals will "sell" your message faster than text; they process faster, since the reaction is visceral rather than intellectual. Like your text, keep visuals bold and simple on traditional and digital billboards alike.

Let Your Billboard Roam Free

We usually think of billboards as very site-specific. While they certainly won't skitter off on their own, there's still a way to make a billboard come to your clients. As Fast Company points out, a billboard with the right content can be very shareable on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. That can expand your organic reach, putting your message out to many more people than might pass it on the highway.

Billboards and Attribution

A thought in closing: one of the advantages of digital media is the ability to receive and use performance metrics as part of your sales funnel. That's often viewed as a shortcoming for billboards, which have traditionally been somewhat like the Yellow Pages; if someone didn't specifically mention they saw your billboard, like your Yellow Pages ad, it was hard to tell whether it was working.

However, that's changing quickly. More tools are becoming available to help with both attribution and ad retargeting, so that a billboard ad has the same attribution qualities and the same ability to "follow" users throughout their day. Each form of OOH advertising needs a means to track, whether it's a special URL or toll-free number, a QC code that can be used to initiate tracking on posters, subway ads, and the like, the use of near field communication and mobile location data, or even a simple hashtag that encourages the discussion to continue online. Use these often and wisely; you can even leverage your content marketing — giving away a case study, a white paper, or something else of use with each call or click — to incentivize these behaviors.

Need help? Cain & Company is here for you. From content marketing for manufacturers to billboard design, social media management, and SEO, reach out to our advertising agency in Rockford, IL for expert assistance.


Rick Heffner

Rick Heffner

Senior Marketing Executive/Media Director
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