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Choosing An Ideal Billboard Location: 7 Things To Consider

Do you want to run a successful billboard campaign that generates your business a ton of sales? Well let me tell you a secret that will turn any billboard into a money making machine. You need to choose a great location. Okay that wasn’t a secret, but success doesn’t come with little effort.

You’ll need to do your groundwork first, but don’t worry – we’ll walk you through it and I promise it’ll be worth every minute of your time.

Billboards always have, and always will be, a super effective form of outdoor advertising. Over 3.7 billion pounds is spent on outdoor advertising each year and 62% of those ads are billboards.

A study also found that 74% of billboards within a drivers sight of vision are noted and that 48% are read, whilst 18 to 35 year olds are more likely to notice an outdoor ad than people aged 35 to 49.

These are big numbers and whilst digital marketing is a rapidly growing niche, billboards are sometimes neglected by business owners as they fail to project a positive return, whilst often assuming billboards are super expensive – but that’s not the case, and this article explains why.

In fact, billboards can be highly profitable, although if you’re wanting it to be successful, first you should evaluate and break down the location factors when choosing your ideal billboard.

#1 – Visibility of the billboard

First and foremost, the visibility of the billboard should be a top priority in your decision making. If your billboard has limited visibility, it’s going to have a big impact on whether or not it generates any leads or sales.

There’s a few things you should consider when evaluating the visibility of your billboard:

  • Ensure the billboard is front-facing

It’s still saddening how many perfect billboard locations are ruined with poor sign face alignments. Remember, people aren’t going to go out of their way to take note of your artwork, it has to be readable within a short period of time as they are usually read whilst being passed at high speeds, so make sure it’s front-facing and plainly obvious to oncoming traffic.

  • Make sure the billboard is placed at a readable height

Choosing a billboard situated right at the top of a high building is only going to attract the seagulls. Ensure the placement is within the drivers height of vision for maximum exposure – below is a typical height for a billboard.

Billboard height example

 

  • Choose an area with no visible interference

We still see so many billboards on the road with large obstacles in the way of the artwork. This is a big no-no, ensure there are no interferences such as tree branches, bushes or tall buildings in the way of the billboard as this will seriously harm the performance of the ad.

#2 – Traffic count of location

Okay, so this is a plainly obvious one, but what’s not so obvious is the statistics. To get an overview of the traffic count in the area you’re thinking to take out an advertisement, head over to Department for Transport and discover local authority traffic profiles and explore counts on the interactive map.

#3 – Consider your audience demographics

Understanding your audience is a fundamental part of marketing. Not everyone is an ideal customer for your business, so it’s super important that you’re shouting the right message to the right people.

If you’re not sure who your ideal customer is, then you should go right back to the drawing board and start speaking to people within your community.

Still not sure how to get started? Here is a systematic approach to identify your ideal customer.

Once you have defined your target audience, you can then start planning advertising opportunities and there’s no better way than reaching them on the road.

Once you have a good understanding of your audience demographics such as age, gender, education, relationship status and average income, you should then consider a typical location.

For example, let’s say you run an online fashion store for young adults. Having a billboard near a college or university is going to be much more effective than one in a rural town or village which tends to consist of old empty nesters or retired couples.

The Acorn user guide will be a great starting point to help you understand where your target audience is located.

#4 – Residential or Commercial Based Area

If the geographical area of your billboard ad is within a commercially built area, then the chances are the majority of that traffic is the same people travelling to and from work each day.

That’s great if you’re targeting local businesses as those workers will become fully aware of the contents on the billboard, although if you’re looking to target a mass audience then you’ll want to stay away from those commercial areas.

#5 – Proximity to your place of business

If your business is reliant on local customers, then it wouldn’t make sense having a billboard which is located 70 miles away.

Choosing a local ad placement would be the most logical decision in this situation, there’s many high-street companies that’s taken full advantage of near-by billboards to grab the attention of local residents, visitors, workers and tourists – McDonald’s take full advantage of this opportunity.

McDonald's billboard ad

Sure, McDonald’s is a major brand but small companies can also use the power of local billboards to increase footfall to their stores and raise brand awareness.

#6 – Consider the typical intent

Is the total traffic count actually people you intend to reach, and furthermore are those people being reached at a point of decision?

Let’s say you own a sportswear shop for example, if there’s a billboard placement opportunity on a major road that leads towards a major sports store, this could be a great opportunity to market to oncoming traffic to take their next exit rather than continuing their journey and hitting possible traffic issues, especially during peak times.

Take note of nearby signs and business competition around your area as this could well be a profitable opportunity to steal a bunch of customers.

#7 – Rush Hour Traffic

It is said that seven in 10 commuters drive to work in rural areas and there are many roads in large towns/cities throughout the UK that suffer from congestion issues during peak times.

Rush hour traffic

Main roads that lead to roundabouts or roads near city centres where a large pool of pedestrians are often crossing can lead to slow moving traffic.

Choosing a billboard that is in such a prime location can lead to an impressive number of leads, as the drivers have no choice but to look around and explore the surroundings – unless they’re doing something illegal and checking their mobile phones of course.

Conclusion

Billboards are an excellent way to reach a mass audience in a short period of time, but just like any other form of marketing, it’s critical that you carry out the initial planning to decide on the right billboard for you – following the above set of rules will get you on the right steps.

Once you have then decided on a placement, you can start designing a billboard to create impact.

Now go and create an awesome billboard for your audience and leave a comment below with any thoughts or challenges you’ve previously faced.

About Paul Inman

Paul has been working in and around the outdoor advertising world for a number of years and has gained valuable insights into the processes and management of advertising campaigns, both agency side and client facing. Paul is an experienced sales and marketing director with an international track record. His strong leadership and communication skills as well as his proven capability in sales and business development have enabled him to build and sell a number of businesses - mainly in the advertising media sector.

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