As kids, many of you probably read “Hansel and Gretel”, the famous fairytale written by the Brothers Grimm. Now think about the amazing marketing skills the Witch from the story had! Knowing the preferences of her “target audience”, she turned her cabin into a deliciously looking candy! This is how she managed to get the children’s attention. Now let’s go back to reality. The possibilities of today’s marketing methods and PR techniques are practically endless. At the same time, risks are omnipresent as well. Any interaction taking place between your audience and your brand may result either in your overwhelming success, or devastating failure. How does a business know what makes its clients tick? How do you use the multiple advantages of outdoor advertising to make your brand stronger? In this post, we’ll address these and other burning questions that will be useful for a company from any industry.
- Outdoor advertising: Goals and types
- Types of outdoor advertising
- Plan your advertising budget wisely
- How do I create an outdoor ad by myself?
- Wrapping it up
Outdoor advertising: Goals and types
The biggest problem of outdoor advertising nowadays is that it’s aimed at a customer who is probably already fed up with marketing tricks that surround them on an everyday basis. In the modern market oversaturated with goods and services, a low-quality advertising will only evoke a look of indifference, at best. In the worst-case scenario, your ad risks earning a scornful smile or even an annoying remark. To avoid this destiny, you need to put a lot of thought into what your advertisement will look like. The first question you need to ask yourself is: “What goal is my ad pursuing?” In this regard, let’s see the main types of ads based on their goal.
Informative advertising enters the scene when you’re willing to share with your customers a piece of information they may find useful, e.g. a new product launch, new office opening, contest, special offer, discounts, etc. Word of warning: informative advertising may be addictive. Avoid using it to update your target audience on any tiniest change or innovation in your business. Remember that customers are only interested in what can be useful and beneficial to them. Be sure to filter the information you’re putting out there.
Goals of informative advertising:
- introduce new products and services to the customer;
- offer a new way of using the already existing products and services;
- debunk the wrong impression of a product or service;
- update customers on price reductions, special offers, etc.
Placing a convincing ad, you emphasize the high quality of your products or services and encourage your audience to collaborate with you. If you manage to find the right approach to your public, it won’t be long before the customers appreciate your advertising efforts and you’ll see a long-awaited increase in demand for your products. Be sure to use strong calls to action and demonstrate your advantages, but without pressure or unrealistic promises. Try to evoke sincere interest among your audience and make them distinguish your brand among all others.
Goals of convincing advertising:
- make the customer believe that they need a product or service right now;
- tell about the best qualities and advantages of products and services;
- forge an emotional bond between your audience and your brand;
- create a positive perception of your brand.
With such a diversity around, it’s quite common that a once popular product may, as the time goes by, become less attractive in your customers’ eyes. If you have a product that used to generate a good profit for your company, why not remind your customers of it? It’s a great way to breath a new life into something that will be equally beneficial for both your audience and your business. Avoid the temptation of saving a budget and using your old ads. Invest the resources into creating a new ad. Feel free to use the testimonials of the customers that liked your product in the past. Who knows? You may succeed in reviving the audience’s interest in your brand. Anyway, it’s worth a try!
Goals of reminding advertising:
- remind the customer of a product or service;|
- revive the customers’ interest in your product or service by using a new visual;
- promote seasonal products or services;
- refresh the customer’s memory in relation to your product range.
To highlight the advantages of a product, it may be a good idea to compare it with its earlier models/versions or competitive offers. Whichever way you may take, be sure to make a comparison in a subtle and correct way so as not to lose your customers’ trust or face a justified lawsuit from your rivals.
Goals of comparative advertising:
- outline the strong sides of your products and services;
- demonstrate your company growth;
- stir interest to your product line;
- zoom in on one or several winning qualities of your products or services.
Regardless of their goal, all outdoor ads share the same quality, which is the power to have a deep influence on your target audience and convert leads to loyal supporters of your business. In the long run, this will translate into sales gain and reinforce your brand recognition.
Types of outdoor advertising
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re slowly walking past multiple cafés and restaurants in a busy street and suddenly feel the irresistible temptation to drop into one of them for a cup of coffee? Have you ever thought why you’ve chosen one place over the others? We bet it’s partly due to a creative and catchy signage! If the owner of the place (whether it’s a café, beauty salon or grocery store) managed to come up with a smart signage, they automatically get lots of credit from potential customers. When it comes to the first impression, striking your target audience with a precise, edgy signage is crucial. In this case (but only in this case!), it’s safe to say that customers love with their eyes. Be sure to create a signage that will attract customers like a magnet!
Here are the two main types of signboards:
Illumination is a great visual effect for a signage that features a logo or word. Made of plastic, metal, glass, wood and even foam plastic, fluorescent signages are instantly recognizable in the dark, which makes them an ideal choice for bars and late night cafés. Another display option is a backlit signage where the light passes from the backside of your ad creating a soft yet vibrant effect.
Made of metal, PVC or polycarbonate, regular signages are almost useless during nighttime because no one can see them. On the brighter (no pun intended) side, non-illuminated signboards will cost you much less than their glowing alternatives. When choosing between the two types, think about which one fits your corporate style best.
The very first billboards emerged in the early XXth century in the United States. As the number of car owners was growing, more and more companies were placing their ads on large, easy-to-notice billboards alongside busy highways. Since then, this type of advertising has significantly expanded its geography and today can be seen it on building facades, trucks, etc. Billboards fall into three main categories:
Static billboards are fixed, large-size posters which are installed on stationary structures. Searching the right place for a static billboard requires lots of strategic thinking because you can’t simply change its location if your ad proves to show poor performance.
Mobile billboards are of smaller size and are installed on movable structures. You can see them right next to the entrances to cafés, travel agent offices, beauty salons, etc. Aimed at passers-by, mobile billboards invite them to slow down and check out the products or services the company has to offer.
The most technologically advanced of the three, this type of billboards features a large video screen. Dynamic ads are an unbeatable way to grab the attention of your target audience. However, maintaining a LED screen is a true luxury because it consumes a huge amount of energy.
Elevator and floor advertising
Lots of companies are using elevator and floor advertising to successfully boost their sales. Although this type of advertising is mostly placed inside crowded buildings (such as shopping malls, office spaces, art galleries), it’s referred to as outdoor advertising because of its focus on a large audience. If you own a travel agent’s office in a shopping center, you may consider benefiting from floor advertising. Commission a designer to create catchy stickers indicating your office location (floor, stand number, etc). While such stickers are often made in the form of an arrow or rectangle, try to come up with something unusual. Such graphics are sure to make the floor under the customers’ feet look less boring. But more importantly, they’ll literally guide new clients to your office! Ads can be also adhered to elevator walls and floor for creating a high-impact advertising space!
Eye-grabbing banners are another way to increase your customer base and bring your company to a higher level. Banners have some undeniable advantages: they are wear-resistant and rather cheap. All this makes banners a very popular type of advertising, especially among aspiring businesses that tend to count every dollar. The common materials used to make banners include silk, cotton, and vinyl. Due to their mobility, banners can be easily moved from one place to another until you find the best location in terms of promotion. There are two main types of banners.
A horizontal banner usually has the form of a rectangle. You can see numerous examples of horizontal banners above highways, on building facades, at stadiums, on theatre stages, etc.
A landscape banner is a huge dense canvas made of reinforced polyester fiber. It is usually used to cover a building during renovation. Banners of this type are also referred to as “brandmauers.”
A relatively new type of outdoor advertising, brandmauers have gained popularity due to their versatility and impressive dimensions. Due to its big size, a brandmauer is hard not to notice, which makes them good at attracting people’s attention. Although brandmauers are pretty durable, serving 5 to 7 years, many companies can’t afford this advertising solution due to its high cost. Basically, a brandmauer looks very similar to a banner or billboard, with the only difference of being placed on the side of a building. This is a lot of space for revealing your creative potential! If a brandmauer won’t make a hole in your budget, be sure to explore this format to produce a “wow” effect on your audience!
When walking around the city late at night, you risk stumbling over a stander. This is probably the only drawback of this type of advertising. Placed right at the front door of a bar or an office, a stander – almost like an old friend – invites you to drop by and see what’s inside. And it works! A stander is really good at sparking the customers’ curiosity. Plus, it gives them a valid “excuse” to slow down for a moment, forget about their errands, and check out a new place that can offer them useful products or services. Low cost and mobility have made standers popular all over the globe (here we’re only talking about the cities where outdoor advertising is allowed by law). Light and easily movable, standers come in different shapes and formats:
A-shape standers are metallic or wooden structures about 1 meter high. It’s not uncommon that a stander features a chalkboard that can be updated every day (this is a great solution for cafés and restaurants wanting to showcase the highlights of their menu).
These standers make you think of the letter T turned upside down.
A paperclip stander looks much like its A-shape counterpart. However, in this case an ad is located in the center of the structure.
This is the most versatile (and costly) type of standers that can display different photos or messages which are relevant to your target audience. For easier control, a digital stander can be featured with a simple navigation menu. But again, think about the price.
An advertising freeze is a long narrow structure which is attached to a building facade, running from one wall to the other. Freezes are usually designed in one color. The biggest part of a freeze is occupied by a text (e.g., slogan, special offer), while a company logo is placed at the beginning or at the end. The logo height must not exceed 70% of the height of a freeze. Due to its huge dimensions and beneficial location, this ad format is sure to grab your customers’ attention. Made of banner fabric or composite, freezes have already become an organic part of business
Painted glass is an old decoration method that has successfully survived till our days and is used, among other things, in outdoor advertising. If your shop, beauty salon, travel agency or hotel opens to a busy street with lots of foot and vehicle traffic, consider using an advertising film on your windows to attract customers. Plus, this way you won’t have to buy window shades! Unlike ancient masters, today we don’t need to create complex mosaic compositions thanks to high-tech adhesive materials! Here are the options you can benefit from:
Letters and shapes are cut out of pressure-sensitive film and then adhered onto the window to make a unique, coherent composition. To create a volumetric graphic or highlight specific elements, you need to apply several layers of film on top of each other.
Full-color print on pressure-sensitive film
Colored film is a sure way to create a window that will turn heads! For better durability, it’s recommended to cover the film with a transparent protective layer.
Perforated pressure-sensitive film has gaps, allowing sunlight to come inside. If your facility opens to a shady side of the street, this simple yet smart solution will make your office look warmer and friendlier!
Plan your advertising budget wisely
According to Prof. John Philip Jones, a renowned advertising campaign expert, Russian businessmen are willing to spend ca. 16% of the company budget on outdoor advertising. Among American entrepreneurs, the number is only 3%. There is no denying that a clever outdoor advertising can skyrocket your sales. However, overspending can be dangerous, especially for young companies that are usually pressed for money. How to you create an effective advertisement without having to spend a fortune on it? Let see some useful tips.
In general, outdoor advertising does not last long. Trends are changing, materials are wearing out, companies are re-evaluating their strategies… Plus, customers are getting tired of seeing the same ad for months. Sooner or later, your signage or banner will need updating. Avoid spending tons of money on an ad that will serve you 2-3 months: it’s simply not worth it!
If you have several outdoor advertising locations, be sure to invest most of your budget in the one that has the biggest contact with your target audience. Choose busy parts of the city with lots of foot and vehicle traffic. Remember that your goal is to display your ad to as many people as possible.
Trends are a tricky thing that can become a black hole for your budget. In pursuit of modern tendencies, you risk wasting all your money and never getting the effect you want. Following trends must not be your ultimate goal. If you manage to put together a strong message, legible font, and clever colors, that will be more than enough for the start!
Advertising vs. reality
If your products or service fails to live up to the image created by your ad, your customers may feel disappointed and deceived. Don’t make the promises you can’t hold. Avoid picturing your product better than it is in real life. Be honest with your audience, and they’re sure to appreciate it.
When planning your advertising budget, take the time to analyze the decisions of your strongest competitors. What parts of the city do they choose for their ads? What do their ads look like? What do you think they could’ve done better?
If your advertising does not sell
A common problem is when advertising stirs interest to your product but still fails to boost your sales. If your efforts are not generating enough profit, you need stop investing money in your banners in the hope for a miracle. Analyze your ad performance and cost efficiency. Identify the weak spots that keep your leads from becoming your customers.
How do I create an outdoor ad by myself?
Creating an outdoor ad by yourself is a great idea, especially as far as the budget concerns. But do you have all the necessary skills and resources to come up with a competitive signboard or stander? An ad that looks amateurish will hardly generate a steady flow of customers for your business. On the contrary, it may bring down the reputation of your company once and for all. The checklist below will give you the general idea of what it takes to make and install an outdoor ad.
- Consult you local tax expert to find out whether your need to pay a tax on each outdoor ad you choose to display.
- If you’ve decided to place a billboard on a building, make sure the building is right or this purpose in terms of materials, wiring, architecture, etc. Sketch the building with your future ad on it to see whether it looks appropriate.
- Create a logo you’ll be using in your ad. You can do it right now by simply entering your company name into the field below!
- Design your ad in Photoshop or any other graphic design program.
- Purchase the necessary materials. If you’re making a wooden design, try different samples of wood to see which one is easier to work with. Consulting a construction specialist might be a good idea.
- Craft a signboard, banner, etc. following the pre-made design.
- Install your signboard in the selected location. Add wiring if necessary.
As you can see from this list, making a simple signboard requires expertise in various, often unrelated, fields. You need to know (or be willing to learn) the basics of graphic design, electricity, tax regulation, etc. If you’re not easily scared, go for it! In case of any doubts or difficulties, you can always consult a professional in the specific field.
But what do you do if you’re not a fan of manual labor but still want to contribute to making your signboard? One of the possible options is to design your ad in a graphics editor and leave the rest of the production process to a team of professionals. In a couple of weeks, you’ll see a beautiful signboard decorating the entrance to your office or café!
Wrapping it up
While the ways of grabbing the attention of your target audience are numerous, outdoor advertising is, hands down, the most effective of them all. This method has been working for centuries and shows no signs of losing its grip. We hope to have managed to highlight the key pieces of information on this topic. Now it’s your turn! Remember your goals, know who your audience are, and stay loyal to your corporate identity. By following these simple rules, you’ll be able to build a healthy advertising campaign and acquire new clients with no stress!