Advertising is a fast-evolving industry that’s grown from cheap newspaper adverts to expensive television ads. Radio and television were once the most commonly used for ad displays, but times are a changing. Everything is going digital, even billboards, which have been the staple of many business’s marketing strategies. Billboards are placed strategically throughout cities and alongside highways, ensuring maximum visibility from drivers and the passersby. SEO companies have seen many organizations revert from traditional mediums to digital platforms.
Billboards will likely always have a place in advertising, since they cater to travelers. There are many businesses that target these individuals, including restaurants, hotels, retailers and auto dealers. Since 2008, revenue from billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising have been on the decline (thanks to the Internet). However, this doesn’t mean they’re obsolete. In fact, we’ve seen a steady rise in digital billboards springing up across the country.
Digital billboards are used for all types of purposes – to find missing children, promote a brand or to shuttle homebound traffic to happy hour at a local bar. They are even used by reputation management services looking to boost the image of a client.
There are multiple reasons why digital billboards are becoming a popular advertising option:
They are very difficult to ignore compared to other types of advertisements.
They can be easily updated compared to vinyl billboards and other types of outdoor ad channels.
They offer time-specific delivery, since they can be set to change automatically. Excellent for restaurants and hotels that have changing menus and prices throughout the day or week.
They can be used for local targeting. SEO companies can implement local geo-targeting into your online marketing plan, which can improve your advertising efforts.
Major companies like Coca-Cola, Verizon and Google have increased their out-of-home advertising, especially with digital billboards. These are some of the other trends we are seeing:
Digital billboard prices will continue to reduce, since the cost of LEDs are also becoming cheaper and more efficient. The operation costs for them will be more affordable for smaller business owners.
More ad money will go towards digital signage (out-of-house ads have been growing at a steady 4 percent rate since 2010 and accounts for 5 percent of all ad expenditure, most of which is going towards digital billboards).
More focus on software development to improve digital billboards. This includes creating Web-based management tools and interactive mobile apps and analytics to make advertising platforms more efficient.
Retailers will continue to be the biggest user of digital billboards. They spent around $542 billion in 2014 for out-of-house advertising.
The Internet is an even faster growing venue for reaching prospects. It only makes sense that businesses leverage the Internet for their billboard advertisements. One way to do so is to use social media to gauge comments about the billboards you have in place. People like to talk about the ads they see. Twitter is an effective tool for finding mentions of your billboard campaigns. In one analysis, it was found that specific topics received more mentions than others, including religion, celebrities and food.
Marketing campaigns can combine billboards and social media marketing by placing a hashtag on digital signage. People Magazine came up with a clever way to do this by asking readers to take selfies and tweet them using a specific hashtag. The competition rose when the company decided to rent out a billboard in NYC, which would showcase the best selfie entrants. Then took photos of the billboard and posted them on social media, tagging the chosen individuals.
SEO companies offer social media marketing and online reputation management services that can be utilized in conjunction with your billboard campaigns. The rise of digital is upon us – make sure you are on the right side of the tide.
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