Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Billboard Ad?

by Sindy Hankins

At Roland, we’re always looking for ways to serve our customers to the highest possible standards. In order to help your business grow even more, we will be implementing some new billboard ad guidelines. These will help your ads have the most impact and return.

The best part is, there is nothing you need to do on your end! Our designers will be making targeted suggestions and recommendations – all you have to do is approve the creative.

Did I mention that people are still looking at billboard ads? A recent report by Nielsen showed:

Who Looks at Billboards

I believe these stats because my husband saw a billboard ad for a Pebble smartwatch, Googled it, and after doing some more research ended up buying one. Since then, he’s bought a second watch and I’m on the market for one as well. People are looking, and people are buying. Hooray!

Here are our “Best Ad” guidelines for your ads:

Use 7 words or less in your main headline – use large, bold type and an easy-to-read font

Choose a simple image that conveys your message clearly

Be careful with color combinations; contrasting colors win

Don’t overdo the contact info – just add what people need to find you on the internet

That’s it! How are your ads doing? You can download our “Best Ad” guidelines here.

If your phone isn’t ringing off the hook right away, don’t be discouraged. Billboards are a fantastic advertising tool but depending on your industry, it will take some time for your message to take root. It took my husband a year to really commit to the idea of purchasing his new favorite watch…BUT he’s now a loyal customer (he’s on his second watch), brand promoter, and I’m in the market for one as well.

You can use your billboard ads for branding, announcing products, services, events; and for drawing people in and redirecting them to more information – via a website or social media page – to learn more about you.

In the meantime, not sure where to start on creating an awesome billboard ad campaign? Let us help! You know your business best, but it’s our business to know how to advertise for you.

Want to optimize your ads? We’re happy to help, get in touch today…

 

Creating a Simple Marketing Plan

We know your business is important to you. That also, in addition to all of the everyday tasks that keep you and your staff busy, there’s the whole business of marketing and advertising to worry about. You may be a pro at this, or, like many of us, you have pieced together a strategy and often feel like it’s unclear or doesn’t take priority on your to-do list.

So, what to do? We’ve put together a simple marketing plan template to help you clarify your marketing efforts and put them on paper. We’ll fill it out as a fictional company with fictional information so you can get a better feel for what you might write down to tailor it to your business.

You can download a blank copy of our Simple Marketing Plan Template – just add extra space between questions if you want to print it out, or save it to your computer for soft-copy editing .


 

sunshine

 

Sunshine Medical Supply : Marketing Plan & Overview

 

Products and Services Currently Offered:

All-around medical supplier. Includes apparel, wound care, education, equipment and furniture, exam room supplies, personal protective equipment, personal care, surgical supplies, needles and syringes and disposal, select pharmaceuticals

Marketing Advantages

What puts you ahead in the marketing department? Do you have a coveted product, a loyal customer base, or a high knowledge curve?

Been around for a long time, lots of long-standing customers that provide repeat business. There are lots of health care institutions around and they need supplies on a regular basis. We have a wide range of inventory and great customer service.

Marketing Challenges

What sets you back? A lack of time, a limited target market, or an expensive product?  

Losing customers to the internet.  Some customers are also retiring or moving on, no new customers to replace them or new people in office go elsewhere. We don’t really understand Facebook and internet marketing. We have a website and Facebook page but it doesn’t seem like anyone sees anything we post.

Competitive Analysis

In this section, include names and a few details of competitors and the advantages and disadvantages each may have in your industry

There are a few medical supply providers in the same city as us, but only a few major competitors. Brighton Medical Supply has been around for a long time but people leave them and come to us because they have horrible customer service.

The Medical Supply People is a new company in town. They have a young staff and a really nice website for people to order from. It looks like they do things on social media. We’ve lost some customers to them, but not too many to be alarmed yet.

The internet and out-of-town companies are our biggest competitor. People say they want to buy local but it seems like they just want to log-on, not talk to a real person, and buy from the cheapest vendor.

Target Market

Create a simple list or description that describes characteristics of your ideal customer. Don’t think you have one? Yes, you do!

Small to medium sized medical offices. We like larger clinics, hospitals are too big. Home health care, nursing homes, private practice, and urgent care clinics are all good.

We need to cater to the office managers and administrative assistants. Sometimes nurses in smaller offices. They are the ones doing the purchasing and influencing the doctor on decisions.

Goals (with vision & mission statement)

List goals you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts – think recruiting, customer retention, attracting new customers, etc.  If you have a vision and mission statement, list it in this section. If not, it may be time to think about creating one!

  • Make our business internet-friendly so people can find us and buy online
  • Win back previous customers
  • Retain our current customer base
  • Grow customer base by 15% this year
  • We need to create a vision and mission statement

Strategies and Methods

What are the practical steps you will take to achieve your marketing goals? This should be the most detailed part of your plan. Based on the information above, create your long and short-term strategy and list the methods you will use to carry them out.

  • Make our business internet-friendly so people can find us and buy online
    • Hire someone to update our website and work on SEO
    • Seek help on setting up and maintaining social media presence and advertising
    • Create a user-friendly shopping cart system
      • Work on budgeting in free shipping for orders over a certain amount
    • Win back previous customers
      • Send emails/letters with special deals to woo them back
      • Let them know we have a new online ordering system
    • Retain our current customer base
      • Create a loyalty program
      • Send out discounts and even freebies regularly to repeat and top customers
      • Invite them to customer appreciation events like lunch, BBQ, seminars and classes
    • Grow customer base by 15%
      • Do local sales marketing and call on new offices with goodies in tow – small kits of medical supplies and useful samples
        • Use a CRM software to track leads and interactions
      • Give/host classes on topics required for continuing education
      • Purchase billboard space (digital and static) and work with outdoor advertising company to build campaigns that will attract new business.
        • Can also use billboard for other marketing goals

Budget and Tracking

Assign part of your company budget to marketing. Determine the cost of your strategy and its execution. Remember to track ROI and other key performance indicators of your efforts.   

Coming back to this: will work with accountant and marketing manager to see what is appropriate for budgeting and how much each will cost

Will need to create spreadsheets and have a way to track expenses and profitability


 

As you can see, putting together a plan can be a bit of work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly. Tackle it in pieces and assemble a group of people to help you. We think you’ll find it will be helpful in being more intentional and getting more out of your marketing efforts.

It’s Spring: Is Your Business Ready to Bloom?

It’s hard to believe, but we’re officially in the last month of the first quarter…and spring is right around the corner. Going into a new season and a new quarter, do you have a clear marketing and advertising plan? Do you have goals set on how you would like to grow or engage your customer base for the rest of the year?

Maybe you are at a great but scary place in business where you need to invest more resources to continue growing. Maybe you are happy with where you are and want to work on solidifying relationships with current customers. Either way, you must plan and act accordingly.

First, determine who your ideal customer is or who you’d like it to be. Once you know this key piece of information, it will be easier to tailor your products, services, and advertising efforts.

If you’re trying to create more visibility for your brand, advertising mediums like strategically designed and placed billboards and sponsored posts on social media are useful. Draw people in with great service and valuable introductory deals that will make them want to return. Provide useful content on your website that positions your company as an expert in your field. Attend local events and meetings and get involved with the community.  Always make sure you have a clear brand identity with a logo, tagline, and consistent colors and appearance.

Creating additional value for existing customers is also important; retaining these folks is just as important (if not more important) than recruiting brand new buyers. Reward your best customers with special deals and communicate with them regularly. Understand and know what they like and listen to their frustrations so you can handle them accordingly. Make them feel included in your business, because after all – they are the ones that keep the business running.

These are some general starting points to think about. Remember,

  • Who are you marketing to and what do they like/dislike?
  • What are your marketing and advertising goals as we close out the first quarter of the year?
  • What are some things you can do to build your brand and attract new customers?
  • What are things you can do to take care of and retain your existing customers?

Best of luck to you as we “march” into spring and beyond. We always love to hear from you if you have questions or comments!

Who Should I Advertise To?

One of the challenges many small business owners face is creating fresh, effective advertising that is relevant to their company. One solution that can help navigate this difficulty is figuring out who your target market, or ideal customer is.

You may think, “I want to get my product or service to as many people as possible – my ideal customer is everyone.” However, chances are there is a certain segment or type of person that your product appeals to and is more likely to purchase. These are the individuals you want to focus more of your marketing efforts on.

Defining an ideal customer can be difficult, but once you get a feel for who they are, you can target your marketing and advertising efforts more effectively. Below, we’ll list a few ways you can start finding and catering to your ideal customer:

Think about your current customers. 

Who are your long-standing customers who you have a great relationship with? Who are the types of people that seem to fit best with your company?Anything in common amongst the people you have coming in the door? Peruse your current customer list and think about characteristics they have in common.

Write down a list of common or desired traits as it pertains to your business.

What is the age range? Income level? Gender? What are their challenges and frustrations (this can be just as important as their likes)? Are they employed? Are they a business owner? What are specific personality traits they might have? What does their personal life look like? Depending on your business, ask the right questions you need to know and compile a list of what the answers would be for your ideal customer. If you have different types of customers that use your product, create this list for all of the different customer segments you would serve.

Understand how and where they spend time and make purchasing decisions.

Once you have a better understanding of who your ideal customer is, think about where they spend time and how they consume information and make purchasing decisions – both online and offline.

Collect data and gather information.

Writing down thoughts and observations can be useful, but nothing beats collecting data and gathering information from the source. Run reports on your current customer data to extract similarities and trends. Send out a survey or hold a focus group and analyze the results; provide an incentive for people to participate.

Create an ideal customer profile for your business. For instance, ours might look something like this:

Pete Pringle is 45. He is a successful small business owner who is still very involved in the daily operation of his business. He has had a digital billboard for the last three years and enjoys the comments he receives about it from his customers. However, between managing the different aspects of his business, being active at his church, and juggling a family with three children, he is not interested in coming up with creative new content for his billboards and often feels they are stale. He’s an active part of the community, participates in networking groups, and also spends time checking Facebook, opening emails that catch his eye, and perusing the local newspaper online. 

As the business, we would likely reach this person by making in-person contact at a community or network event and also make good, informational online content available to him that catches his eye. It would be worth our time to advise on advertising campaigns and work with Pete and his staff regularly yet efficiently to keep content fresh and interesting for both him and his customers.


The challenge of developing your advertising campaign is very real. However, once you can get a handle on who it is you are or should be advertising to, it can steer your content and methods in a positive direction.

We’re available for questions anytime, just get in touch.

Digital Billboards: Optimizing Content & Design

Thinking about getting a digital billboard? Already have one but not sure what to put on the giant screen of LEDs? Here are some tips for maximizing your digital billboard space when it comes to content and design.

Create a Campaign

Sit down with your marketing team and brainstorm a little bit. What do you want to highlight at your business? What are your goals for advertising? What kind of message do you want to convey? What time of year is it? These are all important questions that should be asked during a campaign design session.

Based on your answers to the questions above, put together several ads that can be used in rotation to highlight your message. Here is an example of a campaign from a staffing agency who wanted to highlight their ability to match the right person with the right career:

Express Emp - Job Mate Express Emp - Compatability Express Emp - Career HarmonyCall your billboard or advertising agency for ideas if you’re not sure where to start, or ask them to mock up a design for you based on your ideas.

Keep it Simple

Remember, people are passing by in their cars or stopped at a light – they won’t have the time or attention span to look for details. Stick to one message or theme per ad and try not to clutter it up with too much information.

casual dress billboard2

Catch their attention, get your message across, and make sure they know the name of your company. Many people will do a web search for your business if you do catch their attention, so make sure you are easily searchable on the internet.

Bright Colors

Use at least one bright, eye-catching color to capture attention. In the words of Roland Digital Media owner Dave Roland, “without red, it’s dead.”

putnam coop_2014_board_1

moooooo

Incorporate Branding

Use your company logos, colors, and taglines to create and solidify recognition. If you don’t have an overall branding strategy, think about creating one with your marketing team or consulting a marketing agency.

50th_smartboard_Algood.indd

Make ‘Em Laugh

Funny and clever ads are easily remembered and create a positive reaction for the viewer. Caution – using obscure or obscene humor can do the opposite and create a negative reaction, so be careful when choosing your ha-has.

Express Emp - Dont Settle

Rotate, Rotate, Rotate

Keep things fresh by updating ads every 2-4 weeks. If possible, rotate your ads each month on different billboards within your service area to gain new exposure.

With a few tips and some creativity and thought, your digital billboard will go a long way for you.

Questions? Feel free to get in touch with us – info@rolandadvertising.com