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10 Pros and Cons of Billboard Advertising

Billboard advertising can be an easy way to increase awareness about a product or service you have to offer. As with most types of advertising, there are also costs involved in having an active billboard on display. By being aware of the pros and cons of billboard advertising, you can make a better decision about whether or not this form of advertising is right for you.

What Are the Pros of Billboard Advertising?

1. It is placed in a location where it will be seen.
You know that people are going to walk, bike, or drive by your billboard every day. This gives you a natural prospect base that might be interested in your product. When your contact information is also included, you give people the chance to reach out to you if they need what you have.

2. You create visual references for prospects.
People will remember pictures more than they’ll remember blocks of content. This means billboards are the perfect way to communicate a visual brand message to potential customers. If the visuals are attractive, people will pay attention to what you’ve got to say.

3. It can create a quick rise in sales.
Billboards are unique because they can create impulse buys. Someone might be driving along, see your billboard, and say “I need that.” So they’ll stop at your store and get what they need. The instant gratification enhances the value proposition and your new customer leaves feeling satisfied.

4. Billboards can provide people with directions.
You see this on many billboards today. “Take Exit 104 and make the second left.” This allows the customer to decide if they want to stop by the store. If they’ve read the billboard down to the directions, they’re already tempted to make a stop. Provide the means just sweetens the deal.

5. You’re targeting people who have the capability to purchase.
Most people who are viewing billboards are in a financial position to make a purchase if they want to do so. It might be blanket advertising, but the blanket is covering people who can mostly afford to purchase your product or service.

What Are the Cons of Billboard Advertising?

1. It is difficult to target a specific market.
You might be able to target a specific neighborhood with a billboard. What you cannot do is target a specific demographic. This means your advertising is going to be seen by people every day that have no interest in what you’re offering them.

2. The exposure time is incredibly brief.
Many billboards are placed along roadways. Drivers are paying more attention to the road than they are advertisements along the road. Many billboards receive just a second or two of exposure at best. This means the actual cost of advertising per exposure may actually be higher than other methods.

3. It provides people with limited information.
If you have an established brand message, then a billboard makes sense. People see your brand, so they remember your message. If you don’t have that benefit, then you only provide prospects with a limited amount of information for them to make a decision. That might not be enough to get a sale.

4. Billboards are stationary.
Sometimes a base of prospects might change their movement patterns. This might be caused by external influences, like Seattle experienced in 2016 with the temporary closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Your billboard isn’t going to move with your prospects. It’s in a fixed location and you’ve probably got a contract to keep it there.

5. There can be visibility issues.
If it’s a dark and stormy day, there’s a good chance no one is going to see your billboard. Something as simple as a passing 18 wheeler might block a driver’s view of your information. Vandalism can also obscure your billboard or even create a negative brand impression depending on what has been done. Because this can happen at any time, there is no real guarantee that the advertising costs will generate revenues.

The pros and cons of billboard advertising show that you can get a potentially fast surge in sales, but that you can’t always guarantee that your creatives will be seen by a prospect that cares. By weighing these key points, you can determine if this is the right step to take in your advertising campaign.

Have you purchased billboard advertising in the past? We’d love to hear about some of your experiences with this particular medium and how it may have helped your business.

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