Billboards are large signboards, which are usually seen in places with high traffic such as busy roads, motorways and highways. They are typically aimed at passing pedestrians and drivers and unlike ads on a busy newspaper; a billboard is powerful because it does not have to compete with its surroundings.
When you see a billboard by itself on a long stretch of highway you can’t help but look at it. For these reasons, billboards are one of the most effective outdoor marketing strategies. With a majority of self storage facilities having street or highway frontage, making use of your building for signage can be cost saving, or in some cases a profit-making marketing tool. Don’t be constrained by your building size for your signage, consider erecting a stand alone billboard in the yard or on the roof of your facility. IF you are in a high traffic area, you may find that an external company will even lease the space off you, build the billboard and then source the advertising for it. This can be a stable source of additional income for your facility.
Outdoor signs such as billboards are usually made by specialists in outdoor advertising. Exterior signs can be hand painted or silk screened using enamel, weather resistant paints on primed painted hardwood, marine plywood or colour-bonded zinc-based metal. Large colour photos can be mounted, or professional sign writers can create effective billboards or outdoor signage. Before construction a sign or billboard it is most important to check your local council regulations.
Tips for an effective billboard:
1. Keep the text minimal. There is no way people can understand detailed copy at 100km per hour.
2. Use a photo or graphic to convey your message.
3. Include your web address.
4. Use big font.
6. Use bullet points and keep your message concise.
7. The design MUST give a positive representation of your business.
8. The design MUST be visible from a distance.
Location is one of the easiest factors when considering where best to place your advertising. If you have a spare wall on your building that overlooks a main street or highway then your problem is already solved. Even if you don’t have this advantage, the majority of self storage customers live or work within a set radius. By using billboard space within this area, you can feel reasonably assured that the customer you want to attract will be exposed to your message.
Businesses by nature have a target market and need to tailor their advertising accordingly. Billboards need to be short, sharp and to the point. Determine what is the most important message you want to convey to your audience because you only have a few seconds to do it in the case of a billboard. If your billboard is located on your building you may have the added luxury of changing your message each month to coincide with your overall marketing campaign, or you may be able to rent out your billboard space to another business from time to time, particularly if you are full. Again you will need to check with your local council in regards to changes in signage content.
External signs are an important part of promotion. It reinforces public perception of your business in a number of ways. For example they can remind local residents and transients that they have a self storage facility in their area. It also reminds those current clients of your facility and may jog their memory about paying a bill or needing to upgrade their space.
For most small businesses, broad advertising campaigns are just too expensive. On the whole they are usually used by large multi site organisations, and aimed at a very large market. Self storage businesses, by nature, have a local market and need to tailor their advertising and marketing accordingly. Ideally, your advertising should be practical by nature and easy to implement. To be effective it should reach your target market – your potential customers.
The first thing you need to do is look at your existing resources and see how the blank space around your facility can help advertise your business and reach your market. Consider whether you are positioning your signs in the places where your potential customers will see them. There is no point in wasting money on signage in places where it will be ignored or not seen by the people you want to attract. When using local external space for your billboards, you will have to decide what it is you wish to advertise. Large billboards, such as those found on highways, might be suitable for advertising your business name and location, rather than individual products or prices. This is because these ads are usually put in place for a period of time and are also aimed at catching the attention of passing traffic that have to absorb the message quickly.
Advertising directly to your local market via billboards is a great way of making sure that your potential and existing customers not only have every chance of seeing it, but also that they become aware of your existence and the solution that you offer them.