Bringing Billboards Into the Digital Age

Traditional marketing materials, such as billboards or print design, seem to have fallen out of favor with young marketers who would like to see exactly how much their CPM is or calculate their ROI every day. Though, billboards in high traffic areas, like NYC’s Time Square or L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard, are in hot demand thanks to social media and a new realm of hybrid opportunities.

Looking to make a big impression that leads to millions of other impressions? If the client is the right fit, a billboard is often in the mix. A single billboard can have massive social media potential, one reason why these high-ticket billboards remain central to big campaigns.

Interaction Between Digital & Physical

Digital activations can be pegged to billboards in a wide array of ways, customized to the campaign but following a few basic patterns. Geotargeting allows certain features, treats or discounts to be unlocked only when a user or fan stands near the billboard. Contests for fans or customers who post a selfie with a billboard or wild posting wall and tag them prove popular. Some clients have expanded on this by having physical goodies to give away or by inviting special guests on site. We’ve had everyone from major pop stars to Playboy bunnies hang up posters and attract attention. These lures are particularly important if the outdoor activation requires people to go out of their way or to reach the site in a certain limited timeframe.

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Budget & The Right Partner

Budgeting for outdoor means taking into account seasonal price variations. One nice thing about billboards: Digital ad prices are growing rapidly while billboard costs remain relatively stable. A study by marketing analytics company AdStage found that in the first half of 2017, the average cost per 1,000 impressions on Facebook increased 171 percent and the average cost per click increased 136 percent. Generally speaking, billboard prices are not facing this kind of upward price pressure, and a good partner can get you the best deal possible.

The oldest form of advertising is still with us and will stay with us. Billboards’ limited real estate, physical presence and scale make them perfectly adapted to the fickle digital age, especially when digital and physical advertising play creatively together.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the full article over at AdWeek.

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