Especially for small businesses, the most important question to ask yourself before trying a new marketing channel is “will these efforts increase my sales?” You don’t have enough money or time to spend on activities that don’t impact your bottom line in a positive way. How do billboards help generate sales? First, let’s discuss the Rule of 7 and its role in billboard marketing.
What is the Rule of 7?
The Rule of 7 states that a prospect needs to hear or see the advertisers’ message at least 7 times before they’ll take action to buy that product or service. Depending on what your product or service is (especially your price point), it will impact whether or not 7 is the actual magic number, or instead of 6 or 8 times is the more accurate number. Regardless, this rule reminds us of an important marketing principle – prospective buyers need to see your message more than once if they’re going to buy. It’s unlikely a buyer will trust you enough initially to make a purchase from you on their first interaction.
How can your brand cut through the noise and hit your prospects with the right messaging at the right times? Billboards can and should play a leading role in this. Take this example of an e-commerce company as an example to illustrate this principle:
Say you sell hats, both online and in a few brick and mortar locations. You’re doing Facebook advertising on both Facebook and Instagram by using videos to perform prospecting efforts and then reaching them again through retargeting. You’re also doing some brand bidding and smart shopping ads with Google. These are all great activities to be performing inside of your holistic marketing approach, but as you can see it’s likely your touchpoints are going to be closer to 4 or 5 and not 7 (depending on how robust your digital marketing retargeting funnels are).
What if, added to all these marketing activities, you included a billboard strategy to play a key role throughout your funnel? Maybe the billboard is a digital type where you’re displaying the different styles and designs of hats you offer—it shows your nearest brick and mortar location and website. Imagine how much more effective your digital marketing will perform when paired with a large-format billboard campaign where drivers experience your brand in an authentic, non-intrusive way? Adding billboards as a touchpoint gives you a better chance of engagement and conversion. As one 2018 IPA Databank Study found, out-of-home (OOH) billboard advertising supports and boosts the effectiveness of press, radio, tv, social, and search marketing.