Your Billboard’s Purpose
So you’ve decided to create a billboard for your small business. Now all that’s between you and your live billboard is…the actual billboard. The initial blank billboard space can be both exciting and intimidating to a small business owner.
Even more so than other types of marketing materials, billboards have a finite amount of space. If you want to add something new to your website (which you should be doing regularly), you’re able to create a new page and easily fit the content. Digital ads have more space to create, with the addition of carousel and other types of more flexible native instant experiences.
Your billboard is different. While the size and shape can vary based on your location, the typical size of a billboard is 14 feet high by 48 feet wide. This provides you with 672 square feet of space for your ad. How can you fit all of the information you want to express in such a finite space? Where do you even start? These are questions small business owners struggle with at the onset of their billboard design process. While each brand is different, begin by asking yourself this critical thinking question to help facilitate your creative decision making:
What’s the most important thing I want people to get from viewing my billboard?
Finding your answer to this question is an important first step in knowing where you want to take your billboard design. Although there are lots of different possible answers, let’s review these three examples and what your overall billboard strategy would be.
I want them to remember me
In this example, your overall billboard purpose would be to create brand awareness and recognition. When this is the case, it gives you a lot of freedom from a design standpoint to think and execute outside the box. Some important things to keep in mind here – make sure you use your logo, tagline, or anything else you would want your potential customers to remember you by. Also, make sure you keep your colors consistent as you’ll want those to be easily recognizable as well.
I want them to know about a specific promotion or service
As the answer to this question suggests, you’ll want to make sure you are clear and concise in what your promotion or service details are. This type of billboard can be a bit more difficult from a design standpoint since you want to educate your viewers in a few different areas. Not only will you want to educate them on the promotion itself, but you’ll also want to clearly articulate who you are (so they can take advantage of your promotion or service). Remember, always keep it simple and make sure you’ve laid out your ad copy and images strategically throughout the space to create an informative yet aesthetically pleasing design.
I want them to know my location
Similar to when you’re creating a billboard that’s helping people remember you, this type of design gives you a lot of flexibility from a creative stand point. It goes without saying you’ll want to make sure you are clear about your location so people can easily find you – but you can also include some brand recognition work here as well with your tagline, logo, etc. in creative ways.
There are many more answers to the critical thinking question “What’s the most important thing I want people to get from viewing my billboard?” As we go through this chapter, always keep in mind the purpose of your billboard and the answer you’ve come up with. Once you’ve identified your purpose, keep it in mind and let yourself be creative. It’s a challenge to make sure everything is cohesive, but when it’s done right it gives you an incredibly successful billboard strategy.