Billboard Rental: Is The Investment Worth?
The consequences of COVID-19 for the advertising industry
As the effects of the economic impact of COVID-19 crisis continue to spread with the advertising industry, advertisers start feelings its destructive effects. Marketers are facing a challenge to adapt the advertising message and tactics. Traditional billboards will not be effective as the consumers will be more distanced and spend more time in their homes.
A survey conducted by the platform Numerator indicated many industries are shifting their advertising messaging. As example, restaurants are pivoting to food delivery message. The food industry has been quick to pivot their messaging to focus on in-home delivery options. The increased “work from home” periods will naturally lead to an increase in the time spent at home. Traditional OOH will be replaced by in-home advertising.
Adzze has been working with its clients to adapt to a more sensitive message. The team has been extending the capabilities to offer advertising options that can reach the consumers at their safest place: at home. One of these concepts uses pizza boxes as advertising space that gets delivered at the homes of the audience. Think of this as small moving billboard that your target audience will grab in their hands. Studies demonstrated that this type of ads can evoke an 80% recall rate (8 out of 10 households individuals remember to see an ad on the pizza box) with an average ROI of 150%. This means, for every 1 dollar the advertiser invested in a pizza box advertising campaign, they received at least additional 2.5 dollars of sales. For more details see the article Estimating the ROI of Pizza Box Marketing.
Billboards make up a substantial part of outdoor advertising mediums. Indeed, there were around 342,000 billboards in the US as of August 2019. Interestingly, billboard rental is popular because many people use roads where businesses locate the billboards. Despite the ubiquitous nature of billboards, the advertising medium faces major challenges that affect its effectiveness.
What is the cost of billboard rental?
One of the most unpopular things about traditional advertising mediums is their cost. In addition, the costs vary greatly depending on the location and a host of other things. For example, in the US State of Illinois’ Chicago, a business pays about $5,481 per billboard for one month. This cost climbs to approximately $20,000 in more expensive regions like Miami, New York, Washington DC, and Las Vegas.
Interestingly, the average impressions a billboard rental can earn in Chicago is about 4.9 million in a week. Important to note, such levels of impressions are only possible beside busy highways. In New York and other largely populated cities, the impressions could top 10 million in one week. Unfortunately, the impressions rarely convert to engagement or conversion. Indeed, it will be unsurprising for the 10 million a week impressions to fail to attract any direct actions.
Besides the cost of installing a billboard, advertisers may end up paying maintenance costs. This may eventually push the trues cost of billboard rental to unsustainable levels. In addition, many people are agitating against the sight of billboards allover highways and inside cities. As a result, some city authorities are moving on with anti-billboard strategies. This implies that potential customers are likely to shun your brand for their loathing of billboards.
Billboards prices and poor ROI
Certainly, the ride is rougher when advertisers opt for digital billboards. Admittedly, digital billboards are more effective than static ones especially in terms of attracting attention. Unfortunately, resistance against the visual pollution by digital billboards is unhealthy for the effectiveness of the medium.
Several reports already identified the flaws of billboards as lack of targeting and tracking, low engagement with the target audience, high costs, low ROI and in many cases the issue of visual pollution and low brand recall. The targeting issues very often are addressed with alternative approaches as mobile billboards, digital OOH, ads on trucks and ads in places people don’t expect as flags, backpacks, inflatable objects, gas pump and balloons.
If an advertising medium is going to face a lot bad energy from the audience, it becomes unsuitable for businesses. Fortuitously, alternatives like in-the-hand marketing exist. Particularly, this alternative employs the simplest techniques yet very effective. For example, a business that advertises using hotel keycards earns more conversions compared to using billboards. What happens is that a business can target the exact audience it desires. Further, the audience interacts more with the brand than they would with billboards.
Billboards companies need to re-thing the strategy
Billboards will not be an attractive advertising method. Blank billboards and cancelled digital ads across the country and many parts of the globe is a strong pointer to how the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world today has impacted sign advertising. The devastating effects of the pandemic on human lives could almost be likened to how terribly it has also dealt with businesses around the world. Some out-of-home advertising firms have withdrawn their earnings projections for the year as a result of market uncertainties at the moment. A good number of businesses that will survive the pandemic will most likely have to struggle to find their footing again. Reports also say that digital ad giants, Facebook and Google have also had their shares of the downturn. Even Coca-Cola has soft-pedaled its marketing drives.
Most digital ads creation companies have put a temporary stop on ads creation. A reasonable overview of the current crisis wrought by the COVID-19 spread shows that making new ad videos may just end up as a waste of time and money for the ad shoot companies as well as it is for the owners of the business. In the coming weeks, ad buyers in the USA will tilt towards new advertising ideas the more. All methods of advertising that serve as workable alternatives to OOH advertising will shine as saviors. And they’ll shine the more if they provide equally satisfying results for the clients.
Why billboard advertising cost matters
Across the globe, businesses are paying excessively to get their brands on premium billboards. Unfortunately, the advertising costs do not rhyme with the conversion rates that the businesses experience. In particular, this is due to the inattention by the target audience. For example, a billboard may be visible to millions of people in a week but just a few hundreds will make direct action.
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