If you’ve been outside today, whether to get some fresh air or to go on your morning commute, chances are you’ve seen a billboard. They line our motorways, hang on the sides of our buildings and stand in our city centres — reaching a wide range of people every day.
The fact that billboards are so widespread means that billboard advertising is a very powerful tool in driving people to your business’ website or physical location. Recent research has also found that mobile searches conducted out-of-home (OOH) are 38% more likely to lead to a purchase than those done at home, showing that billboard marketing is also a great way to encourage sales.
A less-discussed benefit of billboard marketing strategies is their ability to support and enhance the impact of radio ads. By using both of these advertising methods in their marketing strategy, businesses can achieve a greater marketing ROI and increase their customer base.
Suggested reading: Radio isn’t the only channel that out-of-home advertising can benefit from. Read our blog, ‘How an OOH marketing strategy can improve your online visibility’, to learn more about how billboards can be used to drive website traffic.
What is a billboard marketing strategy?
Billboard marketing strategies make use of out-of-home (OOH) billboards to promote a brand, products, events, or services. Billboards are known for their accessibility and cost-effectiveness — and companies that use them can expect to achieve:
Improved brand awareness: billboards help to make your brand more visible to the public, thus increasing exposure and brand awareness.
Targeted audiences: billboards are versatile; they can be placed in local areas or along main roads and in the centre of cities, depending on your ad spending and the audience that you are trying to reach.
Increased website traffic: recent studies show that OOH formats like billboards can increase the number of online searches a site receives. This will vary dramatically depending on the ad location, time of day, weather, and more.
Billboard marketing strategies are especially effective when used as part of a wider marketing campaign. This might include blog writing, web development and advertising on the radio.
What is radio advertising?
Radio advertising is a fairly straightforward concept, and encompasses all ads put out on commercial radio. Even when used on its own, radio advertising provides a couple of key benefits:
It can trigger emotional responses: brands that make use of radio in their marketing strategy are more likely to be remembered by listeners.
It can encourage online traffic: just like billboard advertising, radio advertising provides a lift in online traffic, and is estimated to provide a 52% increase in online brand browsing.
It is cost-effective: radio advertising generates an average £7.70 return on investment (ROI) for every pound spent.
How can a billboard marketing strategy enhance radio advertising?
Billboards are a purely visual experience, often targeting people on the move or in vehicles — and radio is a natural companion to this.
Radio offers the audio to billboard’s visual, and allows brands to maximise their campaign’s impact by providing a wide range of potential customers, viewers and listeners with information about their business. As recent research has shown, OOH is the best way to achieve high campaign reach and frequency, while radio follows close behind.
Reach = The number of people who pass by and see the ad
Frequency = The number of times a person sees the ad
Let’s explore how a billboard marketing strategy can complement radio advertising and its impact in more depth.
Pro tip: Want to learn more about billboard advertising strategies? Read our article to learn more: ‘Is billboard advertising effective in 2023? And can you measure it?’
By running both billboard and radio ads side by side, brands can provide their audiences with a memorable audiovisual experience.
This is especially important for brands that are just starting their advertising journey, and who may be competing against more influential or well-known competitors. Having your product visually displayed and audibly discussed on the radio can help your brand to:
Stand out from competitors
Stay in your viewer and listener’s mind
Reach a wider range of people
Connect to viewers and listeners through creative techniques, subsequently increasing online search traffic
The average commuter spends over two years of their life driving to and from work; brands that make the most of this and join people on their day-to-day journeys are likely to be the most memorable.
Increased memory and retention
Using two different forms of advertising ensures that your brand doesn’t fade from peoples’ minds as soon as they get back home. Seeing an advertisement on a billboard followed up by an ad on the radio — or vice versa — reinforces brand awareness and increases the number of people talking about your business.
This is essential for small or local businesses that are starting to advertise for the first time and want to get their name and message out there. Businesses can learn more about how their combined advertising strategy has boosted brand awareness by assessing social proof and asking for feedback from customers.
The impact of a brand’s ads will be largely dependent on the location of the billboards and who their marketing strategy is targeting:
Wide audiences: those targeting a wide audience may find that billboards on motorways and ads on national radio are most effective.
Local audiences: those targeting smaller communities may want to advertise on local radio networks coupled with smaller nearby locations. By doing this, the advertising weaves itself into the community and can help associate local life with your brand — while also reducing costs.
A billboard on a fast-moving road needs to be precise and to the point. This could mean that people driving by may not get as much information about your brand as you would hope; by adding radio advertising into your marketing strategy, you are given a chance to explain more about your business and what you offer.
By combining radio and billboard advertising strategies, you can have a strong and memorable visual experience conveyed by a billboard, whilst also spending time with the audience to properly convey the feel and message of your brand via radio.
This dual approach is especially important for companies who are launching a new product, a time-sensitive campaign or advertising an upcoming event. These may require greater amounts of product or event detail, which can be offered either through the billboard or through the radio ad, all while directing the viewer or listener to the website for further information.
Creating an impact
Whether you are trying to reach a local or wider audience, billboards and radio together are a good way to create an impact.
Nonetheless, it is important to recognise that how big this impact is will depend on the type of billboard you choose. Some different billboard formats include:
Digital 6-sheets are very versatile and eye-catching billboards. They can be static or scrolling and can help to demonstrate the approachability and locality of your brand.
Digital 48-sheets are large, landscape-oriented billboards that can catch the attention of your target audience. They are perfect for roadside advertising and reaching the wider community.
Traditional billboards can get your brand message across in a straightforward way.
It can be surprising to learn that both billboard marketing and radio advertising are among the most affordable methods of advertising. Outdoor advertising campaigns in particular are some of the most cost-effective, making them well suited to small and medium sized businesses.
Individually, both radio and billboard advertising can provide strong ROI. However, when implemented together they can:
Provide much higher ROI
Help your brand to grow
Promote temporary or short-term campaigns
The cost-effectiveness of these two types of advertising is further supported by their high frequency and reach in comparison with other advertising methods.
Where digital ads may only pop up for a few seconds, or be seen but not looked at by an online browser, both radio and billboard advertising can deeply capture and engage your audience.
Pro tip: For even more affordable advertising, look for an OOH advertising provider like Alight Media, which has no minimum spend. This will help you to reduce costs in the long term.
The combination of billboard and radio advertising can greatly increase brand awareness — both in the local community and beyond.
Both forms of advertising can work together to increase the number of people thinking about and remembering your brand.
These are two of the most affordable ways to advertise, making them perfect for small and medium-sized businesses.
Billboard marketing enhances your advertising efforts
Billboard marketing is a highly worthwhile method of advertising — whether you are a local business looking to grow, or a large business launching a new product nationally.
Both OOH and radio advertising can be used to maximise campaign frequency, drive awareness of your business, and help to provide your target audience with actionable call-to-actions (CTAs) that encourage online searches.
Alight Media is a leading OOH advertising provider, offering flexible, results-driven advertising space and support. We can help you plan, design, and implement your billboard marketing strategy, using our billboard spaces in locations around the UK.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you to boost your business growth and achieve ROI on your marketing efforts.