Outdoor marketing is widely considered to be one of the best advertising solutions currently employed by small and large businesses altogether. Much less invasive and aggressive as web ads or television commercials, outdoor marketing, if done right, is catchy and colorful enough to attract attention when the potential customer is walking or driving by, but also far enough from their field of vision to be discreet. Also, as anyone can notice even if they don’t have specialized marketing studies, the field of outdoor marketing is becoming increasingly innovative and it’s definitely a place in which copywriters are getting more creative by the minute.
But while outdoor marketing is composed by many, many different strategies of advertising (including billboards or over-the-top solutions such as airplane-dragged ads or flash mobs displaying the commercial message ordered by the client), the outdoor sign still remains one of its most common but reliable forms. According to our marketing sources, about 7 out of every 10 outdoor ads are employed by local businesses, but national and international brands are definitely a strong presence on these outdoor signs as well. We bet you can recall a few memorable ones on the spot, if you think about it. This huge visibility, paired with a less invasive feeling (compared to televised ads or web ads) is basically what makes outdoor signs a successful form of marketing, in spite of its traditional and somewhat conservative character.
How to Market an Outdoor Sign?
But beyond its wide use and popularity, the outdoor sign isn’t a marketing solution which every advertising company or client seem to know how to use correctly. A badly conceived outdoor sign, with a poor visual strategy and placed in a less than ideal position, can be utterly ineffective, compared to the impressive results it can harbor if it’s well marketed. That is why a good marketing company should not only know how to this properly, but they should also be able to advise their clients on the matter, even by politely suggesting a change of plan compared to the client’s initial wishes.
A good outdoor sign should have the following elements:
- A short and easy to read text – The pitch of the initial ad is obviously important here, but besides that, the font and the size of the writing (as well as a reasonable length of the pitch itself) can be crucial to the efficiency of the ad. A reasonable length of the main text is between 10 and 15 words, which means you should really focus on the tagline itself and make that as impactful as you can.
Close to sight, but not in your face – The way you position it is a central part of how to market an outdoor sign correctly, but this positioning issue is not as easy as you might think. It’s not just a matter of visibility versus not getting into the viewer’s space too invasively: it’s also about the precise spot you choose for the sign. This is especially important in two cases: when the sign is basically an ad for the building next to it – in this case the placement and the picture featured on the sign becomes crucial; and when the sign is on the side of the highway, meant to be seen from the car. If in this second case the sign is placed too far (or if it looks not visually compelling enough), then the risk is that it will be ignored by the drivers speeding by, but it shouldn’t be too distracting either, because distracted drivers are no joke, unfortunately.
- Family friendly content – Since this is an outdoor sign, you can’t filter its audience, so it should be obvious that the ad should only contain family-friendly elements, even if it targets a mature audience or potential customers. Sadly, we have seen cases of advertising companies which seem to not be aware of this.
Color and Location Guide for Outdoor Signs
To wrap this story up with a bit of practical advice on the topic of how to market an outdoor sign correctly, we’re suggesting a few great color combinations that work wonderfully with most types of outdoor ads.
- Pastel yellow and ochre – this is great especially in the fall, obviously, and particularly when advertising for house and estates (regardless of the season).
- Black and white (perhaps with just a subtle touch of color) – this is a classic color combo for a good reason. Think about it like this: not only it is objectively a well-rounded and contrasted combination, but we have also been educated to see it as classic and elegant. All that remains is a good message and a classy font, since the work is half-done.
- Pale colors and red – The impact of the color red has been scientifically proven to make us engage things more fearlessly or impulsively (or to be more willing to buy, in this case). Combine it with pale colors for the clients to be able the read the sign easily.
As for the ideal location of each ad, take into account the fact that you have to put yourself in the shoes of the passerby you are targeting with the ad. If you’re into real estate sales, you’re trying to convince people to come closer to the area of homes you’re selling. Once they get there, the “for sale sign” near the house could also feature a picture of it from a different angle than the one currently visible from near the sign. Outdoor signs on the side of the road, for that matter, should not be too close to each other, or too close to the road: just aim for maximum visibility when you consider where to put it. We hope this brief introduction gave you an idea or two about how to market an outdoor sign correctly, and we’re right here if you want to contact us for practical inquiries or need advice. Good luck with your outdoor marketing and your business growth!