Should You be A Digital Billboard Owner?

Traditional or Technical – Are You Likely to Own Digital Billboards?

Grab Attention with Digital Billboards

Digital billboards are the latest and most rapidly changing technology type of billboards used in the out of home advertising arena to leap out and grab the attention of the passers-by. While the number of digital billboards at present might be small as compared to the traditional billboards, out of home advertising trends would suggest that this is expected to change soon, considering their benefits.

Advertising of products and services by way of out of home media has been used by companies for a very long time. There’s various types of billboards utilized through history and around the globe and digital billboards are the dazzling technological stand out showpiece that are the latest in the offing. Digital billboards are backlit boards now used extensively for out of home advertising. These types of boards are shiny, bright, eye-catching and vivid and don’t have too much trouble attracting those that pass by them. Controlled by a computer from a distant location or office, these billboards have the ability to display several, seasonal or time-sensitive ads from the same marketer, thereby changing the entire scenario of billboard advertising. A small digital billboard is quite affordable and a mobile digital billboard is also an option, meaning the opportunity for most is available to advertise this way.

Benefits of Digital Billboards

Out of home advertising has always a popular medium of marketing one’s goods and services and the trend is only growing stronger with the influx of the digital billboards.

Here are some of the benefits of digital billboard advertising – from various points of view :

Flexible Type of Out Of Home Advertising (OOH)

With digital billboards the advertiser has the ability to change the ads as and when required. This means that a regular traveller can view a different ad from the same marketer. The ads may be updated as per the response from the public. Therefore, those ads that invoke little or no interest can be pulled down or exchanged with the ones that generate better interest.

Better Coverage with Digital Billboards

The coverage of the billboards is definitely better than the others. The advertising companies usually have an agreement to display ads from a particular company for a period of two to three months. The ads cover a larger audience for a longer period of time.

Cost effective Advertising

Compared to traditional billboards that have static images & advertising messages, the digital billboards are more cost effective as they can be created using superior computer technology in lesser time and with greater precision. Moreover, with the ability to display more than one ad on the same board, the overall cost of advertising is lowered. The cost of putting ads together is far less than advertising through any other medium.

Powerful Brand Building

With better effectiveness than other forms out of home advertising, these technologically advanced billboards help in building brand loyalty. New companies entering a particular market can use billboards to post ads as they are more cost effective.

Outdoor Digital Billboards

Beneficial for the billboard companies

The benefits of digital billboards are not just limited to the companies that wish to advertise their products or services, but extend to the billboard companies as well. A billboard owner usually leases a particular billboard to different advertisers each month. The ads are rotated at a predetermined time for each advertiser. The size, location and the duration of the ad determines the cost of advertising for the companies. As billboard companies are able to serve many customers with the same billboard – when it is a digital one – their profits are much higher as compared to the traditional types of billboards. In addition, with the cost of creating such billboards having fallen but the cost of advertising remaining the same, the profit margins of billboard companies is steadily increasing.

Long Term Sustainability

There is no doubt about the fact that digital billboards have changed the face of out of home advertising. With their various benefits, these billboards are definitely the premiere choice of advertising for some. The brightly lit and vivid billboards have the ability to grab the attention of those that pass by, conveying the message to a large number of people go about their way.

Eye Catching digital billboards

However, there are some arguments that debate the long term sustainability of these billboards. The one argument that goes against these billboards is the danger of accidents that can be caused due to the distraction caused to vehicle drivers. Several activist groups argue that since these billboards are put up at strategic locations to garner maximum viewers, they can be a cause of distraction for drivers, leading them to motor accidents.

Another argument that goes against the digital billboards is that since a particular billboard might be used by competitors, there is no exclusivity of location for the marketers.

What’s the Score then?

There is no doubt about the fact that the benefits of and the popularity of digital billboards far outweigh their shortcomings. So digital billboards are here to stay, they’ll probably get more amazing as technology advances, and they quite clearly are an important element to consider for any out of home advertising campaign.

Billboard Advertising is Here to Stay

Love them or hate them, outdoor billboards are here to stay! They’ve been around for over 100 years and they’re in the process of being reinvented. The outdoor billboard business is one of the fastest growing areas of the media according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. The other is – you guessed it – the internet.

Billboard Advertising is Here to Stay!

Billboard Advertising not Affected by Internet

Unlike newspapers, and advertising on television, billboard advertising has not been so affected by the rise and rise of the internet. People are out and about as much as they ever were – in fact more than they ever were and there are more of them. Consumers supposedly spend over seventy percent of their waking hours away from home, and as so many people commute, on average they spend approaching 20hrs per week in a vehicle – mostly in their own vehicle. In these trips they’re more than half the time commuting to work, or shopping, or socialising or eating out. So an advertising medium highly visible to these on-the-move consumers is a very powerful one. A good deal of people don’t even have time to read a newspaper, a magazine, or watch TV, so outdoor advertising is one way of reaching these people that doesn’t rely on them choosing to pay attention to the media.

Put in Perspective

Outdoor billboards are one of the categories in what is typically these days known as Out Of Home (OOH) Advertising and also commonly referred to as outdoor advertising. Billboards are the biggest of these categories (the size of the category is based on the amount of advertising dollars spent in that area) but other well known forms of Outdoor Advertising are mobile advertising displays (like buses) and those in transit stations like airports, and mass-transit terminals, and street furniture is a further well utilised category (bus shelters, bike racks, newsstands, shopping mall ads – wherever people pass on foot. Yet another category is in indoor venues like movie theatres and sporting stadiums, malls and the like.

Between all of these formats, approaching $USD7billion was spend on advertising in 2012 in the US. Those are serious numbers!

Cost Effective Advertising Medium

One of the strengths of Billboard Advertising is it’s relative ‘efficiency’ or cost effectiveness.

Virtually everyone passing a well positioned billboard will get a glimpse of the message and so in terms of ‘impressions’, many more impressions can be delivered cost-effectively than compared with other media – billboard advertising rates are therefore relatively competitively and attractively priced for advertisers.

Innovation and Technology Boosting the Message

With digital billboards becoming more common and cost effective and new technologies and greater creativity coming to the fore, many more messages can be delivered with the same billboard (say, where a digital billboard can deliver 10 advertising messages in a short space of time) and a message can be delivered with greater impact (where billboards can have cars mounted on them, billboards can ‘bleed’ and various additional other props can be utilised using modern materials).

Boosting the Local Brand

Many billboards that people remember will be outdoor ads by large multinational companies, like those in telecommunications, finance, real estate, large retailers and national food services. However, outdoor advertising is considered to be mainly a local business – advertising businesses in the local area. A good proportion of billboard ads are dedicated to the travel and tourism industry, so all things considered, billboard advertising supports local jobs and enterprises, which truly are the backbone of the economy.

The Outdoor Billboard Business

Opportunities abound on many levels to become involved in the outdoor billboard business. The key is to be educated about the industry, do considerable due diligence (research everything you possibly can as deeply and thoroughly as you possibly can – you don’t want any surprises as that’s how money can be lost) and aim to make wise choices. Read everything you possibly can about outdoor billboards before jumping in, and if you’re already in, keep informed with changes in the industry so you are not caught unawares if the tide turns in any particular area of the industry.