Advertising has been a huge business for hundreds of years, and in recent times there are more ways than ever for companies to connect with their target markets and increase sales.
Billboards are one of the most popular forms of advertising, seen all over the world on the sides of buildings, bus stops, bridges and roads. In this piece, we will look at the way digital billboards have changed the advertising world in comparison to their traditional counterparts.
Even now, it is not uncommon to see someone climbing up a billboard, armed with several large sheets and paste before they get to work sticking the various panels of a traditional billboard into place to create the finished advert. However, digital billboards are becoming more and more commonplace around the world, and for good reason. There are some iconic ones, such as the monolithic screens in Piccadilly Circus, but even the small (ish) screens dotted around can be very effective.
In 2014, out-of-home (OOH) advertising spend surpassed the £1 billion mark, and that spend has continued to increase in the years since. Global spend on programmatic digital advertising is expected to reach around $53 billion by 2018. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is also enjoying an increase in popularity, as it continued to grow throughout 2016. Research from BrandScience yielded some interesting if somewhat contradictory results; their study suggested 45% of OOH budget should be allocated to DOOH, but also acknowledged that DOOH should make up 20 to 25% of frames, which is made harder by the higher cost of digital outdoor advertising compared to traditional.
OOH advertising is going to continue to increase in both popularity and efficacy as more people spend more time out of their homes. This trend will see more companies invest in DOOH to take advantage of the increased exposure.
Not only is the content for digital billboards created electronically, it is also sent to the various locations electronically - this minimises printing costs.
With digital billboards, the wait for publishing is completely eliminated - the advert will be sent to the screen electronically, meaning there will only be a maximum wait of a few hours before your advert can be seen.
Traditional billboards often stay up for extended periods of time, which can be very beneficial for lengthy advertising campaigns. With digital billboards, they can be altered quickly with less forward planning required - for example, you can have an advert start and end on a certain day, which is ideal for promoting events and advertising for shorter periods of time.
Certain products and promotions will be extra effective at certain times of day. By purchasing advertising space on a digital billboard, a company can choose several different adverts to run at different times during the day, to increase the impact of their promotions. For example, if a bar wanted to draw in some extra patrons, it would make little sense for them to advertise during the working day, where the footfall is likely to be low and the uptake on their promotion even lower. However, by using the timeslot of 4pm -9pm on a Friday, for example, the bar can ensure they are exposing their products to their target audience at the times where they make the most sense - people leaving work for the week and looking to unwind.
The onset of digital technology in advertising can only serve to help businesses promote themselves and their services in more effective manners. As technology continues to advance and consumer habits change with these advancements, businesses should be looking to take advantage of digital billboards.