With UK spending on outdoor advertising up 33.7% in 2022, it’s clear that billboards aren’t going anywhere. More and more brands are turning to the trusted medium but for those who haven’t been on a billboard before, knowing where to start can be tricky.
Fortunately for any newcomers, buying billboard space is relatively simple. In our step-by-step guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the process and how it works.
Here’s how to buy billboard advertising as a complete beginner.
Billboard advertising refers to the use of large Out of Home advertising structures (billboards) to display promotional messages. There are many different types of billboards that advertisers can choose to deploy, each with their own benefits.
Billboard space is usually rented from OOH media owners like Clear Channel. Not only is this the easiest way to get on a billboard, it’s also the most effective. Specialist outdoor advertising companies have a wealth of experience to draw on and know how to design and implement campaigns that achieve their targets.
The degree to which effective billboard advertising relies on an audience-centric approach cannot be overestimated. The best billboard campaigns are always tailored to their intended viewer from the ground up.
Even if you’re aiming to build national-scale brand awareness, it’s still important to factor this in early on. Messaging that resonates with everyone can be just as difficult (if not harder) to achieve as messaging that speaks directly to a specific group.
You might already know your target audience – maybe you’ve recognised an untapped market or are looking to increase sales to a certain demographic. But if your aims are more general than that, don’t worry. You’ll be guided every step of the way, including when it comes to identifying the audience groups that you should be targeting to meet your business goals.
When you have a rough idea of what you’re trying to achieve, you can reach out to an OOH media owner. Unless you’re only looking to rent one specific billboard in a set location, you’ll most likely find bigger companies to be the best bet. This is because they have more extensive billboard networks that offer greater flexibility and can deliver broad, coordinated campaigns.
Once you’re in contact with a billboard owner you’ll be able to discuss the ideal outcome of your campaign. The cost of billboard advertising can vary dramatically depending on campaign requirements, so having a good idea of your budget at this point is also useful.
This part of the process might vary slightly depending on who you are buying a billboard sign from, but the basic principle will be the same.
Once the billboard owner has got all of the information that they need from you, they’ll go away and work on a campaign proposal. This proposal will factor in your budget, targeting criteria and any other business requirements.
Using state-of-the-art audience planning tools, the media owner will pinpoint the best billboard sites to serve your campaign goals.
The next step is to review the tailored campaign proposal that you receive. When purchasing billboard space through Clear Channel, this proposal will include details of how many people will see your ad.
We can also provide a breakdown of how similar companies to yours have used billboard advertising. You can use this as a guide to the impact your campaign might have and what the return on investment could be.
Using the provided quote, campaign recommendations and details of expected impact, you can then decide whether you want to continue with the plan as it is or request any changes that you think would be beneficial. You can also discuss payment options before placing your order.
One of the most important final steps before your campaign goes live is the production of the creative. Lots of brands already have a clear idea of how their ad will look but if you’re not so sure, you can seek advice from the media owner.
Using their extensive industry experience, they’ll be able to provide recommendations regarding effective design, applying contextual relevance and getting the most out of billboard advertising.
If your campaign utilises digital billboards, you’ll also be guided through how to use the advanced tools that the permits. In the case of Clear Channel, this includes LaunchPAD, our programmatic OOH platform. LaunchPAD enables you to make real-time changes to your campaign creative, budget and targeting, along with providing live reporting.
Whether you’re ready to start buying billboard space or are still weighing up your options, we’d love to hear from you. Our expert team can allay concerns you might have and answer any questions, including what happens after your campaign goes live. Simply get in touch today.