What real estate marketing strategies, tactics and practices can be applied to billboard advertising to aid real estate investors in boosting business volume?
While many real estate investment companies and solo investors have turned their focus to online mediums or remain tied to direct mail, billboard advertising can still compliment current efforts. Billboard real estate marketing can still work. It can be a great way to go big. It could even be one of the most powerful edges many real estate investors can leverage to differentiate themselves, gain visibility, and dominate their markets. However, consumer attention deficits, and increasing noise in the real estate and outdoor marketing arena mean effectiveness and ROI from billboard advertising requires strategy and planning.
5 factors to consider before launching a billboard campaign:
As with print, direct mail, and other types of outdoor advertising, billboard marketing can see compounded results from volume. This can apply to the length of time ads are up. Remember, it can take 7 ‘touches’ to see conversions. It also applies to the number of boards being used at a time. This is especially true in areas with a high density of billboards. Consider the positive compounding effect on conversions and marketing ROI of having multiple billboards in one area, versus one, which may be sandwiched between many competitors. What advantages could be gained by acting first and blocking the competition out altogether?
There is more strategy to outdoor advertising placement than many realize. The kneejerk reaction, or automatic assumption, may be that the most prized board in the center of the city is the most effective. It may be. It also may do more for the ego of real estate investors and brands than it does in terms of delivering real results. Take into consideration the ability to stand out and whether more rural or suburban positions could be more effective in terms of actual sales. For example; do those driving on slightly quieter roads have more time to actually take in an ad and respond to those on a central highway? Are there advantages in being the first name to be seen as visitors drive into town? Consider your product carefully, and the best timing and place to meet your best prospects. Know the demographics and traffic volumes of a placement before committing to a contract.
3. Rotation & Saturation Strategy
Some well-known ‘we buy houses’ real estate investors and companies have done well by using a rotating, saturation strategy. Instead of weighing down their marketing budgets by trying to own all of the billboard real estate in the country, they move in and saturate one area to establish dominance. Once they have achieved penetration and have engrained themselves with affiliates or franchises, they move on and repeat.
The content of billboard advertisement is equally as important as placement. The best placement in the world can be rendered ineffective and useless if messaging is substandard. In the reverse, even mediocre placement can gain incredible traction and create buzz, with great ad copy. Perhaps the most important factor to keep in mind when creating these types of real estate ads is the limited amount of time the public has to take in these messages, and even less time to take down contact information, and respond. Some billboard advertisers, including leading global companies, simply use billboards to maintain top of mind branding. This may simply be an image and a logo.
More innovative companies have gone all out with buzzworthy 3D outdoor advertising that not only grabs the attention of passing traffic, but has viral juice for being spread online and in word of mouth conversations. Of course, not every real estate investor has the budget to commission sculptures, or can afford to simply plaster branding without demanding tangible and immediate results from their budgets.
Colors, fonts, style, and copy are vital for capturing attention and delivering responses and conversions. If spending thousands of dollars a month on outdoor advertising, it is well worth investing in great ad copy.
5. Contact Information
Most real estate investors and companies will be demanding direct responses from their billboards, including effective contact information. While local phone numbers have been proven to deliver superior results in some types of marketing campaigns, for some companies, they can be more difficult to take down or remember from passing a sign at 70 mph.
Website addresses, Twitter handles, and other contact information may be equally powerful. However, do not overlook the importance of answering inquiries quickly. Who will man the phones or inboxes to handle responses and respond fast? Those responding to billboards are likely to be highly motivated prospects, eager to take immediate action. If they aren’t served instantly, they will probably be heading off to call competitors next.
Know when peak hours are for responses to these ads and consider freeing up time to take them, or have extra sales staff on duty to handle them. Look out for more tips in our report on Maximizing Outdoor Real Estate Marketing ROI.