Think of advertising. What does that look like to you? It is everywhere in your day-to-day life, it is in: television and streaming services such as Netflix, social media, radio, pamphlets delivered to your mailbox and digital newsletters letting you know about the latest offer, but there’s another marketing tool that has grown increasingly competitive.
While the traditional consumer may no longer look at a traditional billboard with the same eyes as they did a few decades ago (design trends change with time), they still represent important advertising space that directly speaks to your future clients.
Think of all those times that you drove past a billboard and you just could not help but let your eyes wander across the message displayed. If it happens to you to read and retain that information, imagine how effective it is on a broader audience. In fact, electronic message boards are still one of the leading and most reliable marketing choices for most businesses.
The issues arise when you take into consideration that not all billboard campaigns and advertising spaces are meant to be used for your business. Think of it as a “rule book” for sign advertisement. In order for a billboard to be fully effective, there are a few things to take care of before installing it. Keep reading to learn the do’s and don’ts to make your advertising really count.
Four things you need to create a effective digital ads
Color choice and contrast
Color choice matters but so does how their chemistry works together (contrast). In marketing, color choice is very important as its color meaning is linked with our psychology. By using color hues to your advantage, you can influence the mind of your audience. So if you can have a good color choice, you can also have a poor color choice. It can negatively impact your message. If you get the wrong colors, the amazing content, message, and even well-worded call-to-action will be ignored by most without even realizing what they had just missed out on.
Contrast is how one color stands apart from another and how easily it can be perceived by the naked eye. The most popular contrasts that you are used to seeing are black on white, white on black, red on yellow, yellow on blue, and white on blue.
Perfect example: McDonald’s uses both techniques.
They have chosen red and yellow, and those two colors can make us even hungrier and additionally, those two colors create an amazing contrast.
Additionally, check out our examples of what we have made, where we use bright primary (Red, Yellow, and Blue) colors with high contrast to grab the attention of a hypothetical target audience.
Font type and size (readability)
You’ve chosen your colors, now what? Well, now it’s important to ensure that the message — whatever it may be — is legible to your audience. Can the target audience read the message with ease?
First, you must choose the proper font, usually, a Sans Serif based font will do just fine. If you must use a different font, specialized font, or harder to read than average, increase the lettering size. This will ensure that the message is not losing its effectiveness by being poorly designed.
Secondly, it is important to check the location and size of your sign and adjust your lettering size accordingly. If your sign is a busy highway or road, you may have to take into consideration how speed and distance will interact and affect the reading of your message. Learn more about how to determine which letter font and size will work best for your environment and an ad campaign at “Text Visibility & Signage 101”.
Keep in mind your message
Your message, no matter what it is, has to be short, sweet, and special. Your billboard has to be able to deliver the message to the reader within 2 to 5 seconds. You need the “what, who, when, where” of the ad. Try to keep your message to only the most important information and do not try to fit in numerous messages or useless information such as a review in the billboard.
Our example, let’s you know immediately what is being sold: car tires. Not only is it written, but there are also big images of brand new tires in the mock advertisement. The images are high resolution, well-photographed, and well-positioned at the near center or center so they entice your eyes to check the billboard even more.
Every corporation, institution or even schools, have their logos and specific branding (as generic and underused as it can be sometimes). It’s important that you use your branding somewhere in the advertisement on your signage, so everyone knows who exactly is trying to market to them. This will only benefit your credibility in the long-term.
Three things you need to Avoid
Avoid at all costs: cluttered designs. This may involve a mix of several design mistakes such as poor color choices, odd contrasts that are hard to read, small lettering or bad letter fonts that are unreadable by someone in a motorized vehicle driving by the sign. Sometimes the poor design may manifest itself by having too little information as well or too much blank space. Our examples, both, suffer from a mix of design mistakes.
If you do not have access to high-resolution images, it is almost always better to go without. Better safe than sorry! Low-resolution images scream unprofessional standards to potential clients. This also applies to unrelated images. Check out our example: if you are selling winter tires, there is no need to put owls in your advertisement, let alone two of them. What you should include instead should be high-quality images of tires.
Unrelated or missing information
Our second example is the one that fits this category of “don’ts” the best. It’s unclear where the sale is situated, what the product looks like, or how reduced the price is compared to the original price. Unless this sign is placed directly in front of the business in question or in-store, the design is absolutely atrocious. It will not drive customers to the establishment as it is not clear enough.
Do not forget to be clear in your design, where and how to reach you whether it is with a phone number, a physical location or a website but do keep in mind to keep it to one method. This type of medium is not meant to act as a direct response advertising method but as a second response.