We receive questions from physicians by phone and via email from time to time. This one was different, one we had not had before. It shows that physicians are grappling with decisions about how to market their practice in unique ways.
Although thousands of potential patients and competitors will be passing your billboard, the question is “Will this be money well spent”? Will it produce results?
Billboards can be quite costly. That’s why it’s important to decide who you really want to reach with your advertising message.
To begin, make some inquiries into the different size billboards you could possibly have and the duration of the commitment for display. There aren’t that many companies that lease billboard space in each community, so it won’t be but a few calls.
The typical billboards are:
- 14 feet by 48 feet
- 12 by 24 feet
- 5 by 11 feet
When leasing billboards on a freeway, tollway or expressway, bigger is always best because the driver is going at a faster speed than on a city street.
Billboards, regardless of where you place them, can only hold so much detail. The billboard’s primary function is to reinforce your advertising message that has been seen by other media. Your message needs to be eye catching. Don’t try to close the sale with a billboard message. Try instead, to encourage further investigation and inquiry about your brand.
Six seconds is what the industry believes is the average for reading a billboard. That means your words must be limited, but you still need to get your message across. Avoid small headlines and paragraphs of words. Complex messages don’t belong on billboard advertising. One single statistic- fine. A chart or graph– not fine.
It isn’t realistic to expect drivers or passengers to write down a phone number, web address unless it is about 5 letters and meaningful. They just can’t. Billboard advertising is a secondary form of advertising. It supports the advertising message the public has seen on television, heard on radio or seen in newspapers or magazines or noticed otherwise.
Go easy on the creative flair. Even though billboards are flat, you can have 3D, moving parts or animation. These can be eye catching.
Hire a professional
If you haven’t worked with expensive advertising before, hire an ad agency or a billboard company that does this day in and day out. Hire a professional billboard artist to design your billboard layouts. Professionals will guide you on colors, fonts and graphics. For example, red words on a blue or black background is not very visible to the average driver, driving average speeds. These colors may look great for an Internet or print ad, but they don’t on a billboard. Yellow copy on white backgrounds is also a costly mistake. Both colors are light and hard to read because they blend together.
Use thick, easy-to-read fonts so they can be read. Avoid fancy script on billboards.
There are probably many other more rewarding ways to invest limited advertising dollars than on a billboard. If you want to try it, make sure this is an investment that will pay off for you. A one off billboard may not prove anything.