“Here’s Looking at You!”
In the last 20 years, the number of personal vehicles on the road has increased by 147%. More people are spending more time in their cars than ever. So it’s no wonder that outdoor advertising has become one of the most effective mediums for promoting your practice.
In 2017, 7.33 billion dollars were spent on outdoor advertising in the United States. Studies show that despite the economic downturn and decline in advertising expenditures, the outdoor sign industry continues to grow: 1.43 billion dollars since 2009, to be precise.
This is probably because outdoor boards will reach consumers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Signs don’t have to fight through a bunch of articles like ads in a magazine, and consumers can’t “fast forward” through them.
Additionally, the cost of outdoor signage has remained affordable while TV and radio rates climb higher and higher.
When you take into consideration how many people will see your sign, this becomes a real value proposition.
So how do you create outdoor signage that will really get noticed?
The first rule in outdoor advertising is like the first rule of real estate: location, location, location. A busy intersection, a crowded mall or an area that gets a lot of pedestrian traffic are all great places to put up a billboard or bus stop poster, for example. Heck, you can even advertise on taxi tops – however that’s not recommended for local dentists.
Once you choose your location and what kind of medium you’ll be using, it’s time to get creative. Sure, you can just put up a sign with your phone number and logo, but that won’t “mine the sign” of its full potential.
Here are five pointers from the Outdoor Advertising Association that will make your outdoor signage scream:
1 | One Board, One Message
Decide what your most effective message is and promote it. Don’t try to sell teeth whitening and braces in one sign. Multiple messages will dilute the board’s effectiveness by forcing the consumer to decipher and remember more than one thing. So keep it simple.
2 | Tell a Story
Tell a Story: Your sign needs to engage the consumer through a rational message, an emotional hook or through cultural relevancy (which means the consumer can relate to the situation on the board – perhaps a toothache, for example). Use humor. Create drama. This is challenging, but doable! Lots of companies do a great job of this by keeping the message, and the visual, as straightforward as possible.
3 | Don’t “Talk” Too Much
It’s important to avoid cramming your sign full of verbiage (words). After you decide what your one message will be, try to communicate that message in seven words or less. If you have more to say, direct your audience to a website. Websites are easy to remember, and allow you to promote every aspect of your practice – you can even display pictures of your friendly staff.
– TIP –
It’s important to use a clean font. I know, script is pretty, and artsy typefaces might be more to your taste…but both are difficult to read, especially when speeding by, drinking coffee and chatting on your cell phone (hands-free, of course).
4 | Hire a Real Designer
Don’t rely on your nephew because he knows some stuff about Photoshop. Outdoor poster design is an art. So hire yourself an actual graphic designer. He or she will make sure your board isn’t overcrowded, that the letters are large enough to be legible from afar and that the colors don’t clash (which makes the sign hard to read).
5 | Keep Changing It Up
Never leave the same sign up for a year. Once people get used to it, they’ll simply stop reading it because the sign starts to blend in as part of the scenery. Changing your message regularly attracts attention, and keeps your practice top of mind.
– TIP –
If you have windows, use them! They’re one of the best areas you can use
to promote your practice. Just remember – change “the look” often.
Signage can bring a real boost to your dental office’s production. It’s a great way to “be seen” in your community and stay top of mind. Next time you’re buying space inside the pages of a magazine or newspaper, think about what exterior advertising can do for your practice as well.