Video Marketing

7 Tips for Digital Billboard Videos

Emma Gallimore 07.29.2019

In the competition for shoppers’ attention, video is a clear leader. Put that video on a digital billboard, and you have a huge opportunity to make your message known. Digital billboard videos may not be the right choice for every marketing strategy, but they’re worth considering if you want to be seen in a big way. 

Does digital billboard advertising work? 

Billboards have been around since people were traveling to work on horseback. You might think that makes them old news, but outdoor advertising is bigger than ever. That’s partly due to new technologies that have allowed billboard companies to upgrade from static printed images to dynamic video screens. 

Even amid the ad saturation of the modern world, digital billboards are surprisingly effective. In fact, a Nielsen study found that more than 55% of travelers who noticed a digital sign could recall the specific message on the screen. 

If you animate that advertisement you get even better results. According to Intel, animated content receives 5 times more viewers on average than static content. Plus, those viewers pay attention longer. 

If awareness or brand recognition is your goal, digital billboard advertising might be the right choice for your marketing strategy. 

Smart choices for digital billboard videos

Of course, you can’t just take your explainer video and play it on a billboard. That is, you could, but it probably wouldn’t be very effective. Digital billboards reach consumers in a different way and at different times than internet, television or print ads. Billboards, both traditional and digital, are a type of out-of-home advertising

Marketing books define out-of-home advertising as outdoor advertising or advertising found outside the home. While the definition is accurate, what’s most useful is an understanding of the difference in the way consumers experience out-of-home advertising compared to other forms of advertising. 

Consumers encounter out-of-home advertising when they’re in transit. They might be in a car or walking along a sidewalk. The goal is to snatch their attention just long enough to deliver your message. 

Although you might think traveling consumers must be more distracted than people who are sitting at home watching a streaming service, that might not be true. That consumer sitting on the couch is actively seeking an entertainment experience. Your commercial has to work hard to be more entertaining than the show it is interrupting. Meanwhile, people in the midst of their commute might be happy for a few seconds of entertainment to break up their routine.

But how do you catch their attention? What can you do to make your digital billboard video effective? Many of the general rules of video production apply to creating videos for digital billboards, but there are some tips that can help you craft truly effective videos specifically for digital billboards. 

7 Tips for Digital Billboard Videos

These seven tips will help you create quality digital billboard videos that capture the attention of busy commuters.

  1. Keep it short. Most people aren’t wandering around looking for digital billboard videos to watch. They’re spotting your videos while on their way to work, driving the kids to school, or walking to meet a friend at a coffee shop. You have just a few seconds to grab their attention. As a general rule, the shorter the video, the better. A study by DS-IQ found that videos of around 15 seconds lifted sales by more than 50% when compared to a 30 second version. Most people aren’t going to wait around just to watch your video.
  2. Location matters. As in all advertising, location matters. Is your billboard within easy line of site. Are passersby distracted by other billboards, merging traffic, etc? If possible, go view the billboard in person. Google streetview can show you a lot, but it an older shot might not show you that vegetation has grown up to block part of the billboard or that ongoing construction has created a visual distraction.
  3. Target your advertising. Knowing who sees your billboard is harder than knowing who visited your website last week, but you can make smart choices about where and how you advertise based on audience demographics. What’s the demographic of the area where the billboard is located? Are there a lot of young families with children? Commuters? Business owners? In many cases, the demographics you can expect are those of the city or area where the billboard will be located.
  4. Stay flexible. Remember that digital billboards offer more immediacy than their old school static counterparts. You don’t have to show the same tired message for six months or a year. You can change your video seasonally or month-to-month to stay as relevant as possible (and surprise and delight viewers). Don’t just create one video and play it on the same billboard for two years. Get creative. While each video needs to stand on its own, you can also use color palettes, themes, and characters that tie all of your videos together. That way, people who walk or drive by your billboard regularly feel like they’re watching a story unfold over time rather than just glancing at an ad.Changing your video frequently also prevents it from becoming part of the background. People who walk or drive past your billboard every day or every week will eventually tune out your message. Change it up, so consumers have something new to notice.
  5. Size it Appropriately. Digital billboards come in all shapes and sizes. Know what size your ad will be and create a video that uses the space effectively. While too many details can cause cluttered distraction, too few can make your video seem sparse. Textures and patterns can help fill large billboards without distracting from the core message.
  6. Customize it. Remember that digital billboards reach an audience in a specific location. That means you can tailor your message, and your ad to a very specific local audience. When you include local references in your advertising, you make your campaign feel more personal even though it’s being viewed by thousands of people a day.
  7. Get professional help. Creating a live video for Facebook is one thing, crafting a message that will sprawl across 25 feet of digital billboard is something else altogether. Partner with a production company with the tools and expertise to package your message into a short but effective video. 

If your product or service has wide appeal or if you’re trying to reach people in a specific location, digital billboard advertising can be a valuable part of your video marketing strategy. 

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