Facebook Billboard

How Does Facebook Spend its Advertising Budget? Billboards.

Have you ever seen a billboard ad for Facebook and stopped to wonder why one of the top online advertising powers in the world invests its marketing dollars into outdoor advertising?

Maybe not, but oh the irony. We personally think it’s pretty powerful that Facebook – an online marketing tool that stresses using its advertising tools to promote business  – spends it’s own marketing dollars on a traditional form of marketing in billboards. 

Facebook uses billboards for own ads

Live What You Love Campaign

One of the more noticeable Facebook billboard campaigns took place early last year across India. The campaign, entitled “Live What You Love” pushed groups, pages and events to Indian users in an effort to encourage them to join groups to find like-minded people.

The ads aired on prime time tv, and across prominent billboards in Mumbai, New Delhi, and several other cities.

Facebook Billboards

Spam Is Not Your Friends Campaign

Perhaps the better-known example of Facebook using TV, print ads and large billboards is the most recent campaign that began in March of last year around America. The sparse billboards and bus stop signs proclaimed “Spam is not your friends”, “false news is not your friends” and “clickbait is not your friends” along with a promise to change the way things appear in the newsfeed.

This campaign was in response to bombshell revelations about how Russian bots used Facebook to disseminate false information, spam, and clickbait to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook then went on to launch a summer campaign in the European Union to advise users of their rights under the General Data Protection Regulation Act.

Why social media groups are buying billboards

Traditional Advertising is Still Key

Facebook’s efforts to reach its users not only on its own platform, but through traditional advertising methods like TV commercials, print ads and outdoor advertising on billboards, bus stops, subway signs and more underscore that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In fact, outdoor advertising and billboards are the only advertising industry that is seeing more forecasted growth. In 2018, outdoor marketing was expected to grow 2% to account for an $8 billion market.

On the other hand, other traditional advertising saw a decline last year:

  • National TV Advertising: -1.5%
  • Local TV Advertising: -3.5%
  • Newspaper Advertising: -19%
  • Magazines -15%
  • Radio: -4%

The fact that outdoor advertising is the only section of the market seeing profitability amongst a mix of other traditional advertising methods shows us that outdoor media, billboards and signage are still one of the most effective ways to reach consumers when not on a digital platform.

Digital is the Difference

However, there is a marked difference between the success of traditional billboards and of digital billboards. Digital options are proven to be more cost-effective, and the bright, eye-catching effects that allow for multiple ads to appear on a single billboard makes the display more profitable for agencies and billboard owners.

Industries are taking notice of this, too.

Across a span of 10 years (2013 forecasted to 2023) spending on traditional billboards remains flat at $6 billion total. However, digital billboard advertising climbs year over year. From $646 million spend in 2013, the market is expected to hit $2 billion in 2023.

Facebook Billboard Use

Billboards of the Future

In the world of digital advertising and smartphones, some of the biggest streaming and service providers spend a huge amount of their marketing budget on strategic outdoor displays. In fact, even the iPhone has poured marketing funds and innovation into billboard strategy, with its iPhone X selfie campaign. Netflix also invests in billboards everywhere.

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America estimates that for every dollar spent on an outdoor advertising ad, it delivers $5.97 in return on investment. With new developments in location data and tracking, this is only forecasted to grow.

That’s because billboards are being fitted with tech and sensors to recognize when a person is nearby, or even analyze their smartphone data to specifically target passerby with curated content. Technology integration is revealing new advertising avenues every day, including computers analyzing data and statistics to decide when and where to place digital ads for the best impact.

In addition, new surfaces for advertising are being explored, including stationary car and taxi windows, as well as interactive and targeted directories, bus stop signs, retail windows and more. The outdoor advertising industry shows no signs of slowing, and the future of the digital billboard is bright!

Billboard Advertising Effectiveness

Why Billboard Marketing Works

With the emergence of social media advertising and other digital techniques, some may consider that outdoor advertising is past its hay-day. But that misconception is largely unfounded.

In fact, with the rise of the digital age, billboard marketing may even be more relevant and effective today.

With ever-developing effects, such as digital screens, 3-D figures or different structures, the concept of the billboard and why it works remains the same.  Companies should instead consider the billboard as a key method of advertising and a staple for across all industries.

Anyway you look at it, billboard advertising works, and its effectiveness has proven itself for decades. Here are some of the top reasons why billboards are an important marketing tool.

Advertising Effectiveness Billboards

The World is On the Move

Over time, countries all over the world have become more mobile. People spend less time at home. Whether enjoying a road trip or travel, commuting to work or simply seeking a new experience, the citizens of the globe are on the move.

All that time in cars ads up, and advertisements placed roadside where travelers and commuters can see them are sure to be noticed.

Drivers are a Captive Audience

Drivers eyes on the road, their eyes are also on the large, visually appealing billboards by the roadside.

It has always been true that drivers are a captive audience, and is becoming even more true with harsh legislation banning texting and driving and driving while distracted rolling out every year.

While drivers can turn down the radio or subscribe to a completely ad-free channel, they jeopardize their very safety by taking their eyes off the road. With little else to safely distract them, chances are they will spend a few moments peering at that billboard.

And, unlike other advertising mediums, outdoor ads cannot be turned off, hidden or thrown away.

Billboard Marketing Effectiveness

Billboards Inspire New Ideas

An effective billboard for a restaurant, attraction or even unique shop can generate instant sales for travelers who are looking to explore a new area.

With a growing culture of exploring off-the-beaten-path and seeking unique experiences, a well-placed billboard that provides directions to an unusual spot can generate instant sales.

This makes a billboard a surprisingly cost-effect method of advertising, as well. Although the original billboard itself can be pretty costly to design and erect, if placed effectively it will more than make back its’ cost in sales.

Advancements in billboard technology have also added a new dimension to billboard advertising effectiveness, with the ability to display multiple ads throughout the day.

Why Billboards are Effective | bMedia Group

Brand Repetition & Exposure

High brand awareness lies in repetition and exposure. While a tried-and-true marketing strategy, doing so is only expensive but also increasingly difficult to get noticed.

Billboard advertising is the only marketing media where the advertiser has full control of the ad space. The ad has constant exposure – no other media allows your message to be displayed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s is a powerful marketing tool.

If what audiences see in your billboard makes them laugh, inspires them, reminds them of a positive memory or any other avenue of emotional connection…you’ve probably secured a loyal customer.

Let’s face it, today’s consumers are constantly barraged with advertisements in print, online, over the radio, commercials on television and even on social media.

With a constant stream of sellers courting each consumer, a very particular method of selection based on emotional connection has emerged. Think about it: if an advertisement can charm you or make you laugh in the few seconds it takes to view it, don’t you think more positively about that company?

The same concept applies to billboards, and works here better than many other advertising avenues. You have a captive audience guaranteed to glance over your billboard for at least a few seconds.

Photo of effective billboard | Why billboards work

Impact & Creativity

Billboard marketing is big, bold, colorful and creative.

With all the technological advancements and swirls of advertisers globally, companies are encouraged to top one another in creativity and thinking outside the box. Consumers have come to expect this and celebrate it.

For example, Chick-Fil-A is just another fast-food sandwich stop, isn’t it? Wrong.

Chick-Fil-A is a globally recognized brand for a myriad of reasons, including their top-notch customer service, good works and their famous billboards.

The second you glimpse a familiar black and white billboard in the distance with hand-painted splashes of red, you know what you’re looking at. That’s even before you see the 3D cows posed in a variety of amusing positions, or the humble red Chick-Fil-A logo. The cows “vandalizing” the billboard have become an expected and creative part of their advertising strategy, and to look at their earnings, we think its’ working.

So if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, reach people faster and more effectively, consider billboard marketing in your arsenal.

Contact bMedia to learn more.