Have you ever driven by one of those “Your ad here” billboards on the highway and wondered what it would be like if your storage facility’s ad really was there? If you’ve already conquered the world of self storage digital marketing and you’re looking for a creative way to advertise in real life, getting a billboard can be an interesting—and hopefully profitable—avenue to explore.
But let’s be honest. For every memorable billboard ad, there are a hundred forgettable ones. So how do you create one for your storage facility that communicates brand awareness and a call to action to the thousands of cars flying by on the interstate?
Let’s explore what you need to know before creating a billboard for your storage facility, what makes for a good advertisement and whether or not this marketing effort is right for your business.
You’re probably wondering how much a billboard actually costs. While there’s no standard answer to that question, you can expect to pay between $1,500-$4,000 for four weeks, though depending on the city and the location of the billboard, prices can reach almost $20,000. This doesn’t include the cost of designing the billboard and any materials associated with it.
In smaller markets, a billboard can be relatively inexpensive but might not reach a lot of people. In major cities, a billboard might be very pricey but will have the ability to reach a huge audience.
As you no doubt already know, location is everything. Your billboard should be near your business. If you have several storage facilities in the same area, it should be in a central location.
Your billboard should be near a highway, ideally a congested one that gives drivers more time to look at your advertisement while sitting in traffic. You may also consider putting your billboard near an area populated by a demographic that uses self storage, like near a college campus, military base or in a neighborhood with a lot of apartment complexes.
The people reading your billboard will only have a few seconds to look at it, so don’t overthink your design. Choose something eye catching but not over complicated. Use a bold color scheme with high contrast.
Communicate your message in as few words as possible (six is the industry standard). Your message might be brand awareness, so if that’s the case, your logo and one other piece of easily remembered info (like the exit your facility is located off of) should suffice.
If you want to create a call to action and urge new tenants to rent today, you might include your logo and a simple phrase like “Move in today!” or “Rent online” or an ongoing special like “First month free.”
Resist the temptation to provide all of your storage facility’s contact information. Someone driving by at 75 miles per hour isn’t going to memorize your phone number or write down your website. Save that information for your social media and other marketing efforts.
In the famous last words of every infomercial ever, actual results may vary. In some markets, depending on the size of the city and the desire for and availability of self storage, designing a billboard can be a home run. In others, it’s a marketing strategy that feels as outdated as the yellow pages.
Fortunately, renting a billboard space, much like renting a storage unit, is not a lifelong commitment. If you pay for a billboard for your storage facility for four weeks, track your occupancy over the course of that month and ask new tenants how they heard of your business to determine if you’re getting a good return on your investment. That information will tell you if your billboard is just a blur on the side of the highway or a powerful marketing tool that’s translating into success at your storage facility.