Strategy & Marketing

Billboards are Back!

What Churches Could Learn from The New Trend

Years ago, billboards were all the rage for businesses around the world. While billboards date back to ancient Egypt, they really came alive in America back in the 1950’s when vacations by car became so popular. Churches eventually jumped on the bandwagon, but in the digital age, churches have shifted advertising to online platforms.

But according numerous sources, businesses are betting big on billboards once again.  In fact, in 2019, it’s the only major non-digital category in advertising that’s growing. The irony about all this is major technology companies like Netflix, Alibaba, and Google are all investing in billboards.

So what do they know that churches should know?  It appears that in today’s cluttered digital era driving a car is one of the only times during the day when we aren’t staring at screens – which means we’re starting to notice billboards again. Sure we can listen to music or podcasts in the car, but when it comes to our visual attention, billboards are making an impact.

(Except for those idiots who text while driving).

And the advertising impact is pretty high for billboards: they cost an average of $5.22 for 1,000 impressions — compared to $7.91 on Instagram or $17.67 on TV. Plus today, we have the advent of “smart” billboards that can aggregate data from multiple sources, and use digital screens to update information.

The bottom line is that it may be time to re-think using billboards to help remind people that your church is pretty awesome!

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3 Comments

  1. Phil –
    You are right on here…
    We have used strategically placed and carefully designed billboards for a number of our church clients in recent years. The response was excellent. We have also used a remnant billboard strategy to cost-effectively cover a community with multiple billboards on behalf of churches, pregnancy centers, and other non-profits. The two techniques are different — but both provide an effective way for churches and non-profits to reach their community.

  2. Love this! Billboards are great – but make sure you 1) get the stats on the billboard you choose. Don’t just go for the cheap; you need well-placed billboards that will reach your demographic. Also, 2) please, please, please think through your design. It must be engaging and uncluttered for people to read. Limit yourself to one call to action

  3. Many graphic designers for billboards ought to be fired. Too many billboards are designed with the small screen in mind and not the driver zooming by at 70 mph. Simple, uncluttered, and on action statement please.

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