Billboards sometimes sound like a thing of the past, but in actuality, billboards still play a critical role in many marketing strategies. As the COVID-19 pandemic finally begins to settle down and subside, more and more commuters are returning to the highways each and every morning. On top of that, even those who work-from-home on a full-time or part-time basis are once again beginning to go out into the world, get in some exploration, and are even filling up the airports with both domestic and international travelers. This is a welcome site after the past few years being largely defined by stay-at-home orders, a rise in mental health illness, and strict travel restrictions.
With the world once again opening back up, organizations continue to work at establishing themselves as the consumer-choice for any given product or service in any given industry. In order to achieve this, though, brands need to focus on more than just a single marketing strategy.
There’s no denying the value and importance of the virtual and digital economies as they exist today, but brands that focus entirely on these markets are losing out on a very real and viable consumer segment. In Chicago, for example, there are a myriad of highly influential areas that make prime real estate for billboard advertising and other forms of OOH media.
Why Chicago is so Great for Billboard Advertising
Developing Chicago billboards can be an especially effective marketing tactic because of the culture that the city exudes and has developed. For instance, the highways in and around the Chicagoland area are extremely popular modes of transportation. From commuters, to popular trucking-routes, to roadtrips in and around the surrounding states, the Chicago highways are some of the most heavily trafficked in the entire country.
Roads like 290 that fill up to the brink with bumper-to-bumper traffic during just about any time of day (especially near certain exits), create the perfect opportunity for billboard advertising.
Not only are there a plethora of areas in Chicago that make for excellent advertising opportunities, like Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Stadium, Soldier Field, and the United Center, but the midwestern attitude of Chicagoans also makes the city an excellent region for billboard advertising and other forms of OOH media marketing.
Designing an Engaging and Eye-Catching Billboard
One of the most important things to keep in mind when designing and executing a billboard marketing strategy, in Chicago or any other region for that matter, is the aesthetic of the billboards themselves. Even on a heavily trafficked highway like 290, consumers are more likely to read a billboard in its entirety if there was something about the billboard that caught their attention in the first place. Otherwise, the content and information provided are forgotten by the consumer within a matter of moments.
There are a variety of ways that designers can create unique, engaging, and captivating billboard content. From leaning into a comical presentation to sparking consumer interest with an engaging question, there are a lot of different and valid approaches to billboard design. The most important thing is to be unique and creative so that consumers are actually interested in the content of your advertisements.
Choosing Between Traditional and Digital
No matter where you’re putting your billboard, choosing the type of billboard and the format for your marketing media is an essential step, and can greatly influence price, if nothing else. Traditional billboards present a single still-image at the discretion of the renting organization.
Digital billboards, on the other hand, offer designers a little bit more flexibility, and are also advantageous to the seller of the advertising space, because they can cycle through a variety of advertisements from different brands, all paying for that same prime location.
Location is Key
No matter what type of marketing you’re involved with, nothing is quite as important as the location and placement of the advertising media. Even in Chicago, there are areas that are much more heavily trafficked than others, giving an advantage to brands who understand the region and have a knack for strategic placement when it comes to billboard advertisements.
Making the Most out of Chicago OOH Media
One of the best things about Chicago is how diverse it is. Often regarded as a big-city made up of small-towns, there are a lot of different market segments and target audiences that all call Chicago their home.
Finding unique, creative, and engaging ways to place OOH media marketing throughout Chicago can be a sure-fire way for organizations to expand their brand awareness and consumer reach.
Final Thoughts on Billboards in Chicago
While billboards often get an unfair reputation as being outdated, stale, and obsolete, in major metropolitan areas like Chicago and New York, billboards are an extremely effective form of advertising that can attract, engage, and convert consumers into customers.
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