Since JEB Design/Build, in Shreveport, La., always had success with its jobsite signs, owner Jeb Breithaupt decided to try billboards. “We saw it as a big jobsite sign, and we could coordinate it with newspaper ads,” says JEB’s marketing coordinator Liz Hamilton.
For its first foray into billboards, the company invested about $7,000 for a one-month campaign with a mix of 10 static and five digital boards. “We started hearing, ‘We see you all everywhere,’” Hamilton says.
Up-front costs depend on the type of material used for the poster: Poster Flex can only be used once, but vinyl billboards can be saved and reused so you’re not paying a new fee for graphics with each round. Costs might also include professional photography. Breithaupt did his own.
96% of adults are exposed to outdoor media through local vehicle travel each week. -Outdoor Advertising Association of America
And sometimes billboard companies run specials such as rotating the billboards to different spots over the course of your run, or offering a lower-cost package for locations in less-trafficked areas but where your billboard may stay up for longer if no one else purchases the space.
Own the Road
Billboards with photos of project or staff are part of JEB Design/Build's marketing and branding strategy.
Hamilton says that the boards definitely reach JEB’s middle- to upper-middle-class audience aged 45 and up. Shreveport is a small market, “there are only so many places you can go,” he says. “Everybody drives; you can’t not see it.”
The current campaign features photos either of projects or of “three heads” — the owner and two staff members — and coordinate with the newspaper ads JEB runs.
The billboards are placed in target neighborhoods in which JEB works or in high-traffic areas right off the highway.
The company tracks leads by asking consumers how they heard about JEB and entering that information into a contact management system. Hamilton reports that since last September JEB has had 12 leads from billboards, two of which have turned into jobs.
But it’s not necessarily all about jobs, Hamilton says. “We look at it as more of a branding [strategy]. We want people to keep us in mind.”
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.