Does Billboard Advertising Work?

Written by Zac Johnson
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On my way to New York City a few times, I would drive by and see one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s billboards for his Wine Library TV web site. The first time I saw it, I was pretty amazed. I then saw the ad a few more times in different spot over the next few months.

Last Friday I went to a New Jersey Nets vs. Orlando Magic Basketball game, and as we pulled into the parking lot, I saw a huge billboard for Gary’s new book, “Crush It“. I couldn’t beleive he had another billboard… and even more on the odds of seeing it at the stadium parking lot.

I’ve always wondered how well billboard advertising works. In most cases, you really can’t track the conversions, actually impressions and the ROI, unless you setup a separate url or phone number to take orders. What’s really dumb, is on the way home we saw a billboard with a URL on it, then I looked it up… and it went to a dead site with a script error.

In Gary’s ad specifically, some questions to ponder are… how many people know Gary Vaynerchuk, how many will visit the site, and actually go on to order the book?

In an upcoming post, I will interview Gary Vaynerchuk about all of these questions, and how much he actually pays to place these billboards in high traffic locations… and most importantly, IF THEY REALLY WORK!

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31 Replies to “Does Billboard Advertising Work?”

  1. I think for many online businesses, billboard advertising would not be worthwhile. I think it would only work if you have a very brandable domain name. It is unlikely that you will get enough direct sales to pay off that kind of expense.

  2. I'll be curious if the billboard does actually have good ROI. I would bet that it wouldn't since it has always carried the burden of not being able to really target the right audience. Would love to be proved wrong on this though…such a catchy billboard ad!

  3. I share the same questions you do. Does this really work. I guess the billboard could help if people start to search for the author name or book name in the search engines. I am thinking he is trying to market himself by branding.

  4. I agree with Jean, billboard ads can definitely increase a brand's awareness, especially the more creative ones. I'm curious to find out how much web traffic a billboard generates.

    Looking forward to the upcoming post, Zac!

  5. Gary is simply doing this so that he can talk about it and the media can talk about it. He is quite unlikely to make his money back from such a billboard. If enough people talk about it, I guess it is worthwhile for him.

  6. It is all something to create buzz in the media. No way will enough people buy his book based on such billboards.

  7. Yeah, you can't track conversions and ROI with that kind of advertising. But maybe it'll attract traffic but then it's limited to the locality instead of having it seen on the whole world through the internet.

  8. Off-line advertising is a great way to get your message and URL out the general public, especially in the early stages of your online marketing efforts, when your traffic is quite low. The beauty in billboards is that you can target them at specific locations where you have a fair idea of what audience to expect.

    On another level we've had great success promoting websites via real estate style advertising boards. It is amazing how many respond to signs they saw out of their motor cars.

  9. I can't imagine myself see one of my websites on a billboard on my country. That would be a very very great experience.

  10. There was a time when traditional companies didn't advertising on the internet. Then traditional companies started advertising on the internet. It's interesting now to see internet-based companies advertising with traditional mediums.

  11. I'm not actually sold on Billboard advertising either.

    First of all, no one really looks at that, second, they might not remember that domain name by time they get home. Lastly, it seems like it'd be really untargeted traffic. That is, unless it's in the car niche.

    P.S: I accidentally posted twice in your coupon codes post. that was a result of me not looking where I'm posting and not knowing that you actually moderate the comments that are falsely positived by Akismet. (so many other places don't).

  12. I think it works for the image of the company, as an campaign for a product i don`t think it works that good, anyway didn`t tried it yet ….

  13. Marketing agencies hired for creating unique outdoor Billboard in high traffic areas such as occupy roads. It is best way of targeting the audience and promoting your product in public. Billboard advertising is the use of signs along roadways to advertise a wide range of products, services, and causes. In general, the signs used in these roadside advertising campaigns must be over a certain size in order to be truly referred to as a billboard.

  14. Billboards are a fantastic way to make money part-time or as a business. They also work well as an advertising medium. One of the cheapest ways to advertise in terms of cost per impression (CPM).

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