As marketing and advertising change with emerging information formats, business professionals have learned a few things about how to reach customers. One of the most surprising lessons is that traditional advertising is still the most powerful.
The Internet does a lot for businesses, and it’s hard to imagine modern commerce without it. There is still a huge market where good old fashioned word of mouth and store front marketing are the most effective means of advertising.
Many business owners don’t realize that the biggest barrier to their business is awareness. Customers don’t know the business exists. They don’t understand the competitive edge of a business. Nobody explained the great savings a store offers. The list goes on.
Just getting the word out is often enough to increase revenue. A Vanderbilt University study was able to raise awareness of a fictitious political candidate using yard signs, so it’s bound to work for a real business.
Consider other situations where yard signs are commonly used. Real estate agents have known about the power of yard signs for years. They tap into the tendency for people to look for houses by rolling through neighborhoods and “just looking.” The yard sign funnels curious folks to agents, who then work their magic to convert curiosity into sales.
Garage sales capitalize on similar tendencies. Most businesses have some amount of traffic passing by their location, and less visible outfits seek out advertising locations. A yard sign is an inexpensive method of capturing the attention of a passing audience.
Yard signs have some clear advantages in the advertising world:
Cost – Yard signs are cheap. Compared to a larger sign on your store front, the cost is fractional. Which means you can afford more signs.
Modular – If you want a rapidly changing marketing program, with different messages every week, or seasonally appropriate marketing, yard signs are an expensive solution. Once you have a collection of signs, put them out as you see fit.
ROI – Return on investment is a prime concern for a business owner. One customer recently reported a 60 percent increase in business after putting up lawn signs. We can’t guarantee this sort of improvement in every situation, but such testimony backs up what we’ve known all along: lawn signs give more bang for your buck.
Mobility – It’s easy to set up a yard sign just about anywhere. Respond to changing marketing needs swiftly with signs that even a child could install.
Just putting up yard signs is no guarantee of success. You need to know how to use them. Here are some tips for yard sign success.
Choose your colors wisely - Customers often pass by yard signs in a blink of an eye. You need to do everything you can to make it easy for them to get the message. Part of that is color choice. The actual colors aren’t nearly as important as the contrast. Pick two colors, one light and one dark.
Make it snappy – You might have oodles of persuasive copy to plaster on signs, save it for the brochure. Customers look at signs for seconds, at the most. Boil your message down to its most essential and catchy. This might be your only chance to reach those customers.
Orientation – It’s tempting to place a sign so that passersby see the message for as long as possible by turning a sign to face traffic, for example. This only exposes the message to the people closest to the sign, while drivers on the other side have a view obstructed by opposing traffic. Turn the sign so its surface is in line with traffic to get the most exposure and just print on one side. This lowers your cost per sign, freeing up funds for more signs.
Space is Your Friend – Part of making your powerful message readable is leaving enough space around words. Clutter up your sign, and that split second of reading turns into an instant of confusion, and then WHOOSH! There goes a customer, no wiser for their efforts.
Appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator – Try to use words and symbols that anyone can understand. Instead of referring customers to an address, use arrows to direct them. Make this easy on customers, and they’re more likely to come to you.
Even as you amp up a powerful social media campaign, don’t forget the power of classic marketing strategies. Give yard signs a shot for instant business exposure.