One of the tried and true advertising mediums available and affordable to most small businesses is outdoor advertising. Street Level posters or “Wildposting®” provides access to entire cities’ worth of potential customers.
As far as advertising dollars go, street advertising is a relatively low-risk and high-return option. Many new and developing businesses rule out street advertising out-of-hand because they assume the costs involved are too high – however a direct comparison with other forms of advertising places street level as the most cost-effective, with a cpm often coming in at under $1. As far as return on investment goes, street advertising delivers.
A large, clear, concise, and attractive advertisement that draws attention with minimal, easy-to-read, ideally humorous and original text and a sharp image, something with vivid eyes or facial features, demands attention. If you are a small business that does something self-explanatory and are looking to simply display your contact information and maybe a basic design (e.g., tradesmen), you can do that too.
Street advertising gets your name and brand into the public consciousness in a way that is visceral, unencumbered by online distractions, and non-invasive. People can choose to look or not. If a potential customer want’s to walk down the sidewalk or wait at a bus stop and not interact or engage with content, they can choose not to. In this way, street advertising makes viewing and considering advertising more optional and less transactional (think a mandatory 15-second advertisement at the beginning of a YouTube video) you are putting you and your brand out there, and the reaction you receive is likely to be more organic, good or bad.
Obviously, you want a positive reaction, and ideally to convert it into business. The old axiom “fortune favours the bold” is cliché, but like most clichés, it holds an element of truth. If your product is something new, interesting, or outside the box, advertise accordingly. There is an inverse relationship between the quantity of media, content, and ideas permeating the public consciousness and perceived novelty in the world. The number of things people have “seen” since the birth of web 2.0 has increased exponentially with each successive generation. If you are intent on playing it safe and sound with your street advertising, chances are it’s already been done, and you realistically only have the time it takes for a glance to make an impact.