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Think Big! Restaurant Billboard Advertising

Advertising can be challenging for restaurants. With so many options available—from direct mail and social media to radio and newspaper---media planning can be a daunting task. But if you think big, you just must reap gigantic results. Billboard advertising, also known as OOH (out-of-house) or outdoor advertising, is a great way to grab the public’s attention and entice customers to check out your online menu or visit your restaurant.

Here’s a scenario that demonstrates the power of billboard advertising for restaurants. Picture yourself driving home from work. You’ve been working all day, have been battling traffic jams, and you can’t stop thinking about the big question you’ll face when you walk in the door—” What’s for dinner?” You don’t dare look down at your phone to scroll around looking for restaurants that deliver, so you begin to get anxious. You’ve resigned yourself to grab some fast food—again.

Suddenly, as large as life, you spot a restaurant billboard. It has mouthwatering photos and a catchy headline that gives you all the information you need while driving 60 miles an hour. Relief waves over your body and you decide to order from that restaurant the minute you park your car. Then when your family asks the big question, you’ll have a quick answer.

Stats to Consider

Billboard ads help increase mobile click-through rates

Mobile ads are effective— after all, we use our phones constantly. But statistics show that they’re even more effective when they’re reinforced by a billboard ad that contains the same message.

In fact, when billboards are incorporated into a cross-channel marketing strategy, users are 15% more likely to click on a mobile ad. This is particularly true when geotargeting, which delivers ads to users based on their location, is added to the mix.

Billboards are more cost-effective than broadcast tv ads

Broadcast television advertising has the ability to reach a large audience, but this mass marketing doesn’t come cheap. If you’re advertising on a network that covers an entire geographic area, you’re wasting most of your advertising dollars on people that live too far from your restaurant. Billboards are not only a hyper-targeted medium, but they can be a much more cost-effective marketing tool to reach your desired audience.

Consumers are twice as likely to research brands online after seeing a billboard ad

Almost half of the adults will search for a product or brand after seeing a billboard. This is especially true for new restaurants.

Billboard advertising drives ROI

With the ability to drive a 497% return on your investment, billboard advertising not only drives traffic, but it reinforces your other advertising. According to statistics, for every dollar spent on billboard advertising, a business will see almost $6.00 in sales.

Billboard advertising is one of the fastest-growing ad media in the U.S.

Each year, more and more businesses are recognizing the value of outdoor advertising, experiencing the second-highest growth rate among all advertising media.

20% of consumers buy on impulse while in the car

Two out of every five customers in a recent survey said they bought on impulse while in their car. And when an ad grabs the public’s attention, it increases the likelihood that a consumer will make an impulse decision about where to shop or where to eat. This marketing phenomenon is not just for restaurants and retail. Billboards remind people to do things they’ve been putting off (or dreading) like getting taxes done, getting an oil change, or visiting the dentist.

Consumers trust billboard ads more than digital ads

46% more consumers trust billboard ads than digital marketing.

As these stats show, OOH advertising drives impactful and profitable consumer interactions. They cost less and reach more people on average than most other channels, and can be targeted precisely to location. They can also provide substantial lift and reinforcement to your other channels, which makes them ideal for the marketing mix.

Effective Billboard Marketing Tips

Now that you’ve gotten a few facts about how outdoor advertising can have an impact on your business, here are a few tips for creating an effective restaurant billboard marketing campaign:

1. Keep it simple: Billboards are typically seen by drivers who are passing by at high speeds, so keep your message short and sweet. Use large, easy-to-read fonts and limit the amount of text on the billboard. You’ve probably put a lot of time into creating your menu, and rightfully so. But that doesn’t mean your billboard needs to detail every ingredient in your vegan beef and bean burrito.

Because most billboards are seen while people are driving by, there’s no time for viewers to read a lot of text. In fact, the more copy, the less they’ll actually read and digest.

Stick to the basics:

  • Food Category

  • Location

  • Hours

  • Website

  • Whether you deliver

  • Call-to-action

  • USP

2. Highlight your unique selling proposition: What sets your restaurant apart from the competition? Whether it's your location, ambiance, or signature dish, make sure your billboard highlights what makes your restaurant special.

3. Include your website or social media handles: A billboard is a great way to drive traffic to your website or social media pages. Much easier to remember than a phone number, be sure your website’s name is memorable and includes all the information they’ll need to check you out online.

4. Location is everything: Outdoor advertising is a lot like real estate. Not only are you leasing a piece of property, but location is king for billboard advertising. While the best locations might come with a higher price tag, the added expense is worth every penny. Position your billboard in a high-traffic area where the most people will see it.

5. Include directions: According to a Neilsen survey, 57% of consumers who see digital billboards with directions to a business will visit that business.

6. Stay on-brand: Your billboard should be consistent with your restaurant's overall branding. Use colors, fonts, and images that match your restaurant's aesthetic.

7. Include a strong call-to-action: What is it you want people to do after they see your billboard? Make sure your billboard states a short, sweet, clear, and compelling call-to-action, such as "We’re open in (neighborhood)” or “Pumpkin Coffee Has Arrived.”

8. Use mouth-watering images: Instead of enticing customers with words, capture their attention with a mouth-watering photo. Whether it’s a steamy cup of coffee or a juicy burger, a great billboard image will create more cravings than a wordy description.

By Eileen Strauss


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