Maximize Your Exposure: How Collision Repair Shops Can Benefit from Billboard Advertising

Maximize Your Exposure: How Collision Repair Shops Can Benefit from Billboard Advertising

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I love the combination of creativity and technology that digital marketing brings to the table, but it doesn’t replace the traditional marketing techniques we’ve used in the past.

Billboard advertising is one traditional form of advertising that collision repair shops can use to reach a local audience in a specific location. Like any form of marketing, it pays to know the strengths and weaknesses, and understand what you’re getting before investing in billboard advertising.

Billboards fall under the category of “Out of Home” Advertising (OOH). This includes ads on buses, taxis, benches, in airports, on the sides of buildings, and even on your car’s navigation system. These ads can be printed signs & posters, or they can be digital.

For body shops, there are some special considerations before deciding to create a billboard ad.

Pros of Body Shop Billboard Advertising

Your billboard ad(s) will ideally be placed in high-traffic areas, making it easy for potential customers to spot them, so visibility is the most important benefit to putting up your billboard.

Compared to other forms of advertising, such as television or radio commercials, billboard advertising can be relatively inexpensive and cost-effective.

Cons of Collision Repair Billboard Advertising

Unlike highly targeted online advertising, billboards have a limited ability to reach specific audiences, so you have limited control over your audience. This is more of a mass-market approach where everyone who drives by sees your ad.

Billboards have a limited amount of space for messaging, which can make it difficult to convey important information about the collision repair shop. Simple is better if you want anyone to remember your ad.

How Much Do Billboard Ads Cost?

Pricing for billboard advertising is typically determined by the size of the billboard, the location of the billboard, and the length of time the billboard will be displayed. 

Larger billboards in high-traffic locations will typically cost more than smaller billboards in less-trafficked areas.

A billboard on a highway in a rural area with little traffic might run a few hundred dollars per month, and in many cases the ad stays up for several months after the contract, simply because nobody else is waiting to run their ad. 

On the other hand a board in a major metro area with tons of traffic might run over $10,000 per month, especially when other companies are outbidding each other for that ad space.

Billboard Design Considerations for Body Shops

When it comes to designing your billboard design, keep the following in mind:

  • Keep it simple – Don’t think in terms of having a 14 x 48 foot canvas to work with. Remember that this will be seen by people at a distance, and while moving, so it’s important to keep the design simple and easy to read.
  • Use bold visuals - High-quality images will help to grab the attention of potential customers and make your shop easier to remember.
  • Important information only -  Consider the message first. All you need is six or seven words! Include your shop’s logo and/or name, and possibly your phone number (with your tracking number).
Attention grabbing billboard (via Amélie Company)

When you’re driving past a billboard, you don’t have a chance to actually read anything, aside from a simple headline. So including every bit of your contact info isn’t necessary, nor is a list of every certification you have, or any other extra information. 

Color, contrast, imagery, and layout are all important. Every ad, including billboards, should have a point. What do you want people to do when they see it? Collision repair isn’t a service you can talk people into using in the moment, it’s only needed after an accident or collision has happened.

That means your billboard is an “awareness” ad, for keeping your shop top-of-mind. When someone does need repairs, you want to be a company that they remember seeing or hearing about. This is why you really don’t even need your phone number on your billboard.

Your messaging should match your other marketing, whether it's your website, radio ads, newspaper ads, Facebook ads, or anything else your shop runs. If you use humor there, try it on your billboard. If you like a more serious, professional approach, use that.

Simple messaging on collision repair billboard (via low+tritt)

Choosing a Billboard Location

Choosing a good location for your billboard is crucial to the success of the advertising campaign. 

Consider the following when selecting a location:

  • Traffic Level - high-traffic areas will provide the most exposure for the billboard.
  • Competitors - be aware of the location of competitors’ shops and their billboards (if any) and use that to your advantage.
  • Geography and Weather - Use your knowledge of local roadways to identify areas where accidents occur.

If there’s an area nearby that is known for having lots of deer strikes, that would be an excellent place to place a billboard. It could show a deer in the road, along with your logo, and a headline of “If a deer hits you, call us!”.

Similarly, if you have a bad intersection in your area where lots of accidents occur, that could be a good spot too.

Other spots might include winding roads, bridges that get iced over, or country roads with lots of farm equipment. Work with your billboard rep to identify what’s available, and compare prices among the locations that seem promising.

Lastly, if your budget allows, having a few billboards works better than only one, as your chances of it being seen drastically improve. 

Final Thoughts

Billboard advertising can be a cost-effective way for collision repair shops to reach a wide audience in a specific location. Be sure to consider the pros and cons, pricing, design, and location before investing in billboard advertising, as well as evaluating how it fits into your overall marketing plan. 

With a good plan in place, your collision repair shop can create an effective billboard advertising campaign that will help customers think of your shop when a collision occurs.

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Maximize Your Exposure: How Collision Repair Shops Can Benefit from Billboard Advertising
Jason Ferguson

About Jason Ferguson

Jason has been a graphic designer since 1994 and started building websites in 1997. Since then he's learned countless new marketing skills and loves helping companies get more customers using digital marketing techniques. Jason founded Conspicuous Digital in 2017 and focuses on helping collision repair shops with their marketing.

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