Asif Anwar is a Search, Social, & Internet Marketing Consultant/Specialist working in Bangladesh (In Indian Subcontinent aka South Asia). Professionally consulting and helping small businesses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since 2003 and actively learning about Search Marketing trends from 2001. Passionate about SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SMM (Social Media Marketing), and PPC (Pay Per Click).
Placing an advertisement on a billboard in a high traffic area will surely bring results. Measuring it however, can be a tough job. For each marketing campaign, measuring performance is crucial. Measuring the efficiency of a advertisement depends on 2 things:
For a billboard, Clickthrough Rate refers to the percentage of the desired action from impressions. Unless eye and camera tracking technology improves, it is not possible to monitor the clickthrough rate for a billboard.
However, monitoring the return on marketing investment or ROI from a billboard is very much possible - If you know your traffic sources. But, to ensure the tracking and measuring ROI of a billboard you have to turn it into an internet marketing campaign involving call to action using internet technology.
If you invest in Billboard Advertising, then you can take some initiatives to make your display more interactive while effectively measuring it’s ROI. viz.
A website on your billboard is good for marketing and branding but does not allow you to properly measure ROI from multiple campaigns that direct on your domain. The best way to measure ROI, is referring to an alternate URL, one that does not disturb your expected web traffic. For the URL, you can:
The URL visits can be easily tracked with Google Analytics or any other Web Analytics application. This gives the campaign transparency and allows for high ROI visibility. The URL you refer on the billboard should be easily readable. Long URLs won’t typically generate action. Often, most conversions happen after the fact, so it is wise to help the readers remember your URL.
QR Codes have been around for long time, but the use of these 2-dimensional codes for Interactive Marketing is a new trend. It helps you to download information or generate a specific action on your mobile phone using widely available bar-code scanners. For the iPhone (Semacode), Android Phones (QuickMark), Blackberry (ScanLife), Symbian Phones or Nokia (UpCode) are among several competing apps that can read QR Codes from any printed media or digital screen. QR Codes are now being used for Internet Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and even Word of Mouth Marketing. With QR Codes, any camera-enabled smartphone users can:
The interaction with QR Codes are increasing day by day and steadily becoming the bridge between the real and virtual worlds. Determine the type of interaction that will deliver the best visibility of your ROI. There are many sites that allows you to generate QR codes (e.g. Zxing Projects QR Generator). A major service currently in use is the Google Chart API. Here is an article on how you can generate QR Codes in bulk with Google Chart API.
Bluetooth Adverts are the newest trend in mobile marketing. If your billboard is in convenient location, then you can send more interactive information and coupons to your billboard Bluetooth users. You can easily transmit richer content to your viewers. Moreover you can also digitally track the Bluetooth downloads.
Email is one of the most convenient ways of communication, even on mobile devices. Make sure you have a different email address on the billboard than the one you use in other media campaigns. This will allow you to verify the emails you get on the allocated address are coming from billboard advert. If you incentivize people sending emails to that address e.g. with coupon, then you can also trigger the behavior of the billboard audience to send emails to the custom address rather than other addresses or web contact forms.
HostedNumbers.com, AdInsight.eu, and Mongoose Metrics have call tracking services that you can be monitored from Google Analytics. However, there are several other call tracking and analytics softwares that your can use. They generate a unique phone number (even toll-free) that you can use on the billboard. When someone calls, you can see how much traffic came from your billboard advertisement and then use Google Analyitcs to see how long they were on the call. Again, it is imperative that this phone number is not made available elsewhere. There will always be a risk that word of mouth marketing will ruin your direct analytics. This information being shared is beyond your control.
Coupons are one of the best ways to track where a customer has come from. You can mention an easily readable coupon code for all (e.g. gimme20%less) or generate a custom coupon code from any specific URL mentioned on the billboard. The URL can be a purchased domain, a landing page on your site, or a easily readable shortened link. This enables you to distinguish between regular web traffic and traffic from your billboard. Numerous softwares and online services will allow you to easily generate custom coupons through the URL. If you are sending the billboard reader to a URL with a custom coupon, it is recommended to have them visit a custom landing that is blocked from search engines. Once people use their coupons, you are able to retreive information on traffic sources using the database. It is imperative that you make sure that the coupon codes can be tracked. To get a true ROI on that particular segment of your campaign, ensure that it is not made available in other forms of media (e.g. search engine, word of mouth, etc).