Billboards have been around since the 1800s, and their resilience through changing times is nothing short of impressive. However, in the digital age, social media has made quite an impact on advertising, and many people are now considering the billboards vs social media debate. In this post, we lay out the pros and cons of each one to help you decide which is better for your business goals, audience and budget.
Social media has earned its reputation as being the most cost-effective way to advertise. It costs nothing to set up a Facebook or Instagram page and post regular updates. Even if you decide to spend a little on Facebook ads, the costs are still relatively low compared to other media. With South Africans spending roughly 9 hours a day on the Internet, social media is a great way to reach them. However, it can also be money wasted if not managed well.
Billboard advertising is known as the option for big budgets and big companies, and yes, it does cost more than a free social media account. But that cost comes with big value. Billboards can never be switched off and are visible 24/7. Their message is loud and clear, memorable, and not surrounded by thousands of other ads. So if you do have the budget, it’s money well spent.
It’s easy to track your ROI with social media through things like Google Analytics, Insights and click conversion rates. With billboards, it takes a little more effort, but it’s not entirely impossible. Through surveys, you can ask your customers how they found you and if they Googled you after seeing your billboard. So, how are we doing with the billboards vs social media debate? Let’s consider one more point.
Input Vs Output
Billboards have a comparatively higher cost initially, but after they’re up there’s no work required on your part. Your billboard will be seen by thousands of people daily in high traffic areas, and by simply being there, they are working for you.
Social media, on the other hand, requires constant work and monitoring. You could spend very little in start-up costs, but then you end up spending time managing your pages, or you may decide to pay a social media company to do this for you. You could post every day and still not be noticed if your page is not constantly managed and optimised. So in this case, it’s more input for smaller results.
The Final Verdict
Well, our verdict when it comes to billboards vs social media is that there is no clear winner because it depends on each business. If you can, you really should use both for maximum brand awareness. The key to business success these days is to integrate all of your marketing efforts and reach customers on as many platforms as possible. If you are a small startup, by all means go for free social media marketing. If you do have the budget, billboard advertising is a must, as there is no doubt about its effectiveness in creating brand awareness. With the right strategy, a powerful message and very little text, billboards have huge potential to elevate your business.