Spring is almost here... And with it comes a fresh flock of those ubiquitous street pole banners. These are the pole banners that line the streets, avenues, and parking lots of our cities and towns.
They promote the shopping malls, spring festivals, auto dealers, church socials and just about any other event, program or product you can think of. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly pole banner programs and know what works and what doesn’t.
Here are five simple ways you can bump your pole banner promotions to new and more effective heights.
1. Use plenty of message reinforcement
You may think that pole banners just don’t matter that much in the big picture but consider this. In general, most new sales aren’t made unless the offer is put in front of a buyer at least seven times. And in tough economic times it may take ten to fifteen times before a deal is inked.
Pole banner programs have one incredibly sticky marketing feature when used in quantity. They reinforce the message again and again for those customers driving and walking the streets below.
That’s right. Use them to remind and reinforce your message so your customers see it twenty or thirty times if they are frequent visitors to your area.
2. Location, location, location
You can design some of the most eye catching pole banners ever, but if there aren’t any potential customers driving or walking the streets below no one will ever see them.
Ever wonder why some outdoor billboard locations cost double, triple and in some cases ten times more than others? It’s all about the traffic count. Billboard media costs are established in proportion to the number of cars that pass the sign. It’s that simple.
That doesn’t mean you need to conduct a traffic audit or a drive-by study. You can easily estimate if the location you want your pole banner program is a high traffic area.
Park in the area at different times of the day and check the traffic. If there’s a bunch, it’s probably a good location for your street pole banner program. If not, pick another and make the same observation.
3. Make a big bold and bright statement
This is where a lot of advertisers get it wrong. Pole banner signage should be designed for a two second view. That’s right. Drivers will look at your pole banner for two to four seconds. They may have a chance to look longer at traffic signals and pedestrians may spend more time but the drive buy is quick so design your visual so the message is clear in a two second view.
Choose large, simple and bold type styles over skimpy narrow and cursive type. Choose bold and bright colors over soft pastel shades. Keep your message short and sweet. No more that ten to twelve words. Three to five is even better.
Be sure to make it big! Remember that a six-foot by three-foot banner will appear small from 100 feet away. Banners might look giant when your standing next to one at the printer, but the visual impact shrinks quickly when they’re installed fifteen feet in the air and viewed from the driver seat of a vehicle passing at thirty miles per hour.
4. When in doubt, hire a professional
Now is a good time to rely on the creative judgment of a qualified graphic design professional. All too often, we as owners and entrepreneurs are a bit too close to the promotion to recognize good creative. But don't fret, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs struggle with creative decisions that just don’t matter when designing their pole banner program.
A qualified professional will be able to pick up the concepts of your existing visuals and design a distinctive and effective pole banner program in short order. Check their resume to make sure their experience includes some outdoor work.
More often than not the time you save working with a designer will far outweigh the indecision and often reprinting costs associated with the pitfalls of inexperience.
5. Print and install with the best
And last but not least, choose a printer and installer with the right kind of experience. Bob’s Quickie Sign Shop may be a buck cheaper, but if your pole banners tear or fly off the poles in the first windy rainstorm, you’ll be begging him to cut a deal to reprint.
Choose a printer with experience. Make sure they know the ropes and will guide you through the process. Check if they have photos of recent pole banner programs. Ask about different installation styles and hardware. Get to know your resource. It will be worth the effort in the long run.
Need help planning your next pole banner program? Call Commerce Color at 888 781-7702 and speak to a large format expert.