For the record, we spent $2,207.19 on the entire campaign.
Yup, seriously. Here's how that budget broke down...
- $2,183.50 on Digital Billboards
- $23.69 on Google Paid Search
The Parameters of the Test
- Use a realistic budget that most small businesses would be comfortable investing. (<$2,500)
- Keep the creative simple. Logo, some copy, fin.
- Run the digital billboard campaign in 2 counties (Northampton and Lehigh counties) in Eastern Pennsylvania.
- Run the Google SEM in those 2 counties.
- Campaign Duration - 1 month
S-I-M-P-L-E. Told ya.
Feel free to steal the copy. (Frankly, I'd be honored if you did)
What we found...
Getting our bearings -
The top chart shows the Google search activity in the 2 counties where our digital billboards were running. The red line shows search impressions, people looking for something related to what they saw on the billboards. In this case, our search terms were:
- Make your small business big
The blue line shows actual clicks on our Google search ad.
The bottom chart tracks the delivery of our digital billboard ads, how many times they were actually delivered across the 16 billboard network, per day. Again, this was an impression program that rotated around the market, across 16 digital billboards (Budget = $2,183.50).What immediately jumped off the page is that the trend lines clearly seem to mirror each other. Billboards turned off for a day (system glitch) on the 4th of January and Google search drops to zero. Interesting, but not conclusive. A surge in delivery at the end of the month and a surge in Google search around the same time frame? Again, interesting, but not conclusive.
We knew there was a story, but also that we were going to have to go deeper to find one we could stand behind.
The Trailing Effect
What we found was evidence of what we've all known in our guts, but marketers don't cash checks based on what they think. Marketers are like lawyers, they cash checks based on what they can prove.
What we can prove is that when we increased digital billboard impressions by 144.69% we saw a 330.90% increase in Google search for the search terms we outlined earlier.
The residual impact of Outdoor is what makes this so compelling. We saw the highest, sustained rates of Google search about 7 days after the heavy-up on digital billboard impressions. What this proved is what Nielsen has told us - Outdoor drives Search. Except, here is the actual data behind it.
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