Is There a Billboard in Your Future?
You’ve probably seen billboards advertising lawyers with captions vowing to fight for you if you’ve been injured or arrested. But have you ever wondered if a billboard would be right for your practice?
Opinions vary on the value of outdoor advertising. It’s either a vestige of an earlier time, or it’s a great cost-effective way to reach several people. However, if you think there is a billboard in your future, consider the following:
Choose the Right Location
Identify your target client and their demographics: Age, household income, male, female? Once you have a description of your ideal audience, work with an advertising agency to find the locations that come closest to your niche market audience.
Create the Right Message
- Billboard exposure to a driver passing by is roughly six seconds. So six words is all you should use to get your message across.
- You want to get noticed, but you don’t want to cause accidents; don’t be too distracting.
- Don’t expect a direct response—the message is too fleeting—use it to support other aspects of your marketing campaign.
- One billboard is not enough. Billboards are a mass market medium but they need support. You need more than one to have an impact.
- Keep the message simple. Cars are traveling at over 60 MPH so the message must be clear and direct.
- Be careful with logo size—too big and it will look cheap, too small and it can not be seen.
If your purpose for the billboard is a direct response, use a dedicated tracking number. That way, you can get a count of the people responding to the billboard ad. Because billboards are not viewed favorably by many in our profession, consider the impact one could have on your reputation among other lawyers.
And, finally, know the ethics rules. A billboard is an advertisement and is subject to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct. A quick call to the ethics helpline at (877) 558-4760 can help answer your questions.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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