Your customers are everywhere and you should be there with them. The most public way to advertise your business is to take it to the streets—literally. Transit advertising includes putting your marketing message on or in buses, taxis, trucks, subways, trains or planes. It also includes advertising in bus terminals, at bus stops, in subways stations, in train stations and in airports. Whichever form you choose, transit advertising can be more beneficial than other forms of advertising by:
1. Reaching more of your market with a greater frequency.
2. Reaching a wide variety of consumers with a single ad.
3. Attracting consumer attention at the best possible time-when people are out of the house or office and ready to respond.
4. Providing 24/7 exposure by reaching people all day, every day.
5. Increasing brand recognition by complementing and reinforcing your overall advertising program.
Choose which transit advertising works best for youIf your business caters to busy professionals in a city, transit advertising is definitely a great way to introduce yourself to your market. But not all transit advertising is created equal. Some transit advertising moves around the city constantly on the tops of taxicabs, sides of buses and inside subway cars. Other transit advertising stays put and allows the customer to see it at an airport kiosk, bus stop, or park bench. The most fluid form of transit advertising is to rent space on the side of a semi-truck that travels across country to get your message to the masses.
Find a providerFrom small-town-America to large cities, transit advertising will get your message to your customers. If you’re new to the transit advertising game, take advantage of one of several one-stop-shop providers who can help you plan a campaign and produce materials.
Location, location, locationFind the locations that will work best for you by having a market research agency or transit-advertising agency provide you with a media impressions survey. You can figure out which form of transit ad—stationary or mobile—will work best for you by asking the agency to provide you the return on investment, that is the advertising dollars divided by each media impression made. For example, they should be able to tell you that the amount of money you are spending on each media impression—or each set of eyes that sees your ad—costs 10 cents on the side of a bus versus 15 cents on the top of a tax cab. The most common way to figure your ROI (return on investment) is by figuring out the CPM (cost per thousand) media impressions.
Will it work for you?There’s really only one way to know if you will benefit from transit advertising—try it. Or at least research it in depth to find the right type for your business.
- Ask your advertising provider if they can guarantee where your ads will be shown. If you have a business in one neighborhood, you would want the bus that runs regularly and the most frequently in that neighborhood to display your ad versus one that may only pass through the neighborhood once a day.
- Don’t assume that transit advertising is out of limits for small businesses. While having an entire bus wrapped with your ad may cost thousands of dollars, many companies offer small ads that still get results.
- If your business isn’t in a big city with subways and buses, you aren’t left out in the cold. Look around. There are most likely park benches, airport kiosks, mall kiosks and taxicabs that provide a blank canvas for your ad.
- Use a captive audience to your advantage and think about where your customers are. For example, businesses such as movie theaters, bars and restaurants can benefit from advertising from inside a taxicab or bus because the commuter is on his or her way home and thinking about what they’ll do tonight. A coffeehouse might benefit from having an ad on a bus shelter right around the corner from their shop to attract cold commuters who are waiting for the bus. Know your customer and be creative and transit advertising will pay off.