Yesterday, Friday 7th October 2022, our first billboard advertisement went live, one week after our first radio ad campaign started. (You can read about our experience with radio ads here).
Looking back, there are many lessons we learnt that we think you should know, just in case you might want to try a billboard ad sometime in the future.
1. The location matters
There are hundreds of billboards across Lagos. The most important part of billboard advertisement is choosing the right one. For us, we have three centres in Ikeja, Surulere and Lekki Phase 1.
We decided to have three billboards, one close to each of our production facilities. This first billboard is on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, very close to Ikeja City Mall.
We hope to add two more billboards in the coming days, one in Surulere, and another in the VI/Lekki axis.
As a rule, the busier the traffic near your billboard, the more effective it will be.
2. They’re more expensive than you probably think
If I was asked how much a single decent billboard costs, I would have guessed perhaps 100,000 to 200,000 Naira per month.
When we started looking for billboards, we discovered that a decent one costs anything from 700,000 to 4,000,000 Naira every month! The price depends on:
- The location (busy roads are more expensive)
- The size (the larger the board, the more expensive it is)
- The type (LED screens are way more expensive than static print boards)
It was then that we realized and sincerely started respecting brands with the courage and resources to spend that much on many billboards.
3. They work!
If you’re a true Lagosian, one thing you’ll always admit is that Lagos traffic is one of the worst in the entire world.
One thing you’re grateful for when you step out of town is your freedom from traffic.
On the other hand, Lagos traffic is one reason outdoor ads like billboards and radio work. Millions of Lagos commute on congested roads every single day.
It’s normal for 15 minutes journeys to take 30 minutes to an hour, giving ample time for people to engage with your billboard.
While it is still early for us to see clear results, we have a theory that if most billboards are occupied despite their outrageous costs, that is a clear indication that they work.
Below is a video showing the installation of our first billboard.
4. There are additional fees attached
It’s not enough to set a budget for billboards, you have to consider two major additional fees.
- APCON fees (The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria)
- Printing costs
APCON is the regulatory body for advertisements in Nigeria. They are empowered by law to vet every single ad including those on radio and billboards. They’ve been trying to vet social media ads too.
For a billboard, be ready to spend about 50,000 Naira on their fees and the standard vetting period takes about 2 weeks.
If you desire to expedite the process, be ready to spend over 150,000 for vetting. There is also a huge fee for using foreign models in your advert.
For printing, budget 50,000 Naira for an average billboard and as much as 200,000 for very large, conspicuous ones.
5. LED boards may not be better
While LED seems to be all fancy, we didn’t even consider them.
Apart from the fact that they’re ridiculously expensive, you can’t “own” them. You have to share timed slots with other brands. Which could feel a little bit distracting.
We wanted boards that won’t be shared and will always be visible 24/7, morning or night.
Back to the pricing of LEDs, they cost about 2-3 times the price of a standard static printed board.
6. It’s often better to go with an agency
Unlike radio ads where it’s better to go to your chosen station directly, for billboards, you should consider using an agency.
We shortlisted three agencies. (The paystack team also did well, comparing billboard agencies here)
The reason why you should consider an agency is that they usually know and have deals with many billboard owners and can quickly send you available ones in minutes.
To us, this was much better than driving around town, looking for available billboards and contacting their owners.
The agencies also help you print. They know the billboard size, materials and quality needed for your advert to stand out.
One rule of marketing is that your advert must have a clear call to action, that is, what action do you want people to take after seeing your ad?
Since we are trying to promote our new self-service system on our website, we told our graphics designer to make our call to action clear and catchy. We believe he did a good job.
We are still testing our new self-service feature on our website and hope you give us feedback (good or bad) about the ordering process. So, we are giving you a discount of N1,500 if you order between today and the end of October 2022.
This is the discount code: EFPA7U6Y
To use, enter it after selecting any cake you want on our website here.
We hope you have learnt something new about billboard advertisements in Lagos. Now, we want to hear from you in the comments section.
What do you think of our billboard design and locations? Do you think we could have done better?
Do you have any suggestions that can help us? Perhaps you have some experience with outdoor advertising?
Let us know in the comments, we try to respond to every single comment.