This is an article I wrote for Student-Marketing that I thought I should reproduce here for anyone undertaking a poster advertising campaign.
Top 10 Campus Poster Advertising Tips
Here are a collection of very basic tips you can implement in any poster advertising campaign you currently run.
- Test your poster performance by using different posters. Don’t just stick with the same posters over and over again. Your audience will get bored and you won’t have any means to compare results. You don’t have to change your poster every week, but try a monthly change, or on a per semester basis. Remember in order to test, you need some means to compare results. I find pull tabs are a good method to at least gauge how many people are acting on your poster.
- Try different sizes. I use a small 1/3 A4 poster which often performs better than all my other posters, even large A3. Small posters are great for smaller boards or to be squeezed in-between posters on crowded boards. You can also staple them to the sides and edges at unusual angles which grabs attention.
- Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t be tempted to fill your poster design with too much content. Lots of text, pretty graphics, logos etc lead to a crowded poster that will look like a blur on the wall from a distance. Use a simple large catch call to bring people in to your poster. You need to stand out from a crowded poster board, and the best way to do this is with large fonts and simple messages.
- Focus on benefits. A golden rule in marketing is that you should be advertising how your help your clients. Make sure your poster clearly states what benefits you offer to your clients. Don’t just say how great you are, potential clients want to know how you can meet their needs and wants.
- Be nice. Don’t start a poster war with other posters. While it is impossible to not cover up other posters endeavour to be polite and look for old or expired posters if you have to cover someone up. In particular don’t deliberately cover or remove competitor posters. This is guaranteed way to get into a poster war where there are no winners.
- Don’t get angry. Chances are competitors and other posters are going to cover up or remove your posters. While this will make you angry in the moment, don’t retaliate by treating them the same, you are above that. Just put your poster back or uncover it and move on. If you keep putting posters up week in and week out others will realise how committed you are and will avoid covering your poster because they know you will be there in a couple of days to uncover it.
- Use staples with a staple gun. Early on I used to use tacks only then I discovered the wonders of the staple gun. It’s a lot of fun, significantly quicker and often means your posters are less likely to be removed. People often steal tacks until you are left with only one holding up your poster. They can’t do that with staples. Staples are clean, professional and efficient (and fun!).
- Don’t be shy. One poster is a start, but two, three or four is even better. If you are postering on a large board don’t hold back, place many posters in many places to improve your exposure. Combine two or four posters in one area and create a large “block” of your posters. This will often be left uncovered for longer periods because it looks neater and makes a statement about your intentions – you are here for the long run, not just a once off poster.
- Don’t go crazy either. If the board is small one poster will do. You won’t make any friends by taking all the space on a board.
- Stick to the edges on popular boards. If you have a time sensitive campaign and want maximum exposure, go ahead and place many posters right in the middle of the board with the knowledge that they won’t stay uncovered for long. If your campaign is ongoing and you want to maximise it’s exposure, stick your posters on the edges and corners. Your posters will stay uncovered longer and if you block your posters together you will give the impression that you “own” that corner which psychologically will stop people from covering your posters.