I believe vinyl banners to be among the best weapons in any small businesses' marketing arsenal for three simple reasons: First, they command instant attention. Second, they can be read, understood and memorized quickly. Third, they can be placed just about anywhere – meaning they can be placed in the best possible spots.
I should add that vinyl banners are seriously cheap, especially given their longevity for seasonal promotions.
So what's the problem here? Why do so many small businesses continue to ignore the power of the vinyl banner? I mean, I see banners all the time. Festivals, music concerts, athletic events, and storefronts all over these great United States carry many vinyl banners. But banners placed at festivals, concerts, and sports events are little more than charity work. You're donating money and perhaps getting some recognition for it – good PR, but it doesn't convert. Why? You're not the center of attention.
Banners on your own storefront are similarly not effective. I mean, you're already there; banners can help, sure, but why not go out and greet passers-by face-to-face instead? Or at least supplement your banners with some personality. It would be more effective, so storefront banners alone represent wasted opportunity.
Now, let's consider where banners will be more effective than other means of advertising. The conditions have to be right to maximize potential, and the good news is they're practically right under your nose. The bad news is you're probably not capitalizing on them. Three places your banners are not, but should be, are:
1. Across the street from your competitors
Yeah, you'll probably tick your competitors off, but so what? Nobody said capitalism wasn't war. Think about it: Every time your potential customers go into your competitors for a quote, they'll see your banner when they leave. Every time a customer is disappointed by your competitors, they'll see your sign. Every time your competitor gets a visit, your brand gets mind time. And every time your competitor has a sale, you can counter it with a better one. All customers have to do is drive across town, call your number or visit your website.
2. Your city's top five traffic locations (at least)
OK, so you might have a banner out at one or two of these, but you should have your banner at five to 10, or more, of the traffic hot spots in your city. If you're in a metropolis, you can further segment by niche; if you're in a small city or town, you can probably identify these areas off the top of your head. Get your banners out there, change them frequently, contrast with surroundings, promote sales and get your brand noticed. Trust me, the long-term dividends will pay off HUGE.
3. In your yard (and your friends' yard)
Unless you live in one of those posh gated communities with rules for how many blades of grass you can have per square inch, your own front yard is the perfect place to place your banners. Why? Because they'll seem out of place there. And the out-of-ordinary, or extraordinary, commands attention. Recruit friends and family members to host your banners as well. Sure, you might owe them a six pack for the effort, and you probably shouldn't do it yearlong, but definitely stack the deck for your biggest annual sales seasons.