Even in today’s digital-driven world, posters are still one of the most powerful and popular methods for marketing your business, opportunity or event. In the midst of the digitalization gold rush of building cool websites, being active on social media and trying to hack Google’s search engines, we still see posters all around us in our everyday lives. That is for a reason: small and medium sized enterprises that target a regional market can achieve surprisingly good results through poster advertisement; global companies can send sales figures skyrocketing through flyer posting or other guerilla marketing campaigns; moreover, we all know that any big event or rally is more successful if you roll out your posters all over the city to spread the message. Besides, spam filters and ad blockers allow us to turn off annoying digital ads, but it’s harder not to look at a printed poster hung on a wall when you’re walking on the street, waiting for the bus or taking the elevator. Posters are here to stay, but where should you place them to see the biggest ROI? First things first:
Who are you targeting?
Recommending specific locations for the distribution of your posters can’t be generalized since it depends on your business, buyer persona and market. In that regard, we absolutely advocate making some proper market research first in order to know exactly who your customers are and what their profile is. The more you understand your buyer personas, the more effective you can distribute your posters and the more ideas you will have. Posting strategies vary greatly depending on whether you aim your campaign at small regions or a whole country. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to give you some good ideas for effective locations to place your posters. Let’s have a look:
Most Effective Locations To Place Your Posters
Your own company
Displaying posters in your own building is the easiest way to promote your poster and it doesn’t cost you anything. Your employees, partners, clients, interviewees and visitors will see it every time they come to your office. Depending on your target audience (and the size of your company), this might be a gold mine. Of course, the message and call to action should be adapted to the environment, but the low risk and costs involved make it an interesting strategy for almost any company.
Pro Tip: Make a few extra copies of your posters, flyers and brochures available to your visitors. This will make it easier for supporters and fans of your brand to distribute your print marketing content themselves in their stores, homes and offices.
Securing a collaboration with a big national retailer that allows you to distribute your posters all across the country might be hard, but if you can pull it off, it can net huge benefits. A faster way to get your posters up there might be to simply hang them on their bulletin boards. On the other hand, local stores are usually much easier to convince and might even let you display your poster on their front window for free.
To find the best places, think of where your target audience is going frequently, be it local bakeries, barbers, language schools, museums and more. If your posters are to be featured inside a store, make sure that it aligns with your buyer persona. If they are merely to be hung outside a shop, remember that you should focus more on the people who pass it frequently rather than on the actual store clientele itself.
Pro Tip: If you decide to target local stores and small shops for posting, ask them if you can leave business cards and flyers next to the cashier and other spots too. This way you can leverage your full print marketing content.
Coffee Shops, Pubs, Restaurants & Hotels
Similar to shops, restaurants and hotels are also great places for the distribution of your posters. Bathroom stalls, indoor walls and doors are just a few ideas for effective poster spots. Unless you merely display your poster on the outside window, make sure that the clientele is well aligned with your buyer persona. If you know your customers are mostly CFOs, maybe Starbucks isn’t the optimal coffee house for your poster ads. Similarly, if you client profile consists mostly of students, perhaps the five star hotel in the city center might not be the best fit.
Pro Tip: Update your poster design, messaging and location. If the same poster hangs around the same wall for years nobody is going to pay any attention to it anymore as it becomes boring.
Sponsoring and collaborating with fairs, trade shows, seminars and other events in exchange for ad space to hang your posters can be a smart way to reach your niche market, especially if you’re a B2B company. In some cases, you may have to pay for the permission to advertise your posters, but if the event really covers your target audience, the ROI might more than justify such an investment. Additionally, try to leverage events as much as you can. Hand out flyers to people waiting in the queue and place posters around the hotels they are staying and shops they might visit.
Pro Tip: Posters don’t need to be present for a long time to be effective. Hotels might voice concerns to display your posters for several months, but if you ask them to place them just for the two-day period of the event, they might just let you do it.
One of the safest ways to place your posters in a public place are bulletin boards. They’re often used exactly for that purpose: advertising events, services and more. Still, we’d recommend you to eapeck if you’re allowed to do that, just to make sure you won’t break any boundaries. Based on your customer profiles, some of the best spaces to hang your posters might be student campuses, libraries, museums, shops and more. Feel free to think outside of the box. To discover hidden gems, put yourself in your customer’s’ shoes, imagine what places they visit frequently and visit them yourself. More places than you think will have bulletin boards.
Pro Tip: If the bulletin board is loaded, don’t remove any posters unless they have expired. People will notice when their posters are replaced by yours and this will creative negativity around your marketing campaign.
If you’re new to poster marketing then public spaces and extreme pedestrian traffic locations might just sound like the perfect space to distribute your posters. Now of course hanging your posters at bus stops, subways, train stations, elevators and so on will lead to a lot of poster views, but chances are you will end up with some type of lawsuit. In general, most legal frameworks around the world forbid companies from advertising their products or services on any public space in any way, including posting, unless given permission. Ultimately, the answer to whether you should risk it or not is similar to weighing the pros and cons of guerilla marketing: unless you are well aware of the consequences of breaking the law and want afford to pay the penalty for doing so, you should stay away from posting in public spaces.
Of course, there are certain grey zones which might spare you from trouble, but they are certainly not a guarantee or recommendation. Still, if you really want to risk placing your posters in public, you might want to target poles, walls and other spots that are already covered by posters and flyers. It’s by no means a justification, but it might make the crime less severe and you might be more likely to get away with it. In any case, when displaying in public use tape that is easily removable and won’t leave any damage to the material it is attached on.
Pro Tip: We don’t encourage anyone to break legal boundaries when posting. Your poster marketing should be within the laws and regulations of your market. However, if you really want to accept the consequences of risking a guerilla marketing campaign, then at least limit the time of your posters distribution to a day or a couple of hours. That way you will annoy less people and might have better chance to avoid getting caught.
To get the highest return on your poster campaign, you need to find the best spots to place them. Your company’s offices, local shops, dining venues, hotels, events and bulletin boards are some of the most effective places for distributing your posters. Public spaces might earn you the most views, but it’s difficult to poster there without breaking any law. In the end, though, it all depends on who your target market is. Make a proper research and you will have a much easier time of identifying effective locations to place your posters. Of course, posting in the right place is just one part that makes up a successful poster campaign. To truly leverage the power of posters, make sure that you use colors wisely and that your posters are standing out.