The Secret Combination to Unlock the Power of Your Billboard is 3-9-1


Get more results with your billboards by following 3-9-1:

  • 3 seconds
  • 9 words
  • 1 primary graphic


3 seconds


You only get about 3 seconds to communicate your message, so it’s important to be sure that your images, wording, and placement all align perfectly.


Simple is better.


Simple gets read.


Simple gets noticed.


The more complex it is, the more likely the brain will not even let the eyeballs look at it. Too many words or busy designs trigger the brain to look away because it won’t be worth the effort to make sense of the message.



9 words


To get your billboard noticed, keep your wording simple and relevant. Once you have your wording ready, shorten it more. Then shorten it one more time. The simpler the words, the easier it will be for the brain to digest it.


How do you make sure it’s relevant? By knowing your audience — what’s the one problem that your customers have that your product or service can solve?


It’s also important to know your purpose — what do you want your audience to do as a result of seeing your billboard? Buy something? Think differently about something? Answering this will help you craft a powerful message.


>> Read more about how neuroscience findings can help you create messages that boost sales.



1 primary graphic


Scientists say that images can reach the brain about 60,000 times faster than text, so spend plenty of time finding just the right image for your billboard.


You’ll most likely be looking for a photo that represents the benefit your product or service can provide for your audience. If it works with your message, try to use an image with a clear view of the face — especially the eyes. Humans are voyeuristic creatures, so we’re naturally drawn to look at faces.



© 2016 Jessica Walter, MS, APR

All content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any organization with which the author is involved. Although the author makes an extensive effort to provide a complete representation of facts, there may additional helpful information provided by other sources. Whenever researching your own situation or devising a strategy, it is recommended to gather information from many sources. The author sincerely hopes that you find this information helpful and urges you to be inspired, to inspire others, and to be gentle with yourself as you continue on your path.

About the Author

Jessica Walter is a Communications Strategist with a passion for inspiring companies to live into their full potential.  She’s found that the essential equation for long-term success includes Marketing, Culture, and Leader Development.

Jessica has been a marketing executive for a regional bank, a communications director for a health system, a public affairs officer for a Dept. of Defense command, and the assignment editor for a TV newsroom.

She holds a master’s degree in Leadership & Business Ethics from Duquesne University, a bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Towson University, and the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Universal Accreditation Board. She is also a Certified Lean Systems Leader.

You can reach her at

Published by Jessica Walter, MS, APR

Speaker, Consultant, and Certified Leadership Coach

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