Effective Billboard Marketing

billboard marketingBillboard marketing has been a staple of the advertising industry for some time. However, like the other mediums in the advertising billboard marketing has its own strengths and weaknesses. If your small business is aware of these pros and cons you can better mold a billboard marketing strategy. Pursuing a strategy that maximizes the strengths of billboards while curtailing their weaknesses is the key to effective billboard marketing.

Pros and Cons of Billboard Marketing

As mentioned before it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of billboard marketing before determining what kind of campaign you want to pursue.

The main strength of billboard advertising is its cost per impression or CPM in comparison to other advertising mediums. Billboards are generally more affordable in regards to the amount of impressions they can produce for the cost of buying the space. Another advantage to billboards is that unlike other mediums, billboards cannot be turned off. Finally, billboards are typically quite large and this is ideal for powerful and bold messaging.

One weakness to billboards is that they must grab the audience’s attention quickly. For example, billboards placed along a highway can only be viewed for a short time as people drive by in their cars. Another weakness of billboards is that they typically cannot achieve the level of targeted messaging that some other forms of advertising can. However, with the right strategy these weaknesses can be mitigated and often turned into strengths.


Maximize Your Impressions with the Right Location

The key to effective billboard marketing is taking advantage of the strengths of billboards and because CPM is one of their greatest strengths; you will want to try to maximize the number of impressions you get per billboard. The way this is done is by selecting the proper location for your billboards. Locations that typically produce a high number of impressions include: along highways, sporting arenas, sides of buildings, and metropolitan areas such as a “downtown” area. These areas typically produce the most impressions and will give you the most bang for your buck.

Also, by choosing the correct location for your billboard it is possible eliminate the weakness of not being able to target your messaging. This can be done by placing billboards close to one of your business’ locations or stores. This will allow your billboard to deliver highly targeted messaging to potential customers very close to where they make their buying decision.

Keep the Message Simple

Another way to take advantage of the strengths of billboard marketing is to keep the message you’re conveying on your billboards simple. Simple and concise messaging is ideal for billboards as they can present it in a bold and powerful way.

Although billboards themselves are not ideal for lengthy and complicated adverts, it is possible to use billboards to support and strengthen these types of campaigns. For example, billboards can be used drive traffic to a Twitter campaign by including hashtags on the billboard. It is also possible to generate interest in another campaign by placing ambiguous billboards around town that breed curiosity and encourage people to find out more information about said campaign.

Along with keeping your messaging simple, it is important that your messaging be consistent as well. You should use all the billboards in your campaign to convey and reinforce the same message. This idea can be applied in conjunction with other campaigns you may have going on different mediums by highlighting the main message of those campaigns. Consistency is key to delivering your marketing message in an advertising environment with a lot of noise.


While billboard marketing has been around in the advertising industry for years, it does not work by magic. Effective billboard marketing requires the proper strategy and correct messaging. By amplifying the strengths of billboard advertising and curbing the effects of its weaknesses, you can maximize the effectiveness of your billboard marketing campaign as a whole.

Darren Leach is an outdoor advertising media planner who specializes in billboard marketing. For more information on billboard advertising, visit Billboard Source.
Image courtesy Roberto Nieves

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6 Comments

  1. Getting the right ad and message on a billboard is critical! Making outdoor advertising accessible to local businesses and easy to buy is important to the industry as well. Outdoor advertising can now be bought online like internet and other social media ads. Digital billboards are affordable – make your business or product standout! Get pricing in real-time, start with any budget, pick your location, change your messages when you want, and verify media placement by board or by market in real-time Learn why small business owners like billboards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2le6JAcyGrI

  2. Great post! This is very accurate! Putting up a billboard may seem like one of the simplest forms of advertising, but no! it is actually complicated and does require a balance of creativity and effective context visualization.

  3. I agree that you should keep the message simple. I think doing so increases the chances people will read the sign. I also think that pictures go a long way toward portraying a message.

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