The Right Location for your Outdoor Billboards

Getting noticed is the purpose of advertising and with outdoor billboards, this is possible to the widest number of people on a daily basis. The key is to not only be noticed, but remembered which can be accomplished by having your billboard in the right location.

Not all locations are equal

Everyone has seen billboards on the highways, but most do not remember what they are unless they pass by it on a regular basis.

Traffic Jams

The ones that are really remembered are in locations where there are regular or daily traffic jams. This is because the drivers have slowed down or are stopped and bored so they look around while waiting before they can continue on their way. Billboards in these areas get noticed.

Stop Lights

Another place where outdoor billboards are more remembered are near intersections where traffic control lights are located. Because the vehicles are not moving, there is time for the drivers and passengers to gaze out the windows and observe their surroundings. Most traffic lights change every 30 seconds or so. That means instead of those passing by only having 3 to 6 seconds to see your sign, they have up to 30 seconds to see and remember your message.

Bends and Corners

When the road bends is a place where the driver is more aware of the road and the surrounding condition. They are no longer on autopilot as many would put it. There is a change in direction and each driver is at an elevated height of awareness. For many a billboard at or near a bend in the road is a landmark they will remember to be ready for that change.


Many intersections in America where two or more roads meet are a very popular location for outdoor billboards. There does not always have to be a stop light or sign for the advertising to be remembered. These billboards are very often used as landmarks in directions drivers give one another when helping someone get to their destination. This type of recognition occurs in both metropolitan and rural areas.

Wi-Fi locations

Billboards will be seen by both drivers of vehicles and pedestrians just walking around. With most of the population now glued to their smart phones, it only makes sense to target areas where there is a large concentration of mobile users. With an outdoor billboard located nearby a Wi-Fi hot spot, getting noticed is assured. Your billboard once again will be used as a landmark. By having your advertisement near several of them in a metro area, your brand will be recognized as a place to get connected.

The Message

The location of the outdoor billboard is very important, but so it the message you are trying to get the public to remember.  Simple short messages are best so those seeing it can absorb the entire message at a glance. This will get your message remembered by more that glance at it.

4 Billboards of Wichita

Just like in the movie 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, there are the real life 4 Billboards of Wichita, Kansas. Just like in the movie, the theme is seeking justice for a life lost and the lack of proper police investigation into the death.

The picture of what the billboards say was posted on the local news channels Twitter page of KWCH12.

The black letters on red background might be hard to read, but could have been used to signify the blood and then death of an innocent man. The billboards read “ANDY FINCH IS DEAD. IF YOU BELIEVE IN JUSTICE, IT’S TIME TO FILE CHARGES.” The color scheme is the same as the now famous movie.

The four billboards are posted in all four directions of the compass on and near Rock Road in Wichita. They have garnered attention even with the March Madness Tournament going on which Wichita State was part of until their defeat by Marshal.

The reason the billboards have been posted is because after 3 months of no action by the police for pressing charges against one of their own who gunned down an innocent man.

Andy Finch was an unarmed 28 year old who died in his front yard after being shot by an unnamed police officer as the reports have stated, when the police were responding to a swatting hoax. Andy Finch was just a victim of the swathing hoax and had nothing to do with it, yet he is dead and no accountability by the person that gunned him down has been taken by the local police department.

The billboards where posted by The website states it is owned by members of the community in Wichita. No names other than the victim, the criminal that made the prank phone call and the police officer identified by witnesses from the scene of the killing.

Only time will tell just how effective the 4 billboards of Wichita will be. It has been three months now since the incident and now the billboards are up and attracting attention. This will apply pressure to the police department, but so far police claim no fault in the incident.

In the movie it took months for before the sheriff took action and that was when he was on near death. So far 3 months have elapsed since the killing of Andy Finch occurred. It has only been days since the billboards went up. Will the country react?

If history repeats itself, this police officer that gunned down Andy will just be reassigned to another area because the unarmed man had no political influence or wealth. It is very common. Justice for innocent victims of the police killings is rare.

Hopefully the 4 billboards of Wichita will make a difference.

The billboards from the movie and from Wichita are about police violence and inaction in solving or resolving crimes, but this same approach can be used for other purposes.

Outdoor billboards are the oldest and most effective mass media advertising that will be seen by the most people of any kind of ad to date. If you have a message, this approach will get you noticed.

Sources: KWCH12, Huffington Post

Using Outdoor Billboards Effectively

An eye catching billboard can transform a company nearly overnight into a success. This is accomplished with both words and images that capture the imagination of those that see it.  Just like in this sign the word CRAZY in red letters is an eye catcher.

Another path is to entice the taste buds, which can help those that see it become or recognize they are hungry as this one with an order of French fries.

The use of an LED outdoor billboard offers more options like this one that is counting down to the start of baseball season.

There are also advertising campaigns on outdoor billboards where less is better like this simple message on a white background.

For businesses that advertise on freeways, the exit number where the business is located is essential to attracting customers like this restaurant is doing.

Simple bold statements advertising high discounts are always attractive to the consumer.

The use of outdoor billboards to send out a simple message is most cost effective mass media outlet an organization can use to reach the most potential clients and customers.

Many times a simple, but dramatic contrast will work like the fear elephants have for mice that is overcome by smashing one like this sign shows.

An absurd message is also very good at gather attention and like this one establishing a brand for the organization by desiring ugly houses.

One of the oldest, but most appealing approaches used to get the message across is sex appeal. This path always gathers attentions with results.

On a hot day the advertising of a cool drink like this slushy from Sonic with the simple image and the straw protruding is very enticing to those who see it.

Advertising on outdoor billboards are not just limited to the billboard as this ad proves by decorating the post.

Both large and small business use outdoor billboards as part of their advertising campaign. This includes the largest fast food restaurant in the world, McDonald’s.

These are just a few great examples of how businesses are using outdoor billboards to promote their business and increase their sales. There is a billboard out there waiting for your message so the public will see it, but requires you to take that first step and use one.

Getting into the Outdoor Billboard Business

It is possible for nearly anyone to own and operate an outdoor billboard business. This is not a business sector that discriminates against any creed, color or background. The only real requirement is the drive to succeed.

For those looking into this type of business, there was a few things that should be researched before making any financial investment. An outdoor billboard business owner should be aware of the local zoning laws, the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and learn the cost of renting a billboard in the target area from the competition. With this knowledge a person can determine if their business has profit potential and if it is permitted.


Most owners of an outdoor billboard business do not actually own the land where the billboards are located, this are just renting it. The typical owner of the land in rural America is a farmer. To help keep the profit potential of the billboard business within reason, the rent on the land should generally not exceed 20% of the revenue the billboard will bring in when rented out to a business for the purpose of advertising on it.

For those looking to have billboards made, a construction company will have to be hired. The total cost of this will vary, but should be low enough so the investment can be recovered in the first year of renting out the sign.

A contract will also be required so the billboards can be rented out to clients. This should be completed by a lawyer with knowledge of this business sector. There should be several contacts created that will include one for the minimum time of renting out the space, which is typically 3 months. There should also be one made for the renting of the billboard for a year.

Unless the new owner has a sign making capabilities, the hiring of a firm to create the vinyl billboards will be necessary. The average size of a billboard is 14’ by 48’. This on average will cost about $400 to have the message printed on vinyl.

The permits to advertise are a small but required expenditure. All local municipalities require that all forms of advertising have a permit associated with it. This cost varies from city to city.

Business Plan

When deciding if owning and operating an outdoor billboard business, there is a factor that must be decided upon at the beginning. Will the company be just renting out billboards, or will it include an advertising section so the advertising campaign will be completed in-house.

To help keep operating costs at a minimum, many outdoor billboard businesses hire freelance designers to create the message for clients. This allows for the costs of the design to only be a onetime expenditure.

Size of the business

Many first time business owners start out with just one or a few billboards they will own and operate. In time the business can expand. One of the fastest and least expensive paths is to purchase existing billboards for the competitors.

Once the business is on solid footing, expansion to building new billboards should occur. This will place advertising in locations the public are not use to seeing signs and will attract attention that will help get the message out.

A successful outdoor billboard business is possible for anyone who has the desire and will to be financially independent. The first step is to purchase or rent the first billboard.

The New Trendy Outdoor Billboard Business

The newest trend in advertising is the use of 3 billboards. The trend was influenced by the Oscar winning movie 3 billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri which showed how 3 billboards could grab the attention of those passing  with short and to the point messages, one leading to the next.

No longer is the outdoor billboard business reserved for product advertising. More and more organizations are using them to spread their message. The latest themes are gun control in American and in England the fight over Brexit to name just two.

In the past there had been an occasional personal message that has included a marriage proposal that was successful. In Cleveland the use of 3 billboards last month was used in an attempt to persuade LeBron James to switch teams and play for Philadelphia when he becomes a free agent next year.

As with all of the messages, they are short, sweet, to the point and their message is getting out with people noticing them. Because of not only the movie, but also the recent use of 3 billboards with numerous messages on a wide variety of topics, the outdoor billboard business is going through an upsurge in business.

Right now is the time to get into the outdoor billboard business while it is still going up. This is a very profitable business venture that has been around for over 100 years and will never go way as long as there are roads and people traveling on them.

What many do not realize or have thought about is that the outdoor billboard business is more than just the huge signs by the roads across the nation. This type of advertising is all around us, but at times goes unnoticed.

The poster size advertising can be seen at bus stops, in, at and on the subways and trains and on light posts. The size and magnitude of this lucrative business venture is unparalleled in terms of the number of people that see them.

This is a mass media marketing approach, but it can also be used to target a specific audience like the marriage proposal and the private ad to let LeBron now knows he is wanted on the Philadelphia basketball team.  The proposal bill board was located in a place where the one lady it was intended for would see it. The LeBron billboards were place approximately 7 miles away from where the Cavaliers play their home games on one of the roads leading to the stadium.

The outdoor billboard business is ready to handle any message on any subject for the most part. This path is for those that want to reach out and deliver their message to as many people as possible and for organizations looking to use this media source to accomplish their goals of informing the public.

For those in the outdoor bill board business, the costs are relatively low for this new approach to getting the message across. Most of the messages are simple words on vinyl and the graphics are basic. This increases the profit potential of each billboard rented and posted for the outdoor billboard business owner.

It is true the internet is a great place to advertise, but with the outdoor billboard campaigns using the social media and pictures of the signs, the billboard is still the backbone of the advertising industry and will remain so for the foreseeable future.


The Right Message on 3 Outdoor Billboards

In the movies and real life 3 billboards seem to be the correct number to get a simple message out that people will remember. With the right message or questions to get people talking is what is necessary for this type of campaign to be successful.

The use of outdoor billboards to help increase the public knowledge of your business is one of the most cost effective means available. Depending on the size of the city or metropolitan area, hundreds to thousands will see your billboard each and every day.

The Message

This path of getting your message out to the public is considered mass marketing. To be most effective a broad message to entice more of the population to notice your message is the best path to take.

  • The best message will only be 6 words or less in length.
  • The message must be easy to read.
  • A phrase that will catch the attention of those passing by is best.
  • Large letters should be used.
    • These are the easiest to read.
    • Small letters or words are generally ignored or not noticed.
  • The message should not be distracting.
    • Distracting messages could cause accidents and should be avoided since most of the observers of the billboards are drivers on the road.

Branding a Product with an Outdoor Billboard

  • 6 seconds or less is the time drivers have to view the message.
  • The message should be easy to remember.
  • In many instances a short slogan and an image is best to get remembered.


Many of the popular restaurants and fast food chains do this very successful with just a picture of a hamburger and the company’s branded symbol.  This is simple, short and easy to remember.

The Number of Billboards in a Campaign

The more people that see your billboard, the better the advertising campaign will be. By placing an ad on a billboard of all or many of the major roads in a metropolitan area, more people will be viewing your message every day.

Static vs Moving Components

A static message relies on the words and image alone.

  • Very popular.
  • Lowest cost.
  • Least noticed unless the image and message hit with the public.


Moving components is action that automatically catches the eyes of those passing by.

  • Can be as simple as an arm moving back and forth on a static image.
  • Costs are higher, but are noticed by more.
    • When done correctly are very well remembered.

The Logo

Never forget the company logo and make sure it stands out. It is the logo that is branded with the public.

  • This has to be large enough on the outdoor billboard to be noticed but small enough not to be overpowering.

As in the movies and entertainment industry has recently shown, getting your message out to the public can be accomplished very successfully with outdoor billboards. The secret is to make the message short, sweet and to the point.

Using Outdoor Billboards to Your Advantage


Getting your message out to the public via outdoor billboards is 24/7 advertising just like an ad on the internet, but no device is required. The billboards have and always will be effective because most passengers traveling in cars and on buses peer out the windows when going down the road.

The outdoor billboards are in place to help fill the need for information, bored travelers is looking for. Even when the message is of no concern to the people seeing it, if the message is catchy, it will stick in their mind.

The Type of Message Counts

For a message to be receptive it has to have certain elements to it that help people remember it, even when they don’t want to or care about a product. The most popular for over 100 years is a short jingle.

Slogans that rhythm are another very good way to get into the memory of those that see it.

What matter is that the message is remembered and then associated with your brand. In most instances the shorter the message is the better.

Images can also be used to Help People Remember your Message

An image is one of the oldest ways to send a message that will be instantly remembered if done correctly. The old adage that sex sells is true, but so do images of babies and cute animals like puppies and kittens.

The right image does not always have to be directly associated with your products. This is where branding comes in. Most business use more than one message, but if the image remains the same, it will be automatically associated with that brand.

Why use an Outdoor Billboard in the Real World

In the world today there are two realms, the real brick and mortar or real world and cyber world. The real world is where all visitors to cyber world live, work and literally come from. This is why billboards in our world have been used to advertise not only real world products, but sites in cyber world.

With the mobile cyber users traveling the highways of our nation, they are exposed to the numerous billboards they pass. By just catching a glimpse of your message, these mobile users can then use their devices to search the internet for your products and brand nearly instantly. This is one of the many ways an outdoor billboard can enhance an organization presence on the internet.

Using Resources Efficiently

By taking advantage of all resources available to merchants and organizations, the outdoor billboard has to have a place in it as part of any advertising campaign. The billboards have the ability to reach out to prospective clients around the clock, in all weather and in all seasons.

Many in the younger generation think this way to advertise is old fashioned, but they are still aware of them. That is a great indication it is still an effective means for an organization to get their message out to the public. That is what advertising is all about and outdoor billboards play a big part of that in our society.