Outdoor Billboard Business e-book REVIEW

“The Billboard Guide – How to Make Money in Billboards” e-book Review

Billboard advertising has definitely stood the tests of time. Despite the introduction of new advertising mediums and broadcasting platforms, billboard advertising has endured and has even adapted the modernistic approach of the digital world. Over the years, billboards have advertised thousands of products from thousands of companies luring customers to buy their wares. The longevity of this industry is testament to ongoing billboard advertising effectiveness.

The Billboard Guide – How to Make Money in Billboards e-book is a complete guide on the billboard business. The e-book is a comprehensive guide that outlines not only the history of billboard advertising but also provides the detailed information regarding the types of billboards, billboard design, permits required and the restrictions involved in setting up billboards.

Outdoor Billboard Business

The Billboard Guide – How to Make Money in Billboards – ebook

The preface of the e-book outlines the content, and describes billboard advertising and its viability as a source of outdoor advertising. The book covers all aspects of outdoor advertising with respect to billboards, as well as providing information relevant to the setting up of a new outdoor billboard business. The author has provided real life instances and examples, and has successfully presented the information in a readable format to help the reader understand the subject matter.

The viability of any business is adjudged from its commercial valuation. Outdoor advertising, especially with billboards, is a profitable venture only if it is carried out with conviction, effort and in the right information. The e-book provides ways to convert existing billboards into profitable ones with a little tweaking. It also highlights the need to be extra-vigilant and smart in finding new locations for billboards, find the not-so-profitable locations that can be turned in your favor and ways to start the business with a minimal investment.

The Outdoor Billboard Business is not a get-rich-quick business venture but once established it is one of the most profitable businesses. There are no nagging tenants who call in the middle of the night. Instead there are advertising companies who lease billboards and are willing to pay a decent rental over the leased period to display billboard ads. So, it is a good business that needs to be handled with care initially and one that takes care of the owner later.

The Outdoor Billboard Business is not a get-rich-quick business venture but once established it is one of the most profitable businesses.

The e-book has very aptly described the history of outdoor advertising. The changes that the industry has seen over time are worth noting, and these changes remind us of the development that has taken place over the years.

The next section, regarding the standards of the billboard industry, provides important information, as it lays out the details on the types of billboards and the technology options that are available for those who are interested in the business. The section also provides information related to the establishment, upkeep and maintenance of the billboards.

In the next section, the e-book refers to the fixed rules that are applicable to the establishment of outdoor billboards. While the permits and zoning issues are localized issues pertaining to particular areas, the basic rules remain the same, no matter which area is being considered for outdoor advertising. Obtaining the basic permits is essential for outdoor advertising. The section deals comprehensively with the issues involved, and outlines the permits required for the business.

The Billboard Guide also guides the reader on how to put their plans to action. The next section of the e-book covers the negotiation aspect of outdoor advertising. The business owner has to deal with property owners, billboard owners and advertisers to establish a profitable venture. Dealing and negotiating with property owners is of prime importance and the e-book caters to this section very well, outlining industry standards and compensation amounts.

While in the earlier sections the e-book refers to the history of outdoor advertising, and the methods for dealing and negotiating with various parties in the business, the following section deals with the actual business of how to start billboard business ventures. The section outlines the details of how to start your outdoor billboard business by finding a relevant location for your billboards, working with advertisers and describing methods to put an agreement together. The basics of advertisement design, salesmanship, color usage, usage of web resources and effective messaging are outlined in this section of the e-book.

Lastly the book deals with the insurance coverage and the legal liabilities of the billboard owner. The Billboard Guide also deals comprehensively with the workers’ safety and provides details on how the billboard owners can safeguard their workers from any untoward incidents.

As the author’s involvement and experience with billboards spans a great number of years, some of the material referenced dates back some time. For example, the e-book makes reference to the most advertised names on billboards being that of Miller, McDonalds and Anheuser Bush, quoted from a survey conducted in 2003. However, it has also been updated with the most recent reports – that being that according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the top three companies advertising on billboards as of 2009 were McDonald’s, Verizon Long Distance and Pepsi. So whilst The Billboard Guide has been around for a number of years, the effort is being made to ensure the information is updated and relevant.

Although well-written, the e-book does not provide any bibliography or sources from where the information has been gathered. This appears to be due to the author being a long-time billboard owner and knowing much of the information first hand. Nonetheless the addition of the resources would be an enhancement to the e-book.

Overall, the author has successfully produced a complete guide on the outdoor billboard businss. Readers interested in knowing more about the outdoor billboard business can refer to The Billboard Guide for information related to the existing rules and permits required for this area of outdoor advertising. The addition of diagrammatic representations of billboards and the images of the various types of billboard structures certainly make the e-book an inspiring read, and a complete and helpful source of information for anyone involved in or thinking of entering the outdoor billboard business.

How to Start an Outdoor Billboard Business

Location for Billboard Ads

The outdoor billboard business can definitely be a profitable venture and is one to seriously consider when thinking of starting a new business – or even as a mode to earn extra income. Contrary to the belief that the billboard business is not as effective or profitable as it used to be, there is still scope to earn handsomely from this business. However, one must have the right information, must do the required research and look for opportunities to ensure the business is a profitable one. Here are some guidelines to follow prior to starting an outdoor billboard business:


Step 1 : Research Research Research

Research the rates charged by the local advertising companies and compare them with the expenses that are related to starting and operating this business. These expenses could include insurance charges, billboard construction or purchase, costs of lighting the billboards, taxes and permits. When starting an outdoor billboard business, clearly you would have to ensure that the revenues are comfortably more than the costs to make the venture viable.


Step 2 : Research Alternatives and the Customer

Obtaining existing billboards can be an alternative to putting up one’s own billboards. These existing billboards can give a rapid and exciting start to the outdoor billboard business as the difficult work of looking for an appropriate location, obtaining the required permits and negotiating the ground lease has already been done. So searching for these outdoor billboard signs for sale becomes the challenge. Then the requirement is to make the billboard such an attractive proposition that it catches the interest of potential advertisers (businesses) – as well as the attention of those that pass by.

Location for Billboard Ads

Step 3 : Consider the Operating Environment

If you’re interested in starting an outdoor billboard business by putting up brand new billboards, there is the requirement to learn about the legalities and regulations involved. One must be aware of the government or local regulations and any prohibitions that might exist regarding the billboards. These regulations could be related to the billboard size, light emissions, location, display time duration and other such limitations. The average billboard size that is acceptable in one area may differ the size accepted in another area. There is no straight forward answer to the question ‘how big is a billboard’! There will be particular requirements to meet wherever you are (your billboard is located). There could be the requirement to get approval from the transport department.


Step 4 : Matching the Billboard with the Advertiser

Once all the permits and limitations related to the billboards are obtained and understood, it is time to scour for strategic locations, decide the billboard size and negotiate ground leases. There are established companies that act as mediators between land owners that are ready to lease their land to billboard companies (which, as the billboard owner, would be you) and the advertising companies (who usually act for the client – the business who wants to advertise). Consultation with these companies can be time-saving as they have already done the difficult task of negotiating with the land owners and finding the locations for billboards.


Step 5 : Consider and Cover all Legal Aspects

One must sign contracts or lease agreements with the property owners or existing billboard owners only after consultation with lawyers qualified to advise in these areas. The contracts with the property owners must have the percentage payable to them clearly laid out so that there is no dispute later. The contracts with the advertising clients must have the details like duration of the advertisement, the maintenance responsibilities, the specifications of the design and penalties if the contract is broken. It is also recommended to get a basic liability insurance policy in place. The Outdoor Billboard Book has sample contracts for the new billboard owner to work from, so you’re not starting completely from scratch.


Step 6 : Decide on The Method to Display Billboard Ads

The next step is to get the billboard constructed and the ad displayed. While vinyl billboards are cheaper on the pocket, LED billboards are becoming more popular. Depending upon the clients’ requirements and their budget, getting electronic billboards is feasible as it enables one to display ads for more than one company, thereby allowing more profits. However, companies might not like to share their billboards with their competitors or other companies. Therefore, it is necessary to get all the clarifications prior to getting the billboard made.

Digital Billboard Business Opportunity

Step 7 : Research and Decide on Rates to Charge for Billboard Ads

The outdoor billboard business is a competitive one and therefore, one must develop rates that are competitive and attract companies wishing to put up their ads. Discounts can be offered to clients that agree to long term contracts.

High Traffic Location for Billboard Ads

Step 8 : Establish how the Ads will Come to Life

Digital billboards can be easily designed using graphic software such as Photoshop. One can design billboard ads if having the design skills or use the services of a graphic designer to design the billboards. Keeping in mind the billboard size and the requirements of the clients, creating a sample and getting it approved should be the top priority.


With these guidelines, you can get started in an outdoor billboard business.

Like anything with financial decisions involved, one must remember that investing in the billboard business opportunity is profitable only if it is done in the correct manner, carefully taking into account all relevant factors. Therefore, it is recommended to first research thoroughly and obtain complete details, before committing oneself financially to the outdoor billboard business.

The Adweek Selection of the Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ads

The idea of outdoor billboard ads is to be eye-catching and eye-catching these ones are!

This report was put together by Adweek, who describe themselves as “the leading source of news for marketing, media and advertising professionals” and they say they are “a must-read for CMOs, creatives, media buyers, content creators, agency heads and anyone looking to stay informed about the digital media landscape.” So we figure that includes anyone investing in outdoor advertising!

And we tend to agree! For more information on Adweek, check out their website www.adweek.com Adweek put this story together in March of 2013.

Now, we’re not saying that owners of billboards have to be involved in being this creative, but we do think it’s worth understanding what’s out there and what’s possible and where advertising agencies, and the businesses who want that level of promotion, will spend big dollars on billboard ads.


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ads#1


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ads #1

A Minneapolis-based real estate agency – Edina Realty – sought the help of a local shop, Preston Kelly, to create an effect that could be appreciated by anyone who’s ever moved house! The advertising campaign ran across Minnesota for several months in early 2013. As far as real estate billboard ads go, we reckon this is a brilliant one!


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ad #2


Billboard2This billboard was created by agency OMG to promote the release of a movie The Dark Knight Rises before it was released in summer 2012. The billboards were used in the Los Angeles market. The really interesting thing to take note of is the fact that the film’s name isn’t even mentioned!


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ad #3


Billboard3This is an ad for Mammoth Mountain which is a Californian ski destination. A prop-oriented board similar to Sprite’s, this also targets young, extreme sports enthusiasts with its no-frills, let-the-halfpipe-tell-the-story design. David & Goliath are responsible for this creativity.


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ad #4


Billboard4Great billboard ads just have that something extra – here’s an ad for Crystal Springs water. Love Adweek’s wording here : “Aliens on a quest for water? Agency Cramer-Krasselt gave this board an otherwordly spin. The campaign ran in Albuquerque, which isn’t that far from Roswell. Just sayin’ …”


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ads #5


Billboard5Peapod is an online grocer and this interactive screen with handy QR codes represents the future of outdoor advertising. Peapod allows commuters to scan and shop while on the go because it’s located on public transportation platforms in Chicago. How easy does that make the grocery shopping?


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ad #6


We love creative Billboard AdsHow to turn something pretty ‘ordinary’ like tinned tomatoes into a memorable event! In the first week the billboards just showed naked vines; in the second week tomatoes sprouted; and in week 3 the tomatoes were canned and ready to sell! Minneapolis agency Clarity Cloverdale Fury is responsible for these truly creative billboard ads for Red Gold Tomatoes.


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ad #7


Billboard7Cute one – this billboard is posted in its hometown of Albuquerque, N.M. The billboard is the work of Esparza Advertising.


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ad #8


Billboard8This billboard is a very straightforward but very visually appealing example of a series of these billboard ads that Universal Pictures ran in a few critical area prior to the release of this movie in March 2012. The idea was that they were meant to spark curiosity and they were also followed up by a TV trailer campaign, including a spot at the Super Bowl.


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ad #9


Billboard9bThese two billboard ads are promoting the Kansas City Royals – they were put up prior to the Opening Day of the 2013 Major League Baseball season and they were situated on either side of I-35 leading into the heart of downtown K.C. The work is from the agency Walz Tetrick Advertising.


Most Eye-Catching Billboard Ads #10


Billboard10This Sprite ad made excellent use of props, recreating a skateboard ramp, complete with curved bottom and a scratched and peeling surface. This is an Atlanta billboard from Turner Duckworth. Adweek say “It only looks as if the little dude is dropping in from 70 feet; no actual skateboarders were harmed in the making of this ad.”

What Makes Billboard Advertising So In-Demand

(…and Why the Outdoor Billboard Business Continues to be a Popular Money-Making Strategy for Investors)

Billboard advertising over the years has held a dominant position in the advertising industry. Despite the various mediums of advertising that have come and gone, billboard advertising has stayed, although now in a better avatar than ever. In this age of digitalization and internet, where social media has taken the center-stage in defining the new rules of marketing, billboard advertising has held on to its ubiquity. As a form of outdoor advertising, billboards have the efficacy to reach the masses. Therefore, many marketers understand that this form of advertising cannot be ignored and the savvy ones will use the best techniques and strategies to make billboard advertising effective.

As a billboard business owner (or potential owner) it is of benefit to you to understand the factors that make billboard advertising effective.

Top 6 Tips That Make Billboard Advertising Effective


  1. Choice of the Right Location: When a marketer buys billboard space, he or she must pay special attention to the location of the billboard. Since the billboards have the capability to reach out to a large number of people, it is important that they are strategically located. Strategic locations include highways, downtown areas, sides of buildings and sporting arenas. Buying billboard space on billboards in strategic locations will produce the most impressions and therefore, prove to be the most effective. The best located billboards will command the greatest billboard advertising rates.
  2. Brand Building: The main aim of using billboard advertising is often purely to build a brand. Marketers often use billboards to simply display the message without conveying anything else – and so build the brand. It is sometimes used as a direct response medium (as in the case of “Turn Left 100m” for the fast food joint) but just as often simply as a place to build the brand. Therefore, phone numbers or web addresses must be given only if they are the tagline of the brand.
  3. Keep it Simple and Short: Billboard advertising means creating an impact in the few seconds that one has when the onlookers are passing by. Therefore, to make it effective, billboards must have a simple message, maybe only six words or less. The point is to generate interest and curiosity. The onlookers do not have the time to stop and read the find print on the billboards. So, the message should be simple and short.
    Short Sharp Billboard Advertising message
  4. Opt for A Widespread Campaign: There is no doubt about the fact that the billboards have better reach than other advertising mediums. However, if the number of billboards is high, it would reach a larger number of people. Therefore, a widespread billboard campaign is the key to effective marketing. Serious marketers will often opt to buy more billboard space at different locations so that the message is delivered to a large audience.
  5. Create Smart Billboard Ads: Boring billboards do not have the capability to attract. Marketers should try to create smart billboards that give the message “head on”. Being too clever or using complex jargon and metaphors in the billboard design can cause the message to be lost. On the other hand, a smart message would create a lasting impression on the minds of the onlookers. Any added functionality or facility that the billboard owner can make available for the advertiser to achieve this outcome will be an advantage (e.g. illuminations, extensions). See the Post on Definitions for further information.
    Effective Billboard Message
  6. Create Unique billboards: Billboards that are unique, are done in 3D, or those that use animation are always remembered for a longer time than the flat, static billboards. Mobile billboard advertising can also be a particularly effective tool – to read more about this medium CLICK HERE. Being a visual medium of advertising, billboards can create a lasting impression as compared to a print ad. Therefore, it is imperative for marketers to not only buy billboard space at strategic locations but also get it done with a unique and cool message. So the more options you can provide your advertisers, the more popular your billboard is likely to be.

Why does Billboard Advertising Remain a Feasible Investment Medium for Investors With Small to Medium Sized Budgets – as Well as Big Budget Businesses?

When compared to other forms of advertising, billboards take the number one spot for their cost effectiveness. The cost per impression or CPM of billboards is its strength and this must be used maximally. When marketers buy billboard space, they work out the CPM to calculate the worth of advertising with regards to the amount of impressions produced for the cost of buying the space. As mentioned, with billboards, the CPM is usually the least as compared to other mediums of advertising. You can read our Post HERE about how the number of impressions a billboard receives is worked out.

Another factor that goes in favor of billboard advertising is that they cannot be switched off, unless they are the digitalized ones. With bold and powerful messaging billboard advertising holds the power to reach out to a large audience, which is generally the intention of every advertiser.

Therefore, whether it is a small business or a large one, buying billboard space to advertise products or services is a good idea to reach out to the masses.

Marketers can follow the given tips to make their billboard advertising effective and billboard owners can be sure they’ve invested in a medium that has a wide market appeal for marketers, advertisers and businesses wanting exposure.

Should You be A Digital Billboard Owner?

Traditional or Technical – Are You Likely to Own Digital Billboards?

Grab Attention with Digital Billboards

Digital billboards are the latest and most rapidly changing technology type of billboards used in the out of home advertising arena to leap out and grab the attention of the passers-by. While the number of digital billboards at present might be small as compared to the traditional billboards, out of home advertising trends would suggest that this is expected to change soon, considering their benefits.

Advertising of products and services by way of out of home media has been used by companies for a very long time. There’s various types of billboards utilized through history and around the globe and digital billboards are the dazzling technological stand out showpiece that are the latest in the offing. Digital billboards are backlit boards now used extensively for out of home advertising. These types of boards are shiny, bright, eye-catching and vivid and don’t have too much trouble attracting those that pass by them. Controlled by a computer from a distant location or office, these billboards have the ability to display several, seasonal or time-sensitive ads from the same marketer, thereby changing the entire scenario of billboard advertising. A small digital billboard is quite affordable and a mobile digital billboard is also an option, meaning the opportunity for most is available to advertise this way.

Benefits of Digital Billboards

Out of home advertising has always a popular medium of marketing one’s goods and services and the trend is only growing stronger with the influx of the digital billboards.

Here are some of the benefits of digital billboard advertising – from various points of view :

Flexible Type of Out Of Home Advertising (OOH)

With digital billboards the advertiser has the ability to change the ads as and when required. This means that a regular traveller can view a different ad from the same marketer. The ads may be updated as per the response from the public. Therefore, those ads that invoke little or no interest can be pulled down or exchanged with the ones that generate better interest.

Better Coverage with Digital Billboards

The coverage of the billboards is definitely better than the others. The advertising companies usually have an agreement to display ads from a particular company for a period of two to three months. The ads cover a larger audience for a longer period of time.

Cost effective Advertising

Compared to traditional billboards that have static images & advertising messages, the digital billboards are more cost effective as they can be created using superior computer technology in lesser time and with greater precision. Moreover, with the ability to display more than one ad on the same board, the overall cost of advertising is lowered. The cost of putting ads together is far less than advertising through any other medium.

Powerful Brand Building

With better effectiveness than other forms out of home advertising, these technologically advanced billboards help in building brand loyalty. New companies entering a particular market can use billboards to post ads as they are more cost effective.

Outdoor Digital Billboards

Beneficial for the billboard companies

The benefits of digital billboards are not just limited to the companies that wish to advertise their products or services, but extend to the billboard companies as well. A billboard owner usually leases a particular billboard to different advertisers each month. The ads are rotated at a predetermined time for each advertiser. The size, location and the duration of the ad determines the cost of advertising for the companies. As billboard companies are able to serve many customers with the same billboard – when it is a digital one – their profits are much higher as compared to the traditional types of billboards. In addition, with the cost of creating such billboards having fallen but the cost of advertising remaining the same, the profit margins of billboard companies is steadily increasing.

Long Term Sustainability

There is no doubt about the fact that digital billboards have changed the face of out of home advertising. With their various benefits, these billboards are definitely the premiere choice of advertising for some. The brightly lit and vivid billboards have the ability to grab the attention of those that pass by, conveying the message to a large number of people go about their way.

Eye Catching digital billboards

However, there are some arguments that debate the long term sustainability of these billboards. The one argument that goes against these billboards is the danger of accidents that can be caused due to the distraction caused to vehicle drivers. Several activist groups argue that since these billboards are put up at strategic locations to garner maximum viewers, they can be a cause of distraction for drivers, leading them to motor accidents.

Another argument that goes against the digital billboards is that since a particular billboard might be used by competitors, there is no exclusivity of location for the marketers.

What’s the Score then?

There is no doubt about the fact that the benefits of and the popularity of digital billboards far outweigh their shortcomings. So digital billboards are here to stay, they’ll probably get more amazing as technology advances, and they quite clearly are an important element to consider for any out of home advertising campaign.

Mobile Billboards: The New Face of Outdoor Advertising

Advertising is an integral part of any business and companies adopt various methods to advertise their products and services – mobile billboards being one of them. The basic purpose of any advertisement campaign is to educate the customers of the products and/or services provided by the advertising company. Different advertising methods are used to capture the attention of the potential customers.

What is Mobile Advertising?

As you will understand from the term, mobile advertising refers to outdoor advertising that is carried out through mobile transportation units such as trucks and trailers. Billboard-sized advertisements are put up on the sides of these trucks and trailers so that when these units move about in cities or particular localities, they advertise the given product. Dedicated mobile units used for mobile advertising provide features such as illumination, external sound systems, and hot and cold boxes that are effective in providing product samples on the spot.


Outdoor Advertising with Mobile Billboards

Benefits of Mobile Billboards

As a form of outdoor advertising, the mobile billboards present several benefits to the vendors. Some of these benefits are mentioned below:


The foremost benefit of mobile billboards lies in its inherent feature of being mobile. Since the trucks, trailers, and vans showcasing the mobile billboards are mobile, they can be targeted for a particular locality or area within a city. This helps in getting the attention of the targeted customers. The truck or trailer can be parked at the specific location to generate interest among customers as well as a venue to gather more information about the product or service provided.

Cost Efficiency

Advertising costs take up a major chunk of the expenses of any company. Therefore, it is the aim of every company to get the best advertisement campaigns conducted that given them the best value for money. Mobile billboards, in this respect are highly cost efficient as they provide better coverage as compared to other forms outdoor media.

Maximum Exposure

Contrary to the other forms of outdoor advertising such as radio and television that can switch off or limit the advertising message, mobile billboards are always there to stay. With each passing day when there are new companies coming up and each of them struggling to get view time,mobile billboards seem to be the most effective medium of advertising as they can be used to capture the attention of the prospective customers. It is most likely that one would remember an advertisement that drives past on a mobile billboard truck or on mobile billboard trailers.

Outdoor Advertising with Mobile Billboard on Train

Reach Target Customers

Mobile billboards as a form of outdoor advertising has the benefit of reaching targeted audience. Advertising related to opening of a specific branch is the best example that explains this benefit. Companies opening a branch in a specific location can inform the customers of the opening via the mobile billboards. The mobile trucks and vans with the advertisements can do the rounds of the specific locality at peak times so that more people see the message.

Types of Mobile Billboards

Besides the dedicated trucks and trailers used for mobile advertising, there are other types of vehicles as well that can be used for outdoor advertising through this method. The billboards are usually 22’8” wide by 10’5” high with lights as well so that they may be lit at night as well. Each side of the truck or trailer is covered by the full colored billboard. Some other types of mobile billboards are as follows:


This is a special advertising trailer that can hoist large vinyl banners up to 4000 sq. ft. With such height, vendors can gain immediate attention of the potential customers.

One-seater vehicles

The Daihatsu Midget, an unusual looking small vehicle from Japan is a popular medium of outdoor advertising. The vehicle has a small wheelbase enabling drivers to park them on a side with the large advertisement panel visible to the passing traffic. Since the vehicle is unusual-looking, it intrigues the onlookers and they stop and view the advertisement.

Single Seater Vehicle Advertising

Box-type Trucks

These trucks with glass panels are used by companies to display products, for parades, general awareness and product launches. As things can be safely enclosed in the glass-panelled box, it is a great way to reach out to the customers and make them see the product.


Companies are also coming up with micromarketing campaigns that are targeted towards customers living in remote areas and/or areas where large trucks and trailers cannot reach. These campaigns use small engine scooters that put up a tall and narrow signage moving about with agility. So, mobile billboards are definitely the new face of advertising and companies are using them to the best of their advantage.

Is the Billboard Business a Profitable Business?

The Billboard business is surely a profitable one if it is started after conducting thorough research (also known as ‘due diligence’) and has been marketed cleverly. Billboards are considered an important segment of the advertising industry with most companies opting for billboard advertising at some point in time. Locations with high-traffic counts and excellent street visibility are the best areas for placing the billboards.

How Does the Billboard Business Work?

If you plan to own a billboard, you’ll need to know that an effective billboard business starts with the selection of location for the placement of the billboards. This can be on land or on a building that has excellent visibility and a large amount of frequent traffic. Yearly fees are paid to the owner of the land or building selected for the placement of billboards. This fee is based on a certain percentage, which is predetermined between the advertising agency and the land or building owner. It is often based on the expected revenues that the billboard would generate. Companies that wish to have their ads advertised on the billboards need to pay a one-time fee to the advertising agency for the creation of the ad, and an additional amount for the ad to be featured on the billboard for a specific period. Therefore, the business is profitable for not only the land or building owner, but also for the advertising agency that creates and features the ad.

Are Billboard Ads Really Effective?

One may come across hundreds of billboard ads while commuting from one’s home to office or from one city to another. Billboard advertising has been in vogue for many years, and there are several examples of people and companies that have become billionaires through this business. This makes it evident that this can be a lucrative for the right business. It has been seen that properly placed billboard ads can have an impact in the minds of potential customers. The name of the product or company advertised on the billboards can become etched into the minds of people as they pass by these signboards regularly. When they wish to purchase a similar product, they may recall the ad placed on the billboard, which is a known way that billboard ads are effective in increasing sales.

Billboard Ads

Comparison Between Billboard Ads and Online Ads

One might argue that because this is the age of the Internet where every second, millions of people are logged into the Web, are billboards still really effective? Especially when compared to online advertising. This is a question that is quite common for those people who may be relying on the viability of the billboard business. However, despite the penetration and popularity of the Internet, billboard advertising has its own importance, and is here to stay. The reason for this is that, despite the high penetration and popularity of the Internet, there are still areas and places where people have no access to these modern technologies. Companies rely on billboard ads to convey their message to these people. The billboards are there to stay, and the ads are not as fleeting as television or online ads.

The Changing Face of the Billboard Business

There was a time when billboard ads were created on paper and hand painted on large billboards. However, this is now passé as newer techniques in the billboard business have made the job easier and much quicker. Advertising agencies are now creating digital billboards that have a built-in computer that changes the text and images on the billboard at regular intervals. Digital billboards can be used to advertise products from several companies, thereby ensuring higher returns from a single billboard. Wooden, mobile, poster, and bulletin board are the other types of billboards used for advertising. Each of these billboard types has its own benefits and niche market.

Is this Business Right for Me?

The Billboard business is no doubt a profitable one; however, it must be conceptualized and executed with great planning.

It is ideal for those people who are creative or have the ability to get the work done from a creative team. It is also ideal for people who can network, negotiate, solve problems and make things happen. It is not necessary to be the advertiser/advertising agency who creates the ads to be an investor in billboards, if you can coordinate the key parties to achieve the right outcome. There is also the need to be aware of the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses so that they may be used to one’s advantage. One has to assess one’s abilities to reflect whether this type of job is his or her calling or not as advertising is a business that requires a futuristic vision. Those who have this vision can surely profit from the billboard business.

Know Billboard Types and Start Your Very Own Outdoor Billboard Business

Many people are not aware of the fact that the outdoor billboard business promises a great deal of income for those that do it right. There are even claims that outdoor advertising is considered to be amongst the most profitable businesses, one that requires very little to get started.


What are Billboards or Outdoor Signs?

Outdoor signs are an excellent way to promote products, companies, people, conferences, movies and sporting events because these have the potential to get the attention of thousands of people in just a day. Few other advertising media types can match the visibility of outdoor signs.

  • Bulletins: These outdoor signs usually measures 14 feet high by 48 feet wide or 10 1/2 feet high by 36 feet wide. This large format billboard is typically seen on expressways, highways, and other major surface streets.
  • Wallscapes: This very large type of outdoor advertising measures more than 700 square feet. It is usually located on landmarks or metropolitan areas because they are intended for extended viewing and to create a lasting impression.
  • Digital Billboards: These type of outdoor signs creates images that are being changed by a computer every few seconds. Like other billboard types, its primary use is to advertise, but it can also be utilised for public service purposes. Digital billboards measure 14 feet high by 48 feet wide or 10 1.2 feet high by 36 feet wide.
  • Posters: This kind of outdoor sign has medium format that is 5 feet high by 11 feet wide or 10 feet high by 22 feet wide. Posters are usually located in industrial and commercial areas on main and secondary roadways. It is intended for pedestrian exposure only, and usually seen by commuters and local residents.
  • Mobile Billboard: This type of outdoor advertising is considered memorable and very effective because mobile outdoor signs can go directly to its target audience. They can be placed on locations with heavy traffic, such as trains, convention centres, sports arenas, and airports. They can also repeat routes. That is why people not only notice them, but also retain the information they convey.

Outdoor signs can advertise just about anything

Simple Steps to Follow When Starting an Outdoor Billboard Business

1. Know how much money you will need for local billboard advertising, which will include billboard construction, ground rent, insurance, lighting costs, taxes and permit fees. If you are in a small town, you can charge your client $200-$300 a month depending on the type of billboard and its visibility. Frank Rolfe of NuWire Investor indicated that your ground rent must not exceed 20 per cent of your revenue.

2. Learn the laws and legalities of setting billboards on specific locations. Digital outdoor signs might be prohibited to some areas because of their light emissions. Other places may also have strict guidelines on the display duration of each digital outdoor advertisement.

3. Study the maps of your prospect areas and begin plotting the best locations for your outdoor signs, such as busy roads or certain landmarks. If you are on a tight budget, select a location out of town. The upside of this strategy is that it requires cheaper ground rent. The downside, however, is the visibility rate of your billboard will be diminished. Another option you have is to purchase outdoor signs, permits, and ground leases from a company that is already established.

4. As excited you may be to start your lucrative billboard business, consult a lawyer first before signing any leases or contracts. Also, explain to your client the duration of your outdoor sign, maintenance responsibilities, design specifications, and any charges for breaking the contract.

5. Digital billboards are a good option if you want to advertise several companies at once. This option will double or triple the revenue you can earn from one billboard. If you want a cheaper alternative, however, go for traditional outdoor vinyl signs.

6. Create eye-catching billboards using design software like Adobe Photoshop. If you are not that confident with your artistic ability, hire a graphic artist to do the layout and design of the billboard signs as per your clients’ request. Also, it is good to create a sample book of your billboard designs to be shown on potential clients.

7. Offer your clients competitive rates and discounts for longer terms.

8. Don’t forget to acquire a liability insurance policy for the benefit of your outdoor billboard business and, of course, your clients.

Who Sees Billboard Ads?

Outdoor Signs are EverywhereIf you’ve ever wondered about the number of people who actually see billboard ads by the side of our highways, it’s not a chance thing – there’s actually a very organised and reliable method of determining the traffic that passes outdoor signs. And it’s government regulated.

The Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement Inc. (TAB) is a non-profit organization whose historical mission has been to audit the circulation of out of home media in the United States. TAB’s single-minded purpose is to provide standardized, quantitative and valid audience measurement for out of home media – so they aim to continually inform the advertising community with demographically accurate and detailed information of people who have seen out of home advertising.

So when you’re doing your due diligence on a billboard site (location), there is a way of verifying a seller’s claim of the number of impressions the board will get in a given time period. Always check for yourself the claims of the seller.

Billboard Ads Influence Purchases

According to reports by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), over a one month period around seven out of ten people say they have seen outdoor signs and seventy percent say that outdoor signs are likely to influence a purchase. This measurement of the audience is possible through the existence of the TAB. With the audience being measurable, billboard advertising rates become more predictable.

It’s not surprising to hear the report that three out of four businesses using billboards know they would lose sales should they lose the ability to advertise on billboards. (This is information out of a survey of advertisers conducted by Villanova Marketing Professor Charles R. Taylor, PhD.) The average expected lost was 18 percent.

Furthermore, this quote by Mary Cusick, the senior vice president of Bob Evans Farms in Colombus OH, indicates the same : “Decades of experience tell us that the loss of billboards – due to storms, construction or other causes – results in significant loss of sales.”

Going Viral

The truly memorable great billboard ads go down in history and these days they are captured, uploaded and put on social media sites, reported in (other) media and even put on video that covers the world in an instant.

Outstanding Outdoor Billboard Advertisements can go a Long Way

So while the outdoor signs themselves are restricted geographically and demographically, an outstanding billboard advertising message can go much, much further!

If you have any qualms whatsoever about the effectiveness and longevity of the existence of billboard ads, this information should completely reassure you. They are established, they are a valid form of both advertising and revenue and outdoor signs are here to stay.


Billboard Advertising is Here to Stay

Love them or hate them, outdoor billboards are here to stay! They’ve been around for over 100 years and they’re in the process of being reinvented. The outdoor billboard business is one of the fastest growing areas of the media according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. The other is – you guessed it – the internet.

Billboard Advertising is Here to Stay!

Billboard Advertising not Affected by Internet

Unlike newspapers, and advertising on television, billboard advertising has not been so affected by the rise and rise of the internet. People are out and about as much as they ever were – in fact more than they ever were and there are more of them. Consumers supposedly spend over seventy percent of their waking hours away from home, and as so many people commute, on average they spend approaching 20hrs per week in a vehicle – mostly in their own vehicle. In these trips they’re more than half the time commuting to work, or shopping, or socialising or eating out. So an advertising medium highly visible to these on-the-move consumers is a very powerful one. A good deal of people don’t even have time to read a newspaper, a magazine, or watch TV, so outdoor advertising is one way of reaching these people that doesn’t rely on them choosing to pay attention to the media.

Put in Perspective

Outdoor billboards are one of the categories in what is typically these days known as Out Of Home (OOH) Advertising and also commonly referred to as outdoor advertising. Billboards are the biggest of these categories (the size of the category is based on the amount of advertising dollars spent in that area) but other well known forms of Outdoor Advertising are mobile advertising displays (like buses) and those in transit stations like airports, and mass-transit terminals, and street furniture is a further well utilised category (bus shelters, bike racks, newsstands, shopping mall ads – wherever people pass on foot. Yet another category is in indoor venues like movie theatres and sporting stadiums, malls and the like.

Between all of these formats, approaching $USD7billion was spend on advertising in 2012 in the US. Those are serious numbers!

Cost Effective Advertising Medium

One of the strengths of Billboard Advertising is it’s relative ‘efficiency’ or cost effectiveness.

Virtually everyone passing a well positioned billboard will get a glimpse of the message and so in terms of ‘impressions’, many more impressions can be delivered cost-effectively than compared with other media – billboard advertising rates are therefore relatively competitively and attractively priced for advertisers.

Innovation and Technology Boosting the Message

With digital billboards becoming more common and cost effective and new technologies and greater creativity coming to the fore, many more messages can be delivered with the same billboard (say, where a digital billboard can deliver 10 advertising messages in a short space of time) and a message can be delivered with greater impact (where billboards can have cars mounted on them, billboards can ‘bleed’ and various additional other props can be utilised using modern materials).

Boosting the Local Brand

Many billboards that people remember will be outdoor ads by large multinational companies, like those in telecommunications, finance, real estate, large retailers and national food services. However, outdoor advertising is considered to be mainly a local business – advertising businesses in the local area. A good proportion of billboard ads are dedicated to the travel and tourism industry, so all things considered, billboard advertising supports local jobs and enterprises, which truly are the backbone of the economy.

The Outdoor Billboard Business

Opportunities abound on many levels to become involved in the outdoor billboard business. The key is to be educated about the industry, do considerable due diligence (research everything you possibly can as deeply and thoroughly as you possibly can – you don’t want any surprises as that’s how money can be lost) and aim to make wise choices. Read everything you possibly can about outdoor billboards before jumping in, and if you’re already in, keep informed with changes in the industry so you are not caught unawares if the tide turns in any particular area of the industry.