Outdoor Billboard use Digital to Attract Specific Audience


The use of the digital outdoor billboard is changing to attract a larger audience. Because of the ability of billboards to change their ad campaign with a few strokes on a keyboard, different audiences can be reached from the same location.

No longer are advertising firms restricted to the old ways of collecting data from past surveys, censuses or traffic counters to decide on what should be advertised at specific location. Today there is real time data on what type of people are in front of billboards at specific times is available.

The real time data is collected from multiple streams online that can include events going on near the billboards. A great example is if there is a football or baseball game being played. The times before and after the game there are sports fans walking or driving by. With a few strokes the ad can be changed on the digital billboard to attract their attention.

That same billboard could be near movie theaters. In the evening after the game is over the billboard can target movie goers. In the late evening hours it can be changed to reflect local restaurants for those people who have been clubbing and are looking to get a bite to eat before heading home.

It is this type of changes to ads that are taking place to attract the audience in front of and near the billboards. By following the real time traffic flow and knowing who is in the area is the best way to get attention and draw customers to the sponsors of the ads.

By using technology in a smart way, billboard owners can increase the value their signs provide the clients. This on demand theme is what is trendy. It can be seen in the way people use TV with all the online formats that provide what the viewer desires at a time of their choosing. The same goes for out of home advertising. Meet the demand of the target audience that is always on the go.

The need static billboards across the nation will never totally go away, but their value is limited. They will still play an important role on the highways and byways of America, but once people are in the urban areas, the mindset of the billboard owner must change with the times.

In the past location was everything in the outdoor billboard business. This is still true, but now the ability to change the ads as the audience changes is fundemental to attracting their attention. This mass media type of advertising is transforming into one that has a more targeted audience.

Not only are ads being changed by the time of day but also by the season. Because there is no printing involved, the changing of ads is faster with the digital format at a lower cost.

It is true that the digital outdoor billboards are more expensive to build and operate, but the value they provide sponsors is immense. This is the direction of this out of home advertising is going now and into the future.

Outdoor Billboards on Public Transportation Routes

Getting the attention of those in transit is the top priority of any outdoor billboard business for the people that advertise on their spaces. With the use of public transportation growing, especially in the larger urban areas with 59.6 billion miles annually traveled in America in 2016 and more each year, this is a large audience of commuters that can be targeted successfully.

With a growing number of Americans using public transport to get to and from work on a daily basis, these commuters are spending 318 million hours annually just staring out the windows, using their cell phones  or reading a book. While some commuters are doing work related functions when they commute, most are just passing the time absentmindedly.

The positioning of billboards on the bus and train routes allows for these commuters the chance to see what an advertiser wants to sell.  Because most Americans take the same path to work daily, the billboards are seen on a daily basis.

With daily exposure to a message, the advertisements are remembered by most or all on the buses and trains that pass by. Subconsciously the commuters remember the signs and in many instances it is in reference to where they are on their trip. This is very common for ads near a stop or station. The commuter knows their stop is close when they see the sign so they are considered a landmark.

The largest public transportation companies in America as ranked 1 through 5 are MTA New York City Transit, Chicago Transit Authority, Los Angeles County  Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority.

It is on these rails and bus lines that the highest daily number of passengers are sitting still with a majority looking for something interesting to observe to occupy their minds. This is a captive audience looking for something to do or read and the target audience of advertisers.

At the stations where commuters are waiting for their trains and buses is another set of locations there is a captive audience. The advertisers in these locations get great exposure to the masses with their messages. With short jingles or pointed messages, the commuters will get them stuck in their heads long after the posters are out of their sight. The larger the traffic, the more the rent will be for advertising on them.

For those in the outdoor billboard business this is an avenue for revenue many people do not think of. Most of the population relates billboards with highways and on the roadside where passenger car traffic is the main focus.

The similarity between the two different locations is most viewers still only have up to 8 seconds to absorb the message. The biggest difference is the commuter on the highway is also navigating the vehicle; those on public transport are just sitting idly by passing the time away. Because of this the passengers on public transport can focus on the message for a longer period than those driving.

When looking for a new location to advertise, remember the routes of public transport. The bus routes will be seen by both passengers on the buses and those in a vehicle which will provide your message with a better chance of being absorbed.

Continuous Passive Income of an Outdoor Billboard Business


The outdoor billboard business is the best way to make a continuous passive income for years into the future. It is the nature of this business venture and also why the owner has the time to seek out new business channels to further their income potential.

The outdoor billboard business is one of the few business ventures that do not rely on customers coming in their door on regular bases for income. The income is generally paid each month or on an annual basis with a check or direct deposit from the businesses advertising on the billboards.

With little to no daily interaction with clients on a regular basis, there is time to explore other income options for the business owner.  One of the best uses for this time is the exploration of new locations that might become available to post new billboards.

The best and most profitable locations will be near any new highway or+ byway in the major metropolitan cities. The rental for these new locations will be comparable to what is already being collected by the major billboard business owners who have existing signs on the major highways that were built years ago.

The first step is to know where the new roads in your area are being planned or built. The next step would be to find out who is the owner of the land that was purchased or annexed so the road could be built. This is part of the public records.

The next item is to check if the local councils have decided to make the area next to the new road zoned for billboards. Most of the time this approved by a suggestion to a council member so it can be put on the calendar. If there are no objections, most of the time the request is approved.

Once the area by the new roads is zoned for commercial use, like outdoor billboard signage, the leases with landlords of the land next to the new highway can be drawn up and negotiated. Then it is time to find those business that desire to have great exposure of the new traffic path you are about to make possible.

Other possible profitable locations for new outdoor billboards are where new buildings and plants are being constructed. These can even be erected before the building is completed so those passing by will know in advance what new business will soon be open. That is a selling point many businesses like and will pay for.

The outdoor billboard business creates a passive income for the owner continuously just as long as the billboard signs are rented out to local and national businesses. This makes it possible for the owner of the billboards to have the time to expand their business on an almost daily basis.

In this business sector there is time for owners to look into expansion of a regular basis and why so many outdoor billboard businesses are so large. Each of the owners has the time and ambition to increase the profit potential of their business.

Profitability of an Outdoor Billboard Business with a Loan

Getting a small business loan to start an outdoor business enterprise can be profitable in the current business climate.  As of May 3, 2018 the Federal fund rate was at 1.70%.

The small business owner does not borrow money directly from the FED, but a private financial institution. As of 5 days ago the average small business loan had a rate from 7.00% to 9.50% in America.

These variable rates have figures on the rate of 4.75% financial institution pays for the loan from the FED plus their mark up of 2.25% to 4.75%. The amount of markup up is dependent on the loan amount and if the payback time is greater or less than 7 years.

Being a variable rate the amount the business will pay is dependent on the Federal Reserve. As the Prime Rate moves up or down so does the amount of interest that has to be paid on the loan. The markup stays fixed for the duration of the loan.

The last time the FED raised the Prime Rate was in March of this year by a quarter of a point. This was the first increase since June of 2006. There are some people predicting this rate will rise to 2.0% before the end of the year and to 3.0% by 2020, but that is only speculation by those who get paid to guess at what the FED is going to do down the road.

For those looking for a loan, the best advice is to go where you already have some type of account. This should be the first, but not the only place you get a quote. On average across the America the smaller and regional financial institution offer their customers a better rate than the giants in the financial industry.

The big three financial institution in America prefer the larger businesses because of their multimillion and billion dollar loans which makes it possible to maximize profits.

With the profitability of just one outdoor billboard for an entrepreneur in the range of 20% to 40%, paying back a small business loan to operate the business is possible and still makes a hefty profit.

The cost to create and manufacture the advertisement is generally on average less than $2,000 each. It is the leasing of the billboard site that will be the biggest cost. In small town USA this cost can be as little as $3,000 for a 4 week campaign to more than $140,000 on Sunset Strip in LA.

This makes it possible for an entrepreneur to begin their outdoor billboard business in a small to mid size community and grow larger as they acquire capital. With a $350,000 loan it is possible to have leased up to 30 billboard spaces or more and make a profit on each one.

By lining up prospective advertisers, getting quotes on loans and investigate leasing billboards in your community, you too can be part of the highly profitable business sector. This is the first step in the path for this type of business venture being a reality so you and your family can have a steady passive income.

The Power of Outdoor Billboards


The outdoor billboard business is growing stronger by the day showing the power of this version of Out of Home advertising. While the traditional static billboards are nearly flat in sales for the past several years, the amount spent on digital billboards is growing.

The growth of outdoor billboards in 2017 was at 2.7%. In this same year digital advertising took the top spot from TV ads. The total amount spent annually on advertising worldwide was $31 billion. 7.6 billion of that was spent in the US. The market share of outdoor billboards in the advertising world is about 13% of most companies advertising budget.

It is true that the mobile then internet is now the preferred places for companies to advertise, but in third are outdoor billboards in terms of growth last year. They are ahead of advertising in theaters, TV, magazines and news papers, but more money is still spent on TV ads.

What makes outdoor billboards relevant is the number of daily views they receive each and every day. Unlike magazines and news papers that have to be purchased for people to see the ads, outdoor billboards are free to view, up and operating 24 hours a day.

With more thought going into just what ads should be in specific locations, the mass media approach of using outdoor billboards is changing. The fastest growing section is the digital outdoor billboard. With the ability to change the ads on average every 8 seconds, the target audience can change instantly attracting more attention by those passing by.

The determining factor into who should advertise where is by just who is passing by. The digital world advertises on billboards close to schools and shopping centers. Restaurants advertise near one of their locations on highways while car manufactures are everywhere on the freeways.

For the outdoor billboard owners, they rent on average 73% of their space to local business with 18% to promote national brands. 9% of the advertisements are for public service messages with a small percentage donated for causes determined by the billboard owners. By knowing this the placement of the billboards is easier so the target audiences can be attracted.

The posting of social messages are also growing in popularity. Just like the 4 Billboards of Wichita and the 3 billboards in the New York area. These are generally only short term like the ones in NY, but the income for that month for the billboard owner was $14,000. This is higher than the national average.

Starting out in the Out of Home advertising business sector all begins with the purchase of just one outdoor billboard. This type of business is almost assured to provide a steady stream of income now and into the future.

The power of the outdoor billboard business is still thriving in the digital era and does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. No matter how much the digital world expands, it will never replace the real world. Humans need the real world to live, eat, breathe and sleep.

The New Golden Age of Outdoor Billboards

The old fashioned outdoor billboards are new entering its new Golden Age. The new popularity of this long established out-of-home advertising is booming to the point that news networks and the online social medias are covering it.

The Biggest Advertisers on Billboards

To no one’s surprise the biggest advertiser on outdoor billboards is McDonalds. They have held this position for the last 5 consecutive years. The newest statistic available on the amount they are spending on outdoor advertising is from 2015 where they invested $73.6 millions in this path to getting the word out.

Just behind McDonalds in 2017 in terms of spending on outdoor advertising for the past 5 years is the tech company Apple. They invested $59.7 million in 2015 and have increased that amount each year since.

The rest of the top ten in 2017 were Geico, American Express, Google, Amazon, Coca-Cola, HBO, Verizon, and Chevrolet. That makes 3 of the top 10 investors in outdoor billboards are giants in the high tech world. For the top 100 advertisers last year nearly 25% were from the tech business sector.

The Popularity of Outdoor Billboards is Spreading

The tech industry is using outdoor billboards more and more even with their nearly unlimited reach on the internet. The reason for this trend is added evidence of just how effective the oldest form of out-of-home advertising is in the new modern world.

The reason behind the making of 3 billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri is only known to the writer, but if effect on the outdoor billboard business has been profound. The pattern of using 3 and now even 4 billboards to send a message out about social injustice like the 4 billboards of Wichita is more proof of the effectiveness of this out-of-home advertising.

There are also private citizens with deep pockets placing ads on billboards in their home town to attract top athletes to their area so their team can possibly win a championship.

Revenue Potential of a Billboard to an Advertising Business


The two most profitable locations in America for renting out an outdoor billboard include Times Square in NYC and the Sunset Strip in LA. In both of these locations there are billboards being rented for more than $100,000 a month.

For many organizations that amount for just a month of getting their word out is too much, but for big companies, it is just part of doing business in their highly competitive business sector.

The exact cost of this old fashioned form of advertising varies, depending on its location. Inside of a downtown area of a major metropolitan city will cost $1,500 to $20,000 a month depending on the size of the local population.

In the major freeways outside or metropolitan cities, the month rental varies from $750 to $4,000, 4 lane highways are less as with 2 lane highways are even lower in price. It is all dependent on the volume of traffic that passes by on a daily basis.

The new Golden Age of outdoor billboards is upon us. This 100 year old path to getting the word out is still growing strong. For entrepreneurs in this business sector, the profits continue to roll in.

The Time Required for Placing a New Message on an Outdoor Billboard

The actual time that is required for placing a new message on an outdoor billboard is good knowledge to know. With Lamar advertising company, a new posting from idea to up on the billboard is just 1 day.

To Honor a Past First Lady

The speed at which Lamar placed the new sign was just a day after the former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away. The sign was not an advertisement, but posted out of respect for this simple yet elegant soft spoken first lady.

Most companies have their brand on a billboard when advertising.  The first lady also had a simple brand of 3 string pearl necklace. Nothing too fancy, but elegant and with class which appeared on the new billboard.

Digital vs Real World Timing

Today nearly all of the advertising campaigns are created in a computer program. The only difference in terms of time required of posting an ad on the internet and one in the real world is the printing of the vinyl then placing it on the billboard.

For those who will be using a digital billboard, that printing and posting time is eliminated.

The Latest Trend in Billboards

The posting of this memorial of the past first lady is out of respect and categorized as a personal message. Nothing is being sold or offered for free, just a sign of respect.

Unlike the 4 billboards of Wichita, Kansas that was used to send out message to the government calling for action, this one for the past first lady was just to honor this elegant woman and mark her passing.

The use of this mass media advertising has also recently been used to ask for LeBron to change teams and go to the city where the group who is paying for the billboards are from.

While the revenue for these short time postings will not have long term profits for the advertising company in short term the rates are higher because of the speed required to get the message out.

Views of the Personal Messages

In the past only those passing by a billboard would see the message. That is no longer true. The use of social media on the internet has changed that as proven with the 4 Billboards of Wichita and the memorial to Barbra Bush. Both of these and the LeBron billboards were covered not only by the social media like Facebook, but also local news stations.

With this increase in exposure come more views. This is positive and shows the relevance of just how important outdoor billboards are in today’s modern world.

With the one day turnaround of idea to posting of an outdoor billboard, this lucrative business sector has proven it can keep pace with the digital world.

Another unnoticed fact is that messages on outdoor billboards are being shown in the digital world, but messages from the digital world do not appear on outdoor billboards. This is one of the many advantages of advertising on outdoor billboards.

How Outdoor Billboards are Tracking their Views

The outdoor billboard business has only relied on traffic numbers and demographic figures in just how effective an advertising campaign is, but that is now a thing of the past. Today’s smart billboards are now tracking the cell phones of those that pass by their signs and finding other ways to collect data on them.

Tracking people


Americans know they are being tracked by advertisers when they are surfing the web, but now it is occurring in the real world. This was first introduced back in 2016 when Clear Channel Outdoor partnered up with cell phone network providers.

How it works is simple. The cell phones of travelers going by a billboard have their signal tracked in terms of where they go and what the users looks for on the internet from their phones. This makes it possible for the advertisers to know if a traveler that sees their billboard actually visits their store or place of business.

To help protect those being tracked, it is done anomalously so no person can be identified.

Identifying viewers


To help an advertiser know just who is walking or driving by a location, old technology is being used in a new way. Cameras are now being installed on outdoor billboards capturing just who is looking at them.

This approach is collecting real time data on the age and sex of those viewing the billboards. Other data being collected includes just how long the eyes are in contact with the billboard. One of the company’s pioneering this approach is Quividi.

This real time data is more accurate than the general traffic and demographic data all outdoor billboard businesses have been using in the past. Once again only the data is being stored not the person’s identity.

How the data is being used

The data being collected in the above examples, along with other paths are now being complied for use by advertisers and the companies who sell the advertising. No individuals are having their pictures stored or being identified by their account numbers for now.

The information makes it possible to better target the audience that frequencies the location of the outdoor billboards. This increases the Return on Investment (ROI) for any organization looking to target a specific demographic.  By knowing the area of the target audience, a more effective advertising campaign can be launched.

Using technology to your advantage

The use of outdoor billboards for years has just been considered a mass media approach, but that is changing. With the use of cameras and sensors, a target audience can be reached more effectively since it is now possible to know who is looking at what and where.

Combining mobile and billboard campaigns

The use of an outdoor billboard is now helping to drive a target audience to the mobile site of an organization is now being launched by many. This is by the offer of coupons online or vouchers. It is also the best possible means for providing additional information that cannot be listed in the 8 seconds a traveler might be viewing the billboard.

The outdoor billboard business is changing by now having the ability to track viewers in real time. By using both OOH advertising and social media, reaching the target audience has never been easier in the highly profitable business of outdoor billboard.

The New Importance of Outdoor Billboards

It has become evident that the new importance of outdoor billboards as part of any advertising campaign has emerged. Just 6 days again it was reported by Reuters that Netflix made a $300 million offer to purchase Regency Outdoor Advertising in Orange County California.

Netflix knows the Importance of Billboards

Netflix is not the only organization bidding for this outdoor billboard owner and just 3 days ago, Netflix again upped their bid to $391 million was reported.  With a jump of nearly $100 million in only 3 days, this bid must be taken seriously and emphasis how important Netflix views the mass media approach of outdoor billboards.

What should be known is that Netflix has an advertising budget of for its movies and shows of $2 billion for this current year. The outdoor billboard advertising firm they are attempting to purchase owns billboards all over LA including Sunset Strip.

With the monthly rental of just one billboard on Sunset Strip reaching more than $140,000, the purchase of this advertising firm would be a wise investment. Not only will Netflix own space in the entertainment capital of the world, but also at the airport for travelers to see constantly upon their arrival.

Profitability of Outdoor Billboards

With the numbers reaching $100’s of millions, the importance of Out of Home advertising on billboards is evident. This mass media marketing approach is more than just alive; it is still a highly profitable business venture.

The cost of rentals of billboards does vary depending on their location. Sunset Strip is at the higher end of the range. On rural roads the costs can be as low as $250 a month with locations in NYC and Chicago going for $14,000 a month. This shows how important the location is relative to costs of the rental.

For most small to medium size cities, the monthly revenue of just one outdoor billboard will be in the range of $1,500 to $4,000. This is potential profit for any outdoor billboard business venture an entrepreneur might create for themselves.

Factors determining the rental price

The leading numbers that any investor should look at when deciding on a region is number of adults in the area and potential weekly impressions the sign will receive. The more adults in the area the higher the weekly impression will be and the more the billboards can be rented out for.

Another important factor is the size and power of the competition in the area. Nearly everywhere across America already has an outdoor billboard business in it. Most have more than one, but that should not persuade anyone away from this type of business venture.

Getting into the Outdoor Billboard Business

For many investors, the easiest path is the best. With outdoor billboards, this would entail the purchase of existing billboards from the competition. The lowest cost ones would be the billboard in locations the competition has not been successful at.

If a billboard fails to attract attention, it is not always the location. Many times it’s the message. By following the 8 second rule of grabbing the attention of travelers, a billboard can become a profit making machine.

The outdoor billboard business is becoming more popular in recent years. Now is the time to make an investment in this reliable income source.

How to Start an Outdoor Billboard Business

Starting an outdoor billboard business is possible for those looking to succeed in this competitive and highly profitable business sector. The first step is to do research on this business sector in your target area and know the local ordinances. You must also be aware of the federal laws that include the Highway Beautification act of 1965.

Where can billboards be located?

The importance of knowing the local and federal ordinances cannot be emphasized enough. As an example in the downtown business sector of Detroit, it is illegal to post a billboard on any of the buildings. Once the areas where billboards are permitted are known, then the average annual revenue of the existing ones should be investigated.


As of late last year the national average for the monthly revenue of billboards ranged from $700 to $2,500. With this income the only costs will be the renting of the land on which the billboard is located. That can be 10% to 25% depending on the negotiating abilities of the outdoor billboard business owner and the local value of where the sign is placed. The other necessary cost is for insurance to help cover the business just in case.

Last year alone, more than $7.7 billion was spent on outdoor billboards advertisements. This amount has continually grown for the past decade and sees no sign of slowing down.

The First Billboard

For most entrepreneurs that are just getting into this business, the first step would be to purchase an existing outdoor billboard. By taking this route, the location of the billboard is already in an approved area according the ordnances.

In time more billboards can be purchased and for those with the finances, the building of billboards can follow. This should only be attempted after the local ordinances are known and the rights to location have been acquired.


For most just starting out, the charge for advertising should be lower than the other local competition. This lower cost can entice local business to advertise with you instead of the more established outdoor billboard businesses.

Another way to attract clients is to show them how your services will increase their business. Local restaurants are a great place to start. Look at the business just down the road from your billboards. By selling the idea of having a restaurant advertise on your space, more people will be aware they are approaching it. This allows for the travelers to think if they are hungry and ask the other occupants in the vehicle. The alternative is for those traveling to see the restaurant then start the process of deciding if they want to stop. Most will then stop at the next restaurant.

As with all business, the outdoor billboard business will cost more money than it will make in the first year on average. Once that hurdle is overcome with the start up costs already behind and invested, the profits can begin to flow in. This is just the nature of business.

The simple fact is that outdoor billboards have been around for over 100 years and are still the most cost effective means for an organization to get their message out to the public. With the right amount of drive and determination, an outdoor billboard business will thrive anywhere there are travelers and organizations wanting to advertise their business.