If you’re a business owner and you’ve ever commuted into work, you’ve probably thought about billboard advertising at some point. How effective is it? Who does it really work for? And would outdoor advertising be a good option to drive foot traffic to your business?

Of course, we live in a new age of digital branding and online presences, so the landscape is a little different to what it used to be. But outdoor billboard advertising still has a firm foothold in the business marketing discussion.

Join us, today, as we take a closer look.

Do Outdoor Ads Word?

The short answer to your question is: absolutely. The only reason billboards still exist in this world of digital marketing is because they have a measurable impact on sales. Coupled with the straightforward average billboard advertising cost breakdown, the benefits are clear.

But what is it about this format that guarantees billboard advertising effectiveness?

Some Billboard Advertising Statistics

It starts with the one thing even the man on the street knows about billboard advertisements: that they speak to a captive audience. The average American spends up to nine hours a week behind the wheel of a car. That’s a lot of downtime and dozens of opportunities, per trip, to put your brand in front of some eyes.

A study by Arbitron Outdoor advertising asked people about what they had learned from billboard advertising — “On a roadside billboard, have you ever…

billboard advertising statistics

It seems that quite a few people not only notice billboard ads, but they remember what they saw and even write down a phone number!

It’s also statistically proven to be effective as a form of advertising. More than 70% of Americans look at or pay attention to the billboards they see on the road, making it a robust pool in which to cast your nets. Once your billboard is up and in a visible area, there’s a good chance of the person reading it getting to their destination and taking action. Provided you do it strategically.

Make sure your content is easy to read at a glance, with simple graphics, quick punchlines, and lightning-fast branding. This is a recipe for billboard success.

Which Businesses Benefit the Most from Advertising on Billboards?

Of course, not every business is completely suited to a billboard ad, one way or another. This isn’t a slight against them, but this style of marketing applies best to businesses that meet certain criteria. Brands looking for local business advertising, for example, do well with billboards. This is because they can reference local landmarks, big events or even directions in their advertising.

Businesses with an established brand stand to benefit as well, as their messaging has already had the chance to sink in. So long as they put their colors, logo, catch phrase or other branding front and center, drivers will know, at a glance, what’s being referenced.

Of course, a business with a short message could do well on a billboard, too, but their message would have to be finely tuned and ready to make a quick impact. “Register now”, with a logo and some brand colors and that’s it. If you need longer than 10 seconds to explain your concept to someone, it will not do as well on a billboard.

Lastly, it might go without saying, but car dealers have always and will always enjoy success with billboards. Add to that entertainment venues with big acts coming up, guitar shops, expos,  gun ranges and legal services. These are simple concepts with broad appeal, making them ideal for billboard ads.

Content Tips for Outdoor Ads

So you’ve committed to a billboard, but you’re still not sure what to put up or how to format it. Not to worry. Here are a few choice tips to follow for better returns:

Your Target Audience

Make part of your design process getting into the head of your consumer. Personalizing your audience and their experience helps to inform design and ad placement.

Fight Against Boredom

creative billboard ad

Your billboard audience needs entertainment. Stimulate their imagination, even if for a few seconds, and you’ll have created a personal connection that’s hard to beat.


One of the most difficult aspects of billboard ad creation is estimating the size of your image, text, and branding. Most billboards are viewed from over 500 feet away, so text should be at least one foot long, with increased spacing between letters, words and lines.

Get To The Point

Passersby simply don’t have the time for long messages and complicated imagery. Keep your text under eight words, put your branding in a prominent position, and choose your image wisely. It needs to speak your idea clearly and quickly, or it is not effective.


subway outdoor ad featuring clean cut fonts

Everybody likes a nice, attractive font but simpler is almost always better. Choose fonts with clean lines, minimal serifs, and big, basic designs. These must be read from a distance, so keep that in mind.

Take Responsibility For Your Design

McDonalds ad using simple imagery to keep focus on the road

You’re advertising to drivers and their focus must be on the road, no matter how clever you think you’re being. Keep your images PG-rated, avoid swear words or inflammatory language, and play clean.

High Resolution Or Bust

If there’s one thing you can’t take any shortcuts on, it’s securing a good quality image for your ad. Blurry, low-res photos don’t display well on billboards, so aim for a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch.

Include Your Contact Information

creative billboard advertising featuring contact information

You’d be surprised how many billboard advertising companies forget to include contact information. Integrate your business phone number, email address, site URL or even your Twitter handle. Give the people someone to go to to compliment you on your awesome ad!

See more creative outdoor ads

How Long Should A Billboard Be Up For?

When it comes to billboard ad campaigns, the average length of time is between four and eight weeks. There’s a practical reason for this number: that’s the average amount of time the poster itself can be left up outside in the elements and still look good.

You may choose to advertise for longer but, at that point, you’ll want to consider changing the poster out for a new identical one after eight weeks.

Billboard Advertising: Now You Know

Billboard advertising is a staple type of paid advertising still used in modern marketing, even if newer digital options have become the norm. It’s a bigger-than-life way of putting your brand in front of thousands of eyes, every day, and is effective in high congestion traffic areas.

And, now that you know how to make the best use out of it, you’re ready to get out there and show the world your brand like they’ve never seen it before. For more great insights into lead generation, ads, and self promotion, make sure to check out some of our other awesome blog content, today!