What are the benefits of outdoor billboard advertising

The complete guide to outdoor advertising

If you’re looking to increase brand awareness for your business within the local area, one of the most effective ways to achieve this is through the use of outdoor advertising

Whether through the use of traditional paper billboard advertising or digital screens, outdoor advertising is perfect for putting your message in front of thousands of potential customers on a daily basis.

Many small businesses think that outdoor advertising costs are expensive and not within reach, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Grabbing the attention of your key demographic through billboards whilst commuting, socialising or shopping is a great way to driving enquiries and sales.

In this complete guide to outdoor advertising, we’ll take a look at how you can use this medium to grab the attention of potential customers in a cost effective way.

How to plan an outdoor advertising Campaign

When planning an OOH campaign you should always have a clear set of objectives and goals.

You must know precisely the audience that you want to target as this will have an impact on everything from the locations to the messaging in your advert that will engage with them.

There are many ways to identify your potential audience and customers. Below is the 7 most popular.

1. Analyse Your Customer Base and Carry Out Client Interviews

One of the best ways to determine who your target audience is to look at who already buys your product or service. Their age, where do they live and interests. You can achieve this through engaging via social media or customer surveys.

2. Conduct Market Research and Identify Industry Trends

Look at the research within your industry to determine where there are holes in service that your product can fill. Look at trends for similar products to see where they are focusing efforts, then hone in further on your products unique value.

3. Analyse Competitors

Your business can learn a lot by looking at your competitors. Find out who they are selling to and how are they doing it.

4. Create Personas

Creating personas is a great way to drill down into the specific segments that make up your target audience. This is especially helpful if you have a product that appeals to a wide range of consumers. Personas allow you to determine the general demographics, personalities and needs of your target consumers.

5. Define Who Your Target Audience Isn’t

There will definitely be consumers who are close to your target demographic, but who will not act on messaging. Try to be specific in determining who your audience is and who it isn’t.

6. Always Revise

As you gather more data and interact with customers, you will get an increasingly accurate understanding of your target audiences. By using fresh data you must constantly optimise in order to achieve the best results from your outdoor advertising campaign.

7. Use of Google Analytics

Google Analytics offers great data about who is visiting your site. This information can be leveraged to determine key insights such as what channels your target audience is coming from or what type of content they’re engaging with.


the complete guide to outdoor advertising

Set your campaign objective

We have included this in our complete guide to outdoor advertising as its without a doubt one of the most important parts of campaign planning. You must set a firm objective.

To ensure the success of your outdoor advertising campaign , it’s important to determine exactly what action you want consumers to take as a result of seeing your adverts.

Where are the right outdoor advertising locations?

It is vital that you choose the right locations when planning your OOH campaign. The correct billboard locations are determined by the people with whom you want to engage with along with your objectives and goals.

Make sure that you place your messages in locations where your potential customers are most likely to see them. You can identify this via the below points :-

  • Where your audience lives and works.
  • Where your business is located.
  • What are your potential customers habits or daily routines.

For example, let’s say that you are advertising your clothing brand to a professional audience who are commute to and from work.

You should look at booking outdoor advertising at busy roadsides in order to capture large numbers of your target market while they are on their commute to and from work.

Running an Outdoor advertising campaign

When is the best time to start your outdoor campaign?

Once ticked all the boxes as far as objectives, goals, how and where to engage with your target audience, the next phase is to time your message well in order to achieve the best possible results.

This is important if you’re running a time sensitive campaign, as you’ll need to identify when people are most likely to engage with your ads. Also, keep in mind when your time sensitive message expires as you don’t want to have your advert still in situ after its finished. This will look unprofessional as well as gain irrelevant enquiries.

How soon should I look at booking my outdoor advertising slots?

When looking to book your outdoor advertising locations,  you will need to do it as quickly as possible, as there is likely to be competition for the same slots.

This is likely the case for businesses looking to target the most popular, high traffic locations, such as on main arterial roads that leads into city centres or around shopping centres at point of sale.

As a rule, if you want to secure your preferred locations, be sure to book a minimum of 2 months in advance.

If you really love a particular location you can look at securing it on a long term basis so competitors cannot take any dates. Furthermore, The costs will be reduced as well as providing you with long term branding.

Planning your campaigns in advance, looking beyond the immediate term and booking early can be highly beneficial.

Types of outdoor advertising

What are the most common types of outdoor advertising

The digital Billboard (DOOH)

Digital billboards are becoming more and more common in the modern age. They can be seen at high profile roadsides, within Shopping malls and in petrol stations.

A Digital billboard offers flexibility as it allows you to upload your advert remotely in order for it to be shown at relevant times. Furthermore, it allows instant message changes.

However, Flexibility comes at a cost. A 48 sheet size digital billboard would cost in the region of £1400-£1500 per 2 weeks on a 1 in 6 advertisement rotation. Traditional billboards however are more affordable and within reach for local businesses.

Traditional billboards

48 sheet traditional billboards are the most common and effective formats within the outdoor advertising arena. They measure 6m x 3m or 20ft x 10ft in size.

There are many benefits of choosing traditional billboards over digital. The cost to advertise is far lower than that of DOOH. You would expect to pay around £350+vat per 2 weeks to advertise as opposed to £1400 – £1500 for digital.

Aside from the low cost, Traditional billboards offer exclusivity. When advertising through DOOH, you share the display with 5 other advertisers. This means that you advert will be displayed for 10 seconds in every minute.

However, traditional billboards would display your message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One advertiser per billboard. Traditional billboards are also located at very busy roadsides and high footfall areas.

traditional outdoor advertising billboards

The complete guide to outdoor advertising advert design

A really important element to the success of your outdoor advertising campaign. To ensure you design an effective advert, you should seriously consider the following:


For maximum effect of your advert, use concise messaging. A passer by will not stop to engage with your ad for long, so be image led with one maybe two impactful phrases. This will get your message across quickly and effectively.

Our complete guide to outdoor advertising recommends that you should use no more than 11-12 words within your creative.


It’s vital that you get the right typography. Sans serif fonts are typically easier to read, which is important if you are trying to catch the consumers attention from 100m and when driving past.

With a standard size billboard, text should be a minimum of 18 inches in height so that it can be easily read from a distance.

Avoid writing in all capital letters. It decrease the readability by at least 10%.  A small amount of all caps is okay.

Photography /Images

Its been proven that outdoor ads that use bright, vivid colours and eye catching imagery are more effective in capturing the attention of potential customers with the short window of influence.

High resolution photos and images should always be used. This is due to them being sharp and not blurry when blown up to be printed.

If using photography as a background, make sure that any overlaying text has a strong colour contrast so that it is not lost among the image.

the advantages of billboard advertising

Measuring the effectiveness of your advertising campaign

We spoke earlier in this complete guide to outdoor advertising about measuring how effective your campaign has been.

We’ve outlined some of the most useful ways to monitor and measure below.  Such metrics can also be used to appraise the potential of target locations, particularly in terms of the level of exposure that they’re able to provide.

1. URL/ landing page tracking – Firstly, Set up a dedicated landing page to your website that only appears in your billboard advert

2. Dedicated phone number – Secondly, incorporate a dedicated telephone number that piggy backs your number within your creative that only appears on you billboard advert.

3. Promo codes – Thirdly, incorporate an offer within your creative that only appears on you billboard advert (eg) “Get 25% off with promo code Bill1”

4. QR codes – incorporate an QR (Quick response) code within your creative on a high street 6 sheet, where pedestrians can take a quick scan as they walk by.

5. Tracking through social media – Create a dedicated # Hashtag and monitor how many people talk about your campaign and product

6. Visitors to your showroom – A really easy one, ask them how they heard of you and where did they see you.

7. Keyword tracking – Monitor how your visitors are coming to the site, as they might not have had time to take down a code. (eg) car dealer billboard in Poole


We hope you found this complete guide to outdoor advertising informative and is bringing you confidence when looking to use billboards. If you’re looking to progress further, please get in touch with us today for a free quote and proposal. 01202 670687 / matt@amplifyoutdoor.co.uk


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