Should my Business Buy a Billboard Advertisement? The Top 5 Problems with Outdoor Marketing

When deciding how to best advertise your business, billboards may be one method that comes to mind.  You’re wondering if it’s a good idea. Is this the best way to spend your advertising dollars?

Let’s just jump right into it! There are several negative aspects of outdoor marketing, particularly billboard advertisements. Here are the top five downfalls to this medium:


  • Low Exposure Time

With billboard advertisements, you have a very limited window of opportunity in which to reach consumers.  When people are driving down the highway, they’re focused on several different things. Where’s my next exit? How much gas do I have left? Is that guy beside me trying to merge lanes? Your billboard is one of the last things on their minds. They may catch a glimpse of your sign, but the odds of them recalling its message are significantly low.

  • Limited Copy

This short time window also restricts the amount of copy that can be placed on a billboard. On the off chance that someone does pay attention to your advertisement, they won’t have time to read an entire paragraph. Recommendations for maximum copy length range from 6 to 10 words. Obviously, the fewer words it takes to get your point across, the better.

  • Poor Targeting

You can find out the basic demographic information of people living within a given region, but it’s much more difficult to pinpoint the types of people that pass various billboard locations. This group of travelers and commuters is rather broad, whereas your company’s target audience should be very specific. Add to this the fact that good billboard placements are difficult to come by.

  • Cost

The ROI (return on investment) for outdoor marketing is considerably low, especially when compared to any inbound form of marketing. While it depends on the venue, billboards can often cost thousands of dollars per week.

  • Measuring Effectiveness

How would you determine if a billboard advertisement really worked for your company? You could place a certain keyword on the sign. When viewers mention this word at the time of purchase, they receive a discount and you know they saw the billboard. However, we’ve already discussed the issues of limited copy and exposure time. Therefore, you know this wouldn’t be a good solution. The truth is that there isn’t an ideal solution to measuring billboard effectiveness.

Inbound marketing solves all of these problems and more!  Inbound content, like this blog you’re currently reading, is in a format that fits your lifestyle. Don’t have time to read it now?  No problem. Read it later.  It’s not going anywhere. It also helps that blogs typically have a copy length of 300-600 words. Getting your point across in that amount of time should be no problem.

What about targeting? SEO, tone, content, and platform all allow us to target a specific group of people.  If you’ve read along this far, you’re probably one of those people. Inbound also permits us to do more with your marketing budget, ensuring that you get the biggest bang for your buck. Measurements? No problem. Inbound makes tracking, recording, and monitoring your marketing efforts a breeze!