a large advertisement on the street outdoor advertising

Outdoor Advertising: Is it Something Your Small Business Should Invest In?

If you’re a small business owner, you are no doubt looking for ways to outsmart your competitors and, well, stay in business. And as an alternative to the more familiar ways of marketing a business, you may have forgotten a type of marketing that’s actually been around for quite a while. It’s known as outdoor advertising and it encompasses everything from ads on billboards, bus stops, airports, malls, mobile trucks, and more.

billboards on a crowded street outdoor advertising
Photo: Harryfn for Getty Images.

While outdoor advertising remains a common way for larger businesses to advertise, many smaller businesses shy away from it thinking it is too expensive.

But here’s the thing. A small business that utilizes outdoor advertising is not necessarily your average mom and pop business.

A small business, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is considered a privately-owned corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship that has fewer employees and less annual revenue than a corporation or regular-sized business.

“Small” can mean anything from 500 employees in the manufacturing and mining sector to $6 million in average annual revenue in the retail and service space.

Nick Simard, an entrepreneur who is involved in several businesses, including a digital marketing agency and an outdoor media buying agency, says the tangible nature of outdoor media makes it attractive to many advertisers.

“You see what you are buying….and you buy what you need and what you can afford,” he says.

a digital screen with red letters outdoor advertising
Photo: Maxkabakov for Getty Images Pro.

“As with many industries, outdoor media is rapidly transitioning to digital on an international scale. Traditional, static media will exist indefinitely, especially in minor markets. However, since digital media does not require production costs such as printing and installation, it makes the point of entry into outdoor advertising substantially lower.”

Turning Your Brand into a Recognizable One

If there’s anything that gets your brand more eyeballs, it’s probably outdoor advertising.

This form of advertising literally captures consumers as they are going about their business, be it driving, walking through the mall, or waiting at a bus stop.

Simard says “directional advertising” that guides viewers to a physical location or website is among the most common use of outdoor media.

One’s return on investment will skyrocket if paired with “geofencing,” he adds. The location-based marketing strategy that triggers an action within a specific area or geofence might include a text, email app notification, or social media advertisement.

Perhaps more importantly, though, outdoor advertising gives you the opportunity to beat the bigger brands in your industry.

letter blocks spelling local market outdoor advertising
Photo: Piotrekswat for Getty Images.

Focusing on your niche and on your local audience this way can bring huge value to prospective customers.

Say your own a DIY store and you’ve got some great tips and advice on home repair, but the bigger chains are destroying your chances of success.

Their bigger budgets mean they have the capability to reach not only local consumers but national ones, too. Think of it as an opportunity for you to swoop in and capture a local, more targeted audience.

Never estimate the unique value that you can bring to a local audience. That includes your knowledge of the area and the issues that people are facing in your particular neck of the woods.

How Outdoor Media Can Benefit Small Business Ventures

Since data availability is much more ubiquitous in 2020 than it was even a few years ago, the possibilities with outdoor media advertising are more attractive than ever.

This will be even more apparent with the widespread adoption of 5G, says Simard, adding that there are many ways that outdoor media can be applied to smaller businesses successfully.

He suggests that sellers of the famous $5 umbrellas in New York City could activate a digital outdoor advertising campaign to promote their store and the umbrellas they sell, targeting potential customers as soon as it starts raining on their block.

a white car going into a car wash outdoor advertising
Photo: Kuzihar for Getty Images.

If your own a car wash, an outdoor advertising campaign would be perfect for directing drivers to your business, say two days following a snowstorm.

If you’re a restauranteur, you could run a special on breakfast or lunch during specifically targeted hours by using a strategy known as “day-parting.”

Small business outdoor advertising campaigns can also be used successfully to sell event tickets and to maximize visibility on the kind of publicity that is intended for large audiences, like public service announcements.

The possibilities are endless when you choose to advertise your product or service outdoors. The ways in which you do so will depend on the kind of business you have, your budget, and your location.

Simard, who works with clients in markets both nationally and internationally, says the main advantage of outdoor advertising is “guaranteed visibility at very low CPMs (cost per thousand).”

If you’re interested in outdoor advertising for your small business, be sure to contact Simard’s team at [email protected] or call 203-409-1624.

Read More: What is Marketing and How Can It Help Your Business?

Share this post