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How To Make Billboards Work For You

Is billboard advertising right for your fencing company?

If you are looking for new ways to market your fencing company, you may want to consider an old-school format that has kept up with the times—billboard advertising.

Billboard advertising has its roots in signs painted on barn roofs or tacked onto lampposts during our country’s early years. But the format really took off in the 20th century along with the automobile and the nation’s highway system.

Today’s billboards are both traditional and high-tech in format. The traditional static kinds of billboards typically are located near busy city intersections, beside major roadways, or at other prominent spots where they can deliver maximum impact to people who pass by them every day.

Digital billboards, which consist of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and are remotely controlled by computers, often contain ads from several businesses that rotate at regular intervals. These billboards commonly are located at kiosks, airports, walkways, or indoor arenas.

For the purpose of this article, we won’t be debating traditional versus digital, but rather whether billboard advertising as a medium is a good choice for your fencing company. Just as with any marketing option, there are advantages and disadvantages to billboards.

Let’s look at the advantages of billboard advertising.

1. High visibility

You can reach a broad audience with a billboard ad. According to a national study by Arbitron, 71% of Americans report that they consciously look at billboards while they are driving, and 37% say they pay attention to an outdoor ad most every time they see one.

Many people take the same route each day, whether it’s as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian. Therefore, your billboard audience may see your ad two or more times a day, increasing the chances they will recall and act on your message.


2. Targeted audience

You can place your billboard ad in a specific location to attract your potential fencing customers.

For example, are you looking to attract more suburban homeowner business? A billboard near a commuter train parking lot may be the right choice. Is there a new residential development underway in a nearby community? A billboard placed at an intersection near the project may get the attention of prospective home buyers.


3. Solid ROI

According to a report by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), every dollar that is spent on out of home (OOH) advertising results in an estimated $5.97 in sales -- or an ROI of 497%.

Billboards are effective in driving consumers to your online media. The OAAA reports that nearly 50% of their survey respondents reported using an internet search engine to find more information after seeing something advertised on a billboard. Almost 40% said they visited a Facebook page after seeing an OOH ad.

And now let’s examine the disadvantages of billboard advertising.

1. Brief exposure time

Depending on where your sign is located, your audience may have only a second – literally – to digest your billboard message as they pass by it. That’s why the billboards with the best results combine short, snappy messages with high visual impact.

Can you capture the essence of your fencing business in a way that will make sense so quickly? You’ll need to explore this aspect thoroughly before investing in a billboard.


2. Hard to measure results

Although you can reach a wide audience with a billboard, it is difficult to target a specific demographic. Furthermore, it may be hard to determine who is actually seeing and reacting to your sign.

We live in a very distracting world, and your billboard is competing with many other things for your audience’s attention. A driver may be listening to the radio, following a GPS, or focusing on the road. A pedestrian is navigating people and traffic. A passenger may be reading, streaming audio, or even sleeping.


3. High costs

The cost of a billboard varies significantly depending on its size and location. Traditional billboards generally are less expensive than digital billboards.

Billboard advertising space usually is booked on a four-week basis. A traditional (vinyl) billboard costs anywhere between $750 and $1,500 per month in rural areas, $1,500 to $2,000 in small- to medium-size cities, and $14,000 and up in large urban markets, according to research published by This site gives an average state-by-state price:

A billboard with lighting may have a 25% premium over one without illumination, but it will gain more hours of attention. Digital billboards can range from $10,000 to $15,000 per month, depending on the location.

In addition to designing the message and contracting for the space, you also may have to factor in the cost of weather damage or vandalism to your billboard. A damaged billboard might even generate a negative impression of your company.


Weighing your options

You might have noticed that the three potential disadvantages are the flip side of the three advantages we discussed. You will have to decide if the benefits outweigh any problems when it comes to your marketing goals and your budget.

Billboards can be an effective way to introduce your fencing brand to a wider audience. Your costs will depend on its format, lighting, construction, size, and location.

To help make your decision, ask the sign owner plenty of questions about the following three factors.

  • Circulation. Circulation represents the total volume of traffic that passes by the billboard as determined by local transportation authorities. This number obviously cannot take into account whether or not passersby see your ad.

  • Demographics. A billboard’s demographics consist of the age, gender, and income level of people who typically pass by the sign. You can expect to pay more for billboards in areas that attract higher income levels.

  • Impressions. This number represents the likely number of people who will see the ad, based on visibility, size, the speed at which people are going by, and other factors.

Also, think like a potential customer. Drive or walk by the area where the billboard is located. What ads catch your eye and why? Then begin brainstorming ideas for your sign.



Here are some resources to help you get started:

15 Insightful Billboard Design Tips & Examples

Billboard Design Guidelines

Digital Billboard Design Tips


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