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Types of outdoor marketing

If you're interested launching an outdoor marketing campaign, make sure you read this article first and consider your marketing options and target market.

You will learn

  • What out door marketing is
  • What types of outdoor marketing you can use
  • Where to place you outdoor adverts

There are lots of different options available to you when looking at the types of outdoor marketing. It can be a great way of attracting customers in your local area. Things like billboards, transit advertising, street furniture, and A boards can get your business into the minds of potential customers and encourage them to come into your shop. What’s great about outdoor marketing is that you can reach a wide range of different people that you might otherwise have excluded from your target market but that are interested in what you’re offering. 

To give you a place to start when considering your outdoor marketing techniques, we’re going to give you an overview of what different options are available to you and some things you need to consider to make your campaigns a success.

Research your customers

Researching your customers is key to conducting successful outdoor marketing. Knowing their locations, transportation methods and travel routes can make a massive difference to the success of your campaign. There’s no point in paying to have a billboard advert on the side of your local ring road if your target market are all travelling by train. Make sure you have a good understanding of the behaviours of your target market so you can tailor your outdoor marketing campaign to their movements.


For lots of businesses, their outdoor marketing campaign starts with a simple sign above the door of their premises. Your signage is often the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business, so it needs to catch the eye. It’s worth working with a graphic designer to make sure your sign accurately represents your business and draws people in. If you can, design something that physically comes out of the wall of your building so that passers-by can see some information before they actually reach your premises.



Billboards can be a great way for you to market to a lot of different potential customers. As they’re usually placed on busy roads and streets, your billboards have a great chance of being seen by a lot of people on a daily basis. Many of these people will be commuters, viewing your advert as part of their day-to-day, which will increase the likelihood that they’ll think of you when their need for your product or service comes up. However, this long-term commitment doesn’t come without cost and using this form of outdoor marketing is one of your most expensive options. You’ll also need to consider your wording very carefully, as you’ll only have about 10 words to get your message across. Images are much better, as they can be clearly viewed from further away and have a longer lasting impression.

Transit advertising

Transit advertising means placing your adverts on busses, trains, or taxis. It can provide high visibility for your business on a daily basis, as potential customers are constantly using these methods of transportation. Once they’re on board, you have a much better chance of them taking in your messages too, as there are fewer distractions around to occupy them. Make sure not to overload people with too much information on these adverts, especially if you’re putting them on the side of a moving bus, but give enough to interest to get people engaging with your business.

Street furniture

Street furniture is the advertising name given to bus stops, benches, telephone booths, even poles in the street. Anything large enough in your local area to hold an advert can be classed as street furniture. Design something bright that catches the eye and you can have a relatively cheap way of spreading news about your business. These adverts work best when displayed where there is lots of public footfall to maximise your chances of someone reading and engaging with your business.


A boards

A boards, or pavement boards as they’re also known, can be really good at encouraging customers to spontaneously engage with your business. They work particularly well for pubs, restaurants and entertainment businesses. They’re relatively cheap to buy and you can place them within easy walking distance to you premises to persuade customers to drop in. You will need to think carefully about where you place your boards, though, as you don’t want them to irritate potential customers by getting in their way. You might also want to check your local authority’s policy on A boards, York City Council, for example, requires you to have an A board license to display one.

QR codes

QR codes can be incredibly helpful in your outdoor marketing, as they allow you to track the impact your adverts are having on your customers. A QR code is a black and white square barcode that, when scanned on a smart phone or table, takes you directly to a web address. If your customers follow the link in your QR code, you’ll know that they’ve engaged with your adverts. If you’ve placed an advert on a bus stop, for example, having a QR code that your potential customer can use then and there while they’re searching for entertainment during their wait. You have the potential for a captive audience, you just have to encourage them to engage.


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Written by:

Beth Ellin

How's Business content writer

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