10 Outdoor advertising ideas for your small business

Small businesses have a tough go of competing against the “big dog” titans of national corporations. Not to mention the “war” that many small businesses have in a local township. That’s why developing a solid marketing plan—along with a hired marketing professional if budgetary expenses allow—is so crucial for making sure the ROI and profits do more than merely break even. Outdoor advertising is one way of doing so. Here are 10 effective outdoor advertising ideas that you can use for your small business.


What’s the lifetime value of your customers? Before you spend a dollar on advertising, figuring out the LCV numbers will tell you how much individuals are worth to you in terms of revenue and profit. This will help you develop your advertising budget. This number is usually calculated based on the loyalty of customers and how much they will be repeat business for you.

2. Tracking

Reebok made headlines in 2016. They put up a billboard that measured the speed of cars passing by – those that went 17 km/h became the proud owner of then-new Z Pump 2.0 shoes. This was able to be done to the inbuilt speed camera and tracking technology. Everything in life is measurable if you apply your creative spirit.

3. GMB

Google My Business lets local people find local businesses in their area. It’s simple and free for small business owners to use. While this technology is certainly not new, this form of marketing lets you connect with customers via Google Maps and Search.

4. Canopy Tent

Customized canopy tents can be designed to advertise whatever it is you want customers to know. These are most effective at outdoor events such as tradeshows, festivals and the like. Canopy Tent will help you find instant canopies that are fully customizable for your needs, which are sure to catch attention.

5. Wi-Fi

People are attached to their cell phones like America is addicted to money. Because of this, Wi-Fi is a much smarter use of your upfront costs than investing in a billboard – on occasion. Offer Wi-Fi advertising for specific locations in your area, geared specifically for your target market. The premise is simple: if customers click on your advertisements, they can log onto your public Wi-Fi network.

6. E-Billboards

These e-displays show several static ads in a concurrent rotating basis. You can find these along roadways and inside entertainment venues. Think “LED-based displays” using wireless networks to constantly update the ad.

7. Spray Paint

“Rain advertising” is an innovative concept that does this. It’s spray paint that is invisible – until it rains. Then the stenciled message is visible for everybody who sees it. Wouldn’t that make your day after being caught in the rain?

8. Volunteer

Donating your business’ time and efforts towards helping the community always makes your small business seem like “one of the crowds.” Being generous enough to help a local charity or organization, and meeting with people in the flesh, is one of the most positive ways to increase your local reputation and social likeability.

9. Hit the Streets

Subway benches? Check. Bus shelters? Check. On the busses themselves? Check. These are just a few local haunts that you could advertise on. Walking downtown you will see flyers and posters on the insides of convenience stores, as well. There is no better local advertising method than locally advertising in stores your people frequent most. Look for angles that have the farthest reach possible.

10. Interactive Billboards

McDonald’s displayed a giant LED screen that Londoners could be a part of. Nike made a billboard with a treadmill installed on the inside that everyday passersby can run on. A lingerie clothing store created a billboard of a woman’s behind covered by an actual cloth that resembled a skirt. Heavy winds made the skirt/cloth fly up, revealing the model’s lingerie choice.


The main theme of this has been for you to be memorable. Above all, no matter what idea you have for your small business, create something that people will talk about for weeks or months to come. When it comes to advertising: the bolder the better.