How to Choose Outdoor Locations For Your Local Media Campaign


There are many outdoor advertising options available, make sure you choose the best possible locations.

The first step is to correctly request an outdoor proposal from a vendor. The proposal should include a map of available locations along with photos and impression levels.

This information will help you determine which locations to include in your campaign, but it is critical that you or a member of your team, “ride the boards” or drive past each location before making your final decision.

Here are a few things to consider when you visit locations for your next campaign:

Long Read Time

The approach to the billboard is just as important as the location itself.  Is the board located around a corner, which is only visible for a short period of time?  Or, is it located at a busy intersection, with a clear view of the board when sitting at a stoplight?

It is usually preferable to purchase a board with a right hand read, meaning the board is located on the right hand side of the road.  However, you may find a board on the left side has a better “read time.”  Unfortunately, you won’t know unless you visit the location.

Traffic Flow

Remember the traffic patterns around your location, especially if you are placing a directional board.  Your outdoor board needs to provide a consumer enough time to react and visit your location.

For example, you may not want a board located near an interstate on-ramp if your location is at the next exit.  Or, a board located on a one-way street facing the wrong direction.

This is especially applicable to bus shelter units in a downtown area.  You may choose this tactic to reach the pedestrian traffic, but make sure you don’t miss out on the vehicle traffic as well.


The notion that the outdoor board should have an unobstructed view may seem a bit obvious.

But, you may find when “riding the boards” the view is less than ideal.  Watch for power lines or a tree that needs trimming.

Also keep in mind the time of year your campaign will run.  If you are planning a showing in the spring or summer, a tree with a full canopy of leaves may obstruct the board.

Know Your Neighbors

Finally, know the neighborhood and businesses that will surround your brand’s message.  This is particularly important if you are running a brand campaign with a high showing level throughout the market.

While it may be difficult to fit an outdoor “ride” into your busy schedule, we strongly encourage you to make the time.  Share your concerns with your outdoor rep and ask for other location options if you don’t like the ones provided.   During the ride, you may even find a few boards that will be a better fit for your local media campaign.

Photo credit: Bill on Capitol Hill via photopin cc

Shelby Nichols

About Shelby Nichols

Shelby is Director of Digital Media at Sheehy, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. With close to 15 years in the industry she has planned and purchased a wide range of media and has a passion for all things digital.

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