Outdoor vs. Social Media Advertising: Which Is Right For Your Business?

Are you looking to increase brand awareness for your business? If so, you might be trying to determine the best way to spend your advertising budget. Outdoor advertising has been picking up steam recently, but does it compare to social media marketing? Let’s take a closer look at both options to help you determine which is the right one for your business.


What Is Outdoor Advertising?

Most of us are already familiar with social media marketing. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok are some of the most popular methods of advertising. If you’re looking to enhance your business marketing strategy, you might be searching for other forms of promotion. This brings us to outdoor advertising.

Also commonly referred to as Out Of Home (or OOH advertising), this marketing technique includes any ad in a public space. The most well-known method is billboards, which can be digital or traditional. Other methods of OOH ads include bulletins, posters, wall murals, and park bench advertisements. They can be found in any public location, including highways, airports, train stations, bus stations, subway stations, hospitals, colleges, and more.

Here are some factors to take into consideration when deciding what marketing methods to use to promote your business.


Potential Reach

Outdoor advertisements have the potential to be seen by thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis. These people pass billboards and other outdoor ads every day. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and connecting with current and potential customers. Companies use OOH to deliver targeted messages that reach people in specific locations. With the right strategy, OOH campaigns can be incredibly effective, as they attract attention and create intrigue in an environment where marketing may not be expected. To maximize effectiveness, it’s important to think creatively when crafting an OOH campaign; there are plenty of innovative ways to reach audiences like inflatable blimps or extraordinary billboards on highways. Custom blimps for advertising, for example, are extraordinary tools that are not widely used, will surely be a great surprise, and will serve the intention with their attention-grabbing appearance. They should definitely be part of any well-rounded marketing strategy if you’re trying to gain exposure for a particular product or event. With creativity and careful targeting, OOH campaigns have the power to make a big impression!

Social media marketing, on the other hand, has the ability to reach people throughout the entire world. To get a large potential reach, however, that will mean running frequent ads.



Outdoor ads can be a lot pricier than social media marketing. When looking at outdoor advertising, you have to factor in the billboard construction cost as well as the upkeep and advertising space. You can pay from as low as $1,500 to as much as $30,000 per month for your standard billboard. Whereas your larger, or even digital billboards can start around the $65,000 mark. If you’re looking at advertising on a billboard in more rural areas, this can start at $750 per month or $15,000 for slightly more populated areas. There’s also the added expense of hiring a billboard advertising agency to design and manage your ads.

When it comes to social media marketing, you can spend as little as $5-10 a day on advertisements. Although you might hire a social media marketer, you could also learn how to run your own ads.


Both OOH and social media marketing can be effective when used properly. What will work best ultimately depends on the type of business you own.

If you have a physical storefront, utilizing billboards or other outdoor advertisements can help drive potential customers to your business. This works really well for small businesses, but even some larger corporations take advantage of this strategy. One example of this is Cracker Barrel, which, according to Entrepreneur, spends nearly half of its marketing budget on outdoor ads. These bring customers to the company’s restaurants, which are conveniently located right off of highway exits.

For anyone with a local restaurant, store, hotel, law firm, real estate agency, or other small business, billboard ads may be a game-changer. But even if your business doesn’t have a physical storefront, you can use OOH advertisements to drive people to your website.

If you have a web-based business, social media marketing can be a good way to reach people across the globe. It can be an effective strategy for local businesses, as well. According to USA Today, one chiropractor spent a little over $1,000 to promote his business on social media and earned $10,000 from new clients. The key was using microtargeting, which allows you to target a small subset of people who might be interested in your products or services.

When it comes to outdoor and social media advertising, the right solution ultimately depends on your business. For some business owners, one of these marketing methods may prove to be more profitable than the other. In some situations, a combination of both types of advertising may be the way to go.