How to capitalise on billboard advertising in the construction sector


To effectively advertise, your main goal is to grab your audience’s attention, but many businesses in the building industry find this tricky. Arguably, one of the most effective methods of making someone pay attention is with a large billboard placed strategically in a public place.

Originating in New York around 1830, the earliest record of a leased billboard was documented in 1867. But now, the billboard is an essential part of marketing — it’s even had a film made about it (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

Find out exactly why your building business needs to revaluate your marketing campaigns to include billboards, and what tactics you need to adopt to make them successful.

How influential are billboards?

Output from the construction industry in 2017 hit nearly £164 million — more than double that of the year 2000. Clearly, there’s a lot going on in the sector and you need to ensure your company stays a step ahead — which is where shrewd marketing comes into play.

According to Route, the average Brit is classed as ‘out and about’ for three hours and ten minutes every day, spending around 16 minutes in the view of advertisements. Considering this fact, it’d be a mistake to not try and advertise to these potential consumers by placing a large, well-designed billboard somewhere that benefits from high footfall and traffic.

Perhaps you need to recruit quality employees quickly to meet demand. No construction company wants to pass on a project just because they don’t have the resources or manpower. In the construction sector today, 87% of employers are facing an issue due to a shortage of skilled workers, according to City & Guilds. A billboard could be the tool you need to advertise the employment opportunities you have to offer — and it shouldn’t take you too much time to put together. A billboard is a single page of design that is simple to design and print, which saves you time and means you can promote vacancies quicker.

If you’re trying to sell your services or products, not recruit new employees, billboards remain an essential marketing method. Heard of the ‘Marketing Rule of 7’? Basically, this rule means someone has to hear or see an ad seven times before acting on it. If you put a billboard design on a site that people might pass more than once a day — like on the way to work or school — your potential customers will achieve this magic number of viewings in just a few days.

Clearly, billboards can help construction companies with their marketing goals. But how do you go about designing one?


Many billboards are placed on main roads, so it’s vital to create a design that is short, snappy and to the point. Think strategically about what you want on your billboard — someone driving past at 40mph+ is only going to be able to take in so much. Do you want to sell a specific product? Are you spreading brand awareness or promoting an event? Only include the essential marketing message information — like contact details, name of product, date and location of event, and call to action.

A billboard is the ideal home for an eye-catching image. According to research, people generally only recall 10% of information they hear three days later. However, using a relevant image alongside this information increases retention by 55%. When designing your billboard, try and think of an unconventional image that will grab a passer-by’s attention — even something as simple as having a large, black-and-white photo of a construction site with only the workers’ construction helmets in yellow would stand out.

Also, make sure all the information on your billboard is clear and easy to digest. Utilise bright and bold colours to catch the eye — contrasting colours are reportedly stay in people’s memories for longer, too — and opt for a simple background and large, readable text — Sans Serif is a good shout.

Perhaps you’ve decided to place your billboard on a major road. This means plenty of people will pass it, but remember, a motorist only has between five and ten seconds take in an advertisement. So, the more relevant and informative your image is, the less you should need to convey with text — stick to a brief, punchy message of seven words and you should get your marketing message across, no problem.

Are you advertising new jobs to young builders? Do you need skilled tradesmen? Are you advertising your construction products to other businesses? Whoever you’re targeting, bear this in mind when choosing your billboard location. For example, if you need young, entry-level employees, find a site near a college. Or if you’re trying to secure deals to work on commercial buildings, go for somewhere near a retail park or area where there’s a lot of trading. Otherwise, you could reduce your ROI due to not being in sight of the people who are most likely to act on your ad.

If you’re promoting to businesses in a specific area, create a connection with locals by referencing their town. Include an image of a local landmark to create a sense of familiarity or reference the local traffic in a funny way. Humour generally works in advertising. According to a review of 6,500 ads, the funniest were usually cited as being the most appealing and memorable. What’s more, adopting this creates a more welcoming brand persona, which should encourage custom.


Improve your marketing campaigns with these billboard tips and boost your share of the construction sector in 2018!


Author bio

This article was researched and produced by Where The Trade Buys, retailer of professional printed PVC banners and other printed materials.


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BDC 309 : Oct 2023