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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Mancuso

Why is outdoor advertising important for higher education institutions?

For decades, higher education institutions have relied on outdoor advertising as a key component of their marketing strategy due to its effectiveness in reaching specific demographics and enhancing brand recognition through billboards.


Digital billboards allow institutions the flexibility to promote to students, parents, and employees and advertise specific events such as career fairs or open houses. Read on to learn more about how higher education advertising provides the best ROI for colleges and universities.


College billboards increase brand visibility and awareness.

One of the most significant benefits of outdoor advertising for higher education is that it creates brand awareness and visibility. When potential students and their families see your school's name and logo on billboards, they're more likely to remember and consider it an option when beginning their application process.


Take a look at this digital bulletin for Oak Point University. This campaign rolled out during National Nurses Week in 2022 and celebrated the profession and history of nursing.



Oak Point University utilized bold, lean, and eye-catching messaging to achieve its goal. Not every day do you see the words "badass" prominently displayed on the highway! The most effective billboard advertising is straightforward, as audiences have a limited time interacting with the sign. Oak Point University understood the assignment and delivered it flawlessly.


DePaul University is also exceptional at delivering powerful messaging. Check out these two signs for the College of Health and Science and the College of Communications. By implementing digital signage into their media mix, they can advertise multiple programs within their university simultaneously.



The main difference between outdoor advertising and other mediums is that billboards cannot be “shut off.” While promotional brochures are easy to throw out and television channels can be changed mid-ad, the same isn’t true for billboards. Drivers and passengers are likelier to see your message and remember it.


College billboards target specific demographics.

Higher education advertising is effective because it allows you to target specific demographics such as geographic areas, age groups, and interests. For example, if you want to attract more students from a particular region, you can place a specific billboard in that area. Similarly, you can tailor messaging toward high school seniors, parents, or programs, like the DePaul examples above.


College billboards can be seasonal or designated for specific events.

Universities can use billboards to target students based on their stage in the enrollment process. For example, the messaging may be different in the spring while targeting graduating seniors than in the fall while targeting newly enrolled students.


Universities can also use dayparting (running ads at specific times during the day or particular days of the week) to advertise upcoming events such as open houses and orientations, like Elmhurst University did here.



In conclusion, outdoor advertising is critical to any higher education institution's marketing strategy. Compared to other traditional forms of advertising, such as television or print ads, outdoor advertising is a much more cost-effective way to reach a wider audience.


Ready to share your message with the masses? Get in touch with us today to bring your billboard vision to life.





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