How to Invest in Billboards

Strategically placed billboards can increase your business exposure to motorists.
i Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Advertising is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, driven by need for businesses to create awareness about their goods and services. You can make money by making investments in billboards, the kind you see along busy streets or off the freeway. They are effective in delivery of the marketing message and have become the go-to media for many businesses. Investing in billboards can be a lucrative venture with potential for growth. You just need to have the right strategy to maximize your investment.

Lay of the Land

Conduct initial research to gain ample knowledge about the billboard industry so as to determine your break-even point as part of your business plan. Understand the latest technologies used in billboards and what the top outdoor advertising companies are doing to be successful. Find out about federal, state, city or local government zoning regulations that govern outdoor advertising in your area. In most cases a billboard can only be built on commercial property. You will have to decide whether to build billboards or invest in those already built by someone else. Find out about the rates for buying or leasing land at potential locations.

Location: Lease or Buy?

Your target audience determines the location for your billboards. Determine if a freeway, city street or residential neighborhood is adequate for getting your message out. You will need land to invest in billboards. Determine if the particular site is ideal due to the amount of traffic. In addition, get pertinent information about prevailing zoning ordinances before purchasing the piece of land. Alternatively, leasing may be the best option if you do not have enough capital for the land or if the billboard is temporary. Once you have the location, erect your billboards and sell advertising space to businesses or individuals that need to advertise.

Invest in Existing Billboards Companies

If raising money to buy the land and build billboards is a challenge, there are other options available. You can have the perfect opportunity to own part of already built billboards by buying shares in a billboards company. This can be done in two ways: invest via the stock exchange in a public company that specializes in outdoor advertising, or partner with existing companies by contributing equity for their expansion or technology upgrade in exchange for proceeds from their business.

Buy and Flip

Making an investment in a billboard business does not necessarily mean that you must actively run it. You can invest in billboards, wait for the market prices to soar and then sell them. Note that you continue to generate passive income while waiting for the highest bidder for the property. To expedite the sale, have the billboards strategically placed in prime locations, use the billboard to advertise itself by placing a notice on it that it is for sale, and list your billboard on Internet sites that match buyers with sellers.

the nest