Small businesses are always looking for cost-effective ways to market and advertise their businesses. One way to do this is by making use of community and public bulletin boards. Located in grocery stores, schools, community centers, post offices and a variety of other locations, public bulletin boards are available for use free of charge. The key is to develop eye-catching advertisements and replace them on a regular basis.

General Advertisement

You can get your name and brand into the minds of consumers with a general advertisement that promotes all of your products and services. This type of ad should clearly identify your company and what you do, as well as provide contact information. Focus on the visual elements of your ad and one or two strong selling points, and don’t let your ad be weighed down with too much copy, or it could get lost on the board. Place your ad in a central visual location on the board, but don’t place your ad directly over someone else’s, as it could be seen as unprofessional.


Promote upcoming sales and note the limited-time offer of the promotion. Use verbiage such as, “Half off on all merchandise” or, “Save up to 90 percent.” Make these sales claims the major focus of your ad, and incorporate visual elements to showcase your products or services. Bright, bold colors and designs work best for attracting attention. Wide, colorful borders also help set your flier apart from others. Remove the signs after the sale ends so you don’t confuse or frustrate customers.


Public bulletin boards are a great place to promote upcoming events. Use verbiage such as, “One night only,” “Limited time engagement” or, “Seating is limited” to create a sense of urgency around the event. This approach grabs attention and makes consumers feel they need to act quickly or risk losing out or missing something exciting.


Give customers a reason to visit your business by including discount coupons or promotional codes on your bulletin board ads. You can do this by way of perforating the lower portion of the advertisement so customers can rip-and-take them, or by securing coupon cards to your ad by a wire loop. Make sure the take-away includes your business name, location, hours, website, phone and if the discount is dated, the period of acceptance.

Target Marketing

Tailor your ad placement to locations that are most likely to reach your target audience. For example, a sporting goods store could reach its market by posting at boards in recreation centers and schools, while a computer repair service might target chambers of commerce boards and college buildings. Consider who you are trying to reach and tailor your message accordingly.

Bulletin Board Etiquette

If in doubt, ask if a bulletin board is open to business promotion. Don’t get a bad business reputation by covering public bulletin boards with your fliers or throwing away others’ ads to place your own. Swap out your advertisements regularly so they don’t look stale or dated.