Advertising posters are a common print promotional technique used by small businesses. A poster includes a visual design, images, colors and copy. It provides a message intended to promote brand awareness or call attention to a company event. Relative to other small-business ad opportunities, a poster has a few clear advantages.

Size and Shape Flexibility

You can print posters in wide-ranging shapes and sizes. A letter-sized poster allows you to send the poster as a mailer, or fit it more easily onto bulletin boards and other posting locations in the community. For greater visual impact and design flexibility, a larger poster size, such as 11-by-17, might work better. A larger poster with an impacting color scheme has a better chance to capture attention if you have good places to post copies.

Distribution Flexibility

Posters also allow for flexible distribution or placement. Towns and cities sometimes have legal restrictions making certain light poles, buildings and public spaces off limits. You also need to get permission from a private business to place a poster at their site. However, some companies have specific bulletin areas for public postings. You could also offer a discount or incentive to other small-business owners to allow a poster placement. Swapping posters is another idea. After you do secure high-quality, visible spots, you gain the potential for repeat exposures and improved brand recognition. Promote events by putting posters up in your own building as well.

On-going, Long-term Exposure

Posters have 24/7 accessibility and a long shelf life relative to other print media. A newspaper subscriber usually recycles or throws out the paper after one reading. In the right location, your poster could stay up for days, weeks, months or years, depending on the timeliness of the message. A poster is also available to reach readers at all times. On a well-lit lamp post, for instance, you could connect with passers-by at 6:00 a.m. or midnight. In a 24-hour business, your message availability is even longer.

Affordable Communication

Advertising posters are affordable and offer a high return on investment relative to newspaper and magazine ads. A customer poster may cost as little as $3 to $5, depending on the design and size. With a "street team" of interns or hourly workers distributing them, the distribution cost is limited, too. When you compare these costs and the longevity of the message to the price of a few hundred dollars for a small box ad in a local paper, the value is clear.