According to the USDA, in 2020, 46 million residents were living in rural areas. This makes up about 14 percent of the U.S. population. A typical rural county contained less than 10 percent of the population of a typical urban county in 2020—23,000 people compared with 245,000.

For many advertisers, focusing marketing efforts in urban areas is the main objective. But what if your customers are located in rural areas? Or, what if your company is located in a rural community? Just like in urban and suburban areas, traditional advertising options are not as plentiful as they once were. So what advertising and promotional opportunities exist and which ones are worth the cost?  

First on our list are outdoor billboards. Believe it or not, outdoor advertising has been around since 1850. Exterior advertising was first used on street railways. In a rural community where it’s likely your geographic area is quite large and your target audience must use an automobile for transportation, outdoor advertising is both cost effective and readily available. 

Newspapers, radio stations and magazines cover local news, schools and community events. Residents and business owners turn to these media outlets for information. Advertising can be targeted by county or town(s).

Rural communities tend to have strong community ties and local partnerships are an excellent way to build awareness. By sponsoring local sports teams, school booster clubs and other community groups, you can get your company’s brand in front of your audience. Look for marketing opportunities before, during and after an event.

If you are targeting a specific audience based on behaviors and you know they can be found in rural areas, streaming platforms and social media ads can be an effective tool. These ads will be based on interests and age.

Trying to reach a rural audience through marketing? Grab a spot on our calendar and let’s chat!