How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on a Billboard?
Due to recent challenges with conversion tracking for digital marketing platforms like Facebook and Instagram, many advertisers are beginning to look to real-world advertising to diversify their media buys. While some brands and businesses utilize tactics like direct mail, one of the most popular and effective real-world platforms for your brand will always be billboards.
The first thing that advertisers making the move from digital marketing to OOH advertising typically ask us is, “how much does it cost to advertise on a billboard?”. When pricing a billboard advertising campaign, things work differently than they would for a digital marketing campaign.
The primary factors that go into the price are the total impressions, the market or markets you’re hitting, the creative assets that need to be produced, where the billboards are placed, and how long you plan to run your ads.
Why Advertise On Billboards?
37% of polled drivers say they look at billboards whenever they’re in the car. What’s more, 71% of passengers say they regularly look at roadside billboards. With this type of repeat exposure to an audience, it won’t be long before your brand begins to build recognition within that market.
Different businesses benefit from billboards for various reasons. Billboards provide a wealth of opportunities to get your name out there. The creative options are endless, and they allow you to create a lasting impression on potential customers.
There are three main types of billboards: traditional, digital, and mobile. Each one has pros and cons.
Let’s go through them and unpack everything about each one.
The Costs For Different Types of Billboards
Billboard technology has come a long way in the past 10-15 years. While just about everyone has seen the traditional “static” billboard along a highway, you may not have seen the latest and greatest billboard technology unless you’ve visited a major metro area recently. Let’s look at how much it typically costs to advertise on different types of billboards.
How Much Does It Cost To Advertise On Traditional Billboards?
Traditional billboards are the ones we’re all used to seeing on the side of the highway, and they’re typically made of strong, weatherproof material like vinyl. Up until fairly recently, traditional billboards were the only option.
Currently, there are more traditional billboards located around the United States than any other type of billboard. While there are clear advantages to digital billboard technology, it can be a costly investment. So while a traditional billboard may be harder to maintain or set up new ads on, it doesn’t always make sense for billboard owners to invest in new signage.
Most of the time, lights surround the billboard to increase visibility at night. You can buy or rent a billboard without lights, but this renders your billboard ineffective once the sun goes down.
One of the main reasons businesses love billboards is they are displaying your messaging 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unlike digital marketing, there’s never any downtime, competitors stealing your impressions, or complicated algorithms to overcome.
These billboards can start from as little as $250 per month in rural areas and get as high as $25,000 per month in large cities. The average cost of a traditional billboard in the United States is about $1000 per month.
How Much Does It Cost To Advertise On Digital Billboards?
Digital billboards use high-definition LED screens to display static and video ads. With vibrant, bright colors, they are excellent for grabbing people’s attention as they pass.
A digital billboard communicates with a computer that controls the images and messages shown on the billboard. This gives the advertiser access to features they could never have with a traditional billboard – for example, easily modifying the message based on location or other demographic data. It also makes it much easier for the billboard owner to set up, meaning the onboarding costs will typically be lower.
Many digital billboards are shared advertising spaces. Most of the time, images rotate every 8-10 seconds. In locations like Times Square, advertisers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure exclusive advertising rights.
The average cost of a digital billboard can start as low as $2,000 per month. The most expensive billboard costs $3 million per month in locations like Time Square. On average, you should expect to spend about $10,000 to $25,000 per month when you run a digital billboard advertising campaign with The Remnant Agency.
How Much Does It Cost To Advertise On Mobile Billboards?
Mobile billboards are usually found on the side of cars or buses and can be traditional billboards or digital billboards. Moving billboards are not as large as billboards you’d find on the side of the highway or on buildings, but since they’re attached to the sides of vehicles, people are much closer to them.
Mobile billboards have a couple of great selling points over stationary billboards. For one, people tend to have regular routines and commutes. If advertisers do not place enough billboards throughout a market, there’s the possibility that a segment of that audience will never see the messaging. Moving billboards constantly circulate throughout a local area, ensuring that your brand gets equal exposure through an entire local market.
In addition, mobile billboards usually have a lower price point than traditional or digital billboards. This is an excellent way for brands looking to test the waters in a market. It’s also a great way for brands to enhance the coverage of a traditional or digital billboard campaign.
Mobile billboards will usually start between $1000 per month and $2,400, depending on size, location, and hours on the road.
Factors That Affect Billboard Cost
Impressions, demographics, and circulation are used to calculate the out-of-home (OOH) rating. This is the main factor that determines billboard cost.
Billboard costs are determined using cost per thousand impressions or CPM. With billboards, impressions are the projected number of people that will pass by the advertisement. This number is based on location, speed limit, and billboard size.
Demographics include the age, gender, and income level of passers-by. Demographics are used to determine the types of audiences that will see the billboard to determine if your message is appropriate for the area. For example, you wouldn’t want to place a Spanish-language billboard in an area with a predominantly English-speaking audience.
This number is based on the traffic volume in the area. This number doesn’t indicate whether people will look at your ad. It’s only an estimate of how many people have the opportunity to view your billboard.
These numbers can also tell you about your audience. For example, cars in a suburban area in the early afternoon are likely to be carrying at least one parent and the children they are driving home from school.
Circulation information can be obtained through your local transport or traffic authority. The numbers are calculated through annual census results.
Buying Remnant Billboard Advertising
One way to drastically change the cost of a billboard advertising campaign is to buy remnant billboard advertising. Remnant ad space, also known as unsold ad space, is advertising space that does not have an advertiser locked in when it’s time to start a billing cycle. To avoid missing out on any potential profits, billboard owners will let the billboard space go at a fraction of the price.
At The Remnant Agency, we specialize in purchasing remnant ad spots on billboards as well as TV, radio, and several other media platforms. We can maximize your ROAS with remnant billboard ads by using your existing budget to get considerably more impressions for your message. If you’d like to learn more about remnant billboard advertising, click here to contact us now.
Pros and Cons of Different Billboard Types
While all billboards effectively bring attention to a brand, each type of billboard has its pros and cons.
- These billboards get your name out in the public eye simply and cost-effectively.
- Billboard advertisements can reach a massive audience.
- They can be highly effective when messages are simple and easy to read.
- Entices new customers to investigate your business.
- Traditional billboards are cheaper than digital.
- There’s room for creativity when you expand beyond the set borders of a billboard.
- You can only include limited information due to odd dimensions and the speed they are viewed at. Long messages are lost.
- Billboards can sometimes be hard to see if there is bad weather or obstructions.
- Tracking leads generated by the billboard is very difficult.
- Due to vivid colors and dynamic images, these billboards are eye-catching.
- Billboards can be set to a custom schedule to show different messages at different times of the day.
- Making any changes or updates to your billboard is quick and easy. It doesn’t require huge labor costs to change something.
- Much more expensive than a traditional billboard. A minimum of $250 for traditional, compared to a minimum of $2,000 for a digital billboard.
- Most ads are only displayed for a few seconds.
- You may have to share ad space with other businesses to make the rent more affordable.
- If your ad is not well-designed, your message may be lost.
- Mobile billboards can reach numerous people every day.
- Due to the size, this billboard can easily be moved around to reach a variety of demographics.
- You can reach potential customers in traffic where they have time to read your advertisement properly.
- You can include more information as people will have more time to read.
- With a larger budget, you can advertise on a bus to reach many people all over your city.
- It can be cost-effective if it is properly planned and executed.
- Requires significant upfront investment. If you buy the vehicle yourself, it can be expensive to get started.
- Ads are useless when the vehicle is parked for the evening. Unlike other billboards, which are visible all the time.
- If your billboard always drives the same route, it’s only ever exposed to the same audience.
Want To Learn More About Advertising On Billboards?
Billboard advertising is an excellent way to get a ton of visibility for your brand and build strong brand recognition within a local market. Even better, when you advertise on billboards, you don’t have to worry about algorithms and privacy policies impacting your ability to deliver ads.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing your brand’s visibility using remnant billboard advertising, we’d love to set up some time to talk. Click here to send us an email and schedule a free consultation.