Billboards are designed to turn heads and encourage drivers or passers-by to want to find out more. Advertising statistics tell us they can be beneficial for businesses of all sizes, but whether they’ll be beneficial for your company depends mainly on the cost of billboard advertising.
The average billboard rental cost varies according to several key factors, including the location, billboard type, and the duration of the rental agreement. In this guide, we’ll explore billboard advertising, highlighting the pros and cons and discussing billboard prices in detail.
Types of Billboard
There are three main types of billboards to choose from when drawing up plans for a billboard advertising campaign. These are:
- Traditional billboards: These are classic billboards designed for outdoor advertising.
- Digital billboards: A newer version of the traditional billboard, digital boards have LED displays.
- Mobile billboards: Examples include billboard adverts on buses and cars.
Which Type of Billboard Is Best for My Business?
Some billboards are better suited to specific businesses and campaigns than others. When deciding which kind of billboard to use, it’s an excellent idea to think about these factors:
- The target customer or demographic: Who are you trying to target, and what is the best way to reach that customer? Freeway billboards are a fantastic option for car manufacturers and retailers that sell products for drivers, commuters, and motoring enthusiasts, for example.
- The primary objective: What is the primary objective of the campaign? Are you looking to encourage customers to come and visit a store or your business premises, or are you hoping to catch the eye so that a client calls you or checks your brand out online?
- Your budget: Billboard rental costs vary hugely. Choose a type of billboard and a location that suits your budget.
Billboard Rental Costs
How much is a billboard? Statistics suggest that the average cost of traditional billboards ranges from $750 to $5,000 per month. Digital billboards are more expensive and usually cost in the region of $1,200 to $7,000 per month. Mobile billboards cost upward of $500 per truck per day.
The exact cost of renting a billboard will depend on several factors.
The location is one of the most significant driving factors for billboard advertising costs. Rural areas tend to be significantly cheaper than prime spots in big cities because of the lower levels of exposure. Costs also vary according to the state. The average cost of billboard ads is higher in densely populated areas.
Here are some examples of average prices in various states:
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Physical billboards cost $550-$4,500 per month, digital billboard advertising cost is $2,100-$3,500 per month
- Indianapolis, Indiana: $1,500-$5,500 per month, $3,000-$7,000 per month (digital)
- Orlando, Florida: $800-$4,500 per month, $1,200-$3,500 per month (digital)
- Phoenix, Arizona: $1,250-$4,000 per month, $3,000-$7,500 per month (digital)
- Boston, Massachusetts: $4,000-$13,000 per month, $2,500-$8,000 per month (digital)
- Los Angeles, California: $1,000-$10,000 per month, $6,000-$15,000 per month (digital)
Prime slices of advertising real estate come with premium prices. On Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, for example, the billboard sign cost can reach $35,000 per month. In Times Square, home to the most famous billboards in the world, day rates can exceed $50,000.
Targeting specific demographics may increase advertising costs. If you’re looking to reach out to customers searching for luxury products, for example, you will need to target prime locations where rental costs are higher.
The cost of renting a billboard will vary according to how long you want to rent the billboard for. You may decide that you want to rent a billboard for a day, a week, a month, or several months. You’ll need to consider the day or monthly rate and the term of the agreement.
Type of Billboard
Digital billboard advertising cost tends to be higher than physical billboards and mobile advertising. However, this is not always the case. A digital board in a rural location, for example, will cost less than a traditional billboard in a sought-after city-center location.
Installation and Design Costs
The cost of designing and installing billboards will increase the cost of your advertising campaign. Always make sure you’re aware of the total cost before you proceed.
Calculating Billboard Advertising Costs
Billboard advertising costs are presented in cost per mille, a common measurement in advertising. “Mille” here stands for thousand impressions and relates to the impact of the billboard. Impressions, along with circulation and demographics, contribute to the billboard’s out-of-home rating, formulated by billboard rating bureau Geopath:
1. Circulation: The volume of traffic your billboard is exposed to. Data is collected by transport authorities. It ‘s important to note that this figure doesn’t take the number of drivers or passers-by that actually see the advert into account.
2. Demographics: The cost of a billboard reflects the target demographics. Examples of key demographics include age, gender, and average income. The higher the average income, the higher your advertising costs are likely to be.
3. Impressions: Impressions indicate the likelihood of prospective customers to see the advert. This figure is calculated based on the location of the billboard, the size, and the average speed at which people pass the board.
Pros and Cons of Billboard Ads
Due to its specific advantages and disadvantages, billboard advertising is not ideal for every business. After going through this list of pros and cons, you may well come to the conclusion that other forms of marketing, for example, SMS campaigns, are better suited to your business.
- Raise brand awareness: Introduce your brand to customers in a simple, accessible way
- Reach out to vast audiences
- Boost sales and generate leads
- Target specific locations and demographics to enhance the quality of leads
- Spread the word using short, effective, impactful messaging
- Target out-of-home audiences
- Repeat exposure for regular commuters
- Tailor your strategy to suit your budget
- Short exposure time
- Limited capacity to provide information
- Can be expensive if you’re targeting prime locations
- Poor visibility in some locations
- Can be difficult to track progress and evaluate performance
Who Can Benefit From Billboard Advertising?
Billboard advertising is most beneficial for:
- Companies and organizations advertising specific stores or locations
- Businesses looking to raise brand awareness
- Businesses launching new products or stores and companies marketing time-limited promotions
- Companies targeting local customers
- Organizations with mass-market appeal
Billboard Advertising Tips
To maximize the chances of success, here are some useful billboard renting tips:
- Make your message clear and memorable.
- Use a font that is easy to read, make sure your billboard is aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching, and ensure that the colors stand out.
- Include contact information, website details, and social media handles.
- Choose relevant, high-quality images.
- Don’t overcomplicate the billboard: People need to be able to see it and understand what it’s advertising within a few seconds.
- Remember that less is more: Don’t fill every inch of the billboard with text or images.
- Research locations.
- Avoid billboards that are partially hidden by obstructions, such as trees or traffic signs.
- Make sure the location is relevant to the target customer.
- Choose a site where traffic speed is relatively slow to optimize exposure.