How Much Does Outdoor Advertising Cost?

Outdoor advertising has been around for quite a while, but is now a smart way for digital advertisers to add to their online advertising efforts in an environment beyond the internet. A campaign run digitally can be strengthened by great OOH advertisements and billboard displays/messages. But, it comes at a bit of a cost. Let’s see how much it is to advertise OOH and what the factors are that depend on a successful outdoor execution. 


Outdoor advertising looks great and the message can be really clear, but are the prices?

Factors Leading to Outdoor Advertising Costs:

Getting your Value

Does your billboard need to be near your business? If your business requires clients to physically be at your location to make a transaction, like a coffee shop, then having a billboard that directs drivers to your establishment will generate a lot of traffic for your product. In this case, a billboard near your business is the most effective use of advertising to generate profit. It will point potential customers in the way of your service, and will prompt them to either take action and get a coffee or drive away because they’ve already had one. This type of factor is instructional and necessary for pit stop businesses. 

The first thing to take into account is your demographic. Who is buying the product and what are they interested in? Where will they be? For a tech related company like a music streaming service, you would likely think of teenagers and young adults as the target audience. The next question is: where are they likely to be when they would use your service? The subway would be a prime place to advertise any kind of subscription streaming service because there is no cellular connection, and these services allow users to download content. Places outdoors that seem encouraging to promote a music streaming service, or places where people are waiting around in ie. doctor’s office, are great places to advertise a business like that because customers enjoy music when they have nothing else to do. 


An outdoor billboard for a music streaming service places on the subway is highly effective

Is a Billboard Actionable for Your Business?

Billboards for fast food companies are typically close to the nearest major roads because it will get people to stop by while they are on the go. To the consumer, it’s a quick detour and they can get back on their way without hassle. This is actionable because it entices people driving to take a break from reaching their destination to enjoy the small pleasure in eating out at a restaurant.

Another major use of a billboard is to get a brand known. Building brand awareness starts with making sure that your potential consumers know to look up your company when they are in need of services that you provide. A great way to get the brand known by use of an outdoor billboard is to leave a large, bold number or website on the billboard. This will replace a call-to-action one may stumble across when seeing a digital advertisement. It’s actionable when billboards allow the consumer to take charge given the information they are providing. 


A strong message delivers a quality reaction from consumers


Are You Marketing a Mainstream Product or Service?

The term mainstream refers to the popularity of a product in society. An example of a mainstream service is video streaming subscriptions, such as Spotify. It’s a service that many people use and discuss on a daily basis. In contrast, a car sharing company will not likely reach the same amount of interest in the public because it has a much smaller demographic. The bigger question is: is it worth buying a billboard if I’m in a niche market?

And the answer is, yes. Because location is the most important factor in choosing to invest in a billboard. You can choose to put your company on the map in a region with a smaller demographic, or an area that you know is involved in the market you’re making a name for yourself in. A billboard for a tanning salon can wind up in a more rural neighbourhood next to a shopping mall, as opposed to a big city with many more options for tanning. A billboard tailored to your niche service can be located in places where other services like yours aren’t available to a mainstream audience. That will put your business first as a valuable choice and service for people around. 


Is a billboard really cost effective? Depending on style and location, very much so.

Cost Breakdown

Billboard advertising costs roughly $1,500 to $4,000 in most small to mid-size cities, though it can dip as low as $250 in rural areas and can reach $14,000 or even higher in larger markets. The cost to display your ad on a digital sign can vary greatly from one market to the next, and from one sign to the next based on exposure and campaign length. Some digital billboard campaigns are ranging from $1,000-$5,500 per four-week period. The ads circulate every 8 seconds. Standing digital billboards, on the other hand, can cost between $850-$7,000 per four-week period, depending on location. Like all outdoor advertising, prices are negotiable. You should rely on an agency that has longstanding relationships with the major out-of-home advertising providers. Graphic design can vary from $500 – $1000 whereas vinyl billboard prints vary from $300-$500. 
What Affects Billboard Costs?
Many different aspects can affect how much you will pay for billboard advertising. The three primary factors are:
  • Circulation: The total volume of traffic that passes the billboard, which is derived from transportation authorities. The circulation does not take into account whether passersby see your ad or not.

  • Demographics: The breakdown by age, gender and income level of people who typically pass by a billboard. Expect to pay more to advertise to people with higher income levels.

  • Impressions: The number of people who actually see the ad, based on the size of the billboard, visibility, the speed at which people are passing, etc. This is derived from the circulation and the geo-positioning of the billboard.


Additional Costs to Keep in Mind:

The amount of foot traffic and drivers around a potential billboard site will influence its price. It’s important to understand what kind of demographic and the target audience you are looking to advertise to. Production costs are also priced on top of most billboards, and lighting costs can be added onto digital billboards. Costs that steep from weather damage, or faulty billboard placement, can arise as well. 

Overall, outdoor advertising costs vary depending on location, visibility, and term. But, one thing remains true, the level of reach outdoor advertising has is greater than most advertising techniques and can expand your business structure and clientele base. 

Talk to a Mobile Billboard specialist today

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