Have you seen the Oscar-winning movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri? You might remember how much the main character, Mildred, paid to display her message on three billboards. However, since Ebbing is fictional, the price isn’t an accurate estimate. Or is it? So how much does a billboard cost? Which factors go into the cost of billboard advertising? Well, look no further unless you want to see the movie (you should, it’s fantastic). We’ll break it all down for you.
- The History of Billboard Advertising
- Types of Billboards and Their Cost
- Factors That Affect the Cost of a Billboard
- Pros and Cons of Billboards
- Key Takeaways
The History of Billboard Advertising
We all know what a billboard is in terms of meaning, but maybe some don’t know where the word came from. Here’s an explanation!
This term was coined in 1845 from the Latin word “bulla,” meaning “decree,” and the English word “board.”
The history of billboard advertising dates back to the 1800s when large posters, signs, and wooden advertising boards promoted circuses and other public events. These early billboards were often hand-painted or featured eye-catching designs.
When cars became available in the US, that led to the building of interstate highways, which led to the rise of billboard advertising.
Today, this form of advertising is prevalent, particularly for businesses that want to reach a large audience with their message. Did you know that McDonald’s is worth $129.3 billion? No wonder. Those billboards sure do look tasty!
Types of Billboards and Their Cost
There are three main types of billboards: traditional, digital, and mobile. In this section, we’ll discuss their characteristics and provide the average billboard cost for each. Keep in mind that a billboard advertising cost will be determined by various factors (all of which will be discussed later), so you may end up paying more or less than the price we’ve listed.
Traditional (Vinyl) Billboards
Traditional billboards are the most common type. They’re typically made from vinyl or paper and can be static or rotating. Static billboards are the more popular option, as they’re less expensive to produce and maintain. On the other hand, rotating billboards allow businesses to change their message more frequently. All in all, traditional billboards are a relatively cheap form of billboard advertising.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Traditional Billboard?
If you’re looking for a traditional billboard rental, the cost of a standard billboard can fall anywhere from $750 and $14,000 per month.
Digital (LED) Billboards
A digital (or a LED billboard) is a newer type of billboard that uses LED technology to show digital images, video, and animation. Digital billboards offer several advantages, including changing messages quickly and targeting specific audiences. However, these billboards are more expensive. Thus, the digital billboard advertising cost is higher than the cost of traditional billboard advertising.
How Much Does a Digital Billboard Cost?
On average, you will pay between $1,200 and $15,000 for advertising on digital billboards. But, as we’ve mentioned, the price can go much higher, depending on the circumstances.
Mobile billboards are a type of billboard mounted on a bus, truck, trailer, or another vehicle. These displays can be driven to different locations, making them ideal for businesses that want to target a specific area or event. Because of this, the mobile billboard rental cost is higher.
How Much Is a Mobile Billboard?
The average cost of a printed mobile billboard goes between $800 and $2,400 per truck per eight hours, while eight hours of LED billboard advertising on a truck can cost you from $1,250 to $3,600, according to BlueLineMedia. You are shocked, we know.
Factors That Affect the Cost of a Billboard
We’ve already talked about billboard type and know how it affects billboard cost. The following section will show you more factors and circumstances that will determine the billboard advertising cost. We also encourage you to look up billboard rentals in your area; most of them offer free estimates.
Understandably, larger billboards generally cost more than smaller ones. The smallest billboard size is called Junior Poster, and its dimensions are 5×11 inches. If you want to go all out, you can choose Spectaculars, sized 20×60 or 16×60 inches. However, the most popular are bulletins, which typically come in the following sizes: 14×48, 10×40, or 10.6×26 inches.
Remember Ebbing from the movie we mentioned at the beginning of this post? Although it’s a fictional mid-sized town in Missouri, it does help paint a picture of the billboard cost in similar towns.
In some rural Texas areas, a month of traditional low-end billboard advertising (in bulletin form) won’t cost you more than $75! And what about big cities? How much is a billboard in Times Square, for example? Well, first of all, you can’t expect a Times Square billboard to last for a month since advertisements change so quickly. Second, the Times Square billboard cost is exceptionally high. You’ll have to spend between $10,000 and $22,000 on two-week advertising.
The length of time the billboard is rented will also affect its cost. Longer rentals will generally be more expensive than shorter ones, and it’s clear why. So, how much does it cost to rent a billboard for a day? Again, we advise you to research your local market, as some companies, such as Blip Billboards, even go as low as $5 per day of billboard advertising!
Businesses that want to target a specific demographic group will typically have to pay more for their billboards. Demographics are usually divided by age, gender, and income level. Logically, you will pay more for billboard advertising that targets rich people.
The cost of a billboard is typically calculated using a metric called CPM. It stands for “cost per thousand impressions.” In other words, it’s the cost of reaching one thousand people with your message. The billboard CPM will vary depending on the factors mentioned above. Thus, a billboard along the highway will undoubtedly cost more than a billboard in the middle of nowhere.
Circulation is a calculation of market traffic volume. Based on the traffic volume in a market, circulation estimates how many people have the chance to be exposed to or see an Out of Home (OOH) display or billboard ad during a campaign. The higher the circulation traffic, the more expensive the billboard.
Production, Material, and Design Cost
If you want a high-quality billboard made from premium materials, you can expect to pay more. However, if you bring your design, you will usually pay less since the company doesn’t have to use graphic design services.
Cost of Installation
Installation costs are usually based on the billboard’s square footage. Plus, if you need to have the billboard installed by a professional, you can expect to pay more.
When determining the overall billboard cost, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of maintenance. Depending on the type of billboard you have, you may need to pay for periodic cleaning or repairs, especially if you live in an area with many vandals.
Pros and Cons of Billboards
Now that you know how much a billboard costs, you may be wondering if it’s worth the investment. Here are some of the pros and cons of billboards to help you make your decision:
- Billboards are very effective in reaching potential customers.
- They’re also relatively affordable, especially when compared to other forms of advertising.
- Billboards can be a great way to generate buzz for your business.
- They’re also relatively easy to set up and take down.
- Billboards can be difficult to get noticed, mainly if they’re not located in a high-traffic area.
- They can also be a distraction to drivers, leading to accidents.
- Billboards can be vandalized or damaged, which can be costly to repair.
- They may also require regular maintenance, which can add to their overall cost.
How Much Does a Billboard Cost: Key Takeaways
- The cost of a billboard varies depending on several factors, including location, size, duration, and demographics.
- Billboard advertising reaches thousands of people every day, but billboards have drawbacks.
- Before investing in a billboard, please do your research to ensure that it’s the right marketing strategy for your business.