When it comes to marketing in this day and age, there’s so much emphasis placed on social media and digital ads. While these are obviously critical components of any ad strategy, they are not the only component – in fact, outdoor media is an equally essential investment that should not be ignored if your company has the budget for it.
The truth is, billboard advertising will always be an attention-grabber. No matter how fast-paced and social-media-driven the world becomes, you can’t help but notice a big billboard staring down at you as you sit in that early-evening traffic jam. Think about how memorable a funny, witty or eye-catching billboard can be in that moment – why wouldn’t you want to invest in something like that?
That being said, billboard pricing can occasionally be a bit of a deterrent to people who are looking to expand an existing budget or introduce new investments into their existing advertising budget. It’s not the cheapest option on the advertising menu, but it does reap high ROI.
Here are a few things you should know about billboard advertising to help guide your decision:
The cost is dependent on 3 main factors
Generally speaking, there is no “average” billboard price – it totally depends on the size, location, audience and specs of the billboard.
OOH (out of home) advertising is priced based on up to 10 determining factors that make up what’s referred to as an “OOH Rating.” Within these factors are three top determinants that influence the overall cost of the billboard: circulation (the total number of people who pass by the billboard), demographics (the makeup of the audience passing the billboard) and impressions (the number of people who actually see the billboard). It only makes sense that a billboard in Times Square would cost tens of thousands of dollars more than a billboard on the side of a highway in a small town.
All things considered, the price of your billboard can be anywhere from $250 to upwards of $3,000 (sometimes much more). This price not only depends on the aforementioned factors, but the design itself and whether or not you create it in-house or outsource it. It’ll also depend on the size of the billboard and what kind of billboard you choose.
Be creative, but quick
Obviously, a billboard is not the space to be telling an elaborate story or showcasing a bunch of intricate graphics. Depending on where you place your billboard, you may have as little as just a few seconds to fully capture your audience’s attention; for this reason, it is absolutely critical that you think long and hard about how to get your point across as simply, yet interestingly, as possible.
Think about ways you can make your billboard stand out by incorporating parts of the surrounding environment or playing to an interest, landmark or slang word that defines the local area. Knowing your audience is a critical step in any type of advertising campaign, but when it comes to billboards, it’s even more essential because of your limited time.
There are multiple kinds of billboards
If a static billboard on the side of the freeway doesn’t fit your needs, budget or creative vision, fear not – billboards can take many sizes and forms that will better suit your needs. In addition to the plain static billboards that probably come to mind first and foremost, there are also digital billboards, many of which actually move and give you the freedom to create a mini video ad. You can even create a 3D billboard if you’re really willing to invest in a message that will pack a punch.
You can also opt for a mobile billboard, which is typically displayed on top of a taxi, bus or other moving vehicle to ensure you’re getting eyes on your work all across the city rather than just one set spot.
Yes, they actually work!
As previously mentioned, a lot of people underestimate the importance of OOH advertising in an era when we’re so used to seeing people stare down at their phones and miss a lot of things in their physical environment. But when it comes to billboard advertising, the numbers speak for themselves.
Though only 6 percent of global ad spending is allocated to billboard advertising, 71 percent of people consciously look at billboards while driving. 50 percent of those people say they’ve been “highly engaged” by a billboard within the past month.
While it may be difficult to measure exactly who is drawn to your company from a billboard versus other methods of advertising, the numbers speak for themselves – billboard advertising definitely pays off. Play your cards right (and creatively enough) and your billboards may even become a local landmark and something people always have to point out to their friends when they drive by.