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How Much Do Billboards Cost | Digital Billboard Advertising

Billboards offer a unique way to advertise your business. Many people can see these enormous posters every day, so they serve as a great way for businesses to get their name out there.

However, no matter how big you want your billboard to be, or how long you want it to stay up, it will always cost you money to get your message out there.

But it may surprise you at how affordable billboard advertising has become.

In fact, in a recent marketing campaign I was able to get my ad displayed on digital billboards for as little as $0.01 per display on one of the busiest highways in the United States.

Finding alternatives to social media marketing

The goal of every marketing professional in the world is to figure out how to drive as much traffic as possible – with as little money as possible.

With the rising cost of social media ads, local business owners are looking at more affordable ways to advertise their business.

arrows pointing to an old way and a new way for old-school advertising platforms vs new-school ones.

That includes looking at alternatives to social media marketing platforms, including old-school advertising platforms such as billboards.

And as with every advertising platform, there comes a cost. So, how much do billboards cost these days?

Billboard advertising has transformed

If this were the year 2010, then my answer would be that a billboard rental is an extremely expensive advertising cost that would take a significant chunk of money out of your marketing budget.

A decade ago, it was probably not worth it for most small, local businesses.

But this is 2021.

Billboards and other outdoor ad platforms have transformed in just the past 5 years.

Not too long ago, if you wanted to get your brand in front of a potential customer using an outdoor advertising space – such as a billboard – you had to:

  1. Pay thousands upfront to get it
  2. Pay to have it designed
  3. Pay to have it printed
  4. Pay to have it installed
  5. Hope it survives any severe storms

That isn’t the case anymore.

How effective is billboard advertising?

Although billboard advertising is still widely used, there are critics who say that billboards have not been effective for many years.

They argue that billboards are expensive, and when compared with other forms of advertising, not effective.

And that may be true of traditional billboards. But what about digital billboards?

As far as outdoor advertising goes, a billboard advertisement is one of the most common and most visible options. They are great for getting your company’s name out there quickly and easily.

With outdoor advertising, there is no bigger bang for your buck than a billboard. Billboards can be seen from great distances and are often strategically placed in busy areas.

Billboards are also much cheaper than TV or radio ads and allow you to reach a much more targeted audience.

Here are some quick stats on the effectiveness of billboard advertisements:

34 percent of respondents in the United States who took any action in response to seeing a digital billboard ad, said that they visited a website of the product or service advertised. Another 32 percent visited the advertised store, restaurant or other business after seeing digital billboards.

2020 Survey: Statista

32 percent of respondents said that they looked at the mobile digital billboards most of the time. At the same time, eight percent of respondents stated that they almost never looked at them.

2020 Study: Statista

Consumers are 48% more likely to click on a mobile ad after being exposed to the same ad on an OOH advertisement first.

Ocean Neuroscience, “Beyond Out of Home, The Science Behind the Art of Outdoor,” 2015.

Consumers spend 70% of their waking hours outside the home.

Nielsen Out of Home Advertising Study 2016

As the saying in real estate goes, “location, location, location”.

The billboard location(s) you choose to display your ads on is every bit important as any piece of real estate. Which locations you choose to display your advertisement on can make or break your outdoor marketing campaign.

But make no mistake; billboards are a fantastic advertising option for anyone looking to increase visibility in a cost-effective way, especially small, local businesses.

What are the advantages of digital billboards vs traditional billboards?

At one point in time, a traditional billboard was the only billboard that you could advertise on.

A traditional billboard depicted on the side of a road.
Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

To this day, to get your ad displayed on a physical billboard in a high traffic area, you’re typically looking at a significant marketing budget of $5,000 or more.

You would spend a significant amount of your marketing dollars hoping your market research was right and that the benefits would outweigh the cost.

Sadly, if your target audience isn’t seeing your advertisement, then that ends up being a lot of wasted money.

With digital billboards, everything has changed.

With a digital billboard you can:

Design it yourself with no technical design skills required

Using various user-friendly design tools online such as Canva or Snappa, you can quickly and easily create billboard designs with little to no prior design skills.

The average person viewing your ad won’t be able to tell if you have a degree in design or not.

Better yet, Blip Billboards has a convenient design tool built into its platform that allows you to create your billboard designs in seconds.

And don’t even sweat the billboard design part of the process. If you are not comfortable designing it yourself, you can have it designed by an actual designer at Blip Billboards for as little as $75*.

*At the time that this article was published.

Upload the design from your computer

Once your design is created, simply download the design onto your computer, and then upload it onto whichever digital advertising platform you’re using to publish your billboard advertisement on.

Click a button to publish it on (one or more of) thousands of billboards

Once your design is uploaded, it’s just a matter of choosing your billboard advertising budget, setting the schedule for the days and times that you want your ad(s) to be displayed, select your billboard location(s), and click to publish your outdoor advertising campaign.

Do A/B testing to adjust your billboard ad campaign

With traditional billboards, it’s impossible to do A/B testing with your ad campaign once you’ve paid to have your billboard installed.

With digital billboards, you can change the location of your advertisement to another billboard space in just a few clicks.

Oh, and you don’t even have to worry about whether or not you rent an illuminated billboard or not, because ALL digital billboards are visible at any time of day.

Should I do my own billboard ads or hire an advertising company?

As with most advertising platforms, you can go with a self-service digital billboard ad platform or with an agency that will do it for you – for a fee.

To clarify, when I refer to a DIY OOH (Out Of Home) advertising platform, I am talking about a platform that you can create an account online, create your ads, publish them, and pay for them all without ever needing a third party to get involved.

And, similar to social media ad accounts, self-service digital billboard ad platforms are also “pay-as-you-go” accounts, meaning, you only pay for what you’re trying to accomplish in terms of impressions, displays, etc.

Self-service ads are what most social media advertising platforms offer (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.).

I would daresay that the self-service digital billboard advertising platforms are significantly easier to navigate and learn than nearly every social media ad platform today.

It’s so easy that my seven-year-old could probably get an advertisement published on a public billboard within just a few clicks. Come to think of it, I should probably revoke her access to my ad accounts…

Self-Service Digital Billboard Ad Platforms: Blip Billboards vs Adomni

Unfortunately, because digital billboards are still a relatively new player in the advertising space – and the technology that connects them to self-service platforms – there are few self-service platforms available just yet.

In fact, there are really only two primary companies that provide self-service platforms for digital billboard advertising:

After testing and using both platforms, I concluded that each one serves its own purpose and it’s not a “vs” situation.

Because Blip and Adomni provide access to distinctly different networks of outdoor advertising displays – in widely varying geographic locations – they both have useful applications and are best used together.

Here are some core differences between the two platforms:

Blip Billboards

Blip Billboards is an incredibly straightforward ad platform that makes getting ads up and running as easy as possible.

In fact, their built-in design tool helps you create your digital billboard ad creative with just a few clicks.

Depending on your ad schedule and location(s) selected, your ads can start displaying for as little as $0.01 per display.

Blip Billboards digital ad campaign dashboard process
Blip billboards “locations” options on the ad campaign setup dashboard

On Blip Billboards, you can quickly:

  • Create your ad creative using their integrated design tool
  • Select the digital billboards that you want your ad to display on
  • Set the times of day when your ad will be displayed
  • Set the start/end dates for your billboard campaign
  • Set your budget (both total and daily) for your ad campaign
  • Publish your campaign from the comfort of your home

Adomni

Adomni is a little different from Blip Billboards because you can use Admoni to publish ad creatives on more than just digital billboards.

You can publish ads on dozens of different screens such as doctors’ office TVs, mounted screens on taxi’s/ubers, digital screens in retail stores, city sidewalk digital displays, and more.

Because of the added functionality, it also requires quite a few more clicks because you have more options at your disposal.

While the added functionality and display options are great, the downside to Adomni is that they do not have a built-in design tool, and each display type requires a different size of ad creative.

That means that if you want to run a single campaign on 10 different display types, you will need to create that ad creative using a third-party tool or designer in 10 different sizes.

That can be incredibly time-consuming – even when using a tool like Canva or Snappa – and very costly if you pay someone to do the designs for you.

But there is also an added benefit to Adomni…

The Adomni platform offers very detailed demographic options, so you can select where you want your ads displayed.

Audience IQ demographics on Adomni billboard ad campaign dashboard
Audience IQ Demographics on Adomni

For instance…

If you want to run ads for college students, you can run digital ads on screens that will display ads all around/on college campuses.

If you want to reach people earning six-figures per year, your ads will mostly be displayed on billboards and other digital displays that are located in and around high-income communities and neighborhoods.

Oh, and you can also set your ads to display in a specific geographical area using their geo-map tool. It’s very easy to use and is great for retail locations that want to target anybody within “x” number of blocks from their physical location.

You basically just click a spot on the map, and drag the square over the geographical region you want your ads to display. It will confirm how many display screens – and what type – are available in that area, and set your campaign to run there.

Much like Blip Billboards, on Adomni you can:

  • Select the digital displays that you want your ad to display on (including mobile billboard ads on Uber & Taxi displays)
  • Set the times of day when your ad will be displayed
  • Set the start/end dates for your billboard campaign
  • Set your budget (both total, and daily) for your ad campaign
  • Publish your campaign from the comfort of your home

The two most significant differences between Blip Billboards & Adomni are:

  • On Adomni, you can select your digital marketing campaign screen display types and locations based on the demographic you’re wanting your ads to reach.
  • On Adomni, you can have your ads display on mobile billboard screens such as on the digital screens that you see on Uber vehicles, Taxis, and buses.
  • On Blip Billboards, you can quickly and easily design your ad creatives for all screen sizes without needing to use third-party software or hire a designer.

Aside from those three differences, these two platforms are very similar. they are both very powerful tools for any marketing campaign.

How do I pick the best billboard location to display my ads?

Regardless of whether you are going with digital or static billboards, the location of the billboards where you display your ad is largely going to be decided by:

  • your marketing campaign goals,
  • the location of your target audience, and
  • your marketing budget

You’ll need to narrow down each of the above-mentioned items before deciding on your billboard location. It will vary greatly from business to business.

How much do billboards cost?

As of the date that this article was published, I can get my ad displayed on a billboard through Blip Billboards platform for as little as $0.01 per every 5-10 second display on a digital billboard screen during off-peak times.

If I select a mix of both, it’s not much higher:

How much do billboards cost calculator to calculate advertising costs

That means that the cost to advertise on a billboard could be as little as 10 cents for every minute that my ad is displayed.

As more and more digital billboards come online – both large and small – billboard advertising will continue to play a significant role in the future of the digital marketing space.

But just like every advertising platform, the higher the demand, the higher the cost.

Those who take advantage of digital billboard advertising now are likely to reap the rewards of low cost – similar to the first social media marketers 5-10 years ago.

To start your digital billboard advertising campaign, create a free account on these DIY platforms:


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