How Billboards and Bulletins Can Help Your Marketing
Are you wondering: how much does a billboard cost? The short answer is: it depends. This article looks at how billboards and bulletins fit into the out of home media landscape, the difference between the two, and the many factors that affect the cost of a billboard in the U.S.
What Is OOH Media?
Out of home media (OOH) is anything outside of print, radio, TV, or digital content. Examples include billboards, posters, and transit media, whether a bus, subway, or commuter rail. OOH also includes venue-based media where you could have digital signage or printed signage promoting a product or service.
What Is the Difference Between a Billboard and a Bulletin?
A bulletin is the classic type of vinyl canvas on two poles seen on the side of the highway. This is what everyone thinks of when they hear the term “billboard.” Billboard is actually an umbrella term for different types of OOH media, including bulletins, but billboard can also refer to a poster, a wall scape, a mural, or a venue-based advertisement, such as the ones you see on the columns of parking garages or the sides of apartments buildings. Bulletins and billboards can be print or digital and can be various sizes and placements.
Types of Billboards
There are different types of billboards one could consider. Some examples include:
- Static billboards: Static billboards are the most affordable type of billboard. They are also the most common type of billboard, and they can be very effective in reaching a large audience. However, static billboards are not very flexible, and they cannot be changed once they are up.
- Digital billboards: Digital billboards offer a number of advantages. Digital billboards can be updated frequently, which allows advertisers to change their messages based on the time of day, the weather, or other factors. Digital billboards can also be used to create interactive experiences, which can help to engage viewers.
- Wallscapes: Wallscapes are a type of static billboard that is painted on the side of a building. Wallscapes can be very eye-catching and can be used to create a strong visual presence in a particular area. However, wallscapes can be expensive to create and maintain.
- Mobile billboards: Mobile billboards are a type of billboard that is mounted on a vehicle. Mobile billboards can be used to reach a wider audience than static billboards, and they can also be used to target specific areas. However, mobile billboards can be expensive to rent, and they may not be as effective in reaching people who are driving.
- In-store billboards: In-store billboards are a type of billboard that is placed inside a store. In-store billboards can be used to promote products or services, and they can also be used to create a sense of urgency or excitement. In-store billboards are a relatively affordable way to reach people who are already in the buying mood.
How Much Does a Billboard Cost in the U.S.?
Billboards costs vary widely, anywhere from several thousand dollars to $25,000 per month and are sold in four-week time increments. Many factors determine what billboards cost, including geography, the size of the installation, and seasonality. For example, a billboard in Times Square is going to be 10 to 15 times the price of a billboard on the side of a highway in a rural part of New Jersey. It’s hard to estimate the number of impressions a billboard makes because there are no clicks to count as in a digital campaign, so the idea is to place the advertising where the most people will see it. There are also additional costs of producing the vinyl for the billboard, which tends to run from $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the size. And installation, which can be a difficult and intensive process, also factors into billboard costs.
Additionally, there are times of the year when locations are more in demand or less in demand. For example, in the winter months, people are trying to get out of the cold as quickly as possible while traveling, so they are not paying much attention to their surroundings. When the warmer weather comes, not only are people outside more, but they are traveling further distances by car and public transit for summer vacations.
Digital billboards can be less expensive because you’re paying for one out of generally eight spots on a digital billboard. Your ad is getting less screen time, so to speak, but you are still as visible as other print billboards on the same stretch of road. Of course, if you’re paying for a digital billboard in a prime location, you could end up paying just as much, if not more, than for a print billboard in a less busy place. And if you’re buying posters or another smaller type of billboard, those tend to be packaged together, so you could easily spend the same amount of money on a package of those as you would on a larger bulletin on the highway.
Many companies want to know upfront how much a billboard campaign is going to cost them, but it’s more useful to think of purchasing billboards as an investment in your brand. Therefore, it’s critical to ask questions about the type of audience you’re trying to reach, what key performance indicators you want to use to measure success, what your ultimate goals are with the campaign, and how OOH fits into that plan. Only then can you begin to get an idea of what this investment will cost.
Optimize the ROI on Your Billboards
Optimizing the ROI on your billboards depends on the return you’re looking for, and it’s not necessarily the delivery of the most impressions. A high impression-delivering tactic like a bulletin can be very useful in a campaign, but audience-focused media like venue-based billboards can reinforce the messages your viewers are getting on the highway. The key is to reach audiences at multiple touchpoints throughout their day and make them feel like your brand is part of their day-to-day life. And always place a call to action on your media so your customers know what to do about their newfound love of your brand!
Contact EMC Outdoor
If your company is looking to make billboards part of your next marketing campaign, contact us at EMC Outdoor. We can help you optimize your OOH advertising and reach your business goals in no time. To learn more, visit our website.