Whether you are a marketing agency that is looking to grab a spot on Time’s Square for your newest and hottest account or your curiosity was piqued after doing a little bit of research, you may find yourself scratching your head asking how much does a billboard cost? The short answer is simply that it varies.
Just like most methods of advertising, billboard pricing is based on a CPM model which is the cost for one thousand impressions. However, it is important to keep in mind that CPMs may vary between companies and even particular billboards. As with any service or product, supply and demand play a huge role in determining the cost of a billboard. The more appealing and attractive it is to marketers and advertisers, the higher the price, with many factors like audience impressions, location and the size of billboard affecting the final cost as well.
With traditional billboards that are rented out by four-week periods, the total cost for the month is the CPM multiplied by the number of people that will see the ad. Using anonymous location data from cars and mobile phones, along with custom data resources like pedestrian count and traffic statistics, businesses are able to establish the frequency and reach for any given billboard to best promote their brand. Then, using the visibility and size of the sign along with the dwell time or the speed at which consumers are passing by, the impressions for the billboard are then estimated.
Impressions and audience demographics may play an important role when determining the cost, however the location of the billboard tends to play an even greater role. This is because the location will not only impact how many people are in the area, but the physical location will also affect how visible it is. If you are considering different locations for a billboard, it is a good idea to address the following questions:
- Is there anything partially blocking the view?
- Is the billboard in a location that can be seen part of people’s natural gaze?
- What are consumers doing as they pass by?
- Are there any eyesores in the area?
The popularity of a billboard location will always sway the price. A billboard in a rural or farming area can cost as little as $250 whereas one in a heavily populated area can costs upwards to tens of thousands of dollars. For an example, a billboard in Times Square can cost up to four million dollars each year.
Sizes of Billboards
There are many different types of billboards that range in size. The general rule is the larger the billboard, the higher the price. This is because larger signs typically pack a much bigger visual punch and the steps associated with installing one of these massive roadside billboards is much more complex than a smaller one. The three most common billboard sizes are known as bulletin, poster, and junior poster.
Bulletin Billboards – these monster billboards are the largest in size. They are generally fourteen feet high to forty-eight feet wide providing 672 square feet of ad space.
Poster Billboards – these billboards are second in size to the bulletin. They are roughly ten feet tall and twenty-two feet wide, giving businesses 220 square feet of advertisement space.
Junior Poster Billboards – last but definitely not least are the junior poster billboards. These signs have many various sizes, but rule of thumb is that a junior poster provides around 11% of the advertising space provided by a bulletin.
Billboards are an effective way to advertise but there is no one-size-fits-all cost when it comes to pricing. If you are considering this effective method of outdoor advertising, keep in mind that the price will vary depending on the impressions, location, and billboard size.