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How Much Does a Billboard Cost?

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You woke up this morning, your eyes popped open and BAM! Your very first thought was, "I wonder what a billboard costs?" Of course, it was. Billboards are top of mind with marketers worldwide now, so it's no surprise that even your subconscious is on board with billboards.

But perhaps you've heard that billboards are expensive. The cost can differ considerably depending on location, campaign duration, number of placements and whatnot, so you might say costs are all over the map. To put your wondering mind at rest, here are some samples:

  • London. Perhaps you want an advert in Piccadilly Circus, no slouch in the number-of-impressions department with 2 million viewers a week. That'll cost you £727 per week. That's almost $1000 USD. On the other hand, you could do a placement in London's Cricklewood Lane, known locally as "the slowest moving road in the UK" thanks to traffic congestion, for just £271 ($369). Your audience will have plenty of "dwell time" to admire and remember your ad.
  • Tokyo. Shibuya is a part of Tokyo that is a major commercial and financial center, and Shibuya train station is one of the world’s busiest. A digital billboard here (15 seconds/4x per hour) runs 630,000 yen, or about $5481 USD. Want to advertise on the subway/trains themselves? That'll be somewhat more – 8,300,000 yen ($72,000 USD) for Tokyo-wide coverage for a month.
  • Nairobi. Lions, rhinos, and billboards, oh my! OOH posters are a multi-billion industry in this country more famous for its four-legged visual displays. Your billboard in the capital city will run between 160,000 and 200,000 Kenyan shillings, around $1424-$1785 USD.
  • Australia. A billboard in a smaller location may run $2000 to $4000 a month (that's $1440 to $2880 USD). But if you're thinking to go big or stay home, you'll want to advertise on the grain silos billboard that overlooks the Anzac Bridge in Sydney. (This is sort of the Times Square equivalent in terms of visibility.) That costs a tad more, around $250,000 ($180,670 USD) for one month. And speaking of Times Square …
  • New York, New York. The Big Daddy of OOH in the Big Apple, a billboard in Times Square will run you anywhere from $5000 to $25,000 for up to three days. At the very least. You'd best be sure your marketing message is clear and compelling!
  • Kansas City, MO. Middle America is big on billboards, too. In KC, a single location for a month will run you $1450 for a large billboard ($2000 for the digital version), or you can choose a slightly smaller poster for $875 ($1150 digital).
  • Best deal of all – and you’re going to love this – Paris!

Mais oui! A billboard in Paris costs a mere $437. Ah, mais non! That's Paris, Tennessee. Zut!

But here's the bottom line. There's more to "cost" than the outlay of dollars. It’s ROI that ultimately matters because who cares if it’s the cheapest ad out there if it doesn’t deliver the leads and sales you need?

Billboards are a lot less expensive than you might think. In fact, you might almost think of them as free when you consider the dramatic reduction they bring in cost-per-impression! At OneScreen, we tried it for ourselves. Adding OOH to our Facebook campaign dropped our CPM from $15.82 to $2.37. Even better, we got double the results. Double.

Download 'How to Beat Facebook with Billboards' here.

When is a billboard not a billboard?

A billboard is really just a whopping big poster. These roadside attractions have such an important place in our lexicon that the very word is synonymous with sign, announcement, display, etc. So when we're talking about billboards for marketing, we're also talking about a plethora of out-of-home placement options (both traditional and digital) that can round out and extend the reach of your campaign:

  • Street furniture and wall postings
  • Indoor screens in airports, transit stations, stores, and restaurants
  • Vehicle toppers and wraps
  • Mobile LED trucks

So bring on the billboards

Billboards are making a big, splashy comeback because their traditional value is seeing a "value resurgence." While your targets can deftly sidestep digital advertising with ad-blocking software a quick delete, they can't miss your out-of-home displays.

According to Nielsen:

  • Billboards are the #1 most-noticed type of advertising
  • 83% of passersby deliberately look at roadside billboards
  • 78% take note of transit ads

Stretch your reach and stretch your marketing dollars at the same time? Oh, yes, please. Getting your message in front of your prime audience in a time-honored-yet-innovative way? Oh, yes, please. Reaching new audiences – let's call them prospective prospects – at no additional cost? Oh, yes, please.

Discovery marketing is hot now. Who doesn't love to stumble upon a must-have product or service you didn't know about? Of course, there’s no stumbling involved, marketers are quite clever about showing the right stuff to the right people. But while social media marketing is increasingly popular, OOH makes it easier and more cost-effective for your targets to discover your brand, product, service, or offer.

And then there’s opportunity cost. Because let's be honest. Would you rather take a selfie with some online digital ad or your favorite brand’s exceptionally cool mobile digital billboard? 

Whether your next campaign is in New York City or some new city no one has ever heard of, there's a good chance there is a billboard nearby. So, if you're ready to find out just how affordable your billboard could be, just drop us a note here.

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