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4 Reasons Why The Price Of Billboard Advertising Makes No Sense

The Price Of Billboard Advertising

Billboards are a prominent sight on the side of many roads across the world. Indeed, the billboards make up a significant share of outdoor advertising media because of their relative effectiveness. However, it is common for advertisers to earn returns that are inferior to the price of billboard advertising.
It makes no sense to spend almost $20,000 per month on a single billboard and only to earn less. Specifically, small businesses find the cost of renting a billboard too high. This is because they would soon run out of business if they spend that much on advertising. For some reason, the price of billboard advertising for small businesses is nonsensical. They include the following:

Billboard Advertising and targeting

Admittedly, many people see billboards in a single day. For example, more than 379,000 vehicles use the 405 Freeway per day. Assuming each vehicle has two occupants on average, then over 758,000 people use the freeway per day. Interestingly, the impression rate of an ad would be huge if just 3/4 of the people spot your ad. Unfortunately, that may happen but the conversion rates are disappointing. This is because most of the people that see the ad have no intention to engage with your brand. Particularly, the problem is that you are not targeting the right audience.
Traffic jams might be a menace on many US roads but that means a different thing to advertisers. Interestingly, the longer people stay stuck in traffic, the higher the rates of exposure to an ad on a billboard. However, many people spend their time in traffic reading stuff on their smartphones. As a result, few people notice the billboards. Even if they did, their attention would immediately turn back to the phone. Eventually, few people will make direct actions after viewing the message on the billboard.

The Price Of Billboard Advertising

For starters, movements like Scenic America want authorities to do away with billboards. Particularly, their contention is that the billboards are “sky trash” and they destroy the country’s scenic beauty. Interestingly, some cities are already rolling out legislation aimed at curtailing billboard advertising. In New York City, a free app is helping New Yorkers to virtually purge billboards from their view. Notably, such campaigns hurt the effectiveness of billboard advertising.
There are factors that influence the high costs. Besides the cost of installing a billboard, advertisers may end up paying maintenance costs. This may eventually push the trues cost of billboard rental to unsustainable levels. The price of billboard advertising depends on format, circulation, demographics, and impressions. Traditional billboards cost $14,000-20,000/month in larger markets. It takes a considerable time, energy and money to advertise with billboards. On the top, most billboard companies require advertisers to close long-term contracts. If your campaign strategy requires flexibility and multiple messages delivered at specific times, billboards are not the right media.
The key in advertising is to be able to track number of impressions. Billboards demonstrate a lack of targeting and tracking and very often a low engagement with the target audience, high costs, low ROI and in many cases they cause visual pollution and low brand recall. The targeting issues very often are addressed with alternative approaches as mobile billboards, digital OOH, ads on trucks and ads in places people don’t expect as flags, backpacks, inflatable objects, gas pump and balloons.
Advertisers have access to cheap marketing alternatives like in-the-hand marketing. In-the-hand marketing simply means that advertisers are able to put their ads in the hands of the target audience. For example, advertisers can leverage valet tickets as a medium to expose their brands to potential customers. Besides easily targeting customers, this marketing technique is cheap. Interestingly, a budget of $20,000, which is the cost of a single billboard, is enough for a three-month-long in-the-hand campaign.
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