Billboard advertising is highly effective so you may be considering adding it to your marketing mix. Before you make your final decision, you need to ensure your new billboard stays within your marketing budget. Billboard marketing costs can add up quickly. With that being said—this marketing medium often has high ROI!
Here’s how to get a billboard ad and what you need to consider for your Billboard Marketing Costs.
Purchasing Your Own Billboard
Your first decision is whether you want to purchase your own billboard or rent ad space on an existing billboard. Let’s begin with the costs associated with purchasing your own billboard.
Print or digital—the cost difference between the billboards that can post print or digital ads is significant. Custom-built digital billboards start at $8,000 and go upwards of $15,000 depending on the factors below. Custom-built print billboards can start as low as $1,500 in rural areas, and go up from there depending on the factors below.
Location—Billboard marketing costs also depend upon the city you live in. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the city you live in, the more expensive it will be to rent the land or space to place your sign. The amount of traffic, either drive by or foot traffic will also impact the land or space rental cost. Finally, the county or city you live in may charge permit or license fees, which vary greatly from one city to the next.
If you plan to place your billboard on land you own or a building you rent, such as on the side of your building or at the entrance of your parking lot, check your lease and local ordinances to see if billboards are allowed.
Customizations—both printed billboards and digital billboards have a variety of customizable features. This includes how they are mounted, built-in sign accessibility, if printed signs have lighting built-in, if the LED sign is HD, and if you plan to layer more than one sign. The larger your billboard the more it will cost to have built.
Maintenance—an often unforgotten cost is sign maintenance. This includes lighting, electricity, cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. If it’s a printed sign, you will need to hire someone to install each new ad.
Billboard Marketing Costs – Billboard Sign Rental
Before you consider committing to the billboard marketing costs above, consider renting an oversized sign or two to test ROI. This includes testing different locations and at least two different ads or ad headlines. Just ensure that you have a system in place, such as cross-channel marketing, to track your results.
Ad space can be quite expensive and the price per rental is related to traffic and exposure to your audience. This means you must not just rent ad space but consider if the billboard is placed in a location your demographic frequents. Location is everything!
- Mainstreet ad space costs more than streets with lower traffic, and expressways cost more than rural highways.
- The size of the sign and whether it’s print or digital will impact the cost.
- Print signs have a separate sign installation cost.
- For digital signs, the price will vary depending on impressions, as many digital signs alternate ads.
- Digital signs rental providers may charge more for placing your ad at different times of day, charging more for weekends, evenings, rush hour, or the holiday season.
- Sometimes you can get a discount by renting for longer periods of time, such as renting space for the entire month instead of for a week or two.
To be more specific, in rural areas you can rent printed ad space for under $1,000 per month, $2,500+ per month in mid-sized cities, and $10,000+ for larger cities.
Digital ad space can be rented by the month, week, day, hour, or the number of impressions. If the digital billboard is shared with other ads, costs will be lower. Budget for at least $1,000 a month for digital signs, and more for larger cities or increased exposure. If you want to take advantage of the ability to create an alternating series of ads, costs will be higher.
Billboard Marketing Costs – Sign Design
Make the most of your billboard by hiring a billboard sign designer. With their large size and scale, you need a designer who specializes in oversized designs. If your sign is digital, you need someone who specializes in digital sign design, motion graphics, 3D and 4D design, and maybe even video design. As a courtesy, here at MEGA we offer a 1 year free content service, for your digital signs or billboards.
Ideally, the marketing or design firm you currently use will have someone who can design both print and digital ads, but if they don’t—hire a billboard designer. Be sure to view their portfolio first to see if you like their design aesthetic, and to ensure that they understand your branding and your current ad campaign. Their rates are typically charged per ad and will be at least a few hundred dollars, maybe more.
Make the most of your billboard with cross-channel marketing. We mentioned this above for measuring ROI, now let’s take a look at how to implement this strategy. Begin by ensuring that your billboard is cohesive with your current online, in-store, and print marketing—and consider how you can encourage customers to engage with you after they view your sign.
While oversized, you don’t want to clutter your billboard with too much text. That being said, when going about learning how to get a billboard ad, consider adding one of the following to your oversized signs:
- A branded hashtag
- Promo code
- Website URL
- Social media info
- Phone number
- Teaser video clip
- Direction such as “turn left in 2 blocks”
- Any other prompt to engage online or in-person
Ready To Have A Custom Billboard Built?
If you’ve tested billboard marketing and it worked for you, a custom-built digital sign will reduce marketing costs—as well as provide you with the freedom and flexibility to post more ads. Mega LED Technology specializes in LED signs and custom builds each sign to your individual specs.
We will work with you to determine which features you need for your local weather and to display your ads with the appropriate clarity. Order your sign in any square or rectangular size, from small to oversized. Order one sign, layer 2 or 3, or create a video wall. Want to speak to a professional about your billboard marketing costs, or to learn how to get a billboard ad? Reach out today to get started!