How Much Does Billboard Advertising Cost?

baloonIn my last article we continued our series on offline marketing, with a look at using coupons to market your business.  In today’s article we are going to continue that series with a look at how much billboard advertising costs.

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How much does having a billboard ad cost?

One of the largest billboard companies is Lamar Advertising. A bulletin billboard is the largest standard size billboard they offer, typically measuring 14 feet x 48 feet. Here are the costs for renting a bulletin billboard for 4 weeks:

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (adult population 680,00)

Cost Per Billboard: $1,200 per billboard (rate for the purchase 7 billboards)

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan  (adult population 268,000)

Cost Per Billboard: $1,500 per billboard (rate for the purchase 3 billboards)

Location: Atlanta, Georgia (adult population 4,762,000)

Cost Per Billboard: $2,500 per billboard (rate for the purchase 28 billboards)

If you wanted to buy billboard advertising in Atlanta, Georgia for a year, the annual cost would be the (number of months) times (the minimum number of billboards) times (the cost per billboard).

12 x 28 x $2,500 =  $840,000

For a smaller market, like Ann Arbor, the cost would be much less:

12 x 3 x $1,500 = $54,000

The numbers above were taken from the Lamar Advertising website in August 2013

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Will it cost less if you buy a digital billboard or rotary billboard which is shared with other advertisers?

The short answer is not necessarily. Digital billboards and rotary billboards are generally placed in high traffic areas like highways. Since billboards are priced on how many people see your advertisement, being one of several advertisers on a digital or rotary billboard may get your ads more eyeballs than a billboard in a less high traffic location.

Will the size of the billboard impact the price?

Yes, but you’re not paying for the size.

Larger size billboards tend to be built in higher traffic areas, can be seen from farther away, and tend attract more attention. All these factors are taken into consideration in figuring out how many people are likely to look at a billboard. Pricing for billboards is highly dependent on the number of locally based adults that look at the billboard. This number is called in-market impressions. The term impressions (in the context of OOH advertising) means the number of people to actually likely to look at a billboard. Daily effective circulation (DEC) refers the number of adults that pass by a billboard and could potentially see the ad. If a billboard salesperson is talking about DEC and not in-market impressions, I would be very careful about buying what they are offering.

For a very informational and useful set of definitions related to billboard advertising, visit the glossary section on Traffic Audit Bureau website. Also, the site has a Market Locator tool that enables you to find local billboard advertising opportunities from the biggest firms like: CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor, and Lamar Advertising.

What are the standard size billboards for sale? (sizes will vary by company)

  • Bulletin – The largest size billboard. They range in size from 10’ High x 30’ Long to  14’ High x 48’ Long
  • Poster / 30 Sheet Poster- A medium size billboard, typically 10’5” High x 22’5 Long
  • Junior Poster / 8 Sheet Poster – The smallest billboard, typically around 5’ High x 11’ Long.
  • Digital Billboards – They come in a range of sizes.  The largest ones can be 20’ x 60’. Typically, a new ad will be displayed every 6 to 10 seconds.

How much does it cost to actually make the physical advertisement?

The production costs for making a billboard advertisement are relatively minimal. Printing an advertisement on vinyl for a bulletin billboard (almost 700 square feet of material) will cost around $500. To ballpark production costs per billboard, take the area of the billboard in square feet and multiply it by $0.80.  If you’re printing on paper instead vinyl (requirement will be provided by billboard company), the production costs will be from $50 to $100 per billboard. There will also be costs to designing the billboard. Budgeting $500 to $1,000 for billboard design would be wise. Where in most cases Fit Small Business recommends hiring a designer from a freelancer site, this is a case where you definitely want a designer with extensive experience creating billboard ads.

That’s our article for today.  If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below.  Also be sure to read the next article in our offline marketing series where we discuss how to network for business on limited time.


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Comments (114)

  1. said on

    I would like to promote the lions club of Harlingen, Texas and need to know the percent on the cost verses the out come.
    I need to present it to three clubs in Harlingen and to the District Governor for matching cost.

  2. said on

    Hi Santos,

    Lions Club is a wonderful service organization and I wish you success in your marketing efforts. Billboards are excellent at directing impulse purchases (food and dining) or creating brand awareness for a local services provider (a real-estate agent). However, they don’t do as well will complex messaging. What type of message do you want to communicate and what is your goal for billboard advertising? – Marc

  3. Joel said on

    Hi !

    I have a fleet of trucks and I would like to run ads on them. Usually measures trucks are 8 x 22/8 x 24. But which would not be the right or fair price I should charge. And if it comes to make a proposal, which would be the most important points that should lead to the client is confident about the type of investment that will submit.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • said on

      Hi Joel, I reached out TSN Advertising, the leading company in providing advertisement on delivery trucks. Unfortunately, they did not provide a clear buy encouraged you to contact them. Typically, they charge in the neighborhood of $1,000 per truck per month (if they have advertiser demand). Assuming a 50 / 50 revenue split, something in the neighborhood of $500 per month per truck sounds about right. However, this is just a guestimate. Good Luck, Marc

  4. said on

    Hi Marc,

    I am a therapist and a coach and I would like to advertise my nicotine recovery program. My thought was to just put the website address on the billboard. It is self explanatory. What are your thoughts on my idea?

  5. said on

    Hi Chantel, I would not suggest a billboard as a first advertising investment. Your idea might be great, direct and effective or could completely flop. My guess is that you have a fairly limited ad budget and not in a position to take large “bets”. Billboards are going to expensive investment, and if your messaging doesn’t work changing the ad will both take time and additional money. Perhaps start off with some search engine or facebook advertising to test out your messaging and see what works. Good luck, Marc

    • said on

      Nice to hear from you Daniel. I don’t have any specific knowledge about the construction industry. However, the answer may depend on what type of construction. Are your doing home improvement in which your target is consumers or more commercial projects like office buildings. Generally speaking, will billboards your paying for the number of eyeballs which see your billboard. Most of those eyeballs will belong to individuals which are not buying on behalf of their business.

  6. Brian said on

    Marc,
    I am in the initial stages of developing my company. It is a seasonal idea and I wouldn’t need billboard space until October. I am considering billboard advertisement for a new Christmas light idea I have. Is this a good advertising investment and what should I expect to pay monthly for this type of advertisement?
    Thanks.

    • said on

      Hi Brian, Good luck with your Christmas light idea. Billboards can reach many people in a short period of time. But, will the people that pass by the billboard be able to immediately act on their impulse to buy the product. Is there going to be shopping center near by where they can pull in and buy the lights. If they are going to have to remember the name of a website to buy the light, I think that you might want to consider other approaches. Best, Marc

  7. Pat said on

    Hello, the small company I work for is interested in a billboard on the i15 in Las Vegas, to run for about 3 weeks for an old school r&b concert that we are promoting? How do I find out pricing? Who, what, where do I call?

    • said on

      Hi Pat, While I don’t know who represents the billboards on i15 in Las Vegas, I do know a way that you can find out the major billboard advertisers in any specific US market including Las Vegas. Go to http://www.tabonline.com . On the left hand side of the screen, click on the button that says “Market Locator”. A map of the US will pop up, after you select the state, you will be able to select the city. Good luck.

  8. alex said on

    I’m working for the construction company and we are interesting to use billboard advertising but in specific areas in NJ. can u recommend us a companies to call and get a prices and all specifications???

    • said on

      Hi Alex, Go to http://www.tabonline.com . On the left hand side of the screen, click on the button that says “Market Locator”. A map of the US will pop up, after you select the state, you will be able to select the city. That will show you which companies offer billboards. You will have to go to the companies directly to get pricing. Best, Marc

  9. Karen H. said on

    Would like your thoughts on a billboard on a stretch of highway between Dallas and Houston, TX where lots of commuting takes place. The purpose and message of the ad would be to educate the public regarding the statistics of not spaying/neutering and the high rate of euthanasia as a result. Clearly as a non-profit organization we have limited funds but the collective community might be able to come together to put something like this together.
    Thanks!

    • said on

      My initial response is that this is great idea. Why? Your message applies to a wide, general audience, pet owners. (billboards are good at reaching lots of people). Also, who is not going to take a second to look up at cute dog. But? The message is complicated which might be problematic to communicate in a few words. Cost? Billboards tend to very effective at cheaply reaching a large audience. However, pricing varies from market to market. Best of luck, Marc.

  10. said on

    Hi Marc; I am considering using billboard advertising to garner exposure for a current campaign of mine: Revolution in Photography Project. It’s a project for human rights, diversity, and love. It has garnered more than 200 people globally thus far just through social media. The photos are half faces with six statements; identifying, although we are all different, there is cohesiveness in humanity. You mentioned previously in your thread that “complex” messages do not do well-however, what about “visual photography” of real people w/ a message? To get a first hand feel of the project, it’s under the “Human Rights Project” tab on my website. I’m looking forward to your feedback. Thanks Marc.

    • said on

      Hi Robert, Does your site have a website? Please Share it.

      As for your question? If your have really interesting (in the case, I mean visually “shocking” -not referring the content). You might try something like See More Photos At http://www.yourwebsite.com . In other words, you would not be using the billboard to communicate the entire message but, just get peoples attention. But, any message that requires thought processing by the viewer or is more than 8 words is not ideal for a billboard.

      • said on

        Also Marc, I could even shorten the wording just for the billboard portion; leading the viewer wanting to know more about the project. The half faces could raise inquiry…no?

        • said on

          Hi Robert,

          What is your call to action? What do want people to do after seeing the billboard. (If the domain name, FreeFromDoctrine is available as .com, .net, .org, you would scoop it up). From looking at your site there are two potential calls to action 1) Submit your own photo at . . or 2) See more photo at . . .

          You might create some controversy in some place with the billboard . .which I have a feeling is what you want.

          Best, Marc

          • said on

            Thanks Marc for your feedback and yes, controversy is exactly what is to be incurred. I will scoop the domain today actually; great point! One last question…since you stated billboards are best received with 8 words or less, would this be feasible for an eg:

            The half faces with “I am (sexual orientation inserted here)” “I am Free from Doctrine”. Submit your photo at FreefromDoctrine.org or AffinisApparle.org. Both aspects present a shock factor to draw inquisitiveness. What’s your feedback? This is it; promise ;)

  11. Christy said on

    Hi Marc,
    I am looking for ways to introduce a new product to stores and also inform people of the product, at the same time inform them that the product was created to support a homeless and feed the hungry program. Any input on the best way to advertise would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

    • said on

      Christy – If your comfortable please share more information about your product. At this point, I have too little information to give any meaningful feedback. Best, Marc

  12. said on

    Hey Marc!
    My volly fire company is looking to put up a sign on a two lane state route with generally a high flow traffic volume. The best option/least confusing for our new sign is an all weather/season 80″ led television. What would a monthly rate run for a simple electron sign of said size? We have been hearing number in the area of 400-1000 -+ a month for other signs in the area that are not that much larger. What do you think is our market range and options are?
    Thanks

    • said on

      Hi Kyle, I would ask the billboard advertising companies that operate for their advice. As you’re a volunteer fire company, I think they would volunteer good advice to help fund the department. They might even be willing to sell advertising for you – pro bono. No one wants their house to burn because of an underfunded fire department. Best, Marc

    • said on

      Hi Artem, I not familiar with such audit services. However, I did take a look at their site. It seems that the audit consists of making sure that your advertisement went up on billboards at the right time and were not taken down early. If your a local advertiser, I don’t see the value of such a service. You will know where the billboards are located and can have someone (or do it yourself)drive around and take pictures of the billboards for my guess a fraction of the cost of what an “audit” will cost. If there is problem with a billboard not being up, you should call the media agency ASAP and send them the location and the photo. Best, Marc

  13. Ryan said on

    Hey marc
    I own a pedicab company that operates outside of all Dallas Cowboy games and Texas Ranger games. I want to sell the ad space on the pedicabs. I know this type of OOH advertising has been used before but i am having trouble finding the right place to start. I have impression numbers and everything just can’t seem to present it to the right person. I understand this isn’t a billboard question, just was hoping you might be able to help point me in the right direction

    • said on

      Hi Ryan, I don’t have any idea of how to price pedicab advertising. However, there does seem to be company that offer Pedicab advertising in your area. http://www.pedicaboutdoor.com/ I would contact them and tell them that that you want to put ads on your company’s pedicabs, and that your considering doing it on your own or through a company like theirs. How interested they are in talking with you will tell you alot about the demand for pedicab advertising. The other thing that you can try is price discovery. Why not use the first week of the footbal season to advertise the ability to advertise. Then talk to your potential customers and try out how they react to different pricing models / points. Good Luck, Marc

  14. Carol S said on

    Hi Mark,
    I just opened up a Mailbox store. I’m a FedEx, USPS & DHL authorized shipper. I also offer other services, such as Notary, key duplication, passport photos, etc…
    What do you suggest will be the best type of advertising for this type of business on a tight budget due to being a start up?
    Thank you!

    • said on

      Hi Carol, Good luck with your mailbox store. I would have to know a lot more about your business to give you quality advice. We are going to be starting a forum soon to explore open-ended question like yours with not just feedback from myself but our readers who may have knowledge to share. However, I do have a question: Why would I go you store instead of FedEx Office or the UPS Store? The answer to that question will tremendously inform your marketing decisions. Best, Marc

      • Carol said on

        You will come to my store for the convenience of being in the neighborhood and to avoid waiting in long lines at the other stores.
        Also, for outstanding customer service!

  15. Ram said on

    Who do I contact regarding personal advertisement on buildings in downtown Denver on the outside during evening hours?

    • said on

      Hi Ram, Do the building already have billboards or signs? If so, I would physically walk into the building and get the contact information of the building manager / management company from the doorman or security guard. If they don’t have signs, they may not be zoned to have signs. Good luck, Marc

  16. Will said on

    Marc, me and my business partner just started our company a few months ago. We provide pre-engineered steel buildings and were looking for different ways to advertise. We currently purchase leads and advertise on the google. We are trying to determine if spending an extra $650 a month for 12 months on a 14′ x 48′ billboard ad would be worth while and produce any sales. Any input would be helpful and much appreciated. Thanks, Will

    • said on

      Will – My first question is do you sell pre-engineered steel buildings to consumers or businesses? (what do customers put in these buildings?) If its just businesses, billboards may not be the best medium. My second question is geography? Is there a reason that you believe that your customers will be commuting on the road which the billboard appears?

      • Will said on

        Marc, we actually sell to both individuals and businesses. Yes, it’s a main interstate here in GA and we would hit traffic coming from SC as well. Thanks, Will

        • said on

          Hi Will, I am not saying that a billboard would be a good or bad idea for your business. However, let’s think this through together. What information would you put on your billboard? Could you communicate your message using the medium of a billboard?

          • Will said on

            Marc, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We were thinking of putting our company name and logo, catchy slogan, and our toll free number. I think we could, our logo has an I-Beam in it and our company name has the name of our product that we sell in it. We were really trying to find a different way to get our name out in the community.

          • said on

            Buying a building is a big purchase and not an impulse decision. My guess is you need to do two things: One make the argument that they are going to save good money with your company (save 25% over conventional construction) and that you know what your doing (over 100 building in the xyz area).

  17. Isabella said on

    Hello Mark,

    I just started a used car dealership and I don’t know what is the best way to advertise it.
    I was thinking on a billboard, but I read about it and they are too expensive for me right now.
    Any ideas or suggestions
    Thank you,
    Isabella

    • said on

      Hi Isabella, I don’t know much about marketing car dealerships. This is an area in which SCORE (the mentor organization sponsored by the SBA can help). My guess is that they probably have members that have run car dealerships and can give your great advice based on their experience. Good luck, Marc

  18. said on

    Hey Marc- Greeting from Asbury Park. Our band “The Blue Project” has released a new CD. This record project was created after Sandy to gig alittle work to musician and music production. It is a DIY (Do it Youself) project, so the buget is very very small. I was wondering would it play to use a Jr poster billboard in Asbury Park, NJ? Could it lead to Brand/band recognizion and CD or download sales.
    Regards,
    Danny

    • said on

      My gut says that billbord advertising is not the right fit. The best advertisement for the cd is the band. If your band was already well known that a billboard could be an effective way of getting out information about a new release. However, I don’t think a billboard will get people to buy the CD or download songs. I think your focus should be social media, releasing a couple tracks for free and getting people to listen to them and share them. Good luck, Marc Prosser

  19. said on

    Hi Mark,

    We are a Math Learning Center and we are planning to advertise our services on a billboard that is close to the center by a train station which has a lot of commuters. Is this a worthy investment for a service oriented company?

    Thanks,
    Aparna.

    • said on

      Who buys math tutoring services? My initial answer is wealthy and middle class families with children. Will the billboard be positioned to reach that population? For example, will the billboard be positioned to capture the attention of people commuting back and forth from a downtown area to the suburbs? My gut is that you might be the right type of business that could benefit from a properly located billboard. Good luck, Marc

  20. said on

    The implant arena in the Atlanta area is a very competitive market. Our office has been in practice for almost 40 years. Our dentist obviously has years of experience and he is a practicing periodontist, not general dentistry. The most recent change in our practice is a transition from one dentist retiring to another one coming on board. We thought now is a good time to advertise in an attempt to bring more exposure and patients to continue to trend. Your thoughts or whether a billboard on the interstate would be of a benefit to us in this scenario. Thanks

  21. said on

    Hi Marc, I have a business in non-surgical hair replacements. I work with women , men, and children either under going chemotherapy treatments or scalp disorders to have caused them to loose their hair. I have many years of experience in this work. But I have come to a very slow period of my career. Do you think a billboard would work for me or not. I do understand advertising is taking a gamble.
    I have exhausted most of my savings, don’t know which way to turn. Thanks…

  22. Lisa said on

    Hi Marc, We have a business in West Palm Beach, FL selling physical precious metal coins and bars ( gold, silver and platinum). We are really looking to boost business. Do you think a billboard would be successful with this type of product? What other type of advertising do you think would be best for this type of business? I appreciate your insight.

    • said on

      Hi Lisa, I don’t have professional experience in dealing with physical metals. However, my wife is a professional jewelry maker and several of her friends have come to her asking to direct them to honest place to sell their gold. In other words, I think trust is extremely important in your business. While billboard advertising doesn’t automatically convert into trust, it does mean familiarity which is an important ingredient in building trust. Also, I think the product has broad appeal. Many people want the “safety” of owing gold or might want to trade in their gold for extra cash. A billboard might work for you! Best, Marc

  23. said on

    Hi Marc,
    I’m a new author of a children’s book and would like to know if Billboard advertising is a good idea for books. The title is Why is the Moon Following Me?

    Thank you for taking my question.

    Yolanda

    • said on

      Hi Yolanda, My feeling is that billboards would not be right for children books. Instead of investing money, I would recommend investing time. Perhaps do readings of your book at schools, book stores and libraries in your area. Many places like promoting loca authors. Good luck, Marc Prosser

  24. Jason said on

    Hey Marc,
    Was looking into putting a 5×6 (2) sided LED Board in the back of my truck for mobile advertisement and promoting my own business. But would also like to use it as advertisement space for other businesses. Do you have an idea of what the price range could be and the amount of time that I should make the advertisement visible?
    Thanks.

  25. Tom Revoir said on

    Hi Marc,
    I am interested in buying a few billboards, preferably in the Charlotte North Carolina area. How would I go about this and how much should I expect to pay?
    Thankyou for your time

    • said on

      Hi Tom, I would try the following steps: 1) Identify the people who sell billboards in your area (go to http://www.tabonline.com/) and click on the market locator button. There are probably 1 to 3 companies which sell billboards in your area. 2) If Lamar advertising is one of them, they publish prices on their website. 3) My sense is that they are indicative prices and can be negotiated depending on availability and demand. The timing for when you want the billboards and the number of billboards that you want may have a big impact on the price. Good luck, Marc

  26. Suzie Cortez said on

    How much does it cost to place an advertisement on a rotary electric billboard in a busy traffic area for a month. And how often is it being shown per hour?

  27. Ken said on

    Marc,
    I am working on a marketing project at my summer internship and was wondering what you thought of toll free vanity phones numbers and bill boards? (ie 1-800-BAIL-OUT for a bail bonds agency)

    My boss thinks they are nonsense and don’t work but I’ve spoke with some companies that use them and they are killing it.

    Thanks.

    • said on

      Hi Ken, I am very interested in hearing what the companies you spoke with said. How did they measure the results of their billboard advertising efforts? I think of bail bonds as an “emergency” purchase where consumers don’t have time to do much market research. In these circumstances, familiarity and convenience are very important. A billboard near a courthouse or jail might be very effective. But, please share your thoughts and conversations! Best, Marc

  28. said on

    If I want to create a billboard from an original piece of art what form does the printer need the image in? jpeg? tiff? what size? also what should I look for to get the most hi-res, hi quality image?
    Thanks!

    • said on

      Hi Julie, The answer is yes. I did a quick search of several billboard printing companies, like We Print Billboards ECHOD Graphics, and they all accept JPEG and Tiff files. However, you should be very aware of the size / level of detail of the file you submit. From the ECHOD Graphic site: FILE SIZE: Files should be created to at least 1/4 or 25% scale of actual banner size i.e. if banner size is 10′ x 10′ (120″ x 120″ inches) then the artwork should be 30″x30″ at 300 DPI.
      RESOLUTION: Create Files at 300 DPI. (Anything higher would result in a nicer quality print.) . Best, Marc

  29. said on

    I’m setting up an outdoor Concert and MMA event, I have a budget for advertising and want to make sure I get the most for my dollar. My Goal is to sell 5000 tix, My plan is to set up billboards in 3 cities and running them for 3 months. In your opinion would billboards be my best option to reach that number or would more Radio be more effective

    • said on

      I hate when people say it depends but, in this case it depends on a number of factors. The first is the star power of the concert and the MMA event. For example, if you had a well-known head liners at these events, I might be tempted to use a billboard. I live in New York and I see lots of billboard promoting “A” caliber entertainers going in and out of the city. The fans of these entertainers need to know that there is a concert versus being sold on going to to concert. If you need to “sell” the quality of the event, I would be more inclined to go with radio. Good luck, Marc

  30. said on

    Marc,
    What are your thoughts on billboard adverts for Recycled Sport Turf? Our company repurposes Sport Fields to home owners, sport facilities and small businesses. Most all of our turf sells for less than $1.00 psf. We target consumers whose projects don’t necessarily allow for the purchase of new turf. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    • said on

      Hi Kevin, I think billboards would be very inefficient way of reaching this audience. Your audience of potential buyers is very finite and geographically spread out. Billboard work best for products and services that are mass market. Have your tried attending / exhibiting at conventions of college and high athletic directors and coaches? My hunch is that would be a better way of gaining brand awareness of potential buyers. Good luck, Marc

  31. Timothy mack said on

    Hi I’m starting a retail business and have limited funds run adds I was planning on advertising on the radio and using 3 billboards to reach the market . do you think It would be best to go that route or try something else

  32. said on

    In October we will be in business for 32 years. About 3 years ago, the state came in and bypassed our little town. We are no longer on the highway after all those years. We are a small gas station and restaurant. In 2007, we were recoginzed by the House of Representatives for our fried pies (mom created the dough about 30 years ago). We have very limited funds and struggling just to keep the doors open. TXDOT refuses to provide any “blue signs” at the exits for out town because they said they left us a highway…a business highway. I’ve started a facebook page and website but am not great at it so I am at a loss on what to do to get our business back.

    • said on

      Hi Rebecca, I am sorry that the highway by passed your gas station restaurant. I understand. My wife had a little gift store in NYC. One the major tourist buses stopped in front of he shop. When the route changed, my wife’s shop overnight lost about 20% of its business.

      I have a few questions for you? Are there any rest-stops near your place – off the highway. What traffic is coming through the highway? Is it families with small kids? Business people taking normal work commutes? In other words, if people are taking a short commute its unlikely that they will get off the road and stop at your place. On other hand, if you gets lots of vacation / leisure traffic, you might be able to get people to stop particularly if they see it as a vacation destination where they can feed the kids and get to stretch their legs, and do something fun.

      Also, a clarification: Has the department of transportation refused to put – up signs or pay for them to be put up? You may want to the major of your town involved. He might be able to make the case for signs, particularly if they are privately funded. Good Luck, Marc

  33. Kevin said on

    I want to rent a smaller billboard in Monmouth County, NJ for a marriage proposal. My question is not about the effectiveness of the decision (like most of these business owners), but instead about the estimated price I should expect to pay for the billboard. Thank you in advance.

    • said on

      Hi Kevin, First of all congratulations on finding a person that you want to marry. Secondarily, if your flexible about the exact location about the billboard, you might be able to negotiate a great price. You only need the billboard for a few days and chances are the billboard companies in your area are going to have some unused inventory. Here’s the approach I would take. I would call the billboard companies in your area up and actually talk with a sales rep and tell him / her your story. But also, tell him that your budget is $500 (which should be enough to cover their cost of installing your sign) but your flexible about location. In other words, the economics of the deal aren’t going to be worthwhile for the billboard company but, sales people might do it and talk to their sales manager about doing to be part of your story. Good Luck, Marc

  34. Tiana said on

    HI Marc, we just opened an Espresso stand, we have no sinage, however , there is a billboard in the parking lot right with us. I was thinking we could some how put some kind of arrow on it pointing to us. We want to grow and be a chain, we are having a very hard time getting people off the main roads in the 5am to 10 am time frame. Do you think this would be helpful??? Thank you for you time.

  35. James said on

    A local business wants to put up a sign at the edge of my farmland directing traffic to their business. The sign, 4′ x 6′, would be next to a highway (MO 164) just off I-55 near Steele, Missouri. I have no idea how much allowing such signage on my land should cost for the area.

  36. said on

    Hello Marc. Great article, it really helped a lot – especially with all the answers to the many questions asked.

    I am a singer/songwriter & novelist. I’ve published one novel and will soon have my 2nd full length novel available on Amazon and Kindle. I was considering a billboard campaign until I saw the pricing – for now it’s out of my league. So, I’m considering the other forms: bus benches, buses, etc. I did not see any pricing on those forms in the article. Do you have any information on them? The design is no problem as it would be the book title/cover with text on how to find it.

    I live in Florida but am considering space in Tennessee and Washington state as that is where most of the story takes place.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    • said on

      I don’t think a billboard will be the best format for marketing a novel from a talented but, relatively unknown novelist. My gut is convincing someone to read a book, and remember the name of the author / title, and then in latter purchase it is too much to ask. I would focus on getting reviews and recommendation on “Goodreads” and other book recommendation sites. Good luck, Marc

  37. said on

    Marc,
    I’m an independent insurance agent in the Atlanta market and I specialize Medicare products for senior citizens and those on Medicare. Every year in the fall for a couple months seniors can make changes to their coverage and I was thinking about taking advantage in my local area with a billboard. I really was thinking about a 1board for a couple of months. What are your thoughts and do you think it could be done?

    Thanks!

    • said on

      Hi Chad, I actually think your business might be appropriate for billboards. Your service is applicable to a large portion of the population and the message doesn’t have to be complicated. “Do you have the right medicare insurance? You only have till XYZ date to make changes for 2015. Call 222-222-2222 for expert advice.” The question is one billboard enough and where should they be located? Are the are any large retirement communities that you can put a billboard by the entrance? Good luck, Marc

  38. Marcy said on

    We have been using billboards for a number of years with good success. Last year we added a billboard owned by a different company. Our new contract went up 5%. When I questioned whether this would happen every year they said, “oh, yes. Our operations are contracted out and go up every year, so we pass that on to you”. Is this standard practice for billboards? How could we negotiate this increase our of our next contract? We will eventually be priced out of the billboard market.

    • said on

      Hi Marcy, That’s a great question. I wonder how many businesses keep the same billboard every year. This may be a standard practice but, a practice which goes fairly un-noticed. I will try to find out. However, I do have a couple suggestions. The rational that they are giving for the price increase is that there costs have gone up. Why not ask them to share with you this information? How much did they pay and how much do they pay now? In other words, if they are operating on tight margins, I would understand them passing along a price increase. On other hand, if they have 50% margins, I would argue that they should share the pain of price increase. Also, I would ask for a loyalty discount. Your going to be a long-term consistent client. Don’t you deserve a discount for your loyalty! Good luck, Marc

  39. walter said on

    Hi!
    I don’t if you can help me with this.
    The Laser skin place that I go to get rid of the bumps on my face wants to post my before and after pictures on a billboard. Should I get paid for that? If so, how much?
    Walter

  40. said on

    Hi Walter, If its a local place and not part of multi-office chain, they probably not have much budget for paying for the endorsement. Furthermore, they might have to put on the billboard that you’re a paid endorser which could hurt the credibility of the advertisement. If you don’t mind them using your face, I might ask them for discounts or free treatments for then next year. Good luck, Marc

  41. Julia said on

    HI Marc,
    Do you think this type of advertising would be effective for promoting tax & accounting services?
    Thank you

    • said on

      Hi Julia, I don’t know. The good news is that you could advertise on billboards in the three months of tax season, when people are looking for professional services. Personal tax prep services is something that is applicable to lots of people . .but, what is the advertising message that you want to share? Why choose you versus H&R Block or using an online tool? Best, Marc

  42. desiree said on

    I am trying to find someone in a particular city and was thinking of putting up a billboard with pictures. Can you help me with that and what is the cost?

  43. George said on

    I sell at state fairs and have to have people traffic. My product is a impulse item and word of mouth from the year before . Do you think state fair traffic compares to bill board traffic . Do you think this will work on bill boards. Please don’t talk about my product after you vist my web site. Thanks George

  44. George said on

    I also get orders from people picking up my business card at the fairs And calls from referrals from people who bought. I get calls who picked up business cards 3 years ago.

  45. Holley Martinez said on

    I am currently running a Gofundme campaign to purchase a highway billboard for the San Antonio, Texas area. I belong to a group of volunteers that work to save dogs from Animal Care Services in San Antonio. We want to get the message out to the residents of San Antonio, and to visitors of that city, that SAN ANTONIO is NOT A NO KILL city! We are trying to send the message that healthy, beautiful, adoptable, DOGS DIE EVERY DAY there! Euthanasia is common place and the pets and strays that are being turned in every single day are being destroyed, many with the assumption that the dogs are safe and will be re-homed. Our goal is to bring this message to the forefront — right in their face if you will. ‘THINK SAN ANTONIO is NO KILL? THINK. AGAIN. —– and a picture too. Do you think this is something that will be beneficial? (results) The cost is $1500 for the billboard, $600 for the vinyl advertising piece. 4 week run on the billboard. Thoughts? Thank you.

    • said on

      Hi Holley, I am going to respond the question from a purely marketing standpoint. Your message is aimed at a general audience. Check, billboards are good. Your message is locally targeted. Check, billboards will be reaching the right audience. While the pricing will depend on local market conditions and the number of people expected to see it (ask for the TAB ratings), the pricing doesn’t initially strike me as out of the ordinary. And, I think you can turn unveiling the billboard into a local media event and invite journalists from local TV, print, and online media. – This might work for you. Good Luck, Marc

  46. Chris said on

    Desiree,

    I work for one of (THE largest) outdoor advertising companies (billboards). I have done the exact thing you are talking about, here in Detroit, with amazing results.

  47. Ron Rodriguez said on

    I’m doing an internship for a shipping company. Shipping from the US to central and south America. What are effective methods and mediums this company can utilise to market their business to their demo and by extension attract more customers?

  48. said on

    Hello Marc,

    I own a Professional Organizing company in Houston, where we work with individuals in their home or office to create a more organized space. I am thinking about advertising on a billboard and wanted to get your feedback on if you think it is a good idea for my company. I am located in Houston, TX.

    Thanks
    Neitra
    “An organized life is an easier life”

    • said on

      Hi Neitra, Before I provide my thoughts, I have some questions for your. Whos is your typical client? Is there a time of year that people are more interested in using your services or an event such as buying a house that triggers people wanting to be more organized? Best, Marc

  49. said on

    Great article Marc. Very helpful. I’ve just contacted several people from several different forms of marketing and advertising from newspaper – Facebook regarding packaging and pricing. I was trying to think outside the box because nothing I’ve don’e has worked before. Granted being on a budget is a large portion of my problem.
    I’ve never seen anyone advertise a book/novel or any type of literature on a billboard before as-a-matter-of-fact [not to say it hasn’t been done, I’ve just never seen it.]. My latest novel “The Guidon Bearer: A Basic Training Story” was published this summer and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can put some money into marketing it properly.
    Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio is where every single member of our Air Force has gone for basic training. Lamar has billboards to and from the base on major highways and interstates. Even though it’s probably unorthodox, in your opinion, do you think it’s be a waste of my time and or very, VERY little money to post my book cover and information on a billboard in this target area in this military town?

    Thanks for any input,
    -Rooks
    http://www.facebook.com/writerrlr
    http://www.writerrlr.com

    • said on

      Hi Robert,

      Your not first person to ask about billboard advertising for a book. My instinct is that unless your well known author, like James Patterson where the goal is to announce there is new book, I don’t think billboard advertising will be effective. Its just too hard to communicate the value proposition of the book when you literally have just a few seconds to get your message through. Good luck, Marc

    • said on

      A billboard might work great for a local election. It says your a serious candidate and reaches people locally. Do you have a signature issue that could easily be communicated through the billboard? Good luck, Marc Prosser

  50. Evelyn said on

    Hi Marc,

    I really enjoyed reading all your great advice for small business owners like myself. I hope you can give me some guidance.

    I have a women’s online thrift store and I want to pull in more traffic. Do you think advertising on a billboard in my local area is a good idea?

    • said on

      Hi Evelyn, I don’t know, however, my gut on this matter is that a billboard might not be the right medium. I would suggest that you take a look at our section on local tv or radio advertising. Best, Marc

  51. said on

    I am the founder of an international ministry and we are wanting to beef up our advertising for an upcoming event in April 2015. We are currently utilizing social media and will use video commercials as well. There will be no popular headliner speakers at the event, but the name of the organization is pretty well known. Do you think billboard advertisement is a wise investment?

  52. Jay said on

    Marc,

    Thanks for the article. I was just curious where you found the $0.80 per square foot figure for the printing of the actual billboard advertisement. Most printers I have contacted are in the $3+/sqft range for a full color vinyl banner. It seems like a huge price disparity. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • said on

      Hi Jay, I have never actually bought a billboard . .so I am relying on information that I have gained from interviews and online. The site http://billboardsetcinc.com/ and http://langmediagraphics.com/ claim to offer vinyl billboards signs for as low as $0.95 and $0.98 per square foot respectively. However, I don’t know what this includes. I would be very interested in having you contact them and find out what one needs to do to get this bottome dollar prices. Is there a volume minimum or perhaps only two color printing? Thanks for adding to the discussion. Best, Marc

  53. steve said on

    hello Mark, i work in a family media house and i would like to purchase few billboard of medium size 3 X 6 to start Renting them but i don’t have expertise on how much a digital billboard is paid per day for example .
    few advice from you can be beneficial to me Thank you in advance, (excuse my English I’m a french speaker)

    • said on

      Hi Steve, Your english is fine. However, my answer is that the question is very dependent on the location and market. I would pretend to be buyer and contact the big three to find out the pricing that they offer. Good Luck, Marc

  54. said on

    Marc, this is a nice service that you are providing. Briefly, I am a well-established personal injury lawyer in central PA. I market through various medium, such as internet, phonebook, newspaper, and social media. I also publish a magazine. I used billboards off and on for 2-3 years, but have not done so in 3 years. Obviously nobody needs me unless they are injured at the moment. Should I consider resuming in my county 0f 100,000 people and, if so, how many boards and at what frequency? Regards, Doug

    • said on

      The first question that I would like ask, is how did billboards work for you when you previously advertised? Did you track result with a vanity 800 number? Why did you stop advertising?

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