How Much Does Billboard Advertising Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Billboard advertising offers a company the opportunity to show their message to thousands of people while on the road.  Placed on elevated boards near the roadside, this advertising method can be visible to both pedestrians and/or cars.

Billboards by thomascrenshaw, on Flickr
Billboards” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by thomascrenshaw

How much does a billboard cost?

Billboard advertising costs can be very different depending on the location of the billboard.  Areas with higher traffic can cost more when compared to a billboard that is placed in an area which generates little traffic.  The price can also increase depending on the duration of the contract you sign with the advertising company.  Because of these different factors, the price of billboard advertising has a very wide range and can cost anywhere from $200 to as much as $150,000+ per month.  Refer to our table below to see what you may pay.

Digital billboards, which display a message every eight seconds, will be much cheaper, often costing $2,000 to $8,000 per month; again, depending on the factors we have mentioned in the guide.  Digital billboards, to some, can be more dynamic since it captures the driver’s attention as they drive by.  It can also be more targeted since the ad can change at any given notice.

Mobile billboards, which as the name states — is mobile — will be plastered on the side of a truck as it drives up and down a busy area.  Depending on the area, this can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000 per eight hour day.

According to FitSmallBusiness.com, they say a four-week billboard in Baraboo, WI, could cost $250, while a billboard for four weeks in New York City could cost more than $14,000.

The Grasshopper blog did some in-depth research and had found in their city of Boston, it would cost $11,000 to $23,000 for a four-week ad, while in San Diego, it could cost $8,400 to $15,000 per four weeks.

To see what it may cost in your local area, play around with this Lamar Inventory Browser to see what a billboard may cost.

Type of BillboardPrice Range
Bulletin Board (Large)$1,000 to $75,000 per 4 weeks
30 Sheet Poster (Medium)$500 to $10,000 per 4 weeks
Junior Poster (Small)$200 to $5,000 per 4 weeks
Digital$3,000 to $50,000 per 4 weeks

NOTE:  Prices are going to vary depending on the location and the company offering the billboard.

Geographical location4-Week Ad Rate
Anaheim, CA$500 to $15,000
Atlanta, GA$1,000 to $9,000
Chicago, IL$1,000 to $15,000
Dallas, TX$500 to $20,000
Detroit, MI$800 to $6,00
Eugene, OR$450 to $3,000
Hartford, CT$2,500 to $7,500
Houston, TX$1,500 to $3,500
Myrtle Beach, SC$300 to $3,000
New York - NJ - PA$2,500 to $250,000
Orlando, FL$400 to $3,000
Pittsburgh, PA$1,500 to $3,500
Seattle, WA$1,000 to $60,000
St. Louis, MO$600 to $5,000

NOTE:  Rates were found on the Lamar Advertising tool mentioned above

Factors that affect the cost

Circulation

The more cars that pass the billboard, the more it may likely cost; however, this isn’t always the case as some billboards could be in high traffic areas but it won’t be as visible to the cars driving by.

Demographics

Like any advertising, the age, gender and income level that may pass the billboard can affect the cost.  If you were to advertise to a higher income level, then it could cost much more than advertising in a lower income area.

Impressions

Like the circulation, the size of the ad, the visibility and the speed passerbys are traveling can also affect the cost.

Time of year

Depending on the area, some months may be costlier than others.

Duration

The longer you commit to your billboard purchase, the more you may be able to save.

What are the extra costs?

Designing and printing the billboard are separate processes which can be done by a different company.  Often created by vinyl, the average billboard that measures 14 by 48 feet will cost about $300 to $600 for the material.

This won’t include the designing.  When designing the billboard is factored in, this can be another $500 to $1,200 to hire a professional designer.

Tips to know:

Most billboard advertising contracts will be worked out with a local ad agency such as Lamar Advertising, CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel, the three largest billboard companies in the United States.  These companies will handle everything from constructing the billboard to setting up the ad.

Many advertising companies will require a minimum amount of billboards or a certain time commitment before they work with you.  For example, larger billboard companies may require that you reserve at least five spots in their network before they work with you or they may want you to sign a six to 12 month deal.

Fit Small Business, the blog we mentioned earlier, said you have to look out for three things when choosing your billboard to advertise with:  how fast people are driving by, the proximity of the billboard and where the typical traveler is going.  People driving 40 miles per hour, for example, are more likely to see your ad than if they were driving 70 miles per hour on the highway.

How can I save money?

Government and non-profit agencies can often receive a discount.

Billboard rates are almost always negotiable, and according to one expert on Quora, he said you can often knock up to 50% percent off the rate card.


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