As technology advances, traditional ways of advertising are becoming more and more outdated. Like those worn out jeans in the back of your closet that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of, traditional methods have seen better days.
I know what you’re thinking. You still hear plenty of radio ads, pass by countless billboards on the highway and might even pick up the newspaper (and actually read it) on Sundays when you have nothing better to do. Although I advocate more of an inbound approach, traditional methods, such as billboards, are still being used to reach target markets.
Consider New Jersey, the good old Garden State. It may be the fifth smallest, but it has the highest density out of all 50 states. There are more than eight million people dispersed throughout this bustling province, making it a prime location for advertisers to scatter billboard advertisements.
So how much of a dent will this old-fashioned way of advertising put in your wallet?
If we are going for an “on average” guesstimate, a billboard can range anywhere from $100-$10,000. In all honesty, there is no set price for a billboard ad because there are a number of circumstances that affect the costs. Here are some cost varying factors to consider.
Location, location, location. This is a huge factor in determining how much a billboard ad will cost. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that placing a billboard on Route 17 or Route 4 is going to cost a lot more than placing it on a more quiet, suburban road.
Industrial and high-traffic roads such as the Garden State Parkway, a 172.4 mile thruway that stretches from the New York state line at Montvale, N.J. down to Cape May, have a very high traffic volume. New Jersey Turnpike, Route 78 and Route 22 are more examples of major highways that receive a high volume of traffic as well.
You must also take into consideration the type of people that are driving on these roads and which advertisements will interest them most. Billboards that are placed on these types of busy highways can cost up to $8,000-$10,000.
DEC (Daily Effective Circulation)
Traffic volume determines the number of eyes that will be viewing the billboard advertisements. DECs are the average number of persons, either in a car or any other vehicle, who pass by or are exposed to an advertising display. Essentially, this is the number of impressions that your billboard receives each day.
Whoever said size doesn’t matter? Well at least in the land of billboards it definitely does. Just like there are different types of locations, there are also a variety of billboard sizes. 14 ft x 38 ft seems to be the standard, but there are other options such as 10 ft x 24 ft, 12 ft x 24 ft, 16 ft x 60 ft and 32 ft x 38 ft.
In reality, billboards have the potential to be all shapes and sizes. A bigger size is going to cost bigger bucks. Keep in mind that the bigger the area of the billboard, the more space you have to fill and the lighter your wallet will be.
How do you plan on getting that beautifully designed advertisement up on to the billboard? Of course you are not planning on climbing up on a ladder and doing it yourself. When you pay for the space you must also consider the costs of the workers who are going to put up the advertisement and maintain it.
There is also a legal side to consider. Depending on the area, permits and variances must be approved by the state and there are specific zoning laws that must be followed. Billboards can only be placed on commercial property, that’s why we don’t see billboards on people’s front laws or on privately owned land.
A Christmas ad probably will not achieve what you want it to if you place it on a billboard in the middle of the summer. In many cases prices will fluctuate depending on the season.
Certain ads should only be placed during specific times of the year, when they are relevant. Some billboard advertisements will stay up for a full year while others will only go up during a specific season. That being said, if it is a more popular season, then it will be harder and more expensive to find a prime location for your board.
As much as I have dubbed this way of marketing as more of a traditional method, there are actually some technologically savvy billboards out there. Digital boards. These allow you to have multiple ads that switch on and off every 5-15 seconds, on what essentially looks like a big TV screen.
With this technology, more than one company can utilize a single billboard location. This also allows certain companies to have a specific time slot during the day to display there ads. Essentially, digital boards are a complete game changer for this classic method of advertising.
Do you think billboards are a profitable way to advertise? Let us know in the comments below.