How Much Does a Billboard Cost? Pricing & Advertising Tips

Cody Cromwell
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How Much Does a Billboard Cost?

Billboard Advertising Cost at a Glance

Additional Billboard Advertising Costs

Most of the expenses endured by your company when you place your billboard should be considered advertising costs. Staff salaries, rent, extra printing and shipping, and any other givebacks your billboard provider gives you are included in the advertising costs.

However, there are extra costs that need to be taken into consideration. One of the more common expenses is the time the billboard is placed up. While most companies don’t pay for the time in which the billboard is out on display, custom designs may need to be completed and made ready to send to the billboard company.

Another common cost is the transportation for the board. The billboard company will charge you for the trailer you use to transport it to a good location and transport it back again when you take it down. However, they will often either provide their own trailer or cover the trailer cost as long as they can keep the board in the trailer for transport.

Other costs depend on your locality and will vary based on that. For example, in some areas the fee to replace street signs and prepare the street for a new billboard may be required.

If you have additional costs that you wish to add, you can estimate them by adding them to your advertising costs and by reducing the advertising costs in proportion to the extra costs.

Pros & Cons of Billboard Ads

Vs. Traditional Media

Billboards are a cost-effective, on-demand way to reach visitors. A billboard advertising campaign can provide instant results that traditional media can’t offer.

If you’re not sure which form of advertising is best, these tips will help you decide:

A billboard has big impact, providing the audience with the information they’re hoping to find instantly.

With billboard ads, you can word them exactly how you want to, and they can be customized to target specific groups of people.

Billboards are more affordable than many other forms of advertising.

Billboards can be placed in a variety of locations.

You can easily set up a billboard ad campaign in less than a week, making it an excellent promotional tool.

However, billboards are not recommended if you’re hoping to build brand awareness.

Impactful advertising can draw people in, but if your message isn’t easily noticeable, you won’t have a chance of making a connection with them.

Many people are turned off by the large, blocky image of a billboard, causing them to miss your advertisement entirely.

Billboards also don’t leave a good impression if they’re placed at an inappropriate location.

Factors That Affect Billboard Advertising Cost

Whatever your billboard size, there are certain factors that affect the cost of advertising per square feet. It’s only normal that you don’t have an exact figure in mind as to how much a billboard is actually going to cost you. And why would you? There are too many factors involved, and you’re basically just throwing a dart and hoping the outcome is good!

So let’s revisit some of the factors that are involved and go into a little detail. The more details you have, the better. And the more you consider the details, the more hassle free it will be to conduct your business with us.

Traditional Billboards vs Digital Billboards

Traditional advertisements account for fewer of today’s marketing dollars. And while traditional advertising methods still work for some advertisers, the biggest trend has been digital.

Billboards are still using traditional methods, but the number of people who see them has decreased. This is especially true for those billboards which are displayed in highly trafficked areas such as major roadsides and highways.

Billboard advertising costs have decreased since technological advancements have made digital billboards cheaper to produce, maintain and operate.

Considering the amount of time (and money) you will need to invest in a billboard, it’s not a good option if you are looking to only invest partially or want to save money.

If you do not mind the cost and inconvenience, you might want to consider becoming a billboard owner, although you may need to cover extra costs such as site prep.

You can purchase a billboard online and even lease one. When you lease a billboard, you are the landlord and get to approve all necessary changes. If you fully own a billboard, you are the tenant. This is a great option if you want to acquire a billboard for a specific time frame and location. This is the typical formula that most local and regional advertisers use.

However, if you want a general billboard that could be used for promoting your business across multiple other locations, think about leasing a billboard.

Who Billboard Advertising Is Right For

Billboard advertising is definitely one of the most aggressive forms of advertising. Because it’s relatively new, few people now do not know what a billboard is and its purpose. A billboard is not only an advertising medium but also a public display of art. Thus, it was traditionally used for the promotion of works of the arts, including movies and music. Thanks to the Internet and the modern technology, billboards have become a powerful tool for advertising.

Billboards have officially been introduced as an advertising medium in the 1920s. In the beginning, billboards were used for the exhibition of art works. In the 1940s, movie billboard advertising was introduced. Through the 1950s and the 1960s, they were in high demand worldwide, making them an important medium of advertising for music and entertainment. In the 1970s, T-shirt billboards were introduced to the public. Many foreign countries started to use billboards for the promotion of their national and international businesses.

Now, we live in a Twitter-centric world, and since the advent of mobile devices, its popularity has significantly increased by promoting apps. Billboard advertising is the only way to reach out to everyone. Billboards can provide you a better concept campaign for your brand. Billboards are now available in a wide array of graphics and sizes.

Building Awareness for a Local Business

With such a wide array of advertising options available today, businesses have a lot of options for reaching target audiences. Some advertising opportunities are monetary – such as TV commercials, radio ads and billboards – while others are non-monetary – such as public relations, word-of-mouth and internet advertising.

But when it comes to advertising, local businesses should consider billboards since there are a lot of advantages to using them. Billboards are one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising. Billboards are also one of the most visible and long-lasting forms of advertising. And according to outdoor advertising experts, people read a billboard for more than 20 minutes.

One of the primary benefits of billboards is that they provide businesses with branding opportunities. Businesses are able to present their unique branding and messaging by displaying their own creative artwork.

Additionally, billboards can be used for outdoor advertisements as well as promotional materials for existing businesses. For local businesses, billboards can be a great way to inform customers about your location, inventory and services.

Reminder Advertising for a National Company

Dan Law and Sydney Arendsen, co-owners of Freeman’s Outdoor Advertising in Hagerstown, Md., are calling in a high-powered help to publicize their business.

At the end of the month, the U.S. Postal Service will air a 30-second commercial for Freeman’s, promoting the company’s billboard offerings and featuring its employees, not least of which are Law and Arendsen—so you’ll be familiar with their phone number in case you need it.

There are a few conditions, however. The commercial will not run in the Baltimore area. (Public service…it can be kind of a hassle to go to Freeman’s.) And the commercial can’t even use the word "billboard."

Instead, it will focus on the fast and friendly service that both Law and Arendsen put into their sign installation business. That’s in keeping with the company’s philosophy. When a client calls, the billboard should be ready in a day or two, not three weeks down the road…and certainly not three weeks from now.

How to Rent a Specific Billboard

Billboard advertising can be one of the most effective forms of advertising, but it all depends on the specific material.

Billboards are used to reach the largest audience, but not every type of billboard is apt for every kind of campaign.

Although billboards can be used for digital marketing, outdoor billboards are more expensive than their digital counterparts. If you are planning to advertise through a billboard, your target audience have to be able to view the advertisement. Cost is one of the determining factor of the size of your billboard, but not the only factor. Location, and specific site conditions also play a key role. For some situations, you can rent a billboard for a fixed price, while advertising companies that provide billboard space is another kind of company that can rent you a billboard for a fixed price.

How to Choose Your Billboard Location

Choosing the right location for your billboard can make or break your campaign. The right location will result in a successful ad campaign. The wrong one will result in wasted money and potential embarrassment.

Be sure to consider the following factors before you set your banner in motion:


No billboards will stay up during the winter. The exception is those species that hibernate, though even those don’t do it for long. Signs can also be damaged by strong wind gusts. Make sure you know your winters’ typical weather and if there are any heavy gusts.


Make sure there are enough roads leading up to your billboard to ensure a good flow of traffic. You don’t want to wind up with an abandoned billboard because people just don’t want to drive up to it. You also want to consider what type of roads pass through the area. If the road is busy and noisy or if there are accidents, the noise and distractions from traffic may scare off potential customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between a Remarked Billboard and a Rented Billboard?

A. Advertising on a rented billboard is a cost of doing business and has nothing to do with the value of the post. Rentals are generally paid weekly and are based on the size of the sign.

Remarked billboards, such as those purchased with the help of an advertising professional, are typically of the premium quality. Such billboards are typically rented on a fixed lease with monthly rent payments. Remarked billboards are purchased at a negotiated price and provide a guaranteed return on investment.

What other outdoor advertising options are there?

Outdoors is a huge advertising market and there are hundreds of options to choose from. Outdoor advertising can take the form of:

  • Billboards
  • Signs
  • Billboard Signs
  • Sidewalk Chalkboards
  • Sidewalk Posters
  • Tournament Banners
  • Tournament Toss Boards
  • Pipe Tolls
  • Traffic Cone Signs
  • Hanging Signs
  • Lighted Obstacles

Here is a brief overview of advertising options:

How do you install a billboard on your property?

Generally, hoarding signage is installed with a heavy-duty mounting system that supports the weight of the sign, and the billboard doesn’t structurally interfere with the building. The type and size of structures plays a part in how we install a hoarding sign.

If your property is a commercial or industrial building, we will install a steel frame along the bottom of the billboard, and it will be attached to the property with mechanical fasteners.

If your sign is small and light – like a car dealer’s giant advertisement – it’ll be installed using a pole system that will be anchored to the ground to support the sign.

If your sign is large and irregular, like a roadside billboard, it will be supported by a frame made from metal frame and may need to be attached to the building.

On rare occasions, commercial and industrial buildings may require a structural engineer to sign off on a hoarding sign. These engineering services can be costly, so you should take into account these added costs before installing a hoarding advertisement.

How do you lease land to an advertising company for billboard ads?

Usually the land will not be leased directly for the billboard.

Instead, any billboard company will have a sales representative or sales person that the land owner contracts with. They will then go out and find the best billboard company in which to deal with. If you do not have a sales person, it is suggested that you call a few of the major billboard companies in your area and ask them for a sales representative to provide you with prices.

Most of the major companies will provide a price for you, but their prices vary from region to region and from company to company. If it’s a large advertising company in your area, imagine how much a billboard ad in that region costs. If you have a sales person provide the price for you, it is always better to purchase the product directly from the company.

Street Light Lighting Options

One way to increase advertising space and get the most visibility out of your advertising is to have off-road traffic signs installed. These signs are placed along the roadway, and when cars drive along it, special light bulbs in the sign will flash. You may already be familiar with car dealership billboards. With these signs, you can have your business name displayed off-road. They are much more visible than on-road billboards, and people are able to see them from a great distance.

If you already have off-road signage, you can rent newspaper space to increase the visibility of your billboard.

Bottom Line

Advertising on a Billboard does cost money!

Yes, it does! …You’ve got to make a living right? Google the current market price for ads in your area and that will determine how much you want to spend.

Know your budget and you’ll know the best way to spend your … advertising dollar!” It’s all relative with your ad budget.

PRICING FOR Billboard Advertising. Here’s a few tips on pricing for billboards:

  • Go for a one time fee, it’s a lot less expensive than the buy-once, buy-everywhere kind of advertising, and it also gives you the flexibility for campaigns that may only last for a short time.
  • The Smaller Billboard Information: 30 feet high by 50 feet wide.
  • The Medium Billboard Information: 30 feet high by 80 feet wide.
  • The Larger Billboard Information: 30 feet high by 100 feet wide.

It may cost more for a larger billboard, but it’s a lot cheaper in the long run. These larger billboards are just more cost effective.

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