The True Cost of Billboards for Your Business

Are you curious about the billboard cost for your business? When done correctly, out-of-home advertising can be one of the most cost-effective methods for getting your brand in front of consumers.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the true cost of billboards for your business. 


Like every industry, out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaigns have a few terms you must know during the research process. So, before diving into the true cost of billboards, here are a couple of words you should understand. 


Upon looking into billboard advertising for your business, you will see the term “impressions” pop up everywhere. This is because impressions, which are determined by the size and location of your billboard, act as one of the best ways to establish the worth of billboards for your business. To understand the cost of any billboard, you will need to know the number of impressions and how those are measured, which is at a cost-per-mile rate (CPM). Combining the CPM and impressions will typically give you a good sense of cost.


Circulation is much simpler than impressions. Instead of a factor by which you determine worth, circulation is a calculation of the number of people that will see your billboard ad. This factor plays a critical role in determining how many impressions an ad may receive. 

Factors That Affect Cost 

Now that you have a good understanding of what impressions and circulation mean, it’s time to discuss all the factors that influence the overall cost. Unfortunately, billboards are not a one-cost-fits-all advertisement. There are many factors at play, some of which include location, size and format, art and design, and installation. 


Location is one of the primary factors that can determine the cost of your billboard ad. For the most part, the more popular the location is, the more expensive your ad will be. For instance, placing a billboard at a Manhattan intersection will cost you much more than a billboard off of the side of a remote highway an hour outside of Chattanooga, TN. 

Size and Format 

Size and format are other factors to consider. Billboards have a wide range of sizes and platforms for you to choose from, like a small poster or a grand digital billboard. The pricing for these differences is relatively straightforward: the larger and more attention-grabbing the format, the more expensive the ad will be. 

Art and Design 

Once you have chosen the location and platform, the next step is designing the actual ad. This could be accomplished by your marketing and design team, or you could hire outside help if needed. Either way, there will be an added cost to commission the billboard design.


The last step in the process is the installation. This could mean a team of people physically applying the poster to the billboard or someone simply uploading the design to a digital billboard. Regardless of your chosen medium, installation plays a role in the overall cost. 

Typical Costs and Impressions 

Understanding some of the terminology and factors that affect cost is just the first step in getting a feel for the average billboard cost. While it is a case-by-case basis, here are a few average costs and impressions you would expect to see from different types of billboard campaigns.

OOH Media 

For typical OOH media, the average cost is about $600, with a median CPM of $9.25 and over 84,000 median impressions for a four-week campaign. 


More specifically, a billboard’s cost, on average, is about $850 with a median CPM of $5.14 and just under 150 billion median impressions for a four-week campaign.

Digital Billboards 

Digital billboards are more expensive, with an average cost of $2,100, a median CPM of $6.60, and over 14.5 billion impressions over a four-week campaign.

Transit Advertising 

Perhaps one of the most cost-effective forms of OOH ad campaigns is transit. With an average cost of $850, a median CPM of $3.86, and just under 250 billion impressions for a four-week campaign, this is a great choice for many businesses.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The trick to operating a successful out-of-home advertising campaign is coordinating the proper research to ensure you get the best ROI possible. So, not only do you need to research your options for ad campaigns and platforms, but you must understand the key demographics to target. 

Placing specific OOH ads in areas your key demographics are typically in will give you the best bang for your buck. The better your ROI, the lower the true cost of your billboard campaign will be. 

The Bottom Line 

There are many types of OOH ad platforms available to you, and the costs vary depending on the location, size, format, and design. Doing your research and knowing your target demographic is crucial to any campaign. Ultimately, that will allow you to make the most well-informed decisions so you can get the best ROI. 

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