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How Much Does a Billboard Cost?

When it comes to running a business, there’s always 1 question that lords over all others: how much does it cost?

From office renovations to the intern’s coffee run, the bottom line is always lurking, always tallying up the score.

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Billboard Cost Is Complicated

With this financial angel-and-devil-on-your-shoulder routine always running, it’s no surprise that cost is always top of mind. And this is doubly true when it comes to advertising. Everyone wants the most bang for their buck; but following this mantra when promoting your business can literally be the difference between success and insolvency. Savvy advertising drives business and grows revenue, while stale or misguided campaigns can drive a business into the ground.

I say all this to underscore that when people ask me “How much does a billboard cost?,” I totally understand their plight.

However, like all things in business, it’s not all that simple. Asking how much a billboard cost is like asking how much a steak costs. Well, what kind of cut are you looking for? Do you prefer a leaner cut like a sirloin, or a more marbled, thicker cut filet mignon? Do you only spring for organic, grass-fed beef, or will any cut do so long as it’s tasty? There are financial implications behind all of these meaty decisions, just as there are factors that determine the price of running your ad on a specific billboard.

Though extraneous factors can affect billboard price, it’s easy to remember the main 3 with an acronym: LVT (location, visibility, term). 


The Importance Of Visibility

Much like its location, the visibility of a billboard advertisement is crucial to its end pricing. As a general rule of thumb, the closer to the road a billboard gets, aka the more “in your face” it becomes—the higher the price. Conversely, the further back from the road the billboard stands, the less expensive it is, usually. This makes a ton of sense when you consider that one of the biggest flaws in billboard design is copy legibility. By placing your ad super close to drivers, you all but eliminate the fundamental problem.
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However, there are benefits to advertising on billboards with both high and low visibility. For example, one of our longtime clients here at Effortless Outdoor Media, Reliable Heating & Air, has advertised on high visibility billboards for years. For them, this strategy pays huge dividends. Being loud and proud and putting your brand out there for everyone to see in highly visible locales is a surefire way garner attention. That said, if your billboard design is simple and doesn’t have too much copy to process, less visible boards can still do wonders. If your billboard advertisement is mostly pictures then who cares how far from the road it sits?

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The Length of Your Campaign

Term simply refers to the length of the campaign that a business will utilize a specific billboard(s). We could just call it “length of the campaign,” but then what would we do with our nifty acronym?
Semantics aside, the term is the one variable that business can readily control in determining a billboard’s cost. The location and visibility of a billboard are steadfast, but you, the advertiser, has total control over the term. And it’s beneficial to know that the longer the term of a campaign, the less it costs you per month.

For instance, say you’ve found the perfect location to run your latest and greatest outdoor advertisement. Based on other factors, it usually costs $2,000/month to run a billboard here. Yet, if you run the advertisement for 6 months, it might only cost $1,500/month to get your glorious ad up. These pricing differences change from billboard to billboard, but regardless it definitely sweetens the deal!

Usually, running a campaign for a longer term is as beneficial for you as it is for us. For you, long-term campaigns mean increased exposure, which leads to the ever-important “stickiness” that marketers crave. For us, longer campaigns give us the chance to foster a strong relationship with you, which is something we cherish at EOM. But ultimately, it’s about doing what’s right for your business and making the most of your advertising dollars. Lucky for you, we’re experts at just that.

Odds & Ends, Plus Tips & Tricks

So, what are the takeaways from all of this?
First of all, it’s great to know that location, visibility, & term are the 3 key factors that determine how much a billboard costs. Understanding how each of these factors enters into the pricing equation makes you better informed, which is a big step towards successful outdoor advertising.
Yet, you can’t forget that these aspects all interrelate and often coincide to determine the price. A great example happens at the intersection of visibility and location when a business wants to advertise right by their competitor. In this case, it’s not enough for the billboard to be super visible, it also has to be located in just the right place. This is just one the many ways that these factors overlap, but it perfectly illustrates their interconnectivity.
Moreover, thinking in the long-term is vital to truly squeezing every valuable penny out of your outdoor advertising dollars. Taking advantage of discounts and money-saving incentives can be a big help. You already know about the monthly discounts for longer-term campaigns, but there are other incentives like package deals that can cut overall costs. This means that the more billboards you run at one time, the cheaper it is per billboard. Knowing that tidbit, just imagine how much potential cash you could save running a long-term, package deal billboard advertisement campaign… Hint: it’s a lot of dough.

Your Chance For An Awesome Experience

So next time you’re thinking about buying a billboard, there’s no need to be worried or confused about pricing. If you ever wonder “how much does a billboard cost?” again, just know that this post is here for you! Or, if you really want hard numbers, we’re always here to talk with you directly!

In fact, for the best billboard and outdoor advertisement prices, placement and service contact us now at We will respond within 24 hours or less.