How Much Do Billboards Cost?

A lot of business owners and marketers—even seasoned marketers— don’t know how much billboards really cost. The reason for this is simple: It varies. Truly, there are several factors that go into pricing, and each is equally influential.

1)    The quantity of your buy (how many locations);

2)    How soon you were looking to start;

3)    How long you wanted to book the space for;

4)    And where in the country you’re looking to advertise.


          Billboards in Chicago are typically priced in monthly or 4-week terms. For example, if you’re looking at a quote for a billboard that is $2,000, that price usually means that it’s $2,000/month. If you’re looking for the absolute best monthly rate, your best bet at negotiating would be to approach the above list in the following way:

1)    You want more than one sign. Most times, negotiating a package-deal gets the price per board down significantly.

2)    If you’re looking for a deal, be ready to start as soon as possible.

3)    In the same way that sooner is better, longer is also better. For example, committing to a sign for a year allows advertisers to negotiate a much better monthly rate than if they only wanted one or two months.

4)    Know your market. Billboards in Chicago are less expensive than signage in New York City but also more expensive than anywhere in Nebraska. Advertising in major cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.) carries a premium, but if you can be flexible with numbers 1, 2, and 3, you can negotiate an attractive rate in almost any market.

            It’s important to note here that any sort of advertising is or can be a significant expenditure. It’s also important to note that relative to all other types of mass marketing, billboards are the most cost effective. Furthermore, they also rank highest in advertising mathematics, which is Reach (how many people) + Frequency (how often). So, that formula proves that billboards are a worthy investment on their own or as a complement to an existing marketing strategy.

            With any advertising, but with billboards particular, the single most important thing to this conversation is doing it right. Even the best deal on a billboard is a loss if it’s not done well.


But if you select locations that accurately target your customer with excellent creative design, billboard advertising (even on a limited budget) can yield great returns.


            If you’re interested in more information on pricing for specific billboard locations or just looking for help navigating the advertising landscape, click the link below... we're here to help.