Why Billboard Advertising is Worth the Cost

When formulating an advertising strategy, business owners should focus on media for formats that are cost-effective in reaching their target audience and driving engagement. There are many options out there on where to put your advertising dollars. Why should you consider billboard advertising in Chicago?

Cost Efficiency

When trying to build brand awareness, one key metric to focus on is CPM (Cost-per-impression). When comparing billboard advertising against all the other forms of advertising, the top winners are online display and OOH.

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The other factor to weigh into the CPM conversation is the quality of those impressions. This is where OOH really stands out. With an advertising company that can hyper-target your audience down to a demographic and neighborhood of Chicago, you can greatly improve the quality of your impressions.


Of course, none of these numbers matter if there isn’t an action taken. And what we find is out-of-home advertising is the most effective offline medium in driving online activity, according to a 2017 Nielsen Study they give us a surprising figure that “online activations including search, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram activity generated by out of home advertising indexes at nearly four times the rate we would expect given its relative ad spend.”

To understand deeper, here are the chances an action is taken after seeing an OOH ad:

  • 26% - Talked about the ad or product with others

  • 24% - Looked up the business on a search engine

  • 21% - Visited a restaurant

  • 19% - Visited a store or business

  • 17% - Visited the advertiser’s website

  • 16% - Immediately went to business

  • 11% - Visited the advertiser’s social media page

  • 8% - Called a phone number

  • 6% - Recommended the product or brand to others

In the age of technology and the smartphone, these devices aren’t hurting OOH, they’re actually helping. They allow users to take action on the brand right then and there. Here are actions users are taking on a smartphone in the past year after seeing an out-of-home advertisement:

  • 35% - Looked up information on the advertiser via a search engine

  • 22% - Used the advertised coupon or discount code

  • 22% - Pulled up the advertiser’s website

  • 14% - Took a photo of the ad

  • 6% - Interacted with the ad like sending a message, uploading a photo, or voting


Reach is one of the best reasons to invest in OOH with 91% of all US residents over 16 who have noticed some form of out-of-home advertising, with 79% being in the past week.

When you look at the data of traditional media formats you’ll find that while other traditional media options are having a hard time reaching their audience in a digitally saturated world, OOH is able to leverage the new technology available and utilize it to maintain a consistent growth (4.1%) in the US over this last decade. Furthermore it remains in a safe category of its own, not losing reach like editorial media or suffering the brand consistency issues that affect digital media. It’s factors like these that show OOH advertising is only poised to grow further.

Vincent Letang, EVP of global market intelligence at MAGNA confirms this by stating,

“OOH is the last advertising format that consumers can’t skip or block, and still reaching the young urban active. Combined with huge progress in campaign management, audience measurement and attribution, this explains why OOH has grown steadily in the last ten years and will continue to grow, by 3 percent per year globally, in the next five years.”

OOH has tangible results. It’s something you can reach out to touch. Similarly, as Matt O’Connor, CEO of Adquick has said, “It’s in the real world, so it’s not prone to click fraud—at least until someone invents bots that drive past billboards or take the bus and subway.”

Look to the Top

When trying to make a decision whether to invest in billboard advertising, don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the biggest brands in the world. What you’ll find is that the top 10 US brands all have OOH as part of their advertising strategy. What is especially significant is that 8 of the 10 companies are from the technology sector, with more access to data and consumer behavior than anyone. Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and more are all using formats like billboards to help grow their brand.

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To learn more about the top brands, check this out!

Source 1 & Source 2

If you want to take the next step and learn what your billboard advertising strategy can look like.

Contact us to speak with an expert for a free consultation.

Read Our Other Blogs on Billboard Cost!