Billboard advertising vs. digital marketing: how to effectively market your business

by: Mekelle Bess

Billboards are an effective way to brand your business. They are a great way to build a lot of local brand awareness because they are large, visually impactful and can reach a large target market.

We help clients with digital marketing on a daily basis— with everything from Facebook ads, to Google ads, analytics and more. But it’s important that we dive deep and understand other advertising venues for our clients as well.

So today we are going to compare billboard advertising with digital ads. We are going to evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, costs and more.

Advantages of outdoor advertising: how a billboard can benefit your business

  • They reach a large target market

There’s no doubt billboards reach a large target market—easily. Just think, if you place a billboard near a highway or busy street, you can potentially reach every person that walks or drives by. And if you’re on a commuter route, even better. You will reach your audience multiple times a day. This increase in frequency helps your message stick in the minds of your target audience.

  • You can get your ad up quick

Often times getting a billboard up is quick. The time and turnaround are sharp and you can get your ad up and running within days (especially on new digital billboards). There are also lots of areas to run a billboard, so you can choose a location based on the geography of your target market.

  • They encourage immediate action

Billboards in strategic locations can encourage potential customers to act right away. For instance, if you’re a restaurant right off an exit you can encourage drivers passing by to stop and eat.

Disadvantages to outdoor marketing

  • Limited control over who sees your message

Billboards often rotate, so your message is not up constantly if it’s not on a static billboard. Because of this, you might miss customers who are looking for your brand. And when you have limited control over who sees it, measuring results can be difficult.

  • It might require a long-term commitment

High performing locations for billboards usually book far in advance and can cost a pretty penny, so you might need to commit to long-term contracts to secure a spot. Your return on investment might be good, but often the start-up costs to create the ad can be a little higher than other media. For example, you might have to spend more resources on design and production than you would a smaller digital ad.

  • Viewers can suffer from ad blindness

Over time, regular viewers can become passive rather than active, and can start to tune your message out. It might be possible to change out your campaigns to keep them fresh, but this can get expensive.

Costs of billboard advertising vs. digital ads

Overall, billboards are cost effective. We did the math and came to the conclusion that it costs about $55 per day for a billboard that reaches approximately 100,000 people. So, the cost per thousand is roughly $16.50.

If you compare this to social media, even though the cost of Facebook ads has gone up, it is still cheaper from a cost per thousand impression standpoint to run a digital ad. For example, the avg. cost per thousand on a Facebook ad is ~$9.82.

Keep in mind that you can also narrow your targets and advertise to people by age, interests, behavior and location with Facebook or digital ads. You can create several different campaigns and test multiple offers to find the highest performing ads.

The results with digital campaigns are generally faster than traditional media including billboards, and you can literally start reaching thousands of people from day one. From your online ads, you can drive people to your website or landing page, increasing traffic immediately. And the more traffic to your website only means one thing- more leads and conversions!

When you run digital ads, like Facebook or Google, the numbers speak for themselves. The results are measurable and you can see how many impressions, clicks and conversions you are getting from your campaigns.

If you’re tired of running ads that don’t get you conversions, we can help. That way, you can get the return on your ad spend that you deserve.

Contact us today or leave a comment below for more information!