There are about 192,000 billboards and large format out-of-home advertising displays in the United States available on AdQuick as of June 2020, and approximately 9% of these billboards and large displays are digital (DOOH) formats.
While many people think that billboards are an old and outdated form of advertising when compared to newer technologies like email marketing, social media promotions, and television commercials, billboards are still an extremely popular advertising choice for companies both large and small.
The advantages of billboard advertising are numerous, and many simply don’t exist with other forms of advertising, which is why billboards are here to stay.
Maximum Exposure, Minimal Effort
One major benefit of billboard advertising is that it provides maximum exposure for minimal effort.
Television and radio advertisements require that people turn on their devices in order to receive the ad, while social media promotions require that people be logged in to their accounts and browse in order to see the ads.
With billboard advertising, there are no special preparations required in order to deliver the advertisement.
Your target audience doesn’t need to buy anything like a magazine or a newspaper to see the ad, they don’t need to have access to cable television or listen to the radio, and they don’t need to use social media.
Billboards as outdoor advertising are also extremely effective, with an estimated 71 percent of potential customers regularly looking at billboards.
Each year during the Super Bowl, we learn about the cost of running just a 30-second ad during the big game - usually several million dollars.
While most ads aren’t running during the Super Bowl, the cost of television, radio, and other ads is much higher than that of billboards.
In fact, the cost of a billboard ad is approximately 80 percent less expensive than television, which makes the cost more realistic for small businesses and local retailers than on-air media.
However, billboard advertising isn’t just for small businesses.
Companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google all use traditional billboard advertising to market their products and increase brand awareness.
If you think billboards are a stagnant or stale form of advertising, think again.
Billboards might be one of the oldest forms of modern advertising, but they are constantly evolving thanks to new technologies that help to incorporate the advantages of traditional billboards with exciting new technologies that make them more relevant than ever.
While giant printed images are still a popular form of advertising on billboards, there are also other types of billboards, including digital billboards, bridge billboards, and more.
Digital billboards especially combine the best of traditional advertising with new technology, because they offer the opportunity to display dynamic messages that can easily be changed regularly while also maintaining a relatively low cost, reaching a massive audience, and being unavoidable.
The new technologies available to billboards mean that the medium can continue to grow and evolve without becoming stale, which is a major benefit in the digital age.
One of the biggest advantages that billboards have is their sheer size.
Some people believe that billboards don’t stand out as much as dynamic ads like those on social media or television, but the size of the advertisements makes them nearly impossible to ignore.
Furthermore, concerns about the static nature of billboards have been addressed with the invention of digital billboards, which offer the opportunity to rotate advertisements and allow businesses to be more creative with their content.
There’s a lot of talk about the importance of marketing to your target audience, but billboards actually offer the opportunity to increase the size of your audience with minimal effort.
There’s no getting around it; no matter what age, gender, or race you might be looking to reach, every person who passes your billboard will be exposed to your advertising.
This is an advantage because brands often cater their advertising to the people that they think are most likely to buy their product without realizing that there may be an additional application of their product or service for another group that they hadn’t considered.
Using targeted advertising like social media promotions or magazine ads limits the opportunity for people of all groups to be exposed to your brand.
Billboards may help you find a new customer you never expected to reach, just because they happened to drive past your sign every day on the way to work.
For better or for worse (and in the advertiser’s case, certainly for the better), billboards are completely unavoidable.
Your audience is guaranteed due to the display and location of your campaign, and you have a captive audience.
People naturally tend to look out their surroundings when stopped at a red light or while crawling through bumper to bumper traffic on the way to work, which means they have plenty of time to look at your ad and truly absorb the message.
The sheer size and eye-catching nature of billboards means that people’s eyes are naturally drawn to them.
They also can serve as helpful reminders for people on their way home from work, persuading customers to spend money on their shopping trip.
Think about all of the people who head to the grocery store to buy some ingredients for dinner on their way home.
They’re much more likely to purchase a new product at the store after seeing an advertisement on the highway just minutes before.
While people can choose not to look at billboards, they’re much more difficult to ignore than television ads, which can be removed by changing the channel or fast-forwarding through commercials, online ads, which can be closed, and emails, which can remain unread.
That 30-second television commercial only runs a few times a day.
Your radio spot is only on during the morning show.
Your magazine ad is gone as soon as someone turns the page.
Your billboard ad, however, is always working.
The reality is that the price of most types of advertising limits the number of times that commercials can be played and messages can be sent, but billboards are cost-effective and never stop working.
While a tv commercial might be seen by the same person a handful of times, they will receive daily exposure to each billboard that they happen to pass by on their daily commute or routine.
You may not be able to say as much on a billboard, but the advertisement sticks firmly in people’s minds because of how frequently they see it, which means they’re thinking of your brand more often.
One great advantage of billboards is that you can choose a location that makes the most sense for you and your business.
With so many billboards in the United States, there’s sure to be one that is located in a convenient area near your business, at a busy intersection, or along a highway that’s known for traffic jams.
The low cost of billboard advertising also means you can spread your message to multiple locations rather than focusing on just one, like placing a billboard advertisement on the freeway exit nearest your business and another several miles earlier, so people start thinking about making a stop.
If you think about it, billboards are the only form of advertising where the advertising brand has complete control over the ad space.
Magazines choose what page your ad will be featured on, while television controls the timing of your commercial, and social media relies on users logging in to their accounts.
Billboards allow for constant exposure and complete control, and the advertiser is entirely in charge of where they place their ad, how long it stays up, and how often it is viewed.
How many other forms of advertising can say the same?