Truth in Outdoor Advertising!
Outdoor advertising can be a straightforward addition to your marketing strategy. You research billboards or other out-of-home (OOH) advertising options, find the right spot for your ad, sign a lease, design the piece, and up it goes for all to see. While that is essentially the process, how to budget for the inclusion of outdoor advertising into your marketing plan may be a little harder to grasp. Understanding what affects outdoor advertising rates, how they are established, and what can drive price changes will help you better prepare for the limited expense of utilizing this effective method of advertising.
Why (OOH) outdoor advertising is more cost effective
Before even getting into rates, it’s important to note that, overall, OOH advertising is typically more cost-effective than other options. On average, it can cost 80% less than running a TV commercial. OOH advertising also establishes a set price up-front, which creates a firmer budget to plan for then putting an ad online where you pay-per-click. That advertising structure can leave a lot of wiggle room as to cost.
What drives (OOH) Outdoor advertising rates in general?
While there isn’t a standard rate plan for outdoor advertising, a few key elements exist that influence whether rates will sit on the higher or lower side of the scale.
- Visibility– the location of your OOH advertising piece can definitely influence price. The easier your piece is to see, the more it’s likely to cost. A billboard, for example, whose placement is close to the road and in a spot without any obstructions typically costs more than one set back from the highway where there is a tree blocking one corner of the ad.
- Traffic count – with the availability of detailed traffic information, it’s possible to calculate the average number of cars that pass a specific billboard or OOH advertising piece at any given time of day. Busier locations, where your ad will be seen by more people, tend to cost more. Additionally, this information can impact the cost for a specific time of year. Billboards can cost more during seasons, like the summer, when there are statistically more people on the road.
- Demographics – also impacted by location, the demographics of an area can affect the price of your outdoor advertising piece. Rates tend to be higher in busy downtown areas and throughout major cities than in less populated, rural areas.
- Format– they type of outdoor advertising you’re purchasing also affects cost. Prices differ between a traditional, vinyl billboard, a digital billboard, transit posters, etc.
How the cost of billboards is established
Along with the above factors which slide outdoor advertising rates up and down, each billboard receives an out-of-home rating, expressed in through the cost per mile or cost per thousand impressions. Three factors influence the rating:
- Circulation – the total volume of traffic passing a billboard. This information comes from transportation authorities.
- Demographics – breaks out the area’s population by age, gender, and income level.
- Impressions – the number of people that actually sees your ad. This is based on the ad’s size, visibility, and the average speed people drive by it.
Other factors impacting the price
The OOH advertising market definitely thrives on a supply and demand model, where availability of ad space clearly impacts costs. The more OOH advertising people want, the higher the rates tend to be, on average. This can be seen comparing prices in local areas around Atlanta or even looking at rates between multiple cities. The locations where everyone wants to be will have a higher cost.
Additionally, the price of outdoor advertising can change based on campaign duration. The longer you want your ad to be up, the less it may cost you. A long campaign can often lead to discounted pricing.
Pulling together your billboard budget
The most important piece of preparation when planning to add outdoor advertising to your marketing strategy is research. Learn when the best time to buy in Atlanta typically is by working with an outdoor advertising expert who can help you find the right location for your ad at the right price.