Billboards on a streetBig brands use billboards because they bring a whole lot of benefits, but it’s our belief that high-end outdoor advertising should be available to every business no matter how big or small. And it’s cheaper than you think. In fact, advertising on a giant 6m x 3m billboard on a main city-centre road can cost as little as £100 per week. Yes, you heard right, as little as £100! To show you what amazing value this is for the SME, we did a bit of research.

Most small to medium businesses think the best value way to advertise is by going to the local newspapers, radio or even some regional TV slots. Back in the day these were indeed good ways to reach a mass audience, but times have changed. The problem is, the people setting the fees for these services haven’t!

TV remains strong and is still the daddy with Internet advertising as a viable alternative depending on the target audience. However, be aware that website banner advertising has seen a significant decline,. I heard a statistic the other day from an American site that said; ‘You are 64 times more likely to climb Everest than you are to click on a banner advert!’. Click the banner at the top of our site and I’ll let you know how accurate this statistic is!

I heard from a potential client the other day after they received some marketing communication from us. His first comment was, “I can’t afford to pay for a billboard lad, far too expensive for the likes of us”, and yes he’s a Yorkshireman! “I normally advertise in the local paper because that’s what I’ve always done, it doesn’t really work, I don’t even buy the paper myself, they just send me a copy of the ad. I don’t know why I bother anyway as it’s always full of other adverts and you just flick past them”.

Once we’d told him how much a billboard actually cost he booked a 3 month campaign and won’t shut up about what “great lads” we are!

So to our research. Conducted during November 2015 we found some startling results of what local businesses are being asked to pay for newspaper advertising. Here are the figures – hold on to your hats!

Local Newspapers, (average rates obtained from 3 larger local newspapers in Yorkshire and the North East).

Based on an average price of their Run Of Paper, Display Advertising fees the below gives you an idea of the current pricing, this is for ONE single insert (one day’s advertising).

Full page, colour: £3,022 (320mm x 259mm)
½ page, colour: £1,574 (160mm x 259mm)
¼ page colour: £886 (160mm x 114mm)

Average Circulation: 33,000

There were discounts offered for multiple insertions and last minute deals, and I’m sure with a little negotiation you could get a better price. However, small budgets would easily be swallowed up with just a weeks worth of advertising as you had to commit to at least 8 inserts to get a 15% reduction! Bonkers!

To give you an idea of what this means for your marketing budget when compared to billboard adverting here’s a typical example of a booking.

1 X Billboard

Duration of advert – 3 months

Visibility – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Size – 6000cm X 3000cm

Total views (typical roads) – 360,000
Total cost including production and posting – £2,150

That’s just over £2000 for 12 WEEKS on a giant poster on a main arterial road in a major city, visible 24 hours a day and seen by 2.5 MILLION vehicles!


Duration of advert – 1 DAY (full-page)

Size – 32cm X 26cm
Total possible views – 33,000
Total cost – £3,000

To say I was shocked by these figures is an understatement. These prices are mind blowing! No wonder newspaper advertising is in decline, and no wonder the marketing managers at the big companies love billboards! You’d have to be crazy not to choose the billboard every time.

So to conclude, outdoor advertising, especially billboard advertising really isn’t as expensive as you might think. For the less than the price of a day in your local rag you could be seen by hundreds of thousands of potential customers for THREE MONTHS.

People travel, they spend more and more time ‘out of home’ than ever before, so advertisers see OOH (out of home) advertising as the very best way to capture attention on the move. Remember, you can’t fast forward, pause, turn over, or switch off a billboard, it’s there for all to see 24hrs a day. It’s never ripped up and used to light a fire, line the rabbit hutch, or to wrap your fish and chips either.

Apart from television, outdoor advertising is by far the best way to have your brand remembered, and at a tiny fraction of the price. Make sure you question yourself or your marketing team next time you’re looking at those budgets. Maybe after reading this you can make them work a little harder and reach a wider, more susceptible audience with an advert that really hits the mark.

If you are thinking about advertising have a look at our other post, Designing a billboard to create impact – there are some useful tips on how to make sure you make the right impact!

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