A lot of SMEs think radio advertising offers a great way to connect with their ‘local’ audience. Back in the day this might have been true, but times change. Sadly, the people setting the radio fees haven’t!

Big brands use billboards because they work, and trust us when we tell you – it’s a LOT cheaper than you think.

In fact, advertising on a giant 6m x 3m billboard on a main arterial road, seen by well over a million people every month, costs as little as £100 per week.

A lot of SMEs think radio advertising offers a great way to connect with their ‘local’ audience. Back in the day this might have been true, but times change. Sadly, the people setting the radio fees 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 – we heard a statistic saying: ‘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 we’ll let you know how accurate this statistic is!

The Numbers

We found some startling results of what local businesses are being asked to pay for radio advertising. Here are the figures – hold on to your hats!

Local Radio – Based on a ‘3 weeks in 4’ campaign comprising 40 x 30-second slots spread throughout the day and with an estimated average ‘reach’ of 400,000 and ‘potential impacts’ of 3 million the prices quoted averaged out at some £7,000 per month.

There were discounts (up to a massive 18%!) offered for much longer campaigns, 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 few weeks’ worth of advertising!

(These average rates were obtained during February 2016 from 3 larger regional commercial stations across the North of England).

Billboards – 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.

To achieve the same sort of impact levels (3 million) you could perhaps choose 1 well-located billboard, with a campaign duration of 3 months, or if it suits your needs better, 3 billboards for one month. All visible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The difference, and it’s a big one, is the price – just £2,250!

That’s less than a THIRD of the price quoted for radio.

To say we were shocked is an understatement. These prices are mind blowing! No wonder the marketing managers at the big companies love billboards! You’d have to be crazy not to choose the billboard every time.

To conclude, outdoor advertising, especially billboard advertising really isn’t as expensive as you might think, coming in at around a THIRD the price of comparable radio.

People travel, spending 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 24 hours a day.

Apart from television, outdoor advertising is by far the best way to have your brand remembered, and at a tiny fraction of the price of the competition. 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 posts, Designing a billboard to create impact and So you think Billboards are Expensive – there are some useful tips to help you make the right decisions!