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Resource Center » Digital Billboards - Are They Worth the Coin?

Digital billboards are new, flashy, and exciting, but are they worth the investment?

There are hundreds of digital billboards scattered across America, and most of them are near major metropolitan areas. This number may seem small compared to the 450,000 traditional billboards dotting the landscape, but the number of digital billboards is expected to grow rapidly. What's a company to do? To many advertisers, the advantages of digital billboards are clear.

Digital billboards are backlit. They are bright, vivid, and eye-catching, and they shine at passersby in a way that traditional signs never could. Since they are computer-controlled from a comfortable office setting, billboard messages can be changed easily to display time-sensitive or seasonal messages.

Advertising can be updated frequently enough that regular travelers can view a different message from the same marketer each time they pass the billboard. Companies that invest in the billboards can gauge public response and react immediately by pulling ads that invoke little or no interest and expanding concepts that generate calls, sales, or web hits.

In addition to the cost of the billboard, advertisers must consider the cost of the ad campaign. Most ad agencies are well equipped to handle a digital billboard campaign, but some companies choose to produce their own ads in-house by using widely available software like Adobe Illustrator or Final Cut Pro by Apple. To be effective, the ad campaign must be more than a simple effort at brand recognition. It must urge the consumer to action by offering limited-time incentives. A good campaign triggers immediate response; an ineffective or confusing message is simply a waste of money. Consumers must be able to register, understand, and remember the purpose of the message in a matter of seconds.

Since digital billboards are beneficial to advertisers, they are also beneficial to the billboard companies. Typically, seven different advertisers lease the average billboard during the same month. The ads rotate on a schedule with time, size, and location of the billboard determining how much each advertiser pays. Digital billboard profits are much higher than traditional billboard profits, because digital billboards can serve many customers during the same month as opposed to only one customer per month. That's a wide profit margin! The cost of the technology to create these billboards has fallen rapidly in the last year but the cost of advertising has remained the same, which widens the profit margin by even more. This is a major incentive for billboard companies to invest in digital technology!

It is too early to tell whether digital billboards will be cost-effective in the long run for the average advertiser. However, they do appear to be bolstering local sales very well in the early stages! Advertisers who used digital billboards last year reported a marked increase in sales over competitors, and most are happy with the results of their hefty investment. If you are interested in inexpensive advertising, then you should consider making
promotional items a part of your marketing plan as well!

Article By Jill Tooley
Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. In addition to managing the QLP blog, Jill also manages the content development team, assists with the company’s social media accounts, and writes like a fiend whenever given the chance. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

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