Digital Billboards vs Traditional Billboards

January 25, 2022

Key Differences Between Digital and Traditional Billboards

Billboards may seem like an outdated form of advertising, but actually, the out-of-home advertising industry is stronger than ever! If you have been wanting to start billboard advertising for your business, you might be considering investing in either digital or traditional (static) billboards. Or maybe even both! This blog post will cover the differences between the two and which one will be best for your business. 

Traditional Billboards

Traditional, or static, billboards are what most people are used to seeing as they drive by. Dating back to the 1830s, static billboards have been a popular form of advertising because of their ability to reach a wide audience. Traditional billboards typically provide a wider reach because of their semi-permanent placement.

So, how does traditional billboard advertising work? Well, essentially you purchase or rent advertising space on an outdoor sign. This space is usually contracted out for a certain amount of time, ranging anywhere from a few weeks to months on end. These contracts are longer because ad creative on static billboards is not easy to change out, not to mention the price for materials is higher so it is more cost-effective to keep ad creative up for a longer amount of time.

Billboard companies can charge a lot of money to advertise on their signs, but there are a few factors that go into the cost, including location and geographic market. When purchasing billboard advertising from a media owner, you can expect to pay anywhere between $750-$15,000 a month! While that’s a pretty big range, think about the difference in population and traffic between rural Kansas and Times Square. You are going to pay more money for highly-trafficked locations.

Material and installation costs also add to the price. Installation costs are typically included in a monthly rental rate, but design and material fees will most likely be extra. As for materials, if you are advertising on a static billboard, you have to pay for your ad to be printed on vinyl, which costs around $1 to $1.50 per square foot. 

If you’re looking for a cheaper and faster way to billboard advertise, digital billboards might be the option for you.

Digital Billboards

Technology has taken billboards to the next level. Take a billboard but add a digital LED screen powered by software that updates digital bulletins instantly, and you have a digital billboard that allows for real-time updates.

Instead of displaying the same ad creative for months, digital billboards typically display ads on a rotating schedule, allowing for more than one brand to advertise on a sign at a time. Each advertisement goes up for about 10 seconds, and advertisers have the ability to control when and where their ad displays so they can better reach their target audience. 

Digital billboards allow advertisers to frequently change out their ad creative, allowing for more flexibility and personalized advertisements. It’s also easier to keep up with timely events, holidays, or have dynamic advertisements. However, many billboard companies will still require contracts when it comes to digital billboard advertising. 

The concept of an online marketplace has removed the contract variable from billboard advertising, so you only pay for each time your ad displays on a digital billboard. This is where Blip comes in! Blip greatly lowers the cost of digital billboard advertising. By removing contracts, you only pay for each time your ad displays (which only costs about $0.10). Factors like location, timing, and sign availability all determine how much each billboard ad will cost, just like traditional billboard advertising. 

By using digital billboards, your ad can be displayed as many or as few times as you want! The more times your ad displays, the more exposure you get. Not to mention you have the flexibility to start and stop campaigns and change out your ad creative as often as you would like. Blip makes it possible for businesses of all sizes to utilize billboard advertising.


Deciding between static and digital billboards completely depends on your advertising budget and campaign goals. If you have the budget to run a traditional billboard campaign and are looking for a more permanent place for your ad, then static billboards might be the right choice for you! If you’re just getting started with billboard advertising and have a smaller budget, digital billboard advertising with Blip is a great option to see how billboards can impact your business. To start billboard advertising, create an account on our website today!