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How Much Does a Billboard Cost to Be Successful?

The basics on cost and success

Tennessee and Nashville billboard costs vary from $500 to $5,000 based on where the board is and what type of advertising it is. There is no easy answer to the question “How much does a billboard cost to be successful?” What matters in a successful campaign is whether the board has a great design, has a good read, and targets the right target audience (the people you want to reach). A board cost $750 in a minority neighborhood is only a great deal if you want to reach minority customers–and then it might be a steal of a deal. The only way to evaluate these parameters is to look at each board individual. Call us at 615-479-7518 to have access to our expertise to make your campaign a success.

Typically a rural billboard may cost $500 per month or even less while delivering 5,000 impressions a day. Boards in minority communities are often similarly priced. However, downtown Nashville billboards often cost $4-5,000 a month while delivering 200-300 thousand of solid impressions a week. In some high demand urban areas of the US, boards can cost $10,000 a month.

Likewise, bus and transit ads can run from $300 a month to $3000 a month for a single advertisement depending on whether it is a smaller ad placed on the bus or a full wrap and everything in between.

Sample budgets for billboard advertising costs

Click your advertising budget and see what you might be able to afford.

These costs are “typical” estimates. Actual costs can vary quite a bit depending on time of year and exact locations and the vendor. Production is usually extra and typically ranges from $200 – $1000 per board and vinyl. Billboard advertising costs in Nashville range from $750–$5,000 per month. Rural areas start out at about $500.

Costs Per Month

Nashville Transit

Any one of the following

  • 3 benches
  • 2 shelters
  • 2-5 bus advertisements

Gatlinburg Sevierville

A decent, but not great bulletin location or a board headed out of the area.

Nashville Knoxville Memphis Chattanooga Posters

1 quality poster

Grandfather Mountian, Linville, Boone North Carolina

1 quality poster/junior bulletin

Bowling Green, Cookeville, Lebanon, Shelbyville

1 Poster or Junior Bulletin in a rotary or static campaign

Rural Areas

2 bulletins or posters

Knoxville TN

Bulletins as you begin to arrive in Knoxville/Knox County (Loudon, Clinton, East Knox County)

Busses and Transit

5 benches

Nashville Billboards

1 Prime Location Poster on West End, In Downtown, Green Hills, etc.

Dickson TN, Jackson TN

Typical Poster or Junior Bulletin

Nashville TN Posters

2-3 Posters

Knoxville TN

Typical interstate bulletins on I-40 and I-640. However, I-40 near Papermill Road will cost a bit more

Nashville TN Bulletins

1 interstate bulletin outside of the downtown loop

Gatlinburg Sevierville

A quality bulletin on the parkway or I-40 headed into the area (And some change).

Asheville NC, Bulletins

Typical interstate Bulletin

Tri-Cities (Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol)

High-quality Bulletin (And some change)

Typical Bulletin in Downtown Nashville or Green Hills, West End, Brentwood

Option 1, Busses and Transit

  • 1 Full Wrap
  • 5 King Bus Advertisements
  • 2 Shelter Posters
  • 2 Bench Ads

Option 2, Nashville Posters

10 posters for a saturation/brand awareness campaign

Option 3, Nashville Bulletins

2 Bulletins in Downtown Nashville and Green Hills

Option 1, Busses and Transit

All of the following

  • 1 Full Wrap
  • 5 King Bus Advertisements
  • 2 Shelter Posters
  • 2 Bench Ads

Option 2, Nashville Posters

21 posters throughout Nashville-Davidson County to ensure everyone sees you.

Option 3, Prime Nashville Bulletins

3 Bulletins in Downtown Nashville and Green Hills

Measuring the effectiveness of billboard advertising costs

So how do you make sense of these wild numbers? Outdoor advertising, including billboards, generally deliver about 1,000 marketing impressions for every $3 -$9.0 you spend on the advertisements. Marketers call this CPM, which stands for “Cost per Mille,” which, oddly enough stands for 1,000. In May of 2017, the OAAA, released a study showing that Out of home media generated more ROI than print, radio, or digital ads by generating $5.97 ROI for every $1.00 spent in OOH advertising.

Rural billboards often have a higher CPM rate than an urban bulletin. However, cost-effective advertising opportunities are often very limited for businesses in small towns because the urban TV, Radio and Print can be expensive and reach many people that will not drive to a small town. However, a local billboard reaches the people who will drive to their business. On the other hand, a well placed urban billboard can reach much of the city as well as commuters from outlying communities. Hutton advertising will help you create and execute the right advertising strategy.

ROI of Billboards and other Advertising


ROI of Billboards and Outdoor Advertising is $5.97 per $1 spent.


Data from the OAAA May, 2017, ROI for OOH.


Cost of 1000 Impressions by Media Type (CPM)

Billboard CPM ranges from $2.00 to $7.00

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