outdoor billboard

A Guide to Billboard Advertising Costs in 2020

Are you an HVAC business owner looking to get more local customers for your business? Consider advertising on a giant billboard. Imagine how many people will see your company logo and learn about your business as they pass your billboard.

And if it's lit up at night, people will actually see your ad for 24 hours a day. Capture viewers with a short attention-grabbing headline and you're sure to grow your business in a big way. 

While driving on the road or walking in your city, one can't help to notice a giant billboard above with your company name on it. By now your interest may be piqued.

And you're wondering what it costs to advertise on one of those big boys? In this post, you'll learn about billboard advertising costs and more about the benefits of advertising on a billboard. Let's get to it.

Billboard Advertising Costs By Region 

The price you'll pay for a billboard depends on the region where you live. Here's what you'll pay for a four-week period in five big cities:

  • Los Angeles: $2,000 to 15,000 
  • New York: $3,000 to $20,000 
  • Philadelphia: $1,500 to $12,000 
  • San Francisco: $2,000  to $12,000 
  • Chicago: $2,000  to $12,000 

As you can see, each city has a wide range, so it's easy to find a solution that suits your budget. Let's take a look at other factors that determine billboard advertising costs.

The Factors: How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on a Billboard?

The price you'll pay for a billboard ad depends on a few factors. One big one is the location. You've heard it before: location. location. location. Let's take a look.

The Visibility of the Billboard

When your billboard is highly visible, the costs reflect that. That's because more people will see your ad. This increases the likelihood of getting more business.

A highly visible spot could be near a traffic light where people in cars stop or on an open highway. You'll pay more for a billboard on the right-hand side because it's easier to see.

Another factor is the volume of traffic in the area. Is the billboard in a busy part of town such as a business district that gets a lot of traffic?

Or in an area that's part residential with fewer vehicles on the road? Both can serve you well because a residential neighborhood could be your customer base.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

Billboard ad costs are determined by something called CPM which means cost per thousand impressions. A billboard along the freeway with 400,000 impressions in a month will cost $2,000.

But when a billboard is located in a spot that gets 30,000 impressions, billboard advertising costs will equal around $600 a month for your ad. These metrics are calculated by travel surveys and studies.

Want to know more about CPM? Ask your advertising company for the CPM data. 

Billboard Pricing Is Typically Determined By Four-Week Intervals

Billboard pricing is based on four-week intervals rather than a month. This makes sense since some months have more weeks than other months.

Did a company give you a $1,500 annual quote? This means your paying for 13 four week intervals.

Production Costs

Aside from renting the actual billboard, you can also have it produced. Production rates vary depending on the size of the billboard your ad is on and the materials.

Prices range from around $250 to under $800. Here are some production estimates for vinyl which typically run a half a dollar per square foot. 

  • $64: Eight feet by 16 feet billboard
  • $189: 10 feet by 36 feet billboard 
  • $336: 14 feet by 48 feet billboard

Of course, these prices are a rough estimate. But you'll find they're fairly close or on the mark. 

Billboard Location

We talked about pricing in different U.S. cities. But pricing also depends on the area of the city the billboard is located. Let's learn more about pricing using the New York City area and Los Angeles as examples.

New York City

In New York City, a digital billboard in Times Square will remain posted for a two week period rather than four weeks. The costs to advertise in Times Square range from $10,000 to $22,000. 

Want to put a billboard up in Soho? Then it will cost between $18,000 and $30,000 for four weeks. But think of how many people on foot and in their vehicles will see your HVAC company.

However, if you want to advertise your billboard on the highway, you'll pay less for your ad to be posted on a state highway than you would on a freeway. On a freeway, you'll have more eyes on it. More people means more traffic impressions. 

Los Angeles

Want to post a billboard in Los Angeles? You'll pay the highest prices in the hub of the famed Sunset Strip since so many people visit the area on foot and in vehicles. 

Costs range from $25,000  to $55,000. But if you want your billboard on Sunset Blvd, you'll advertising costs range between $15,000 to $35,000.

Want to target the trendy businesses of Melrose? Your billboard rental will cost around between $9,000 and $15,000. How about Hollywood Boulevard which houses many businesses and apartment buildings? Your costs will range from $7,000 to $13,000.

Put Your Name Up in Lights 

As you can probably imagine, pricing is often determined by size. If your billboard is 14 feet by 48 feet, that's 77 percent larger than a billboard that's 10 and a half feet by 36 feet. A larger billboard makes it easier to see your company name.

But imagine if people could see your billboard after dark? A lighted billboard means more impressions and more people reading your company name.

This will bring your company's name to their minds when they're AC or heating system fails. Or when they're considering updating their HVAC system. Or when it's time to schedule regular maintenance.

Look Up High: Billboard Advertising Costs Revisited

Now you know more about billboard advertising costs. Advertising your business on a billboard is a great way to get leads for your company and boost sales.

Optic Marketing Group, a full-service HVAC marketing company can help find the perfect billboard location for the best price. Ready to get more eyes on your HVAC business and advertise on a billboard? Contact us today to get started. 

 


phone in grass with TikTok app open

Should Your Home Services Business Be on TikTok?

TikTok may be an untapped marketing goldmine. The app has over 500 million active users, yet only 4% of social media marketing firms have begun to take advantage of this massive, built-in audience.

Part of this is due to the presence of older, more recognizable social media giants. After all, we've been using Facebook as a marketing tool for over a decade. More recently, Instagram and Twitter also joined the ranks.

It is no secret that TikTok has become one of the hottest social media platforms lately, but that doesn't mean that it makes sense for every type of business to jump on the bandwagon, especially businesses in the home services industry.

The question we keep getting asked: is TikTok good for business? What about for a home services business? What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating a TikTok advertising strategy?

If you have ever wondered if your HVAC business should be posting on TikTok, read on.

For Starters - How Does TikTok Work?

Traditionally, TikTok videos are 15 seconds long. However, in recent months, the app has added a feature that allows users to string together multiple clips to create a 60-second video. In addition, you can upload long-form videos that were recorded outside of the app, itself.

We've discussed the best video marketing practices in the past, and TikTok has great short-form video marketing potential. That being said, there are a few things users expect from TikTok videos. Even if you're using the app for marketing purposes, there are three cardinal rules you should always follow.

1. Use Music

Music has been built into the app's use since the beginning. In fact, the original purpose of the app was to create fun or humorous music videos to popular songs. While it has come a long way since then, you still need to incorporate music--preferably something popular--into your videos.

2. Go For Humor and Candidness

While some use TikTok to create educational content, businesses should stick to lighter, more humorous videos. The idea is to jump straight to the point since you are limited on time. You also want to make sure that you are showing the fun side of your brand in the process.

3. Don't Use TikTok for Your Hard Sell

Anything that feels like an overt ad is not going to perform well on TikTok. As of right now, the app is designed for entertainment purposes. Incorporate your product or service into your video but try to avoid the obvious call to action we're used to in traditional marketing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using TikTok for Business

You've now got a sense of how TikTok works. Like Instagram, your content should be image-focused, as captions are considered secondary. Other users can interact with your content through things like following, liking, and ranking, not unlike most other social media platforms we're used to.

It's important to look beyond TikTok's similarities to existing, familiar platforms. What are the pros and cons of TikTok for business purposes? Let's take a look.

Advantage: TikTok Videos Are Easy to Make and Easy to Share

The app is considered extremely user-friendly. You can create videos either on your device or through the app's filming and editing tools. Plus, TikToks transfer well to other social media websites, which means you can cross-market your TikToks and other users can easily share your work.

Disadvantage: Minimal Linking Opportunities

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, TikTok does not allow you to place links in your individual posts. In other words, users won't have the quick satisfaction of clicking through to your website from the post they're looking at.

However, you can place a link in your bio. Websites like Linktree create the opportunity to link to multiple service pages or product pages from a single parent link.

The Youth Factor

Who, exactly, is using TikTok right now? A recent report found that while only 4% of the total US population is using TikTok, a whopping 47% of US teenagers have downloaded the app. The primary age range of users on TikTok is between 16-24 years old.

So if your target demographic includes teens, sure the platform could be extremely valuable to sell your products, but if you are in the home services or HVAC industry, you know that this demographic falls below the demographic of homeowners and people who are making home service based decisions.

Is TikTok Good for Business or Do the Social Media Giants Win?

Where does TikTok rank amongst the social media giants? Which platforms are best for business?

The truth is that Facebook is still the top contender, with more adult users than platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and, yes, TikTok. Plus, people spend more time on average scrolling through their Facebook feed than any other platform.

So if you are looking for the best social media platforms to market your heating, cooling or plumbing business, you can breathe easy knowing you don't need to make the jump to yet another platform. Instead, stick to Facebook as it remains the #1 social media platform for home services business.

On top of Facebook's winning statistics, Facebook's format makes it arguably the best for any business. Facebook allows you to switch between a video, photo, graphic, and text block seamlessly. If you want, you can combine all of these formats in a single post.

Plus, Facebook has a more interactive interface. Customers and clients can do more than follow your page. They can leave reviews that inform future customers' purchasing decisions.

As you know in the HVAC world, online reviews are extremely important and Facebook is the first place consumers are going to leave and read reviews.

Does that mean that you should ignore all other social media platforms? Absolutely not! In fact, Facebook allows you to share just about any other social media post on your Facebook page, maximizing the views and success rate of all of your social media marketing campaigns.

How to Boost Your Social Media Presence

Sometimes, trying to answer questions like, "Is TikTok good for business?" is difficult. The answer depends on everything from your product or service to the amount of time and resources you can devote to social media.

But when it comes to companies in the home services industry, the answer is easy. Instead of worrying about how you can become the next biggest TikTok influencer, focused your efforts on growing your reviews and recommendations on Facebook where you will see the biggest benefit to your business.

As a full-service marketing agency specializing in the home services industry, Optic Marketing Group can take a look at your business and your current digital marketing plan, overall. We can put together a custom social media strategy that makes the most sense for your business.

Interested in how our business can help your business? Contact us today to find out more.


Paper with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on a table

A Business Owner's Guide to ADA Compliance

At least 54% of online users live with a disability. Not every single users' disability relates to web compliance. You still need ADA compliance for your business website.

But what does an ADA compliant website look like? And how can you ensure you meet every standard for your website?

Read the guide below to learn all about implementing accessibility compliance into your website.

A Guide to ADA Website Compliance

Web accessibility is one of the more modern accommodations established by the ADA. The ADA itself only formed in 1990. Making sure policies are updated to accommodate disabilities in every type of user experience is difficult. This makes it a challenge to uphold ADA requirements for websites.

What Is ADA Compliance?

As of 2018, the Department of Justice mandated ADA compliance for accommodation on public websites. Historically, accommodations only applied to physical public locations.

ADA compliance for websites mostly comes from the DOJ's interpretation of Title III. It requires that "the goods, services, privileges, or activities provided by places of public accommodation be equally accessible to people with disabilities." Specifically, it protects from discrimination relative to:

  • Public accommodations
  • Commercial facilities
  • Transportation
  • State and local government
  • Telecommunications
  • Employment

The use of online space is progressively increasing. This makes it important to include persons of all abilities for more than legal reasons.

This process is not something you want to rush. It is an involved process you should invest time and resources into as a caring business owner.

Why Do I Care as a Business Owner?

As a business owner, there are several benefits to including accessibility compliance in your website's design. Unfortunately, many sites are noncompliant. Beyond ease of use for the disabled community, ADA compliance benefits all end-users. 

  • You'll get exposure to new demographics, which means more clients!
  • Your SEO strategy will be optimized on an ADA compliant website.
  • You significantly decrease your risk of a lawsuit from noncompliance.
  • Corporate diversity naturally increases in unexpected ways.

These benefits are not even the main reason to implement web accessibility on your website. They are certainly good incentives. Your primary reason for compliance should be about doing the moral and ethical thing for your clients.

What Is the Difference Between ADA vs. 508 Compliance vs. WCAG?

ADA compliance is based on civil rights law that prohibits discrimination. This includes public spaces of online interaction. 508 compliance is a federal law for the use of information and communications technology by governmental bodies to include persons with disabilities. WCAG is a set of guidelines set by the ISO.

ADA Compliance

ADA compliance requires general terms of accessibility. Its policies directly affect state and local governments, nonprofit agencies, and businesses. Some critical items to address:

  • Your website needs to have complete keyboard functionality.
  • Any form fields need coded labels that a screen reader will voice aloud.
  • Your alt text for anchors and external links has to be descriptive.
  • Content headings should be adequately nested. This prevents interrupting user experience (e.g., taking users to the wrong landing page or section.)

The terms of ADA compliance have set financial consequences for the private and public sectors. Fines increase for repeat offenses, and federally funded projects can even be revoked. WCAG guidelines can help you build an ADA compliant website, as well as a plugin or web design service.

508 Compliance

508 compliance is a section of the Rehabilitation Act. It focuses on the use of information and communications technology between federal agencies and departments.

It applies to these federal bodies. It also applies to people who use resources provided by federal entities (e.g., citizens or employees).  Examples of such technologies include:

  • Call centers (e.g., telephones)
  • Websites
  • Software

Its consequences entail formal complaints or civil lawsuits. Following 508 compliance can be done by turning to WCAG for guidelines. You can also consult a web design agency that specializes in this form of accessibility compliance.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Focusing on web accessibility for any device, WCAG works as a guideline for web developers to concentrate on accessible content. WCAG is a reference point for ADA compliance and 508 compliance. It uses four principles to set accessibility compliance standards.

  1. Perception: alt-text, captions, multiformat content with assistive tech, visual and audible content 
  2. Operation: keyboard functionality, navigation aid, reasonable caption timing
  3. Understanding: legible text, predictable content, mistake correction and aid
  4. Robust: compatibility with current and future tools

These principles are measured with success criteria on three levels, A, AA, and AAA. The success criteria determine how accessible a website is under WCAG.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Web Design Agency for ADA Compliance?

You might be asking why you need to hire a web design agency for accessibility compliance for when you can just reference WCAG. Although an excellent reference for general accessibility compliance, with so many regulations, it's easy to overlook a single detail. It is also an overwhelming, technical process that requires a certain level of expertise.

It's also quite challenging to alter the coding settings, which impact your compliance. For example, see this video in adjusting the contrast on one single header. There are several website features to include in for an ADA compliant website. 

Where to Turn for Accessibility Testing Design

Now that you know the ins and outs of ADA compliance, it's time to consider your options. There are several web design agencies for you to find. You need a full service marketing agency experienced in accessible web design services.

Optic Marketing Group can audit your current site or build you an entirely new website to support ADA compliance guidelines. After we have completed a site audit for accessibility, we'll walk you through the necessary steps. Contact us today so we can discuss optimizing your business to the best possible standards for accessible user experience.

 


red phone

Customer Service - Call Handling Tips

Customer Service - Call Handling Tips

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell

Do you want to know how to handle and run client calls efficiently and effectively? Here are 5 tips and best practices our Client Service Team follows in order to exceed client expectations and customer service.

  1. Schedule the Call.

Connect and schedule the meeting ahead of time. Ensure the meeting invite is accepted and the proper people are on the call. Scheduling a call with the wrong business contact or scheduling a different date that the client agreed upon can cause havoc and be a huge waste of time. At Optic Marketing Group, we love to schedule client meetings at least once a month to see how business is going, what is happening internally in the client’s business, and talk about what’s happening in their industry.

  1. Be Prepared.

Prepare, prepare, and prepare!! Take the time to create your agenda, outline the items you want to discuss on the call. Review reporting, internal questions your team may need you to verify ahead of time will make you be a lot more comfortable and calm on your call. We practice and preach being 100% being transparent with our clients, if you have any negative feedback or results, you’re able to collect your thoughts ahead of time to deliver the information efficiently, concisely and with a solution. Review the client’s contract, ensure you have a clear understanding of what the client’s goals are and what your team has done to get closer to that goal.

  1. Read the “Room”.

If you are able to have an in-person meeting with your client, read everyone’s body language. Body language speaks volumes and will enable you to anticipate any uncomfortable nuances that your client may not express. If you cannot have an in-person meeting and are just doing an online meeting, pick up on the tone and hesitations in answers. Understanding the small “silences” allows you to be able to maneuver the conversation to ensure everyone is comfortable with the conversation and the solutions presented.

  1. If You Don’t Know, Do Not Fake It.

You don’t know what you don’t know, be okay with saying, “I need to check with the team on that for you, I am not sure.” You would rather confirm the answer with your team rather than putting your foot in your mouth and giving empty promises!

 

  1. Use Your Time Wisely.

Your client does not have all day to speak to you, so make sure you’re asking the proper questions. Prioritize the items you need to review and be flexible to adapt in case your client comes in with a left-field question or concern.

Regularly scheduled conversations with your clients provide much-needed updates on both sides. As a full-service marketing agency, we want to ensure our campaigns are aligned with the client’s goals and objectives. We understand that sometimes those client goals and objectives shift, so we adapt and have that open dialogue.