News & InsightsMarket Minute Blog

LED Billboard Advertising vs Traditional Billboards – Which is Better? | Landmark Dividend

Digital billboards and other out of home advertising mediums are everywhere: we see them alongside lonesome highways, on our community streets, and even in underground subway tunnels.

However, what we do not see is the impact that these digital billboards have on our behavior.

The truth of the matter is that advertisements on digital billboards are one of the most effective methods for delivering marketing content.
LED Billboard
Digital billboards are impossible to miss, and the ability to display more than one advertisement is a huge advantage over traditional billboards that doesn’t get mentioned enough. And, with the development of new smart billboard technologies, advertisers will have more sophisticated avenues for delivering marketing content than ever before.

This is why so many billboard operators around the country are working to go fully digital. The problem comes in for small billboard owners, who may want to convert their traditional billboard to an outdoor LED billboard, but lack the funds to do so. Fortunately, there are options for raising the money to make the digital leap, and we’ll cover some of those opportunities, as well as other important topics, throughout this article.

In fact, this article covers everything you need to know about the advantages LED billboards offer and how Landmark Dividend can help get your new billboard project off the ground.

Out of Home Advertising by the Numbers

Whether we’d like to admit it or not, advertising has an influential impact on all of us, especially outdoor or Out of Home Advertising (OOH).

According to a 2013 OOH advertising study by Arbitron Inc., the average American spends approximately 20 hours a week traveling by road, rail, subway, etc., which amounts to 170 to 350 miles in total travel distance.

As you can imagine, being out on the road for such an extended amount of time exposes us to a bevy of outdoor advertisements, such as those seen on both digital LED billboards and traditional billboards, and we can’t help but engage with them.

In fact, according to the same study, 8 in 10 travelers admitted to purposefully looking at billboards on their commute at least “some of the time”, and 5 in 10 travelers admitted to looking at billboards all of the time.

What about real-world results?

Out of home advertising led to 4 in 10 commuters visiting a store or restaurant they saw advertised, which speaks to the effectiveness of the medium in converting commuters into paying customers.1

LED Billboards vs. Traditional Billboards

led billboard signs
As the above data shows, billboards are an extremely effective device for delivering marketing content to commuters.

However, LED billboards offer other advantages over printed billboards, such as being able to rotate the displayed advertisement according to a set time interval. So, instead of simply having one static advertisement on display, you could have numerous ads rotating on the screen, which is especially effective on freeways that are prone to getting congested.

Printed billboards, on the other hand, are only able to display one ad at a time, which limits their number of marketing opportunities, and more importantly, the maximum income for the billboard’s owner. Traditional billboards also suffer from other disadvantages, such as being subjected to the elements, which causes wear and tear, and oftentimes, severe discoloration. This deterioration of the advertisement can negatively affect the appearance the brand’s represented on these billboards, which means that the billboard will have to be replaced frequently in order keep the ad looking pristine, which eats into advertising profits.

While wear and tear isn’t necessarily an issue with LED billboards since the bulbs can last well over 100,000 hours (11 years), LED billboards are prone to other events such as blackouts, which can render the display inoperable unless an independent energy source, like a gas generator, is put into use.

Additionally, LED billboards can also be seen at greater distances than traditional billboards, which is especially true at night when most traditional billboards suffer from poor lighting.

Smart Billboard Technologies

While the digital displays used in LED billboards are useful, the technology doesn’t just stop there: upgrading your traditional billboard to digital allows for the implementation of numerous smart billboard technologies.

While we have already covered the future of outdoor advertising in another blog post, below are some additional technologies that can be utilized in various outdoor marketing efforts.

LED Billboard


Beacons, a low powered Bluetooth technology used to push notifications to a wide variety of mobile devices, are something that are currently being utilized alongside digital advertising efforts.

As an example of this functionality, consider this scenario: on your daily commute on the bus, one of your stops is near a billboard of some sort (big or small), that is displaying a digital advertisement for a local eatery.

With beacons, the digital billboard will be able to push a notification about a deal or promotion (like free ice cream) to a nearby smartphone under certain circumstances. Additionally, the beacon will also be able to keep an accurate account of how much foot traffic the billboard is currently receiving, as the technology can track the movement of Bluetooth enabled devices as they pass by.

These implementations provide businesses with an opportunity to reach commuters in a brand new way while at the same time increasing the effectiveness of their outdoor advertising efforts.2

Vehicle Recognition Technology

While being able to display a variety of digital advertisements on a display is a huge advantage, wouldn’t it be better if the digital ads could adjust their messaging based on their surroundings?

Well, as a matter of fact, companies like Lamar Advertising Company are integrating different vehicle recognition technologies with their LED billboard signs to accomplish just that.

Take for example Lamar’s recent advertising strategy for the newest Transformer movie “The Last Knight”: by equipping digital billboards with different cameras and sensors, the advertisement was able to modify its messaging based on a passing vehicle.

In this example, the program was designed to change the digital ad to display the name of the specific brand of car as it passes by, so the message would change from “Warning: Your Nissan Altima is a Decepticon” to theoretically any other brand of car, so long as the message had been pre-programmed.

This level of interactivity is likely to increase the engagement level between the commuter and the advertisement, as there’s now a back of forth of sorts between the driver and the billboard.

As these cameras and sensors become more advanced and sophisticated, the LED billboard advertising will also become more dynamic, allowing for new interactions that are far more effective at delivering different marketing materials.3

Geolocation Marketing

In the example above, we see that vehicle recognition technology is effective at reading a “thing”, and in our example, this thing happens to be a car.

However, while this capability certainly helps create dynamic advertisements, it is slightly limited when it comes to scope. Indeed, while the cameras and sensors in a smart billboard can determine the type of vehicle you’re in, they cannot draw conclusions about your behavior or travel habits.

To draw this sort of conclusion, billboard advertisers are enlisting the help of big data vendors that specialize in aggregating location data sourced from mobile phones. With this data working in tandem with advanced billboard cameras that can visually tag cars, advertisers may be able to assemble an accurate picture of the travel habits of commuters, allowing them to present you with special deals and offers catered to your particular tastes.

This means that a digital billboard may be able to tell if you’re on your way to the store, or perhaps the gym, and be able to adjust its marketing message accordingly.4

digital led billboard

Upgrade Your Digital Billboard

If you’re currently the owner of a traditional billboard and would like to team up with a partner to help convert your billboard to digital, Landmark Dividend can help.

As one of the nation’s largest ground lease acquisition companies, we can help get your smart billboard project off the ground quickly and efficiently.

The process is simple: we pay billboard operators for the right to place an easement on their site, and then we lease the site back to them.

Our only interest is the ground lease and the easement that we create together.

This transaction generates significant upfront capital to the operator without having to take on additional debt so that they can cover the LED billboard cost.

Our easy-to-follow process is as follows:

  • Discuss your top line revenue vs. expenses
  • Produce a pro forma that puts all the variables on paper
  • If the math works, we move forward
  • We pay you cash for an easement on the land on which your billboard is located, create a long-term lease between us, and you end up with new revenue form the build or converted board
  • You continue to own the billboard
  • Contact Landmark Dividend Today

    If you’re a billboard operator or a developer looking to increase your revenue stream from a billboard conversion, Landmark Dividend has the experience and know-how to get your project off the ground.

    To find out more about how Landmark Dividend can help you get started on your new project, or how we can unlock the true value of your billboard lease, please call us today at 1-800-843-2024 or click here to submit your information online.