Local TV Advertising Rates: Unveiling Costs for Targeted Engagement 

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Have you ever wondered how much it costs to advertise on TV? The cost of a commercial that airs on national TV is significantly more than the cost of an ad that airs on regional or local TV. 

Here’s the inside scoop on local TV advertising rates.

Quantifying the Cost of Advertising on Local TV

The cost of airing a commercial on local TV differs by location. It costs more to air a commercial in a densely populated urban area than a thinly populated rural town. Moreover, the time of day and the programming also play important roles in shaping the cost of advertising on local TV. 

In general, advertisers anticipate paying a bare minimum of $5 to $10 for each thousand viewers who watch a 30-second commercial. Shorter commercials of 15 seconds or less in length are cheaper than 30-second spots as there is a reduced likelihood of a viewer seeing the comparably brief commercial.

Airing a commercial in a rural town or village or several such areas in unison has the potential to cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars or even less for a 30-second ad. The larger the market, the more expensive the ad placement becomes. Large markets often have local TV advertising rates for tailored engagement running several thousands of dollars or more for every 30 seconds of airtime. 

Buying TV Ad Packages

More often than not, ad space on local TV is sold in packages as opposed to single spots. The average business or advertiser is interested in purchasing a package of commercial airtimes, increasing exposure more than possible with a single ad even if that ad were to air in prime time of the most popular program. 

Extensive ad placements almost always cost a couple of thousand dollars, though the specific market dynamics of the locale ultimately determine the total cost. Such dynamics inevitably change, making the cost of TV advertising fluid. 

Data Drives Targeted TV Advertising Engagement

Business owners and managers are encouraged to create buyer personas that detail exactly what types of people are most likely to become customers. Local TV advertising tailored to such buyer personas will move those prospects down toward the bottom of the sales funnel where they convert into paying customers. The challenge is strategically selecting local TV advertising opportunities that are most likely to present the ads to the target audience for maximum engagement.

If the aim is to connect to the majority of households in a specific area, such an extensive reach can be attained through broadcast TV. Broadcast TV delivers video content to most homes as there is no need to pay for a cable subscription. However, cable TV presents an opportunity for businesses to air commercials before more narrowly tailored viewing audiences, some of which might be more likely to have a need or desire for a certain product or service. 

Take full advantage of cable TV to connect with a segment of local buyers and you’ll find targeting in accordance with subscriber profiles boosts the return on your advertising investment. The primary downside to cable TV advertising is its limited reach. Moreover, we would be remiss not to mention the fact that cable TV subscriptions have declined in recent years in response to the rise of streaming video content.

Timing is Everything in Local TV Advertising

It is often said that timing is everything in life. This saying is also true of advertising on local TV. Most people are not tuned in to broadcast or cable TV in the mid-morning or early afternoon hours. Moreover, the majority of people do not watch local TV when the sun is up during the workweek. 

Recognize the fact that locals who work full-time have the discretionary income necessary for consumer spending and strategically target those with prime-time ads. Prime-time television viewing hours are between 7 pm and 11 pm. 

In general, the shows with the highest ratings tend to be on Sunday night during prime-time hours. However, prime-time shows aired on Thursdays, Mondays and Saturdays also tend to fare well in the Nielsen TV viewer ratings.

Airing an ad during prime time has the potential to run upwards of several thousand dollars per second, especially if it is presented before a national or regional audience. Alternatively, businesses that opt for daytime local TV commercials pay significantly less than the cost of prime-time ads. In general, daytime TV commercials on local stations typically sell in the range of $5 per second all the way to $500 per second. 

TV Ad Pricing is Dynamic 

The key takeaway is that the cost of advertising on TV varies by region, time, programming and several other factors. Check with nearby TV stations to gain a better understanding of the cost of advertising to your local audience.