When it comes to creating marketing campaigns, one of the most important things you’ll need to ask yourself is where you should place your ads to reap the most benefits. If you’re looking to advertise in a major U.S. city, you’ll need to be even more thoughtful about what you’re saying and where you’re saying it in order to stand out amongst all that big city noise. Many states are home to several bustling urban and metropolitan areas that are on every brand’s radar when it comes to marketing. 

Texas is one such state, and given the fact that it houses several major cities, you may be having a hard time determining whether Houston billboards or Austin billboards will reap the most ROI for your company, product or service. 

Many experts would say that successful advertising comes from having a strong strategy, establishing a strong online presence and allocating your marketing budget resourcefully and thoughtfully. Once you’ve checked the first two points off the list, the tricky part is deciding whether you’re advertising to the right people, in the right areas, at the right time. 

The answer will ultimately depend on your brand’s unique goals, hopes and budget – however, here are a few helpful tips to help you make the right decision for your needs:

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Both Have Frequent, Big-Ticket Events

As trendy major cities, both Houston and Austin are hubs for small-scale and enormous events every year. People of all ages flock to both cities for various reasons, whether they’re doing business, checking out a music festival or supporting their all-time favorite sports team. 

Houston is home to many “classic Texas” events like rodeos, livestock shows and major NFL and other professional sports games. This makes it the perfect place to advertise things like apparel, American food brands, and any sort of sports app, merch or equipment.

Houston is a relatively diverse city, so if you’re looking to advertise products or brands that are family-friendly, accessible and suited for a busy suburban lifestyle, you’re likely to thrive and find success. 

Over the past several years, Austin has become one of the trendiest cities in America, especially with major festivals such as South By Southwest, which takes place every March, and Austin City Limits, which typically happens in October. In fact, it’s become known as the Live Music Capital of the World! 

Austin has also become a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, so the sky is the limit when it comes to what type of advertising does well there. If you’re an up-and-coming brand looking to get in front of an energized audience, Austin may be calling your name. 

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Get The Attention of University Students

With Houston being home to University of Houston and Austin housing University of Texas at Austin, both cities are prime hubs for advertising to the collegiate demographic, including students and professors. The area around a major university is almost always a hub for advertising, especially if they’re known for a certain program or research commitment. 

For instance, University of Houston is known as a leader in energy and health research in addition to law, business and environmental education. In fact, Houston as a whole is known as an energy capital. UT Austin is known for sports excellence as well as business and communications. 

Keep this in mind as you’re deciding which city is best for your brand’s advertising – how can you appeal to their prime student audience in a way that’s also digestible for people outside of the University?

Keep Costs In Mind

If your brand is such that you can pretty much advertise anywhere and trust that you’ll find an interested audience, your final decision may ultimately come down to the cost of doing business and advertising in that particular city. 

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Of course, the cost will entirely depend on where you want to advertise and what form the ads will take. For instance, trying to get your logo out near South By Southwest will cost tremendously more than, say, buying a billboard on the side of a service street in Houston. 

If billboards are your number one advertising investment, here are a few numbers to be aware of: the average cost of a billboard in Houston is $2,610, with the lowest cost being $150. Billboards in Austin, on the other hand, will run you about $5,400, with the lowest cost being around $325. 

If any of these numbers give you a bit of sticker shock, consider the return on your investment – advertising in such enormous, diverse cities will surely help you expand your audience and ultimately reap great results for your business. If your billboards are paired with other forms of OOH advertising in addition to a digital and/or social media presence, you’re in great shape to see tremendous payoff that will help you scale your growth in Texas and beyond.