Facebook Advertising: CPC vs CPM for my Facebook Ads?

Save money on your Facebook Ads

If you’re just getting started with Facebook PPC advertising, chances are you want to know which method of bidding is better, CPC or CPM.

This is a question that is covered in detail inside our Facebook ad course  because it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your Facebook advertising campaign.

Sometimes CPM is the right choice, and other times you’ll get a FAR better result bidding CPC.

Let me explain …

You see, it’s important to understand that the terms “CPC” and “CPM” are two different methods for bidding on your Facebook Ads.

CPM = Cost per thousand impressions. This is the price you’ll pay for a thousand impressions/views.

CPC = Cost per click. This is the price you’ll pay for every click on your ad.

When you choose CPM, your ad will go straight to the front of the line. Facebook will flood you with lots of impressions, because they know they’ll get paid no matter what.

With CPM bidding, you’re effectively gambling with your Facebook advertising budget. You might get a fantastic result, with tons of super-cheap clicks. But you also run the risk of spending your entire budget and not getting any clicks at all.

Alternatively, choosing CPC bidding means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You’re paying for a deliberate click by someone who wants to see what you have to offer on your landing page.

When should I bid CPM for my Facebook ads?

I recommend choosing the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) option when your goal is to have your name or brand in front of a large number of people, very quickly.  The objective with CPM is exposure.

For example, if you have a generic fan page, and you’re looking to build it up with targeted fans. If I had a fan page titled “I love cheeseburgers!” or “I love my kids!”, or “I need a vacation!”, I could create an ad campaign with general ads saying something like this:

  • I love my Kids! - Click here if your kids make you smile!
  • I need a Vacation! - Click here to show the world you love being on vacation!
  • I love Cheese Burgers! - Click here to show your support for great Cheese Burgers now.

You get the idea …

When you bid CPM, your ad is shown frequently, people click it, hit LIKE on your fan page, and you can cheaply fill your Facebook fan page with thousands of targeted fans (in this case, people who love their kids, vacations, cheese burgers, etc).

CPM is also useful for general branding purposes. Brands like Coca-Cola and Starbucks advertise regularly. They don’t necessarily need us to click and take action. Their goal is to have their name, their logo, displayed repeatedly on our Facebook walls.

Generally, this type of mass-exposure, brand focused, advertising works out to be a little cheaper per click if you use the CPM method.

When should I bid CPC for my Facebook ads?

I recommend bidding CPC when conversion is your goal. If you’re interested in having people click through to your website or Facebook page, then CPC is most likely going to work out best for you.

CPC is recommended particularly during the testing phase of any ad campaign. Over the long term, CPC can be very cost-effective as your click price drops when your ad is very popular.

Let me clarify what I mean by this … Say you bid $1.50 per click CPC. You’ll get an initial boost of approximately 1000 impressions. If your ad is very popular, right away, you get quite a few clicks, and generates a CTR (click-thru-rate) that is significantly higher than the Facebook average (currently 0.02%), then you’ll pay less than $1.50 for every click.

However, if you get that same boost of 1000 impressions, and no one clicks on your ad, you pay nothing. When this happens, Facebook will usually stop showing your ad because it wasn’t popular enough. If this happens to you, pause your ad immediately, and re-create it with a new, more engaging image. Rinse & repeat.

If your offer has a strong call to action (you want them to opt-in, make a purchase, join a webinar, etc), CPC will most likely deliver the best ROI (return on investment).

Want some additional tips on improving Facebook Ad Impressions? Listen in to my 3 minute answer here …

What’s been your experience with CPM vs CPC bidding for Facebook ads?

Please comment in the box below and let me know if this all makes sense or if I’ve left something out of the equation…

Look forward to reading your responses!


4d566de7d71dfa46508cfc2cccc28f3c Facebook Advertising: CPC vs CPM for my Facebook Ads?

Related posts:

  1. Facebook Advertising on a Shoestring Budget
  2. Optimizing Your Facebook Ads
  3. Introducing the Redesigned Facebook Ads Manager!
  4. Getting Started with Facebook Ads
  5. Too much skin for Facebook PPC ads?

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