Facebook is the largest social media network on the planet with around 1.6 billion users. That makes marketers dance jigs down the street (or is that only me?) But when it comes to the cost of Facebook ads, many would-be advertisers have a lot of questions that need answering.

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Still unsure that Facebook is the juggernaut of social media? Check out this chart of users on social media networks (in millions).

For example, is it really expensive to advertise on the network? How much do ads cost? Are there ways to decrease campaign costs? We’ve got all the answers right here:

“Are Facebook ads expensive?”

Facebook ads cost as little as $1 per day. In the eyes of some marketers, that pretty much leaves no excuse not to start advertising on the platform. As marketing guru and author Brian Carter explains in Moz: “If you just spend $1 per day on Facebook ads, you will get in front of 4,000 people that wouldn’t have seen you otherwise. If you are doing that and your competitors aren’t, you win the awareness game in your niche.”

Cost-wise, Facebook is actually quite accessible for both newbie and experienced advertisers alike.

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“How much do Facebook ads generally cost?”

First, it’s best to note that Facebook isn’t a platform where you get guaranteed ad space for a set rate. Rather, you need to win ad space against competitors by bidding for it, and the relative cost of ads can vary depending on many factors (more on this in a sec).

By the way, this is why I use the term “relative cost”:

  • You can set a budget to control how much you spend on ads. For example, if you set your budget to $100/day, you won’t pay more than that no matter what.
  • But… what you can do with that $100/day (how many people see your ads, how many people click on your ads) will vary depending on different factors.

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So, Facebook ads will cost however much you’re willing to spend, but your ad spend will buy you different amounts of traffic.

“I see… tell me more about relative cost”

If your audience never sees your ads, you’ll never be able to tell if your ads are effective, right? To get your ads up on Facebook, you need to win ad space through a type of bidding process.

Figure out if you’re going for CPA or CPM

When you start a campaign, you want to figure out which bidding option to go for, because Facebook features different ad types. These are the two main types of ads:

  • Cost per action (CPA). Each time someone takes a specific action on your ad (liking your page or clicking on your website link), you’ll pay a certain amount. The most common action is probably the cost-per-click, or CPC for short.
  • Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM): You’ll pay a certain amount for every 1,000 people who see your ad.

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Once you’ve figured out your bidding option, you just have to set a CPC or CPM bid that’s high enough to get your ad shown to your audience. For example, if everyone in your space is bidding $0.30 per click, you’ll generally need to bid around or more than that to win ad space.

How much you’ll spend

To get a better idea of what you might spend, look at industry benchmarks. You’ll also need to consider the parameters of your campaign and your campaign goals. For example (statistics via AdEspresso):

  • The average CPC in the United States for Q1 2016 is $0.27.
  • The average cost per like in the United Kingdom is $0.55.
  • The average CPC to target someone in the 45-54 age range is $0.29.
  • The average CPM in the United States for Q1 2016 is $5.45.

Check out more benchmarks — and AdEspresso’s great guide to Facebook ads — here.

One more thing…

Lastly, keep in mind that your relative cost can change daily! As an example, say you’re spending $100/day on ads…

  • If your CPC is $0.30 on Monday, your ad spend will get you $100/$0.30 = 333 clicks.
  • If your CPC is $0.27 on Tuesday, your ad spend will get you $100/$0.27 = 370 clicks.

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“That’s awesome… So, how can I get these cheaper clicks?”

As we’ve just seen, lowering the cost of your CPC or CPM decreases your ad cost because you’re reaching more people for less money. Now, how do we get to that beautiful land of cheaper clicks?

First, keep in mind how Facebook pays its bills: By getting people to interact with ads. The more people interact with ads, the more money it makes. That said, Facebook rewards cheaper clicks and impressions to advertisers who create ads that users love.

Get users clicking — like BuzzFeed and Dollar Shave Club do — and you’ll lower your ad costs really quickly.

One way to get on Facebook’s good side is by increasing your ads’ relevance score — Facebook’s gauge for how well your ads are resonating with your target audience. You can do this by:

  • Narrowing your targeting. Very few brands appeal to absolutely everyone, and that’s okay. When you niche down your target audience, you’ll find it easier to create the right messaging.
  • Tailoring ad copy to your target audience. Pique interest by making your audience feel like your ads were written just for them.
  • Including clear calls-to-action. When people engage with your ads, Facebook sees that your ads are relevant. Make it super easy for users to convert themselves into clicks, page likes, app installs, video views, etc.

facebook-ads_image07Also, you’ll want to split test your ads. When you’re always on the hunt for better-performing ads, you’ll inevitably increase your conversions. That will, in turn, decrease your costs as Facebook sees users diggin’ your ads.

Want to create awesome Facebook ad campaigns?

There’s always more to learn about Facebook ads, especially in the pursuit of conversions and lower CPCs. If you want to learn how to create high-performing Facebook ad campaigns, check out our guide Winning Strategies for Facebook & Instagram Ads. You’ll learn how you can:

  • Build smarter Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns.
  • Avoid common missteps when advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Tap into simple changes to significantly increase your Return on Ad Spend (by as much as 31%) and boost relevance (by up to 80%).

Check out the guide right here!