How Much Does Facebook Advertising Cost in 2019?

Facebook Advertising Costs

You’ve seen me and thousands of other marketers talk about how to create Facebook Ads.

Before I dive into the cost of Facebook Advertising in 2019, it’s important to understand that your ad setup will directly affect the costs we’re talking about in this guide.

But if you don’t set up your ad account and campaigns correctly, you won’t do well no matter how much money you spend.

And no, I’m not just talking about the technical setup, I’m talking about the foundations of your campaigns, the basics. There are alot of basics people get wrong.

We’ll get into that after we discuss the average costs for Facebook Advertising in 2019.

Facebook Ads have an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $1.86 and cost-per-thousand-views (CPM) of $11.20, this number will vary based on a number of factors from ad quality to competition.

It’s always important to remember that Facebook Ads are an auction, if you have a large number of competitors in your space then you can expect higher costs.

Also remember that your ad will appear more often and in various positions if you win the bid process.

While the average small business advertising on Facebook spends around $1,000–$2,000 per month, there is no minimum monthly ad spend, making Facebook affordable for most businesses.

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on Facebook advertising if your campaigns are low quality. Don’t waste money on poorly designed and executed campaigns. Instead, consider joining Marketer Knows and tap into expert community for a free review of your Facebook campaigns.

The expert community here at Marketer Knows have managed thousands of campaigns and millions of dollars in spend for their clients.

Join the Marketer Knows Community for free and see how we can help you.

Facebook Advertising Cost by Industry in 2019

Always remember that Facebook advertising costs vary wildly depending on a number of factors.

As a ballpark figure, the overall average CPC is $1.86.

The cheapest industry is apparel, with a 45-cent CPC; the most expensive industries are finance and insurance, with a $3.77 CPC.

While CPCs (Cost Per Click) vary greatly, have a look at the industry benchmarks below to get an idea of your potential Facebook advertising cost-per-click.

Industry  Avg. CPC  Avg. Click-through RateAvg. Conversion Rate
Apparel$0.451.24%4.11%
Automotive$2.240.80%5.11%
B2B$2.520.78%10.63%
Beauty$1.811.16%7.10%
Consumer Services$3.080.62%9.96%
Education$1.060.73%13.58%
Employment & Job Training$2.720.47%11.73%
Finance & Insurance$3.770.56%9.09%
Fitness$1.901.01%14.29%
Home Improvement$2.930.70%6.56%
Healthcare$1.320.83%11%
Industrial Services$2.140.71%0.71%
Legal$1.321.61%5.60%
Real Estate$1.810.99%10.68%
Retail$0.701.59%3.26%
Technology$1.271.04%2.31%
Travel & Hospitality$0.630.90%2.82%

There are 5 Types of Facebook Advertising Cost Models

There are currently five different cost structures for Facebook ads:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Cost-per-thousand-views (CPM)
  • Cost-per-view (CPV)
  • Cost-per-action (CPA)
  • Cost-per-like (CPL)

Of all the above, CPC is the most common. But as a marketer and advertiser you should choose the cost structure that’s best for you based on your ad type, marketing objectives, and overall advertising goals.

Let’s dive into each of the five models so you understand the implications of choosing one for your campaigns.

Cost-per-Click (CPC)

The cost-per-click pricing model charges you only when a Facebook user clicks your ad.

This is best for you if your goal is encouraging users to click away from Facebook to your website or landing page. Advertisers set the call to action (CTA) that a user clicks on, which includes many options from “Learn More” to “Shop Now” and “Sign Up.”

The average CPC on Facebook ads across all industries is $1.86, with CPCs by industry ranging from as little as 45 cents for apparel to $2.72 for employment and job training.

Keep in mind, Facebook is known for being one of the more affordable pay-per-click advertising platforms. For reference, the average CPC on Google Ads is $2.69, with many CPCs over $5.

LinkedIn is one of the most expensive with an average CPC of $5.74.

Cost-per-Mille (CPM)

Cost-per-mille (CPM) pricing charges advertisers based on every 1,000 impressions, or times the ad was displayed.

CPM is almost always a lower-cost alternative to CPC ads.

However, since impressions do not necessarily equate to user interactions, they are best used for advertisers using Facebook ads with the goal of growing brand awareness.

The average CPM on Facebook ads across all industries is $11.20.

This equates to just 1 cent per impression.

This will vary based on your chosen audience and the competition level for that audience.

This means your CPM could be very low if there is little competition for your target audience, or expensive if there is a lot of competition for your target audience.

Cost-per-View (CPV)

The cost-per-view pricing model is designed for video ads and charges advertisers every time their video ad is watched by a Facebook user.

It is a good option for advertisers with a powerful message best presented in a video.

Keep in mind that a video only has to run for three seconds for Facebook to consider it a view; this may not be enough time to convey your message.

If you need more time, consider a different pricing structure to help you achieve your ad goals.

The average industry CPVs on Facebook ads are between 1 cent and 15 cents.

As with all types of Facebook advertising costs, this may vary greatly from business to business.

Since it’s difficult to gauge the effectiveness of a CPV cost structure, consider using your click-through rate (CTR) as an indicator of your ad’s effectiveness.

One other important CPV and Video View tip: you can use an engaging social media video to build your Facebook Audience.

This is a great top of funnel approach to moving from targeted ad placements to using custom audiences.

Cost-per-Action (CPA)

Cost-per-action is similar to CPC with a key difference: Rather than being charged when a user clicks your ad’s CTA, advertisers are charged when users take a certain action on your website. Advertisers set the action they want to be charged for, and actions can include anything from newsletter sign-ups to app downloads and online purchases tracked via the Facebook Pixel.

This is typically the most expensive pricing model.

The average CPA for Facebook ads is $18.68.

The CPA cost structure has a very wide range of averages, from the education industry at just $7.85 to technology at $55.21 per action.

To be cost-effective, make sure the value of your audience’s action is at least (or more than) than the CPA; otherwise, your campaign will yield a negative return.

Use this model when targeting Facebook users who are in your Custom Audience and are near the bottom of the funnel.

You could also use this as a retention or repurchase strategy for your existing customers.

Cost-per-Like (CPL)

Cost-per-like pricing is similar to CPC, but with the CTA set to “like” your business’ Facebook page.

It is typically low cost, and is best for businesses that are new to Facebook and looking to build brand awareness.

It’s also worth noting that those using a CPL should plan to be very active on their business page.

Otherwise, paying for likes won’t increase engagement; Facebook business pages are only effective if they are used consistently.

The average CPL for Facebook ads is between 12 cents and 16 cents.

While these are considered very low, keep in mind that CPL does not yield the direct revenue of, say, a CPA, so the low price correlates to the lower value result.

Cost StructureAdvertisers Are Charged…Best For
Cost per Click  (CPC)For every click an ad receivesDriving users to a landing page
Cost Per Mille (CPM)Every time an ad receives 1,000 impressionsIncrease brand awareness
Cost Per View (CPV)For every view a video ad receivesPowerful messages looking to capture users’ attention with a video
Cost Per Action (CPA)When a user takes an action, such as an app installLink clicks for anything from app installations to event registrations
Cost Per Like (CPL)When an ad yields a page likePromote a Facebook business page

Factors That Influence Facebook Advertising Cost

Facebook uses an algorithm to determine if and when an ad will display, and what price will be charged for the ad.

While none of truly know all of the factors that are considered as part of that algorithm, Facebook will always choose to display ads that it believes will promote user engagement.

Factors include your audience targeting, bid amount, competition, ad objective, ad type, ad placement, ad schedule, and ad quality.

What Factor Influence Facebook Ad Costs?

There are many factors that influence the cost of Facebook Ads. Some of them are: audience targeting, bid amount, competition, ad objective, ad type, ad placement, ad schedule, and ad quality.

Audience

Facebook ads are displayed to users based on comprehensive audience targeting parameters.

This differs from a search ad platform like Google, which relies on keyword targeting instead.

There are hundreds of audience targeting options on Facebook, allowing advertisers to pinpoint exactly who their ads will display to.

This includes demographic information, user interests, life events, and user behaviour.

Bid

Facebook bidding is the process by which an advertiser sets how much they are willing to spend for a user to click or like an ad, or take a specified action.

Unlike other pay-per-click platforms, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads is not based on a keyword bid.

Instead, audiences are created by the advertiser during the ad setup process.

They then set a bid for their chosen pricing structure and audience (CPC, CPM, CPV, CPA, or CPL) to determine ad cost and reach.

Pro Tip: when testing a new campaign use Facebook Automatic Bidding Strategies to start.

If you use a manual bid strategy you may simply be out-bid or you could be over-bidding.

Neither of the two options are good but over-bidding is definitely something to avoid.

Facebook Ad Objectives

Facebook ad objectives are the overarching marketing goals advertisers have to choose from when creating their ad.

Ad objectives include:

  • Awareness, which focuses on promoting a brand;
  • Consideration, which encourages user engagement;
  • Conversion, which entices users to buy a product or service.

The higher the revenue, you an advertiser is likely to get from an ad objective, the higher the ad cost will be.

Main ObjectiveSpecific ObjectiveOutcome
AwarenessBrand AwarenessTo get people familiar with your business
ReachTo maximize the number of people who see your ad
ConsiderationTrafficIncrease the number of visits to your website or Facebook business page
App InstallsIncrease the number of installs of your app
EngagementGet more people to interact with you on Facebook
Video ViewsTo maximize the number of views a video receives
Lead GenerationCollect a user’s information, such as an email address, in exchange for valuable content
MessagesGet people to start conversations with you on Facebook
ConversionsProduct Catalog SalesAdvertise items you have for sale
Store VisitsPromote your brick-and-mortar business to a local audience
ConversionsGet people to make a purchase on your website

Competition

Remember that Facebook Ads work like an auction, wherein a number of businesses are competing for the same advertising space.

As with any auction, the amount of competition will directly affect the price.

The more advertisers competing for the same audience and ad placement, the higher your costs will be.

Facebook Ad Placements

There are a number of Facebook ad placement options, both within Facebook and on partner sites like Instagram.

The most common ad placements are on a user’s Facebook feed, in the Facebook right column, on a user’s Instagram feed, and within Instagram stories.

See all available Facebook ad placements.

Ads that are well targeted with messaging and media that speak to their audience and provide them value will always rank higher than ads that don’t.

For example, ads with blurry images see very little user interaction even if the ad otherwise conforms to Facebook ad specs.

Increase ad quality by using compelling copy and high-quality images, along with relevant landing pages and audiences that are likely to interact with your ad.

Pro Tip: Facebook wants quality content that won’t interfere with the user

There are things we can do as advertisers to ensure that we are paying a great price for highly qualified prospects.

Things like Relevancy score (which is calculated using expected engagement) determine how much your bid will be, and you can use automated Lowest Cost bidding to get in front of people who will convert at a fair price.

How to Estimate Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) in 5 Steps

Estimating your return on ad spend (ROAS) can help you budget for your ad campaign and maximize revenue.

Here are the steps to calculating your initial ROAS:

  1. Start with a CPC pricing structure.
  2. Determine likely monthly clicks by dividing your ad budget by your industry’s CPC.
  3. Multiply your monthly clicks by your average conversion rate to find your number of new customers per month.
  4. Multiply that by estimated customer value to get revenue.

Here’s how to calculate your estimated return on ad spend in five steps:

1. Find & Collect Your Data

Start by finding and collecting all of the figures you need to calculate your ROAS.

Check the Average Facebook CPC by Industry table found at the top of this article, and find your industry’s average CPC, click-through rate, and conversion rate.

Additionally, you will need to know your estimated customer lifetime value (or CLV).

What you will need to calculate ROAS:

  • CPC (or other pricing structure): How much does each click cost?
  • Monthly ad spend: How much do you anticipate spending on advertising each month?
  • Conversion rate: What percent of monthly clicks become customers?
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV): What is the net profit attributed to each customer over the entire duration of their relationship with your company?

2. Calculate Your Estimated Monthly Clicks

To calculate your estimated monthly clicks, divide your monthly ad spend by your average CPC to find the total number of clicks you will receive per month.

Your estimated monthly clicks represent the average number of people your ads are actively connecting with each month.

For example, let’s say your business is in the fitness industry and your monthly ad spend is about $800.

According to the table above, your industry’s CPC is $1.90. That would equate to 421 clicks per month.

Equation: Monthly ad spend CPC = Estimated monthly clicks

Example: $800 / $1.90 = 421 clicks

3. Estimate Your Monthly Acquired Customers

To estimate how many customers you are acquiring each month from your ad, multiply your number of monthly clicks by your conversion rate.

Your conversion rate is more important than the number of clicks you receive per month, as it is more indicative of an ad’s overall performance.

Continuing the example above, let’s say your average conversion rate is 14.29%.

Considering monthly clicks total 421, that would mean you’re acquiring 60 new customers per month.

Equation: Monthly clicks average conversion rate = Number of customers acquired per month

Example: 421 x 14.29% (or 0.1429) = 60 new customers acquired per month

4. Estimate Your Ad’s Potential Revenue

To estimate the potential revenue expected to be generated by your ad, multiply the number of new customers acquired per month by your average customer’s lifetime value (LTV).

This is how much a new customer is worth to your business in sales in the long term and from there we’ll find your estimated revenue.

In the case of the fitness business above, the CLV is estimated at $100.

Multiplied by 60 customers, this means that the fitness business is generating $6,000 in new revenue every month from ad spend.

Equation: Number of new customers x Customer lifetime value = Revenue generated

Example: 60 x $100 = $6,000 revenue generated from your monthly ad spend

5. Determine Return on Ad Spend

Subtract your monthly ad spend from the revenue generated to find your estimated return on ad spend.

Effective advertising should yield a profit.

If you’re not at least breaking even, you may want to seek professional account management, such as Honeypot Marketing or the Marketer Knows Community.

As the final piece of the fitness business’ ROAS calculation, we would need to subtract $800 in ad spend from the $6,000 in total revenue to determine total profit (or return on ad spend).

That comes to $5,200.

Equation: Revenue generated monthly ad spend = Estimated return on ad spend

Example: $6,000 – $800 = $5,200 return on ad spend per month (or $62,400 per year)

Keep in mind every business, every ad campaign and every single ad will see varying returns on ad performance.

Get more detailed information about calculating return on ad spend and how to measure ad spend in our article Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the Facebook ad specs?

Facebook ad specs vary for every ad and media type.

For example, the size for a single image ad is 1,200 x 628 pixels with an image ratio of 1.9:1.

Get detailed ad specs for every ad type from image ads to carousel ads by reading Facebook’s complete list of Facebook Ad specs.

What is the Facebook pixel?

The Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that can be easily added to your website to track visitor behaviour.

If you are looking to gain more insight into user behaviour for future ad campaigns—and have access to your website’s code—then you would be a good fit for the Facebook pixel.

Which is cheaper: Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

CPCs tend to be lower for Facebook Ads than Google Ads, but what you need to keep in mind is that user intent is different on each platform, as well as click-through and conversion rates.

Facebook may be cheaper, though Google users are more likely to make a purchase or take an action after clicking on a search ad.

What are the best ways to target Facebook ads?

Facebook offers a number of great targeting parameters, from life events to interests and behaviors.

Every advertiser will use these targeting options differently to create exact audiences that match their ideal customer.

Learn more about the top ways to target Facebook ads and how you can use them to create your perfect audience in our article Top 7 Facebook Ad Targeting Options.

Where can I find a Facebook ad management service?

Choosing to use a Facebook ad management service is often a smart move, especially if you’re a new advertiser struggling to understand the Facebook ad platform.

However, there are many management services available and it can be hard to pick the right one; to help, join the Marketer Knows community for help selecting the right Facebook Partner for your advertising needs.

Bottom Line: Facebook Advertising Cost

Facebook ads are generally considered affordable with an average CPC of $1.72 and an average CPM of $11.20.

One of the most powerful features of Facebook is that, as an advertiser you can set your own budget. Spend as little or as much as you want to get started, learn and grow.

This is a very powerful feature of all PPC advertising channels: Facebook, Twitter, Snap, Google, Bing and LinkedIn are all examples of great platforms that will allow you to reach your target audience.

Given this flexibility—and the incredible audience targeting the platforms affords—Facebook is ideal for advertisers with a clear understanding of your target audience.

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