Facebook Ad Impressions or CPC?

News has it that brands are buying Facebook Ads (great growth) in order to drive traffic to their Facebook Page (read: secure “Likes” – sorry today this metric is a something that clients seems to be fixated about).

As a marketer, what should you choose? Impressions or Clicks?

Literature in the main have suggested that if you want to brand awareness choose Impressions, if you want call to action – choose “clicks”

So what really works? . I will give a generic answer – it depends. 🙂

For me, both impressions and CPC has worked well. A recent campaign (1 month campaign) that I ran, I started with CPC and then moved on to Impressions.

It is when I moved to Impression, the stats went ballistic, my CTR was higher than usual and the social conversion increased whilst paying less. The CPC price was approx USD$0.60 and for CPM I was paying USD0.11 & Average CPC of USD0.04. Juxatpose that with the CPC I was getting at the outset i.e USD0.60. A savings of USD0.64! (of course the clients was all smiles) – better CTR and all.

Curious me decided to find out why is this the case, after much testing – one of the variables that helped was the rotation of ads – and the image of the ad. It played a big role. I did 3 ads with the same ad text but different images – the clicks were vastly different and of course results were as well.

In this particular 1 month campaign, it seems that impression had worked well – as you know there are many variables that affect the effectiveness of an ad. For the sake of brevity I’m only going to touch on 2 variables for this campaign 1) Ad image – That had significant bearing on the effectiveness and conversion. Lesson is play with multiple ads – do the neccessary testing and you can save a bundle and get much better results and 2) Clear CALL TO ACTION (CTA) – Putting the work – Join US or Like US had an impact.

I came across this mathematic formulae (Source: http://www.searchabilityinc.com/2009/03/15/facebook-ads-cpm-vs-cpc/)

Mathematically speaking, the formulae below is saying what is the condition that a CPC model would be more effective than a CPM model.  Ultimately according to the author if the following expression holds true:

I*CPC*CTR < (I/1000)*CPM, where

I = impressions

CPC = minimum CPC bid required for Facebook to run your ad

CPM = minimum CPM bid required for Facebook to run your ad

CTR = target audience’s propensity to click on your ad (fancy way of saying click-thru rate)

The expression could be satisfied if CPC and CTR are low or if CPM is high.

Well looks totally wicked. The formulae could very well work for you.

So is this a science or an art? Well my ‘answer” to them is, the questions is flawed to begin with, its to what extent this is science and to what extent this is art.

Keen to hear what successes you managed for your campaigns.


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