This article is meant for Digital Marketers who are relatively familiar with Facebook Advertising. If you’re just starting out, then I’d suggest you first read this article about which Facebook Ad Objective Is Right For You, then come back to this a little later.
So what I’ve done is basically documenting down the various steps I’ve taken over the past years to lower my Facebook PPC Campaign cost. I’ve spent thousands of dollars experimenting, many of which didn’t work out. But those that did, some gave amazing results.
1. Put in a Low Daily Budget for your Facebook PPC Campaign
A daily budget of $5 or $10 probably allows your ads to reach a couple of thousand people each day. Using low budgets may seem counter-intuitive if you want to reach as many people as possible. But there are advantages.
With a low budget, it takes much less effort for Facebook to utilise it within a day. As with most ad networks, you’re competing for impressions with other advertisers. With a large budget of say $100 or $1,000 a day, Facebook has to find ways to utilise it. In most cases you’ll have to bid higher to get your impressions out there. (aside from relevancy score and whatnot). A tiny budget gives Facebook more flexibility to manipulate, and serving your ads at “less busy” time of the day. And of course at a much lower cost!
Start with $5 a day, regardless of the ad objective then slowly scale up. I’ve seen very good results using this method sometimes over 80% less than the average cost per click! I get $0.08 per page like for Tier 1 countries like USA, UK, Canada, etc.
2. Use an Engaging Image To Lower Your Facebook PPC Campaign Cost
Images that go out of the way to catch the eye, or that are even controversial, can boost your click-through-rate (CTR). The higher your CTR, the higher your Relevancy Score. A good relevancy score, in turn, will reduce the cost per click for your ad.
Here’s a sample engaging image that I used for a Facebook Ad Campaign for a viral website. My relevancy score was 10/10, and the CTR was over 8%. As a result, I was getting clicks at $0.03 for Tier 1 countries. Impressive ain’t it?
However I noticed Facebook is getting more cautious these days, and tend to block / ban controversial images. Here’s one similar example of a controversial photo I used, and Facebook suspended my ad campaign.
Ok, so there’s some nudity involved. But it wasn’t porn or anything. It was just something cheeky which I hoped that would engage the readers. So just be careful on the images you’re using.
The headline, though not as impactful as the image plays an important part too. I ran an ad with a headline “How Much Of American History Do You Know?” vs “Only 4% Scored Full Marks, How About You?” Wanna guess which one was more engaging? Yep, the 2nd headline made my cost per click drop by almost 40%.
Here’s a website that I like to use. You can search for Facebook Ads by keywords or industry and compare it to your own ads to see how you can further improve on it.
3. Narrow your Audience to Ensure Relevancy While Maintaining a Decent Audience Size
Use at least three or four filters simultaneously to narrow the audience based on interest, age, gender, and so on. To do this you have to know exactly who you’re targeting. Take a look at all the data you have at hand, from your site, apps, YouTube channel and so on, not just Facebook data. It’s safe to assume that most of the people who visit your site, use or apps, or see your videos etc. are on Facebook, so it’s as if you’re advertising to that whole audience combined.
But once the target audience goes too low, say under 300,000, the cost per click (CPC) goes up significantly. The smaller the audience, the harder it is to compete for impressions. As a rule target your Facebook ads to an audience of at least 500,000 unique people.
4. Put a Facebook Pixel on your website
Do it even if you’re not tracking conversions or collecting data. The pixel sends signals back to Facebook about how engaged the audience is to your content, and what type of people react to it. It helps Facebook understand you better, and this goes into the process they use to serve ads. It can also help you create dynamic product ads based on the pages visitors have checked on your website.
5. Run your Ad for At Least 3 days Before Tweaking It
The activity for your ad on the first few days can be misleading. If it’s not what you’d expect, don’t worry. If it’s too good to be true, hold your horses. Wait until your ad stabilizes. Good ads usually follow the same pattern, in that the ad cost drops significantly day by day.
If after three days the cost of the ad doesn’t drop by half, you’ll probably have to tweak the ad (i.e. change the copy or the image). If all else fails, try to clone and restart the campaign. The element that usually makes the biggest difference on Facebook is the ad image, so edit or change that first.
6. Consider The Time Of The Day To Publish Your Ads
Through multiple experience, I have a belief (not verified) Facebook looks at the “velocity” of the engagement of your ads during the initial hours when it goes live. Meaning if the initial people your ad reaches doesn’t engage (like, share, click) there is a chance Facebook de-prioritizes your ad in its queue. I’ve cloned and restarted an almost identical campaign, but at different time of the day and had drastically different results.
7. Setting a Maximum Cost Per Click after The Ad Stabilizes
Starting with a low maximum CPC isn’t a good idea. Your ads won’t reach enough people, and Facebook won’t have enough data to optimize your campaign. You may feel the temptation to adjust the cost early on, but try to resist it. Until the ad stabilizes, you won’t know the market rate. You also won’t know how people will react to your ad. Give your ad some time. If you do this, you won’t be risking your campaign. The worst thing that can happen is to lose some money, but you can recover it later.
Once you see that the ad cost has stabilized, set your maximum CPC cost to 25% more than the average. Each new day, bring it down slowly. Look closely at the results. When you start seeing that the ad doesn’t get served, it’s time to increase the maximum CPC again. It may take some time to find the right balance, but in this way you can reduce your campaign cost considerably.
8. Allow Facebook to Serve your Ads on All Placements
You may think that this placement or that is the best. Some people may even try to convince you to put all your money on one placement only. But different placements can work better for different types of ads. Placements include:
- Facebook’s news feed
- Right column
- Mobile news feed
- Audience network
After three days of running your ads on all placements, check the data. Find the placements that give you the best cost per click and focus on them. In the future, if you run a different style of ad, do again this experiment. You won’t just save money, but also increase the impact of your ad.
Sometimes you may think the Right Column Ads are too tiny to be noticed, but other advertisers could think the same way, and avoid that placement. Hence with less competition, you don’t have to bid as much. In another scenario, Facebook Audience Network could be giving you very cheap CPC, but I tend to think the quality of the traffic isn’t as good as people from Facebook News Feed.
Over to You
If you follow the steps above carefully, you should see results soon, in a matter of days even. Let us know how it goes, or if you have a tip of your own to share, drop us a comment below.