How much do Facebook ads cost?

facebook advertising costs

Almost any business that wants to bring in more customers can run Facebook ads campaigns to gain leads and customers. And they have! Currently, there are over 1.6 billion people worldwide that are connected to small businesses on the platform.

So how much does it cost to run a Facebook ad?

This is one of the most common questions asked when it comes to the early stages of planning Facebook ads campaigns. There’s no one size fits all answer for this though. Depending on a number of factors, your per click cost for Facebook ads could range anywhere from 70 cents to $10.

We’ll go through some industry benchmarks, talk about how Facebook ads work, what variables affect how much ads cost, and run through some strategies you can use to save some money on your Facebook ads.

How Much Does Facebook Advertising Cost?


Facebook ads cost

On average, the cost for Facebook ads in most industries will fall somewhere between $0.50 and $2.00 per click.

There are two studies from Wordstream and AdEspresso that go over the cost of Facebook ads. We’ll site them here to go over the details of exactly what factors into these ranges.

A look at existing studies reveals that a ballpark Facebook ad cost for most industries is somewhere between $0.50 and $2.00 per click.

According to the study done by WordStream, the average cost-per-click is $1.72 for Facebook ads across all industries.

If that seems like quite a bit for your small business, you’re right. However, the good news is that the number presented here is a bit skewed because of some anomalies.

Let’s consider, for example, the finance and insurance industries. These have the highest average CPC cost for Facebook ads at $3.77 per click.

Many industries have a much lower average thankfully.

The apparel, travel and hospitality, and retail industries have the cheapest rates for Facebook ad CPC costs, at $0.45 – $0.70.

Adversely, according to AdEspresso, the average cost-per-click for Facebook ads in all countries are $0.97

For the US in particular, you see an average Facebook ad cost of $1.10 per click.

This is why it’s important to take averages like these with a grain of salt.

It’s good to have ballpark figures, so you get a general idea of the cost, but let’s break down how the Facebook ad system works, so you can determine where your own costs for Facebook ads may land.

How are Facebook Ad Costs Determined?

Facebook ad auction

Facebook Ads Work on an Auction

Facebook is good about limiting the number of advertisements a user will see when using the app. If you were to open Facebook right now and see mainly advertising when scrolling, what are the odds that you would stick around? Probably not so great, right?

This means that there’s some stiff competition to get ads in front of users. With only so much space available, you can’t just sign up with Facebook and purchase an ad placement.

Ad placement on Facebook is set up on a bidding system. This means that whoever has the highest bid will have their ad shown.

Going Against The Competition

When you are vying for an advertising spot on Facebook, you aren’t only competing against your direct competitors in your industry, you are also competing against those in other industries who target similar users.

Let’s say for example, that your target audience is users who like natural beauty products.

This means you’ll be competing against other eco and health-conscious brands such as sustainable clothing companies, local gyms, and vegan and natural food brands who all have the same target audience.

You’ll be able to see when creating your ad, the size of your audience when selecting different targeting criteria.

What Defines Your Facebook Advertising Cost?

Facebook ads cost


While there are several factors that define your Facebook advertising cost, two variables will help determine this the most. These are your Facebook ad bidding amount and your ad budget amount.

Your ad budget is defined as the overall cost that you are willing to pay for one Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook has this broken down into two categories to help you manage this:

  • Daily Budget: This is what you are willing to spend on your Facebook ad campaign each day
  • Lifetime Budget: This is the amount you are willing to spend during the entire Facebook ad campaign as a whole.

Your bid is how much you are willing to spend for placement on your Facebook ad.

If you decide not to choose a bid amount, Facebook will calculate a bid amount for you based on the overall budget that you’ve chosen, and how long your Facebook ad campaign is set to run.

Important Things to Note

Two things we think that are important to keep in mind when speaking of Facebook advertising costs are:

  • You’ll only ever pay $0.01 more than the highest competitor’s bid. This means if you set your bid to $1.50, and your competitor is at $1.05, you’ll only pay $1.06 for the placement of your Facebook ad.
  • Facebook advertising costs can fluctuate dramatically. One day you may pay $1.10 for your cost-per-click. The next week it can be $2.40 for your ad placement. So it’s important to check in on your ads regularly so you know what you are paying on a regular basis and can better plan your ads.

Factors that Influence How Much Your Facebook Ads Cost

Let’s take a look at the several factors that can affect your Facebook advertising cost.

Target Audience

Certain people are more costly to reach than others. If you are targeting audiences that are highly sought after, your Facebook advertising cost will be higher.

This is because of supply and demand.

So you may be thinking, what if I just narrow down my targeting to reach only part of my target audience as a whole?


narrowing your target audience increases Facebook advertising costs


While this may sound like a good plan, beware of this.

Narrowing down your target audience can actually increase your Facebook ads cost because there are fewer ad placement slots available.

Marketing Objectives

When you are creating an ad, Facebook will require you to select a marketing objective.

This particular step can play a big role in your Facebook advertising costs.

For example, if you are using Facebook ads to simply promote your brand and gain visibility, you are more than likely going to pay less than someone who is using Facebook ads to drive sales.

Conversions will almost always cost more than simple clicks, and clicks will cost more than views.

The Competition

As we touched on earlier, this is a key factor in determining your Facebook ad costs.

Again the reason for this is supply and demand.

Your competitors will have an influence on your Facebook ads cost as well. Their relevancy scores, and what they are willing to spend will have a hand in determining your own Facebook ads cost, through the process of a Facebook ad auction.

Timing is Important

Your competition increases during peak usage times.

timing is important when considering the cost of Facebook ads

Because of this, you can expect to pay more for Facebook advertising when more users are typically online, or during peak hours. This also extends to certain days of the week or even times of the year.

For example, your Facebook ad spend is going to be higher in the months leading up to Christmas or other major gift-giving holidays.

Ad Placement

There are several different Facebook Ad Placements to choose from.

Where you decide to place your ad is another determining factor when speaking of Facebook advertising costs.

According to the AdEspresso study we mentioned earlier, Instagram placements are typically the most expensive, at an average of $1.15 per click.

Instagram ads

Relevance Score

Facebook will assign your ad a relevance score that shows how relevant your ad is to the target audience you have chosen.

ad quality influences the cost of Facebook ads

The more engagement a Facebook ad receives, the higher the relevancy score. Conversely, if your Facebook ad receives little to no engagement, or has been marked as “irrelevant” your relevancy score will go down.

This is huge when determining Facebook advertising costs. If your Facebook ad gets a high relevancy score, the Facebook algorithm gods will favor your ad, which can ultimately decrease the amount you pay for Facebook ad placements!

How to Reduce Your Facebook Ads Cost

Now that you understand the basics of Facebook advertising, we’ll take a look at how you can reduce your Facebook advertising costs.

While you aren’t able to control everything when it comes to predicting your Facebook ads cost, there are some strategies you can use to help you get the greatest ROI possible.

These can take some time but are well worth it in the long run.

Split testing your Facebook ads

Split Testing

The process of split testing involves running the same Facebook ad campaign twice with a small difference in one component in order to test which performs better.

For example, you can run a Facebook ad with the same caption but with 2 different images. Or create a Facebook ad using the same image with two different captions.

Split testing measure ad performance

This will allow you to use analytics tools for Facebook ads to see what draws your audience more.

By split testing, you are able to continually improve your ads to enhance their performance. This not only allows you to learn from your ads but will also improve your ROI in the long run.

So many advertisers don’t take the time to do this with their Facebook ads, having a set it and forget it attitude. But that little bit of extra time and effort can pay off in a big way.

Some businesses have found that just by changing copy, they are able to reduce their Facebook advertising costs dramatically. The bottom line is, you could be missing out if you don’t try out this technique.

Not only is it smart to try out split-testing, but the Facebook Ads manager makes split-testing super simple.

Just head to Facebook Ads Manager, and go to the “Traffic” section. Then just toggle on “Create split test” Facebook will evenly divide your advertising budget between the two Facebook ads you create and will allow you to compare their performance.

Facebook ads split testing toggle

You’ll want to be thorough and test each element of your ad individually. The smart move will always be to start with either your image or test.

One Objective at a Time

When creating a Facebook ad, the first thing you’ll need to consider is what your objective is. Facebook will ask you about this when creating.

Whatever your objective is, you’ll want to make sure that the entirety of your ad campaign aligns with your objective.

If you have more than one objective in mind, your Facebook ad costs are invariably going to increase, and what’s worse, may be less effective than focusing on one goal.

Objective of your Facebook ad

This is because different objectives will require their own unique copy, images, target audiences, and messaging.

To make the most successful ads, you’ll want them to be hyper-focused.

When you focus on one objective at a time, you’ll be able to ensure increased conversions.

If you have more than one objective in mind, that’s fine, but you’ll need to create multiple ad campaigns.

This might seem scary as far as budgeting goes, but in the long run, this will in fact keep your Facebook ad costs down.

Keep it Relevant

Facebook assigns a relevancy score to ads to show how much they will resonate with your target audience.

The higher the relevancy score, the better, as this will increase the likelihood that you will get positive feedback, and a good amount of clicks, engagement, and conversions.

Having higher-scoring ads will also lower the cost of your Facebook ads.

You may have guessed it, but the key to having higher relevancy scores is to create ads that draw your target audience to you.

Frequency matters

Frequency is another way that Facebook scores ads. This particular metric will show you how often the same user has seen your Facebook ads.

If you notice that the same people are seeing your ad multiple times, it’s for one of two reasons:

  • Your ad isn’t reaching new people
  • The people you are reaching are seeing your ads frequently, but are not converting.

When your frequency is high, you’ll receive less engagement, clicks, and conversions. Thus increasing your Facebook advertising costs.

While it’s true that it can be helpful to have your ad shown a few times to the same user, as it increases the chances they will convert, truly interested shoppers will only need to see your ad once or twice.

For this reason, you’ll want to keep your ad frequency to a maximum of three.

If you’re noticing that your frequency is too high, you’ll need to adjust or terminate your campaign.

Keep it Fresh

Remember to keep your ads fresh by updating old Facebook ads, and creating new ones regularly.

This will allow you to maintain low-frequency scores and will ensure that your Facebook ads don’t lose their effectiveness.

ad quality is important

While brand new ads should be in the playbook, you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to start a new campaign.

You can keep some things the same, such as your target audience. Just make sure you are changing the image, copy, and offer on the ad. Remember to take the lessons you learned from your split testing and apply them to your new Facebook ads.

Each Campaign Should Have Its Own Audience

Don’t include your entire target audience network in each ad campaign that you create. Doing this will make your ads more expensive.

Different users will be at different stages in the marketing funnel, so you’ll need your messaging to apply to where they are at.

By splitting up your audience, you’ll be able to create ads that target these groups specifically, thus being more effective. It also means that your Facebook advertising costs will stay low.

Facebook provides several options when it comes to targeting users in your ad campaigns. Make sure you are taking full advantage of all the options available to increase your conversions.

Remarketing and Retargeting

When you choose to remarket and retarget your Facebook ads, you’ll be showing them to people who have been exposed to your business already.

  • Remarketing shows your ads to potential customers based on email interactions
  • Retargeting shows your ads to potential customers based on their browser cookies

So if a user has visited your website, or signed up via email for a newsletter or promo code, you’ll be able to target them specifically in your Facebook ads.

This is an effective marketing strategy because the people you are targeting are already aware of your brand, and have shown interest in it.

Retargeting campaigns typically come with higher numbers of clicks and conversions as well as lower Facebook advertising costs.

As always, Facebook provides several options when it comes to remarketing.

You can narrow it down to users who have liked your Facebook page, follow you on Instagram, signed up via email, etc.

Place Caps On Your Bids

The easiest way to keep your Facebook ad costs low is to cap your bids.

If you don’t want to spend over a certain amount for an ad, putting a cap on your bids is the best way to ensure that you don’t go over budget.

With capping your bids, you may lose out on potential ad placements, but if you have a solid marketing budget plan, and want to stick to it, capping the bid is the best way to go.

Let’s Recap

recap of Facebook advertising costs

While Facebook advertising costs can vary, especially between industries, it’s smart to plan for a cost per click of about $0.50 to $2.00 for the majority of industries.

However, the only way to know for sure what your Facebook advertising costs will be is to run some campaigns, and see how it goes.

Remember the key factors we went over that will determine your Facebook ads costs:

  • Target audience
  • Marketing objective
  • Competition
  • When you advertise
  • Ad placement
  • Relevance score

Also remember that when it comes to you reducing your Facebook advertising costs, there are things you can do:

  • Split test
  • Focus on one objective at a time
  • Maintain high relevance scores
  • Maintain low-frequency scores
  • Keep your ads fresh
  • Select an audience for each specific Facebook advertising campaign
  • Use retargeting and remarketing
  • Cap your bid

Creating a profitable Facebook advertising campaign can take some time, but by using these best practices, you’ll be well on your way to advancing your online marketing.