One of the most common questions we receive about Facebook ads is “how much do Facebook ads cost?” It’s a tricky question to answer because the answer depends on so many factors.

There’s a lot that goes into figuring out Facebook ad costs. Everything from your target audience, to your ad objective to the ranking Facebook gives you, can directly affect and influence how much you’re going to pay. Not to mention lots of other businesses and advertisers are trying to get that same ad space in a user’s Newsfeed, and Facebook limits the number of ads each user sees.

Facebook ads aren’t like buying traditional advertising. You don’t simply give Facebook money in exchange for ad space. Instead, Facebook works like an auction. When you set your ad budget, you can either set how much you’re willing to pay for an action, or let Facebook automatically calculate a bid for you based on your total budget and how long you are running the ad.

But bids are only one of the factors. Other factors can play a significant role in your Facebook ad cost as well.

Some these factors include:

  • Time: The time of year, day of the week, and even the specific hours of the day can affect how many people and who sees your ad campaign. At peak times, when competition is highest, the costs go up. A great example of this is Q4. In the push towards the holiday season, the cost to advertise often increases a as there are more business competing for ad space and user’s attention. Q3, in the summer months, can be one of the cheapest times to advertise.
  • Placement: Your advertisement’s placement can also affect your ads. Different placements have different costs. Instagram, for example, costs more than right column desktop ads. But each can have their place in a robust ad strategy.
  • Bidding strategy: As mentioned above, you can set an average bid, choose to set a bid limit on each individual bid, or let Facebook determine you bid for you.
  • Relevance: Facebook calculates a relevancy score for your advertisement which directly affects how much they charge you for a particular ad. The relevancy score is partly calculated by engagement and clicks and is affected by other ads in the market at the same times as yours.
  • Audience: The audience you’re targeting can play a huge role in advertising costs depending on how many other advertisers are trying to reach the same people. For example, if you’re targeting parents with ads for the latest children’s toys, you’re going to pay more for ads in November and December than you would at other times of the year. In general, targeting women is also more expensive than targeting men. So if you’re planning on running a campaign that only targets women, realize that it will cost you more.

These are just some of the many factors that can affect the cost of a Facebook ad at any given time. The recent Facebook algorithm update that de-prioritized Page content and sank organic engagement for businesses means that many Pages have been relying more heavily on the ad system. Since the number of ads a user sees in their newsfeed is limited, ad costs have increased noticeably.

What you can do:

Being smart about your ad spends can help you get the most out of Facebook advertising. This means figuring out who your audience is, where they are, and what they will respond to. The more relevant you can make an ad for an audience, the more likely a greater number of people are to see the ad. Appeal to your audience when and where they are online, and use images and promotions that will be of interest to them. Consider the time of year you are advertising and increase your budget accordingly.

Q3 can be a great time to advertise! If you would like to discuss advertising options, contact us today.