If I had a nickel for every time someone Googled “How much do Facebook ads cost?” this year, I’d have $432. How many Facebook ads would that buy? It depends. Yep, the answer to all of your Facebook ad cost questions is, “It depends.”

It depends on what industry you’re in, who your competitors are, the time of year, the time of day, how you target your audience, your ad content… and so on.

Ready for the good news? The biggest thing you can do to lower your Facebook advertising cost is within your control: Measuring your performance and tweaking your campaigns with data-driven decisions.

But how do you know if your costs are “good” or not in the first place? We’ve crunched the data on the average costs of Facebook ads, painstakingly gathered from Hootsuite and AdEspresso’s management of over $636 million in ad spend in 2020-2021, and this is the result: Benchmark costs for every type of Facebook ad.

Bonus: Get the Facebook advertising cheat sheet for 2022. The free resource includes key audience insights, recommended ad types, and tips for success.

How does Facebook ad pricing work?

First, a short refresher: Facebook offers various bid strategies, but the most common type is an auction-style format. You specify a budget and Facebook automatically bids on each ad placement, attempting to get you the best results within that budget.

If you’re new to Facebook ads, it’s best to stick to the automated bidding strategies. Advanced users can set manual bid caps, but this requires a deep understanding of your expected ROI and average conversion rates to be successful. (You can get all that data and more with Hootsuite Impact, which measures your paid and organic ROI together.)

There’s more than one aspect of your Facebook ads cost:

  • Overall account spend
  • Ad spend per campaign
  • Daily budget (if using this method)
  • Cost per action or conversion
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Average bid per ad

11 factors that affect Facebook ad cost

What affects Facebook ad cost? So, so many things. Let’s run it down:

1. Your audience targeting

Who you’re trying to reach matters. On average, it will cost more to put your ads in front of a narrower audience than a broad one. That’s not a bad thing.

Sure, you could spend $0.15 per click targeting the entire United States and only have 1% of those clicks turn into conversions. Or, you could micro-target your ads to only your ideal customers—30-50 year old coffee drinkers located in your city—and pay $0.65 per click, but get a 10% conversion rate. Which is really the better deal?

On Facebook, it’s simple to create a custom audience for this:

  • Changing the location to wherever you are (or, a region or country/countries if you sell online).
  • Editing the age range and other demographic targeting.
  • Including an interest related to your business. In this case, people interested in coffee, which could mean they follow coffee brands or Pages, have clicked on other coffee ads, or any other kinda creepy ways Facebook gathers intel on us.

Facebook ads audience targeting US Boise Idaho age gender and detailed targeting including interests

Did you know Facebook keeps a list of every user’s interests specifically for ad targeting? If not, you’re not alone — 74% of Facebook users also don’t know this.

Almost a third of users say their list doesn’t accurately reflect them, but after checking mine, it’s hard to argue with data science like this:

Facebook ads setup - ad preferences manage ad topics

Although, even supercomputers make mistakes:

Facebook ads - ad preferences Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Your industry

Some industries are more competitive than others for ad space, which affects the cost of advertising. Your ad costs typically go up the higher your product price is, or how valuable the lead you’re trying to capture is.

For example, financial services are a lot more competitive than t-shirt businesses. Here are a few examples from retail to illustrate how much costs can change even within the same sector.

Facebook and Instagram ad benchmarks in 2020 (Retail)

Source: MarketingCharts

3. Your competition

Yes, even the smallest businesses can succeed with Facebook ads. Also, yes, it will be more difficult when you’re up against ad giants.

Launching a children’s toy business? Great. Disney spent $213 million on Facebook mobile advertising in 2020. Opening a home goods store? Walmart spent $41 million on ads.

How’s your $50 a day Facebook ad budget lookin’ now?

These figures aren’t to dissuade you. The key to keeping costs down and ROI high is to differentiate yourself from your competition. Be aware of what your competitors are doing, but don’t let that dictate how you run your ads. Get smart, know what you’re up against, and make a plan to conquer.

4. Time of year and holidays

Running ads for flowers on July 15? $1.50

Cost of ads for flowers on February 13? $99.99

Okay, not actual data, but you get the idea. Timing is everything. Costs can fluctuate wildly through different seasons, holidays, or around special industry-only events.

A classic example is Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertising. As we all know, the biggest shopping days of the year, with some brands spending up to $6 million on digital ads on Black Friday alone. Yowza.

For the same reasons, advertising in December is notoriously expensive.

5. Time of day

Bids tend to be lower from midnight to 6am, since there is usually less competition at these times, but not always.

By default, ads are set to run 24/7, but you can create a custom schedule for time of day down to the hour.

Facebook ad scheduling by time zone

However, don’t think you need to stick to typical work hours if you’re advertising B2B. About 95% of Facebook ad views are on mobile, including when people are mindlessly scrolling before bed.

6. Your location

Or, more specifically, the location of your audience. Reaching 1,000 Americans with Facebook ads cost about $35 USD in 2021, but only $1 USD to reach 1,000 people in many other countries.

Average costs per country range widely, from $3.85 in South Korea to 10 cents in India.

Facebook ads cost per click per country in U.S. dollars (Statista chart)

Source: Statista

7. Your bidding strategy

Facebook has 3 different types of bidding strategies to choose from. Choosing the right one for your campaign will lower your costs significantly.

Bonus: Get the Facebook advertising cheat sheet for 2022. The free resource includes key audience insights, recommended ad types, and tips for success.

Get the free cheat sheet now!

For all of them, you’ll still need to set your overall campaign budget, which can be either daily, or a total lifetime budget.

Facebook ads setup - budget and schedule start date and end

Source: Facebook

Budget-based bidding

These strategies use your budget as the deciding factor. Choose between:

  • Lowest cost: Get the most conversions possible within your budget, at the lowest cost per conversion (or cost per result).
  • Highest value: Spend more per conversion, but focus on achieving higher-ticket actions, such as selling larger items or gaining valuable leads.

Goal-based bidding

These get the most results from your ad spend.

  • Cost cap: Get you the most number of conversions or actions while keeping your costs relatively steady month-to-month. This gives you predictable profitability, though costs can still vary.
  • Minimum return on ad spend (ROAS): The most aggressive goal strategy. Set your desired return percentage, for example a 120% ROI, and Ads Manager will optimize your bids to attempt to reach it.

Manual bidding

Just what it sounds like, manual bidding allows you to set a maximum bid for all ad auctions in your campaign, and Facebook will pay the amount needed to win the placement, up to your cap. You can achieve low costs and great results this way, if you have the necessary Facebook Ads experience and your own analytics to set the correct amounts.

8. Your ad formats

One ad format—video, image, carousel, etc— doesn’t necessarily cost more than the other, but it will cost you more than it needs to if it’s not the best fit for your campaign objective.

If you’re selling clothing online, an ad featuring a big sale or coupon may bring in some business. But, lifestyle video or carousel ads showing your clothes on people will likely be more effective in bringing in clicks that lead to actual sales.

What works for you will take experimentation to find out. Either way, your ad format can have a huge positive or negative impact on your Facebook ad costs.

9. Your campaign objective

Setting the correct campaign objective is the most important thing you can do to control Facebook ad costs (and ensure success, too). Cost-per-click benchmarks are in the next section for each objective, which fall into 5 categories:

  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions
  • Link clicks

When you set up your campaign, this is what that looks like:

Facebook ads setup - new campaign choose objective in terms of awareness consideration and conversion

Average cost-per-click varies up to 164% between different Facebook ad campaign objectives, going from $0.18 to $1.85. Choosing the right one for your campaign is probably the most important thing you’ll do all year. No pressure.

10. Your quality, engagement, and conversion rankings

Facebook keeps a tally of how many clicks, likes, comments, and shares your ad receives to generate quality scores. There are 3 to watch:

  • Quality ranking: A somewhat ambiguous ranking of “overall quality” in Facebook’s opinion. Focused mostly on a relevance score that assesses how relevant the ad is to the target audience and user feedback compared to similar ads from other advertisers.
  • Engagement ranking: How many people saw your ad versus took some type of action on it, and how that compares to other advertisers.
  • Conversion rate ranking: How your ad is expected to convert compared to others competing for the same audience and goal.

Engagement metrics are nothing new when it comes to how the Facebook algorithm decides what to show users. But the same rules apply to your ads: Make high-quality stuff or else no one will see it.

High quality rankings give you a more competitive bid, which can be the difference between you winning an ad auction or not.

Once your ad has been running for a bit, you can find this info in Ads Manager. Click on your campaign, then on the third tab, “Ads for Campaign.” You’ll receive scores of either:

  • Above average (woo!)
  • Average
  • Below average: bottom 35% of ads
  • Below average: bottom 20%
  • “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” (It will actually still say “Below average,” and this is the bottom 10%.)

Facebook ad campaigns dashboard

Check your quality scores regularly and focus on tweaking the below average ones to bring up their scores, versus creating new ads.

11. Disconnect between your paid and organic campaign performance

One of the best ways to lower Facebook ad costs is to regularly monitor and optimize your campaigns. Easier said than done when you don’t have the right data. Hootsuite Social Advertising lets you plan, manage, edit, and analyze the results of all your paid and organic content together—across all channels.

See how all your social marketing is working together and snap up optimization opportunities before they pass by with quick, actionable insights. Plus, save a ton of time planning and scheduling your paid and organic content in one space.

How much do Facebook ads cost in 2022?

Standard disclaimer: These are benchmarks, and while we think they’re pretty dang accurate, your results may differ. If your results are off, it doesn’t mean your campaigns are off the rails. Use this data as a guide, but take it with a grain of salt.

Time for our nerd flags to fly—here’s the data for what Facebook ads should cost you in 2022.

Cost per click (CPC) Facebook ad cost metrics

Cost per click, by month

The beginning of 2021 started off with low CPCs and ramped up the rest of the year. This is a typical trend every year, except for 2020 which was the opposite, though also an anomaly with the COVID-19 beginning in Q2.

In 2020, the lowest CPC all year was $0.33 in April. That was 23% lower than April 2019. This makes sense since CPC is largely based on competition and many advertisers pulled ads as the pandemic took hold.

Facebook ads cost per click per month in 2020

Comparing that to 2021, we see a typical range of lower CPCs in Q1 ramping up to year-high CPCs in Q4, thanks to holiday shopping and e-commerce advertiser competition.

Facebook ads cost per click by month in 2021 AdEspresso

What this means for your 2022 Facebook ads:

  • Yes, ads will likely cost more in 2022 than the last 2 years. Optimizing your campaign objective and ad quality is your best strategy to maximize ROI.
  • Not trying to reach a B2C audience? Consider scaling back your Facebook ads in Q4 to avoid competing with e-commerce brands and higher costs. (Focus on other digital marketing avenues instead.)
  • Plan ahead for a likely 2023 Q1 dip: Prep campaigns ahead of time to take advantage of the lowest CPCs all year.

Cost per click, by day of the week

Facebook ad costs for CPC are typically lower on weekends. Why? Basic supply and demand: Even with the same number of advertisers, social media use is higher on weekends. That means there’s more ad space available, so you can win auctions at lower bids.

Still, it’s not a huge difference, so don’t bet the farm on an all-Saturday ad campaign. Back in 2019, weekend CPCs were up to $0.10 cheaper, whereas throughout 2020 and 2021, CPCs were only 2 or 3 cents less. (Except for 2020 Q2, right during the pandemic, as advertisers hit pause on many campaigns.)

Here’s the data for 2020:

Facebook ads cost per click by day of week

And for 2021:

Facebook ads cost per click by day of week in 2021

What this means for your 2022 Facebook ads:

  • Nothing, for most people. Run your ads 7 days a week, unless you have strong data suggesting your customers hibernate underground for the weekend.

Cost per click, by time of day

Clicks will cost you less from midnight to 6am (in the viewer’s local time zone), but should you only market to insomniacs? (Selling pillows, coffee, sleeping aids, or carby snacks? Yes.)

In 2020, the average CPC didn’t drop too much overnight.

Facebook ads cost per click by hour in 2020

2021 saw consistently lower CPCs in the wee hours, potentially since many brands schedule their campaigns to run only during the day, so there is more ad space available.

Facebook ads cost per click by hour in 2021

What this means for your 2022 Facebook ads:

  • You likely don’t need to set a specific schedule for your ads. Run the campaign 24/7 and let Facebook maximize your clicks based on your campaign objective.

Cost per click, by goal

Now this is a biggie. CPC varies widely depending on your campaign objective, and 2020 and 2021 showed generally the same patterns, with one exception: Impressions.

With the exception of Q3, getting ad views cost a lot more in 2020 than it did in 2021.

Facebook ads cost per click by campaign objective in 2020

2021 data doesn’t include Q4 yet, but CPC is always higher in the last quarter. Still, you can see how setting the correct campaign objective is crucial to keeping the costs of advertising on Facebook profitable.

Facebook ads cost per click by campaign objective in 2021

What this means for your 2022 Facebook ads:

  • Always consider your goal in the context of the time of year: They work together. Costs are higher in Q4 for all goals thanks to increased competition, so instead of planning on spending $1,000 every month, consider spending $500 in the first half of the year and $1,500 in the latter (or vice versa, depending on your audience).
  • Facebook is really good at optimizing your campaign for the goal you set. Let it do its work.
  • Lead generation CPC is cheaper than conversion campaigns. This means instead of getting people to click over to your landing page, it can be more cost effective to use Facebook’s built-in lead capture form with their lead gen campaign goal.
  • However, for sales or more complex lead gen, conversion campaigns are good at optimizing for intent. Meaning, the people who see your ad are more likely to buy something, or complete another high-intent action.
  • Impressions can be cheap, but save them for brand awareness campaigns. Need traffic? Lead gen, clicks, or conversions are your go-tos.

Cost per like Facebook ad cost metrics

Like campaigns grow your Facebook Page audience. This can fast-track your social media growth as long as you’re targeting the right people who will stick around long-term.

Cost per like, by month

Very different results here when we compare 2020 and 2021. In 2020, CPL dropped steeply at the start of the pandemic (as did all advertising), but rebounded in Q3 and Q4 as brands built up their audiences to prime them for Black Friday/holiday shopping season.

This theory is supported by the drop in December 2020 where CPL was almost even with April 2020’s ultra-low $0.11, although end-of-year budgets could have been used up by then, too.

Facebook ads cost per like by month 2020

In 2021, CPL reached new heights with no sign of that trend slowing down in 2022. Now, the average CPL is $0.38—including a high of $0.52 in May 2021!—which is higher than some average CPCs for conversion campaigns. At this point, it’s a better use of your budget to run CPC campaigns instead.

Facebook ads cost per like by month 2021

What this means for your 2022 Facebook ads:

  • If you still want to grow your Facebook Page audience with a CPL campaign, try remarketing ads instead of a regular, cold campaign. You can create a lookalike audience, add your customer list, or create a custom, highly-targeted audience.

Cost per like, by day

Compared to CPC campaigns, day of the week matters a lot more when it comes to cost per like. In 2020, Tuesday and Wednesday were the cheapest days. Monday, too, except for Q1.

Facebook ads cost per like by day of week 2020

Big changes happened in 2021: Likes were much cheaper on the weekends, though still much pricier than 2020, but the weekdays? Oy. Costs were all over the map each quarter, with some hitting highs of $1.20 per Like.

$1.20?! There are a lot of other marketing activities you can do for a better use of $1.20.

Facebook ads cost per like by day of week 2021

What this means for your 2022 Facebook ads:

  • Just because Tuesdays are cheaper one quarter doesn’t mean they will be next quarter, too. Lesson learned? Use automatic bidding and let Facebook optimize ad delivery.

Cost per like, by time of day

Similar to CPC campaigns, cost per like decreases at night, specifically between midnight and 6am. However, 2020’s data was completely opposite, with CPL being its highest in Q1 from midnight until about 4am. (Was everyone off work watching Netflix and scrollin’ their phone or what?)

Facebook ads cost per like by hour 2020

In 2021, those figures returned to the average pattern we’ve seen for years now:

Facebook ads cost per like by hour 2021

What this means for your 2022 Facebook ads:

  • As with CPC scheduling, don’t worry about micromanaging CPL ad scheduling. Let Facebook show off its fancy algorithm and do cost optimization for you.

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