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The Cost Of Facebook Ads (And How They Grew My Business)

I want to begin this post by revealing a shocking statistic I uncovered in my own marketing efforts these past few weeks, because the whole point of this post is to convince you of the benefit of advertising on Facebook, and these statistics strengthen my point far better than my meagre writing could.

The Statistic

I compared, like-for-like, a Facebook ad campaign with a mobile ad campaign. The mobile ad campaign was 14 times more expensive than the Facebook campaign.

What I Tested

Now some background: I often test different advertising methods. I guess that’s my analytical side kicking in. I don’t take at face value what other people suggest works, but I like to try out different tactics and actually measure the results.

So last week, I thought I’d test out mobile advertising, as it’s something I’ve never done before and since mobile is on the up, I suspected it would be an area with a lot of promise that not many advertisers would think of tapping into.

So in short, this is what I did:

I created an ad campaign on a mobile advertising platform. I used Buzzcity as it was something recommended to me by an experienced affiliate marketer (by the way, affiliate marketers who do high volumes of advertising are the best online resources when it comes to discovering untapped resources). One of the reasons he recommended it was because of the hugely tempting pricing they offered ($0.01 per click in 2015? Yes please).

Cost of facebook ads

Cost of facebook ads: screenshot of a mini-campaign on Buzzcity (mobile advertising)

I created some basic banners, created a standard ad campaign with few tweaks, and targeted it at mainly English speaking countries (e.g. US, Canada, Australia, UK etc).
I sent traffic direct to my opt-in page. This is the landing page I use to send new traffic to, to give visitors the chance to opt-in to whatever offer I have on at the time. You can read more about opt-in pages in a blog post I wrote on Leadpages

Cost of Facebook ads

Cost of Facebook ads: an example of the opt-in page I used for this testing

As I’m on Leadpages, it automatically registers the conversions for me. So I know how many people signed up to my email list in relation to how many people clicked on the page.
So this conversion rate is the statistic I really want to show you, because the results were really interesting. Because before I did this mobile advertising campaign, I ran exactly the same campaign on Facebook.
During the Facebook campaign, I managed a conversion rate of 49%. Here’s a screenshot:

Cost of Facebook ads

Cost of Facebook ads: 49% conversion on my Leadpages opt-in page

I’ve actually done a series of training videos on Udemy about how I achieved this, and I’ve included a preview of one of the videos below. If you’re interested in how to run a highly targeted Facebook ad campaign, keep reading to the bottom of this article, because I have a very nice offer on that training for you (even if I do say so myself!).

Now, I expect Facebook conversion rates to be high because Facebook does an excellent job at allowing you to narrow down your target market. If you know what you’re doing, you can narrow it down enough to get a really excellent conversion rate. So I never expected the mobile advertising to match it.

The Results

But what surprised me was just how poor the mobile advertising was in comparison. On the same campaign, I only achieved a single – one – conversion out of 677 clicks to my landing page. So that’s a conversion of 0.14%.

There are some possible reasons why this is so low. For example, I know myself when browsing on mobile how easy it is to accidentally click on an ad when you are on a small screen. And I have to take into account that the categories offered on Buzzcity offer me far less in the way of targeting, so those clicks may have largely come from users who just weren’t interested in my offer. But the staggering difference between the two conversion rates: 50% vs 0.14%.

Now let’s compare the costs. I got a cost per click on my Facebook advertising for $0.50. So based on that, I can get 200 new opt-ins for every $100 I spend.

To get 200 new opt-ins from mobile, I would have to pay for 142,857 clicks to my opt-in page. I know each click costs me exactly $0.01, so it would cost me $1428.57.

Which brings me back to the point I made at the start of this post: mobile advertising was 14 times more expensive than Facebook advertising.

I know a lot of people find Facebook advertising frustrating. I can understand why. The Power Editor isn’t the most user-friendly tool in the world, to say the least, and if you aren’t targeting your ads properly, then your cost per conversion can quickly go through the roof. So I can see why it’s perceived as expensive (especially in comparison to how cheap it used to be). But from my own experience, I still believe it’s one of the most effective advertising platforms around, and my latest test goes a step closer to proving that theory.

If you got to the end of this article, then I have a little gift to thank you for your time. As I said earlier, I did a side project last month on Facebook targeting. More specifically, training on how I achieve $0.50 conversions. The training is on Udemy, rather than on my website, because it’s just a little side project. But as you’ve taken the time to read to the bottom of this article and if you’re interested in that training, I have a really generous discount voucher to give you. For the whole of June, you can essentially get access to this training for just $7. But there are limited numbers, so if you want to take advantage of the offer, grab it quick.

85% off Udemy Facebook Training

So now over to you: I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and comments about your experience in running a profitable ad campaign. Have you tried different methods? Have you found that one advertising platform really stands shoulders above the rest? Leave your comments below.

4 Comments on The Cost Of Facebook Ads (And How They Grew My Business)

    • Lauren
      May 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Gail! I think that’s a great idea. It would definitely be an interesting comparison. Consider it added to my blog schedule and I’ll let you know when it’s up.

    • Lauren
      May 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm (2 years ago)

      Absolutely. I always tell clients to focus on conversions vs traffic. It’s so important to measure.


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