Social Ads: Choosing Between Paying By Clicks Or Impression
By Mike Hauben
Anyone running social media ads will have to decide whether they’ll be paying by “click” (which is each time a visitor clicks your ads) or by “impression”, which is paying a fee when a certain number of people have seen your ad on the screen, regardless how many people clicked on it.
It’s a big decision and this simple choice will often decide how successful your campaigns are. If you’ve chosen to pay per click and your ad campaigns do extremely well, you may max out your ad budget and end your campaign much quicker than expected.
Choosing Between Link Clicks and Impressions
Option 1 is to pay for your ad campaign each time someone clicks on your ad (CPC), regardless how many times your ad is shown on people’s screens. You’re paying a higher cost but you’re only paying for people who actually showed interest in your ad.
This differs from option 2, being charged by impression (CPM). This means you’ll get charged every time your ad is shown in someone’s facebook feed (or other approved location), with the price calculated per 1,000 impressions. In this scenario, you pay for showing your ad 1,000 times – it doesn’t matter how many people click the ad.
Which is right for you?
Pros and Cons of Choosing Link Clicks
You only get charged when someone clicks your ad.
In theory, if your ad doesn’t get many clicks, you’ll initially be getting thousands of impressions for free, and it prevents you from spending much money if your ads aren’t performing well.
The downside is that if your ads perform well and you get a high click-through rate, you’ll pay for every click (and since you’re only paying per click, Facebook will also charge you a premium for each click).
Additionally, Paying per click can become extremely costly if the ads attract initial attention but ultimately don’t convert the customers they attracted. It will be important to make sure your entire sales funnel – your website, landing pages, checkout process, and more – are optimized to make sure those high PPC ads are actually getting customers and not just causing you expensive clicks.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Impressions
Selecting to be charged by impressions means you can inadvertently waste money when your ads are performing poorly. Regardless how many people show interest and click on your ad, you’re still paying your full set budget.
However, the opposite also applies. if your ads perform really well and lots of people click your ads, you still pay only on a CPM (impression) basis. This means that paying by impression can be the better option if you have more advanced ad targeting skills and know that your ads are reaching the right people. In this sense, you’ll be paying my impression but you’ll have a high click through rate (yet won’t be paying for Facebook’s high “pay per click” rate).