When speaking to people about Facebook Ads one of the questions I get asked the most is ‘what should my budget be?’.
The average small business spends between $1000-$2000 per month on Facebook Ads but minimum spend is just £1 per day so even the most frugal of budgets can afford to consider it in their campaign mix.
Starting from this minimum to try it out, and test what works is definitely a good first port of call when adding Ads to your campaign, but setting a budget beyond this means understanding how Facebook Ads work best for you.
Before we dive into that a note about the Paid Content Essentials workshop I run – this one-day practical workshop covers everything you need to know about adding paid activity into the mix even when your budget is small. A deeper look at Facebook Ads, Google Ads, landing pages and the other spots online you might want to take a look at. More info and book here.
Average costs for Facebook Ads
One place to start getting a feel for budget is by looking for benchmarks in similar industries. This table by Wordstream shows the 2019 benchmark for cost per click on Facebook Ads – the nearest category to the public sector is the People and Society grouping which is $2.01 (or around £1.56 per click).
Looking across the categories we can see this CPC rate comes somewhere in the middle – finance is highest with an average CPC of $3.89, and food and drink the lowest at $0.42. Knowing this and looking across the estimated size of your target group you can start to get a feel for how many of them you can reach (and hopefully entice to click on your Ad) with the budget you have available.
It’s worth checking out the full post from Wordstream here.
Get your content right
Before moving to Ads it’s worth taking a good look at what is working for you already, and doing some work on defining your target audience really clearly.
However far your budget will stretch putting money down on poor content or something mis-aligned with your audience won’t magically generate success. You need a great idea of your audience and what works for them EVEN when you have cash to splash.
This is where boosting posts from the Page can work well for you – testing out what resonates and gets results against what doesn’t. You can improve your content while also starting to reach new people. And that’s the first type of Ad and Ad spend we’ll look at.
Facebook for new audiences
There’s a load of people who already Like your page, if you’re content is good they perhaps even still see it. But how do you reach beyond this and get to the people who aren’t aware of you, or aware of your relevance to them?
You can do it through Boosting posts from your page to increase reach and engagement – and this is perhaps the type of Ad you’ve already tried on Facebook. As little as £1 a day and you can start to grow that audience and raise awareness, so a budget of £30-£50 a month to boost a handful of Posts and see what works for you.
Think of Facebook as an amplifier – find the right message for the right people, put a bit of money behind it and Facebook will help you reach more people who are interested in what you’ve got. The wrong thing, the wrong people and you’ll still see tumbleweeds – just ones which drag your money away with them this time.
Facebook for a target audience
Facebook knows loads about us all – not only the stuff we actively tell it on our profile and in our interactions on the network but from stuff we’re doing across the wider web (and in other, creepier ways too). This means there is a huge database of potential for those looking to advertise on the network and you can use that too.
Through Business or Ads Manager you can build a more detailed target audience than on Boosted posts, not only looking at the things people have put in their profile (job description, location, demographics) but also on their life stage, and other services, website and organisations they’ve looked at. You can also exclude people who might broadly match who you’re looking for but aren’t quite right in some way (people travelling through your location rather than living there, for example).
With these people you want to make them aware of you, plus hopefully get them to take an action such as Liking your Page, or visiting your website so you can tell them more. Spend a third of your overall Ads budget here – but make sure your Ads content and the pages on your site you’re sending them to are spot on.
Facebook for remarketing
Once you’ve started to see what content works and grow your audience via Boosted posts, plus get the right people interested and aware of you through targeted Ads, it’s time to think about how to keep people moving toward signing up or taking a desired action with you (that could be completing a form, taking part in a consultation, booking an event – actions with your organisation rather than engagement actions on Facebook).
Facebook works great for remarketing – reaching people who’ve already visited your website, viewed a video, or interacted with you in some way. They’re already warmed up to you (they’re aware of you) and so seeing an Ad about something they’ve already shown interest in is likely to land better with them and for you than coming at people cold. Knowing who these people are who’re already engaging with you can help you set your budget too.
For this activity head into Business or Ads Manager and you can start a basic budget at £1 for every 100 monthly visitors to a relevant web page, or £1 for every 100 opens on a relevant mailing list.
So, what’s my Facebook Ads budget?
The basic but not incredibly helpful answer is that your budget can go from that £1 a day minimum to as big as you like.
The more practical answer is to think about different approaches to your target audience, the different types of Ad you need to set up to make a successful approach, and then assign a budget to each of those activities.
- for reaching new people and raising awareness consider boosting Posts from your Page. Start your budget at £30-£50 per month to boost a few Posts and work out what works best for reach and engagement with your desired audience
- for remarketing to people who’ve already interacted with you in some way (even a passive way such as visiting your website) consider a starting point of £1 a day for every 100 monthly visitors, or 100 opens on a relevant mailing list. Scale up or down depending on the result you’re looking for and budget available.
- for your target audience consider a starting point of a third of your paid campaign budget. If you’re spending £50 a month on awareness Ads on Page, and (say) £10 per day for remarketing to your 1000 monthly visitors, then add on one third of that spend to your overall budget for targeting a custom audience based on Facebook behaviour and insight (in this example £116).
In this example your overall budget for a month would be £466 on Facebook Ads. You could easily scale that up or down, or focus Paid activity only toward one audience stage, but it gives you an idea of where to start your budget estimations from.
Need a hand?
If you need a hand with anything do get in touch. I’m happy to take a look at what you’re currently doing, share my experience to help you build something new, or come in and share some of my knowledge and skills with you and your team. You can get in touch with me here and find out who else I’ve helped recently here.
You can find the next dates for the Vital Facebook Skills workshops I run with Dan Slee here and I’m also running a Paid Content Essentials workshop diving deeper into online advertising including Facebook Ads, Google Ads, landing pages and more – even if your budget is small!