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    Benchmark Report, Lead Generation, Facebook guide, PPC Metrics

    Facebook Ads Benchmarks for CPC, CPM, & CTR in Q3 2018

    In Q3 2018, we analyzed over 3.4 billion impressions and over 48 million clicks across Facebook News Feed, Audience Network, and Messenger to surface median CPC, CPM, and CTR for each advertising channel. Not only do the numbers reveal trends all digital marketers should be aware of, but the performance data also gives a great benchmark with which to compare our own numbers. Take a look at what we found for Facebook, then download the report for all the stats on CPM, CPC, and CTR benchmarks for Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube, and Bing Ads. 

    Facebook News Feed CPC, CPM, & CTA for Q3 2018 at-a-glance 
    In Q3 2018, we analyzed over 3 billion ad impressions and nearly 44 million clicks for ads in Facebook News Feed.

    • Median CPC was $0.55
    • Median CPM was $8.20
    • Median CTR was 1.44%

    Facebook News Feed CPC continues to soar
    Median CPC was the highest it’s been all year, making a significant leap from last quarter’s median cost of $0.43, and still up 19.6% from where it was in Q3 last year.

    Q3 2018 Facebook News Feed ad performance data from 3B Impressions, 44MM Clicks

    Facebook News Feed CPM dropping steadily
    Median CPM for ads on Facebook News Feed has been on a decline since early last year, down $1.62 from last quarter and lower than where it was year over year by 5.8%. So according to our data, while marketers are paying more per click, prices are dropping steadily for impressions.

    Q3 2018 Facebook News Feed ad performance data from 3B Impressions, 44MM Clicks

    Facebook News Feed CTR plunges to 1.44%
    Are marketers getting lazy with creative? Are Facebook users fatigued from too many ads? Are people being more careful about what they interact with on Facebook? Or is Facebook playing around with its algorithm? Whatever the reason, median CTR for ads on Facebook News Feed is the lowest we’ve seen in the last two years, decreasing 35.7% from last quarter, and down 23.8% year over year.

    Q3 2018 Facebook News Feed ad performance data from 3B Impressions, 44MM Clicks

    Facebook Audience Network CPC, CPM, & CTA for Q3 2018 at-a-glance
    In Q3 2018, we analyzed over 278 million ad impressions and nearly 4 million clicks for ads in Facebook’s Audience Network.

    • Median CPC was $0.38

    • Median CPM was $5.35

    • Median CTR was 1.37%

    Facebook Audience Network CPC up 40% Y/Y
    According to our data, though median CPC decreased by 12 cents from last quarter, calculating out at $0.38 for Q3, it’s still way up from where it was the same time last year.

    Q3 2018 Facebook Audience Network ad performance data from 278MM Impressions, 3.8MM Clicks

    Facebook Audience Network CPM highest on record
    Median CPM for ads in Facebook’s Audience Network is on a steady rise, making a $2 leap from where it charted at the beginning of this year, and the highest cost we’ve calculated yet. In Q3, CPM was up 31% from the quarter before and up 32% year over year.

    Q3 2018 Facebook Audience Network ad performance data from 278MM Impressions, 3.8MM Clicks

    Facebook Audience Network CTR surges Q/Q
    Median CTR for ads in Facebook’s Audience Network shot up since last quarter, putting it close to what we’re seeing for CTR on News Feed but at a lower cost. In Q3, CTR is down by 6.2% year over year.

    Q3 2018 Facebook Audience Network ad performance data from 278MM Impressions, 3.8MM Clicks

    Facebook Messenger CPC, CPM, & CTA for Q3 2018 at-a-glance
    In Q3 2018, we analyzed over 113 million ad impressions and over 700,000 clicks for ads on Facebook Messenger.

    • Median CPC was $0.90
    • Median CPM was $5.55
    • Median CTR was 0.61%

    Facebook Messenger CPC down nearly 27% Q/Q
    Median CPC for ads in Facebook Messenger was at the low end of what we’ve seen the past several quarters, and down 21.7% from where it was the same time last year.

    Q3 2018 Facebook Messenger ad performance data from 113MM Impressions, 709K Clicks

    Facebook Messenger CPM down from last quarter
    According to AdStage data, median CPM is on the decline again, after a nearly $1.50 increase last quarter. Q3 saw CPM drop $1.79 from Q2, and is down over 50% from where it was at the same time last year.

    Q3 2018 Facebook Messenger ad performance data from 113MM Impressions, 709K Clicks

    Facebook Messenger CTR remains consistent Q/Q
    Apparently, Facebook users feel that Messenger is for just that, and not so much for ads. Median CTR for ads on Facebook Messenger remained nearly the same throughout the year but has plunged almost 50% from where it was last year, at over 1% CTR.

    Q3 2018 Facebook Messenger ad performance data from 113MM Impressions, 709K Clicks

    Facebook ad trends Q3 2018
    User numbers are down. A Pew Research Center study released at the beginning of September found that of 4,500+ US adults surveyed about Facebook, 54% said they had adjusted their privacy settings, 42% had taken a break from the platform for several weeks, and 26% deleted the Facebook app from their phone in the past year.

    Holiday-themed customizations hope to get marketers to spend. Facebook’s dynamic ads already had overlay capabilities to emphasize prices and discounts, and now advertisers can design their own overlays and frames to coordinate with holiday-specific campaigns. Building on the automation available through the somewhat new video creation kit, users will now have access to holiday-specific templates and stickers to use in videos. And to help advertisers make their products even more shoppable, Facebook added its instant storefront template to its Collection ad format so marketers can group products with labels like “Suggested For You.”

    Augmented reality ads. Ripping a page from Snap’s and Instagram’s playbooks, Facebook is also adding augmented reality ads (in testing now) and already debuted ads within Facebook Stories. Facebook says Stories are exactly what you’re used to in Instagram, and support the same objectives, including reach, brand awareness, video views, app install, conversion, traffic, and lead generation.

    Download the entire report for all the stats on CPM, CPC, and CTR benchmarks for Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube, and Bing Ads.

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    Breanna Lambert

    Breanna has 10+ years’ experience in marketing, though the tides & trends have pushed her almost exclusively into digital. She lives in the hills above Boulder, CO and spends her downtime outside exploring with her husband, son, and pup.