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    Facebook Ads, Benchmark Reports

    Facebook Ads Benchmarks for CPC, CPM, and CTR in Q4 2018

    Facebook just can’t seem to stay out of the news these days, especially when it comes to data collection methods and privacy concerns. But that didn’t stop the social media giant from releasing some major new features as it goes all in on video and analysts predict it will grow video ad revenue by double digits.

    Read on to see what we found in Q4 2018, after we analyzed over 4.8 billion impressions and over 70 million clicks across Facebook News Feed, Audience Network, and Messenger to surface median CPC, CPM, and CTR for each channel.

    Be sure to read the Q4 2018 PPC Benchmark Report for additional ad performance trends. Check out our Benchmark Report page for the latest reports by quarter.

    Facebook News Feed CPC, CPM, & CTR for Q3 2018 at-a-glance

    In Q4 2018, we analyzed over 4.5 billion ad impressions and over 67 million clicks for Facebook News Feed ads.

    • Median CPC was $0.57
    • Median CPM was $8.35
    • Median CTR was 1.46%

    Facebook News Feed CPC ends 2018 at most expensive

    For Q4, we found that median CPC continued to chart up, but only by 2 cents, ending Q4 at the most expensive it’s been all year.

    Q4 2018 Facebook News Feed ad performance data from 4.5B Impressions, 67MM Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook News Feed CPM ↓ $4.45 Y/Y

    AdStage calculations revealed median CPM jumped slightly – 15 cents – from last quarter and is down a lot – 34.8% – compared to the same time last year.

    Q4 2018 Facebook News Feed ad performance data from 4.5B Impressions, 67MM Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook News Feed CTR remains way down Y/Y

    Median CTR for Facebook News Feed ads clicked up 2% from last quarter but is still way down from Q4 last year, where it landed at 2.4%.

    Q4 2018 Facebook News Feed ad performance data from 4.5B Impressions, 67MM Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook Audience Network CPC, CPM, & CTA for Q4 2018 at-a-glance

    In Q4 2018, over 197 million ad impressions and nearly 2.7 million clicks for ads in Facebook’s Audience Network.

    • Median CPC was $0.42
    • Median CPM was $6.32
    • Median CTR was 1.40%

    Facebook Audience Network CPC ↑ 61.6% Y/Y

    For Q4, we found median CPC increased 10.5% cents from last quarter, is up 16 cents from where it ended Q4 last year.

    Q4 2018 Facebook Audience Network ad performance data from 197MM Impressions, 2.7MM Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook Audience Network CPM continues upward climb

    According to our calculations, median CPM ended Q4 at the highest cost we’ve charted yet and is $2.52 more expensive than it was the same time last year.

    Q4 2018 Facebook Audience Network ad performance data from 197MM Impressions, 2.7MM Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook Audience Network CTR remains flat

    Median CTR for ads in Facebook’s Audience Network improved just .03% since last quarter and is relatively the same from where it ended last year.

    Q4 2018 Facebook Audience Network ad performance data from 197MM Impressions, 2.7MM Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook Messenger CPC, CPM, & CTA for Q4 2018 at-a-glance

    In Q4 2018, we analyzed nearly 129 million ad impressions and over 856,000 clicks for ads in Facebook Messenger.

    • Median CPC was $0.61
    • Median CPM was $3.97
    • Median CTR was 0.67%

    Facebook Messenger CPC ends the year at record low

    Median CPC plunged 29 cents since last quarter and is down over 30% from where it was Y/Y.

    Q4 2018 Facebook Messenger ad performance data from 129MM Impressions, 856K Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook Messenger CPM down 50%+ Y/Y

    For Q4, we found that median CPM dipped $1.58 from last quarter and is down significantly, $4.53, from Q4 last year.

    Q4 2018 Facebook Messenger ad performance data from 129MM Impressions, 856K Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook Messenger CTR ↑ slightly

    Median CTR for ads on Facebook Messenger jumped slightly from last quarter but decreased by 32.3% Y/Y.

    Q4 2018 Facebook Messenger ad performance data from 129MM Impressions, 856K Clicks
    Source: AdStage Inc.

    Facebook ad trends Q4 2018

    New ways to buy and deliver video ad campaigns. Facebook is going all in on video with new capabilities through In-Stream Reserve and ThruPlay. In-stream ads used to appear only in videos that met Facebook’s content guidelines, but advertisers can now select placements in advance and target audiences that have been verified by Nielsen. In addition, when using In-Stream Reserve Categories marketers can choose packages in specific categories like sports or entertainment. Within that same announcement came news about ThruPlay, which seeks to help stretch advertising budgets by charging only for the video ads that are watched to completion, or for at least 15 seconds. ThruPlay works for video placements in-stream, in stories, and in feed on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.

    API to help explain ad-failure. Facebook said the new API will alert advertisers to fails and provide insights into what happened in the form of error codes. As advertisers geared up for the holiday season, the new feature helped save time in quickly troubleshooting ad issues.

    Ads in search results. During theQ4  testing phase, static images and carousel ads were supported (no video) and shown to U.S. and Canadian markets only.

    First-party cookie option. The cookie helps advertisers get around browsers that block third-party cookies. Facebook says the option will allow advertisers to target as they’ve always been able to, and get the same analytics they have in the past.

    Strategies to subdue voter suppression. Facebook said it would remove certain messages “such as claims that you can vote using an online app, and statements about whether a vote will be counted (e.g. ‘If you voted in the primary, your vote in the general election won’t count.’).” Facebook also introduced a new reporting option that allows users to flag incorrect voting information.

     

    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.