Facebook Fan Page Ads: Optimized Bidding or Manual?

Over the past year and a half or so one of my main interests has been building Facebook fan pages. It all started with a WSO I bought and promoted called Fanpage Commissions. Since then, I have started quite a few very successful fan pages and made well over $10,000 from them. During that time I have learned quite a bit about both what works and what does not work when building and advertising a fan page. For instance, which type of bidding you should use when advertising your fan page or fan page content: Optimized bidding or “Advanced” (manual) bidding?

When you create an ad specifically for a fan page on Facebook you are given a few different options on what you would like to promote with that ad. You can get more page likes, promote page posts, or use advanced options to create your campaign.

Facebook fan page ad options

Get More Page Likes

The Get More Page Likes option simply allows you to create a Facebook ad specifically for your fan page. This add will include the Like button below it to encourage people who view the ad to Like your page.

Promote Page Posts

The Promote Page Posts option is similar to the Get More Page Likes option, but instead of you creating the advertisement that is being displayed it will show an advertisement with a recent post you have made on your fan page. This optional also includes a Like This Page link below the post content to help encourage users seeing the ad to Like your page as well.

Sponsored Stories

Both of these ad types and the Advanced Options allow you to also create Sponsored Stories to help increase your reach. Sponsored Stories allow you to create ads that “Help people discover your business through their friends. No increase in budget is required.” Basically, it will create stories on your fan’s friends new feeds about:

  • People liking your Page post
  • People commenting on your Page post
  • People sharing your Page post

The cool thing about Sponsored Stories is that the CTR and engagement is usually really high and it can drive a ton of targeted traffic to your posts without raising the price of your traffic. You may not get as many new Likes to your fan page, but you will get a lot of Comments, Shares, and Post Likes (likes specifically on the post, not the page).

So, now that you know about the different ad types and you have created your ad, what is the best bidding strategy?

Fan Page Ad Bidding

There are three different options you can choose from when deciding how you want to bid for traffic when setting up your Facebook Ads campaign for a fan page. The three options are:

  • Optimized CPM
  • CPC
  • CPM

The CPM and CPC are basic bidding models. You can bid a CPC (cost per click) or a CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). Facebook gives you suggested CPCs and CPMs if you choose these options, but you can bid whatever you want.

The Optimized CPM is the option that I use most and recommend. You do not get to choose what you bid with this option, but Facebook will automatically bid the best price for you to get the most engagement possible. You do not have any control over the price, but over time is it usually the best option.

With most Facebook ad campaigns you setup you should notice that over time if your CTR is good your CPM or CPC will drop. Well, the same is true for the Optimized CPM campaigns. I have noticed that it usually takes a little longer, but I have several campaigns that have been running for months and I’m only paying $0.03-0.05 CPM. Here is an example campaign I set up last week and theΒ fluctuationΒ on the CPM as time went on:

Day Spend Optimized CPM
1 $10 $6.08
2 $3 $0.84
3 $3 $1.26
4 $3 $0.56
5 $5 $0.80

With those 5 days worth of data you can see that my CPM started out really high. I knew that was going to happen, but I still made the mistake of leaving my daily budget at $10. I usually will start all my campaigns out at a $3 daily budget because this will be enough to give me some data on whether or not this campaign is going to be worthwhile. I like to run the campaigns over the course of a week or so to let the Optimized CPM drop and with a $3 daily budget you’re only going to spend $21 maximum. Well, with this campaign I started to see promising results so I went ahead and increased my budget on the 5th day. I will keep this one running as long as it’s producing new fans and engagement. I estimate that over the next week my Optimized CPM will drop to around $0.20 and then hopefully even more than that in the coming weeks.

Now, if you have been paying attention you may be wondering why I don’t just setup the exact same campaign and bid a CPM lower than what my Optimized CPM is. If all the Optimized CPM is doing is letting Facebook figure out where my best CPM is then why can’t I just setup this exact same campaign with a set CPM of $0.56? I have already seen my Optimized CPM drop to that rate so if I manually bid that I should see traffic right? Well, I decided to do just that so we could take a look.

Optimized CPM vs Manual CPM Bidding

I created the same ad from the table above using standard set CPM bidding. I set the max CPM at $0.77 and let it run for a day. On the second day (which is also day 2 from the table above), I saw the following results for the same exact ad for the two different bidding types:

Manual vs Optimized CPM Bidding

After just 1 day my manual CPM dropped from the maximum CPM I was bidding, $0.77, to just $0.05. My CTR was not great ($0.054%), but I did get 30 clicks for $3.00 and 9 Page Likes.

On the other hand, the Optimized CPM bidding campaign got 859 clicks (including Photo Views, Post Shares, Post Comments, etc) with a 24% CTR after just $3 spent. I also got 40 new Page Likes from this campaign.

It’s easy to see from these campaigns that Facebook favors the Optimized CPM bidding campaigns. I only got a 10th of the exposure (reach), but the people I did reach were much more engaged. Although my CPM is quite a bit more, it’s already dropping and will continue to drop. I may not reach the $0.05 CPM, but the increased engagement will more than make up for the higher CPM.

I recommend the next time you are creating a Facebook Ads campaign for your fan page that you split test this yourself. I think you will find similar results. I am going to stick to the Optimized CPM bidding because I have seen the amazing results it can give.

Million reached on FacebookFan pages on Facebook can be powerful tools to reach a very large targeted audience. Knowing how to build, maintain, and advertise pages can lead to a very profitable and long term business. I have several large pages (including the one from the screenshot on the left) that I am doing all those things on and the results have been very promising. Over the next month I plan to post more about fan pages and will be releasing my own product to show you exactly what I am doing. If you’re interested in being first in line to give it a try join my mailing list. Until then,Β let’s make some money!

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