Are Facebook ads worth it for your brand? Our experts say yes. We created this guide to help you learn more about costs, get benchmark data and insights to maximize return on ad spend (ROAS).
Here, you’ll find:
- Are Facebook ads really worth the investment?
- What’s a good ROAS for Facebook ad campaigns?
- How much do Facebook ads cost?
- 5 benefits of using Facebook ads for your brand
- Examples of successful Facebook ad campaigns
- 6 mistakes that compromise ROAS for Facebook ads
You have a brand to build and key performance indicators (KPIs) to reach. You can’t afford to waste marketing spend on a channel that doesn’t perform.
That’s why you need to know whether an advertising platform will likely pay off before you begin.
So, are Facebook ads a good idea for your business?
In this article, we’ll cover when and why advertising on Facebook is effective — including typical ROAS, average costs, and tips to optimize outcomes.
Are Facebook ads really worth the investment?
The short answer is yes.
“Facebook ads are 100% worth it when done right,” Rambod Yadegar, President of HawkSEM, explains. “Most successful digital marketing strategies include an omnichannel approach with PPC, SEO, and paid social.”
However, as with any digital marketing channel or tactic, the actual value depends on various factors.
Here are a few to consider:
- Does your target audience use Facebook? If your customers are less active on Facebook than on other social channels, you may be better off investing elsewhere.
- What’s your industry or niche? Facebook has dedicated tools for B2C and B2B. For example, B2C ecommerce can use product catalogs, while B2B can use lead forms.
- What’s your marketing budget? If you haven’t allocated enough for ads, you’ll struggle to get results or scale successful campaigns. See below for more on costs.
What’s a good ROAS for Facebook ad campaigns?
The most straightforward way to determine if Facebook ads are worth it for your brand is to look at the numbers. What kind of return can you reasonably expect to get when you advertise on this social media platform?
Start by looking at the average ROAS across all industries that advertise on Facebook. On average, a good ROAS for Facebook ads is in the range of 3:1 or 300%. In other words, a successful ad strategy should generate revenue that equals about 3x the amount spent.
Is Facebook advertising effective if your ROAS is a bit higher or lower? Depending on your industry, offer, and other factors, your ROAS may be closer to 2:1 or 4:1. These figures are still within what most advertisers would consider “good ROAS.”
Remember that Facebook advertising costs and returns don’t exist in a bubble. If you’re already getting a better return from advertising on TikTok, LinkedIn, Google, or other platforms, factor this data into your decision.
How much do Facebook ads cost?
Now you have a good idea of the return you can get from Facebook ads. But how much should you expect to spend to see results? Use these typical costs for Facebook ads to calculate the likely cost per result and overall ad spend for your brand.
Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
When you run brand awareness campaigns, you’ll generally prioritize views over conversions. In most cases, you’ll use a CPM pricing model to maximize distribution.
The average CPM for Facebook ads is $11.01 as of May 2023. Your industry, target audience, and ad quality may affect your CPM.
Cost per click (CPC)
When you run traffic campaigns that target the middle of the funnel, you’ll generally focus on clicks. Measuring CPC helps you assess how efficiently you’re driving consideration.
The average CPC for Facebook ads is $0.79 as of May 2023. Many factors can influence your CPC, including your ad format, copy, creative, and offer.
Cost per lead (CPL)
When you run conversion campaigns for the bottom of the funnel, you’ll generally target leads. Using a CPL pricing model enables you to optimize for the conversions that matter.
The average CPL for Facebook is $9.57 as of May 2023. So is Facebook advertising worth it for your business? Make sure you know how much value your leads typically generate.
5 benefits of using Facebook Ads for your brand
Are Facebook ads effective for the average brand? How can they boost your business beyond ROAS? Consider these benefits when deciding whether to invest in Facebook ads.
- Generate demand for your brand quickly
- Zero in on your ideal customer profile
- Run full-funnel ad campaigns
- Increase customer lifetime value
- Reach prospects on Facebook and Instagram
1. Generate demand for your brand quickly
Have you tried to grow your brand using only organic marketing tactics? While it isn’t impossible to achieve growth via organic social media marketing and influencer marketing, this approach can take months or years.
With Facebook ads, you can increase awareness, generate demand, and grow your brand much faster. By running ads, you can get your brand in front of ideal customers — even if they haven’t heard of it yet.
Remember that great Facebook ads do more than just broadcast information or try to make a quick sale. The most effective ads speak to the pain points, challenges, and goals of your target audience, which can cultivate trust and drive consideration.
2. Zero in on your ideal customer profile
Whether you know exactly which demographics you want to target or you need AI-driven suggestions, you can reach your ideal customers using Facebook ads.
Have a robust customer persona to draw on or first-party data to leverage? You can use interest-based targeting to reach prospects who tend to engage with brands, content, and products in your niche. You can also use your data to build more targeted segments.
But you don’t necessarily have to do the legwork to connect with your user base. Instead, Facebook Ads Manager makes it easy to build high-performing audiences automatically.
In fact, most new Facebook ad campaigns default to using Advantage+ Audience, which is Meta’s AI-driven technology. Advantage+ Audience can identify and target your specific audience automatically, based on signals from your brand and your ads.
You also have the option to guide Advantage+ Audience by providing a suggestion. Ads Manager prioritizes any suggestions you provide while still using AI-driven technology to expand your audience strategically.
3. Run full-funnel ad campaigns
Facebook ads can do much more than just create demand or generate conversions. Instead, they’re designed to drive results throughout the funnel. That means they can introduce your brand to new prospects, establish credibility, and get customers to purchase.
Does it sound overly expensive to run full-funnel campaigns? It doesn’t have to be.
With a smart strategy, you can keep prospects moving through your funnel steadily. By using remarketing tactics, you can focus your ad spend on prospects with intent rather than wasting your budget on those who are unlikely to convert.
When you run ads on Facebook, you get total control over the budget, the timing, and the campaign setup. As a result, you can create truly cost-effective ads and keep ROAS high.
4. Increase customer lifetime value
It’s easy to focus on converting a new customer and making that first sale. But if your business model is like most, you don’t want customers to buy from you once. Instead, you want them to make repeat purchases over a long period of time.
How effective is Facebook advertising for increasing customer lifetime value (LTV)? If you use retargeting, upselling, and cross-selling tools, it can be an incredibly effective channel.
Over time, you can use Facebook ads to reconnect with existing customers, inspire loyalty, and drive repeat purchases. As a result, you can increase your LTV and improve your return on investment (ROI).
5. Reach prospects on Facebook and Instagram
Is it worth it to advertise on Facebook, or should you focus on Instagram instead? One of the biggest perks of Facebook ads is that you don’t necessarily have to choose one platform.
When you create campaigns in Ads Manager, you can promote your business across Meta platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and the Audience Network. In fact, most new campaigns use Advantage+ Placements to deliver your ads across all Meta platforms automatically.
This increased reach can help you connect with potential customers in unexpected locations. It can also help you increase ROAS and run more cost-effective campaigns.
Examples of successful Facebook ad campaigns
Do Facebook ads work? And are Facebook ads worth it for small businesses or large enterprises? Take a look at real-life examples of successful Facebook ad campaigns.
62% ROAS increase for a luxury fragrance brand
When HawkSEM partnered with Apotheke Co., we aimed to help the luxury fragrance brand expand brand awareness, increase conversion rates, and improve ROAS. But there was a catch. We intended to meet those goals while also:
- Moving away from promo codes and always-on sales
- Decreasing overall social ad spend
The result? We decreased total ad spend by 30%, enabling Apotheke Co. to invest marketing and ad budget elsewhere. At the same time, we increased conversion rates by 25% and grew ROAS by 62% year over year.
50% AOV increase for an ecommerce retailer
In only a few years, ThriftBooks went from a small online retailer to a key player in the new and used book space. When HawkSEM partnered with ThriftBooks, the retailer aimed to continue scaling the business and expanding market share.
With these goals in mind, our team reworked ThriftBooks’ Facebook advertising strategy. We focused on improving two key metrics: ROAS and average order value (AOV). Through this partnership, HawkSEM helped ThriftBooks:
- Increase click-through rate (CTR) by 35%
- Implemented a new customer acquisition strategy that drive 50% higher AOV
6 mistakes that compromise ROAS for Facebook ads
Advertising on Facebook is a good choice for many businesses. But that doesn’t mean every campaign is successful. To maximize ROAS, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.
- Getting the target audience wrong
- Neglecting to test or iterate ad elements
- Not optimizing ad creatives
- Failing to optimize for mobile users
- Not leveraging data across channels
- Scaling ad campaigns too quickly
1. Getting the target audience wrong
It’s tempting to use Meta’s Advantage Audience tool to find potential customers automatically. But if you rely on this tool for every campaign, you’ll end up spending too much and missing opportunities to cultivate loyal customers.
Before you begin building Facebook ad campaigns at scale, make sure you know the available targeting options and when to use them.
Start with these:
- Custom audiences allow you to retarget prospects based on specific behaviors. For example, you can retarget Facebook users who watched your video ads or liked your page. You can also retarget people who visited a specific landing page.
- Lookalike audiences let you target people who are similar to specific custom audiences. For example, you can create a lookalike audience using your most valuable custom audience as a source. Then you can expand your targeting strategically.
- Retargeting audiences let you deliver ads to people who engaged with your product catalog. They work with dynamic product ads and can help you convert first-time customers or upsell and cross-sell to existing customers.
2. Neglecting to test or iterate ad elements
Planning to launch a Facebook ads campaign and let it run on autopilot? You’re probably not going to like the results you get. Like most marketing and advertising channels, Facebook requires a fair amount of testing and iteration.
That means you should incorporate time for testing and experimentation into your campaign timeline, especially at the beginning. If you’re new to A/B testing, rest assured that Ads Manager’s built-in tools can handle much of the work for you.
All you have to do is publish at least one version of an ad. Then you can either run an A/B test against another existing ad or duplicate the ad you just launched and test a specific change to the creative, audience, or placement.
When the test period ends, Ads Manager tells you which ad performed better, based on the metrics that matter most to you. Once you read the results, you can incorporate your findings into ads and continue to improve calls to action (CTAs), creatives, copy, and targeting.
How good is Facebook advertising for iteration? While Ads Manager has strong A/B testing tools, it’s not as useful for copy and creative iteration. If you’re serious about improving results, your best bet is to partner with an experienced Facebook consultant.
Dani Talbot, Social Media Specialist at Market Apartments, reports that the biggest mistake is “not testing enough. Sometimes people find ads that work well enough and don’t test more captions, graphics, CTAs, etc.”
“An ad that performs better can save companies money. It gets better click-through, brings down cost per click, and changes the quality of leads, hopefully leading to more sales.”
3. Not optimizing ad creatives
Audiences and placements can have a major impact on the success of your ads. But it’s just as important to optimize creatives and copy to ensure they resonate with your ideal customer.
After all, it doesn’t matter which audience you target or which ad placements you use if no one pays attention. Your creatives and copy have to stop the scroll.
“Basically, the way Facebook ads work right now, the only way you could ‘win’ a customer is through your creatives. If your creatives are engaging, and speak to your target audience, Facebook ads can be really profitable,” explains Kate Ross, PR & SEO Specialist at Irresistible Me.
“The most frequent mistake people make with Facebook ads is not testing enough creatives. Videos can be really powerful to your target audience, and testing a lot of them until you find the ones that work best could be the key to success with Facebook ads.”
4. Failing to optimize for mobile users
For advertisers, it’s becoming increasingly important to tailor experiences for mobile users. About 99% of people access social media from a mobile device. And about 78% of people use a mobile device exclusively.
How can you optimize for mobile users?
- Prioritize ads for mobile-first placements like reels and stories. Rather than reusing creatives designed for the feed, develop video and carousel ads for mobile dimensions.
- Optimize your landing page for mobile if you plan to drive website traffic. Responsive design, clear CTAs, and mobile-friendly checkouts are all essential.
- Make your ads as easy as possible to read, understand, and act on. Start by adding captions or text overlays to video ads and ensuring fonts are legible on small screens.
5. Not leveraging data across channels
When you want to grow your brand and skyrocket your results, don’t rely exclusively on Facebook. Instead, use data from other marketing and advertising channels to improve your Facebook campaigns.
Your Facebook pixel is just the beginning. At HawkSEM, we use ConversionIQ to track conversions and advertising data across Google Ads and other channels. Then we use that data to optimize Facebook ads and related landing pages.
6. Scaling ad campaigns too quickly
When your Facebook ad campaigns meet or exceed the goals you’ve set, you may be inspired to scale them to drive even more results. While scaling campaigns can certainly pay off, doing so too quickly can compromise the success you’ve achieved.
In fact, increasing ad set budgets by more than 20% every few days can cause your ads to reenter the learning phase. That can lead to volatile performance and suboptimal results.
Instead, plan to scale successful campaigns over time and monitor the results closely. With Ads Manager’s automated rules, you can set specific performance goals and gradually scale successful ads automatically.
When it comes to Facebook ads, is it worth it for your brand to invest? We’ve found that paid Facebook marketing can create incredible value for brands in almost every industry.
The catch? To maximize ROAS, you need an experienced Facebook ads consultant who can help you navigate your ad strategy, the Facebook algorithm, and campaign optimization.
Whether you’re just getting started with Facebook ads or you want to improve your results, we’re here to help. Contact HawkSEM for a free Facebook ads consultation.