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Marketers voted Facebook as the advertising platform with the best ROI in 2023.
However, getting a decent ROI from your Facebook Ads efforts is getting harder and harder each year, with the costs constantly going up.
Unfortunately, businesses don’t have an infinite cash flow and can afford to pour money down the Facebook drain for longer periods, without seeing any substantial returns.
So, the question arises – what’s the best way to manage your Facebook Ads budget in 2024?
In this report, we’ll cover how a Facebook Ads budget works, which factors determine the cost of your ads, and what to consider before increasing your budget. Plus, we compiled some great insights from the dozens of industry experts who contributed to this topic.
Let’s get started.
A Facebook Ads budget simply refers to the amount of money you plan to spend on your Facebook advertising campaigns.
There are two main types of budgets you can set – a daily budget and a lifetime budget.
The daily budget is the average amount you’re willing to spend on a campaign each day. Facebook will average the spending throughout the campaign, meaning that on some days you might spend slightly more or less, but over time, it averages out.
On the other hand, a lifetime budget is the total amount you’re willing to spend over the lifetime of the campaign. You set a start and end date, and Facebook will manage your spending over this period to evenly distribute your budget.
The budget you set will affect the number of people you can reach with Facebook Ads.
Naturally, a higher budget will lead to more eyeballs on your ads, but it’s important to balance this with proper targeting and a clear objective to ensure a good return on your investment.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how big of a budget you should allocate for Facebook Ads.
You need to consider several factors – your campaign objective, target audience, level of competition, industry, bidding strategy, geographical location, and more.
As a general guideline, it’s often recommended to start with a smaller budget to test your ads and then scale up based on performance.
For small to medium-sized businesses, a starting budget might range from $1,000 to $5,000 per month. However, this can vary widely based on the factors above.
That said, we also prepared some concrete numbers directly from our Facebook Ads Benchmarks for All Companies group, where we have 2812 contributors.
We found that the median value for Amount Spent across all industries in November 2023 was $1,592.31.
At the same time, the median value for CPC across all industries in November 2023 was $0.54.
And finally, the median value for Purchases across all industries in November 2023 was 47.
Want to see how your business compares to similar-sized companies in other crucial Facebook Ads metrics as well? You can join our Facebook Ads Benchmarks for All Companies group for free and start benchmarking instantly. All you need to do is connect your data (100% anonymous) and join the specific groups you’re most interested in.
When it comes to advertising on Facebook, there are several factors that directly or indirectly influence the cost of your ads.
So below, we’ve compiled a list of things to bear in mind to ensure your costs stay low:
The way your target audience reacts when they see your ad is one of the first things that impact the cost of your ad.
If they engage with your ad by liking, commenting, or sharing, that is a good indicator that your ad is relevant and useful to them.
Facebook prioritizes a positive user experience, and because of that, it will reward your ad with lower costs.
On the flip side, if more people click on “I don’t want to see this ad” for whatever reason or simply ignore it continuously, you’ll be charged higher for this ad.
Not all ad placements are necessarily equal. That’s why showing your ads in certain places might cost more than in others.
Some of the places where your ad can be shown include Facebook and Instagram feeds, Instagram stories, Facebook Messenger, Facebook stories, in-stream videos, and so on.
But these different ad placements offer varying levels of visibility (and potential engagement).
For example, ads placed in the news feed are typically more visible and have higher engagement rates compared to those in the sidebar.
Higher visibility often translates to higher costs, as these placements are more desirable for all of the businesses competing in that same industry, for the same audience.
As a general rule of thumb, ads in the main Facebook news feed and Instagram stories usually cost more.
Facebook operates on an auction-based system for advertising.
When multiple advertisers are trying to reach the same audience, the competition increases, which leads to higher costs.
For example, if your target audience is a highly sought-after demographic (like high-income professionals in urban areas), you’ll likely face more competition and therefore higher ad costs.
Another thing that can impact the cost is the size and specificity of your target audience.
A very broad audience might be less expensive to reach on a per-person basis but may not bring you results, which again leads to a higher overall cost. Conversely, a very specific audience might be more expensive to reach, but could result in better engagement and ROI.
Depending on what time of the year you choose to run your ad campaign, it might cost you more due to an increase in the number of advertisers (competitors) targeting the same audience.
During certain times of the year, especially around holidays and significant shopping events (like Black Friday, Christmas, or back-to-school season), there’s a spike in the number of businesses wanting to advertise.
This increased competition for ad space drives up the prices.
Generally, objectives are grouped into three large categories on Facebook – awareness, consideration, and conversion.
And Facebook’s ad delivery system is designed to achieve your chosen objective at the lowest possible cost.
For example, if your objective is to increase website visits, Facebook will show your ad to users most likely to click on your ad based on historical data. Different objectives have different levels of competition and costs associated with them.
Some objectives, like conversions, might target users who are more likely to make a purchase, which is a more competitive segment, potentially increasing the cost.
In contrast, objectives like brand awareness might target a broader audience, possibly lowering the cost.
To monitor the performance of your pay-per-click campaigns, you probably have to log into multiple tools and spend hours compiling a comprehensive report. But, with Databox, PPC reporting doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore anymore. Now you can instantly review all of your paid campaigns in a single dashboard that monitors fundamental metrics, such as:
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To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
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Step 2: Connect your Facebook Ads & Google Ads accounts with Databox.
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Before we tackle whether you should put more money into your ads, let’s see how effective Facebook Ads even are at getting sales.
Of the marketers we surveyed, 92% of them said that Facebook ads are at least somewhat effective at generating sales.
54% said they’re “very effective,” and only 8% said that Facebook Ads are “not effective” in generating downstream impact.
That said, when is the right time to start increasing your Facebook Ad budget?
Is it when you’re starting to see results and want to scale or when you’re not seeing results and think it needs to get in front of more people?
Well, there are a lot of ‘ifs’ involved here.
Here are the 9 main factors you need to consider before increasing your Facebook Ad spend:
Selling high-ticket or B2B products? Then you need a sales team to help close the leads you’re generating from Facebook.
With a skilled team, you can easily boost your conversion rate and afford to spend more on acquiring customers. This is especially important nowadays when we’re seeing advertising costs go up each year.
Even Keri Lindenmuth from KDG says that “your ads can be the most engaging and memorable ads on social media – but if you don’t have a sales team that’s able to listen to customers and their needs, you won’t make as many sales as you hoped.”
“Ads are a great way to grow engagement but don’t forget about ensuring your sales team meets the same high quality. Of course, this applies primarily to B2B companies and B2Cs with high-price items. But the point stands for other products, too.
You can grab people’s attention with a Facebook ad, but the products (and people) still need to sell. Our research suggests that many companies don’t expect direct sales from Facebook, but rather leads that the sales team can turn into sales.”
PRO TIP: You’re getting good leads from Facebook but not sure how effective your sales team is? Download our free HubSpot Sales Activity Dashboard and track each of your individual sales reps and see how they compare in meetings, close rates, phone calls, meetings, and all other relevant sales metrics.
How big is your target audience?
The audience size directly influences the reach and effectiveness of your advertising efforts.
A larger one provides a greater pool of potential customers, but it also means you need to be more strategic in targeting to make sure the right people see your ads.
Conversely, a smaller, more niche audience can lead to higher conversion rates… but it’s harder to scale.
In many cases, the priority will be on striking a balance between reaching a broader audience and maintaining the relevance that drives engagement.
Also, you’ll consider the saturation of your current audience.
If you’ve been advertising to the same group for a while, they might experience ad fatigue, which often leads to diminishing returns.
Here’s what Blake Aylott from Common Thread Collective has to say on audience size:
“If your product has a large audience then you can afford to scale your ads and put a massive amount of money into your ads. However, if your audience is niche then you cannot scale your Facebook ads because you will run through your audience quickly.”
James Pollard from The Advisor Coach gave an example from his own business: “Facebook is often very good at spending your money efficiently. You may max out your budget and only reach 90% of your target market.”
“However, you’ll typically spend much more trying to reach that last 10%. If your typical Facebook CPC is $2 or $3, it wouldn’t surprise me if you spent more than $5 per click to reach that last part of your audience. Because I help financial advisors—who usually have a small target market—I see this problem all the time.”
Rushing into budget adjustments without properly assessing your current campaigns can easily lead to your team pouring money down the drain.
Facebook Ads often require a period of optimization before showing their full potential.
This period allows the platform’s algorithms to learn from user interactions, adjust the ad delivery, and find the best audience match. Abrupt changes in the budget can disrupt this learning phase, potentially resetting the optimization process.
The time needed for ads to stabilize varies, but a general rule is to allow at least a few days to a week for the algorithms to gather enough data.
Etched Marketing‘s Rachel Lindteigen emphasizes that “people get in trouble when they try to increase too much too quickly.”
“Facebook Ads can scale well when the increases are done strategically. It’s best to test and scale slowly, increase your budget by 25% at most, allow a few days for results to come in, and then scale again if desired. Increasing too quickly can cause the ads not to scale because the algorithm needed more time to learn about the ad’s performance.”
Josh Krakauer of Sculpt advises users with smaller budgets to “limit testing too many elements at once.”
“The number of attributes you can test is relative to your total budget. Facebook Ads perform best when there’s enough budget for your ad to learn and optimize. If time allows, consider optimizing for your top-performing offer/angle, audience, and ad creative format in that order. If you try to test them all simultaneously you may struggle to learn what’s working and apply it to future campaigns.”
BEE Inbound‘s Lanny Heiz says “you need to be patient because the ROI of the curve is a clear ‘S’ in our experience.”
“Due to the decreasing marginal returns, scaling is limited, and the marginal gains will flatten out above a certain point. To kickstart the Facebook advertising algorithm, a learning period is needed. The more money is spent, the more data can be gathered; thus more learning can be taken. In the beginning, the curve of scalability grows linearly/exponentially and only later flattens out.”
PRO TIP: Yes, you need to give Facebook’s algorithm enough time to optimize its targeting for your specific audience – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t track it at all. With our Facebook Ads Campaign Performance Overview Dashboard, you can track changes as they occur in real-time and immediately pinpoint the areas that need to be fixed. All you have to do is connect your data source, pick the metrics you want to track, and then visualize them in just a few clicks.
Targeting the wrong audience not only wastes your ad budget but also fails to generate meaningful results.
We recommend you start by analyzing your existing customer data.
Identify common characteristics of your current customer base. This could include age range, geographical locations, purchasing behaviors, and interests.
Then, use this data to build a profile of your ideal customer, which will guide your targeting criteria.
Facebook’s ad platform offers some of the most robust targeting options in the industry and you should use these options to narrow down your audience to those who fit your ideal customer profile.
Lookalike audiences are another powerful tool in Facebook’s advertising arsenal.
By creating a lookalike audience, you can target users who are similar to your existing customers. This is based on Facebook’s algorithm and can be an effective way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business.
However, Adam Riemer of Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC reminds us that hyper-targeting “does not mean just selecting demographics.” Reimer says, “It means combining in interests and using the must include, must not include, and other items for job titles, interests, and affinities.”
And who you leave out is just as important as who you bring in, says Kevin Fabisiak of Big Sea. “You can also exclude users you know fall outside of your target audience so you don’t waste money on valueless clicks and impressions.”
Zach Hendrix from GreenPal shared a great story about how his company used good targeting to help them scale their Facebook ads:
“In a recent campaign we ran in Nashville, TN, we ran a pay-per-click FB campaign with one ad targeting the entire metro Nashville area. The headline read ‘Local Lawn Pros in Nashville are a click away.’”
“And I thought the performance of the ad was good with a click-through rate of over one percent and conversion rate of over 10 percent on the Nashville landing page but we needed to improve on it. We thought, how can we make this more contextual and relevant to the viewer? [So] we researched census data, looking at the average income and home values throughout the Nashville area.”
“We found that East Nashville, an up-and-coming neighborhood, was populated with more working class, and a creative class demographic and we hypothesized this customer segment would be price sensitive but still not want to cut their own lawns.”
“So we segmented those zip codes and only ran a specific ad for them, with a headline ‘The Cheapest Lawn Mowing in Nashville. Lawn mowing from $20.’”
“We then created a matching landing page. After running the ad for one month, on-page analytics proved the guess to be true. We saw over 200 percent lift in click-through rate and 30 percent lift in on-page conversion.”
“Studying the data your own business generates can tell you which of your online marketing campaigns works best. Do the ads appeal to your target market or another market altogether? The data may also point to completely new areas of customer interest.”
Here’s another pivotal factor – the quality of your ad content.
High-quality content is what captures your audience’s attention, communicates your message effectively, and drives the desired action – whether it’s a website visit, a product purchase, or a newsletter sign-up.
First, make sure your visuals are on par (whether it’s images, videos, or graphics). They need to be eye-catching to stand out in a crowded news feed.
The copy of your ad is equally important. It should be compelling, clear, and concise, with a tone that resonates with your target readers. Avoid jargon or complex language that might confuse them.
Tate Olson of The Influencer Academy suggests making the right content for the purpose of small-budget stretching and breaking the ice with audiences:
“The best method I have tested to stretch a small budget is to make short, one-minute videos that relate who you are and why you do what you do. After that, retarget them with another ad that explains your product/service more. It will always be cheaper to run ads to people who are familiar with you, and it also increases conversions.”
Ian Revling of Evolve Digital Labs says that “it’s primarily the quality of your content and the specificity of brand’s messaging that sets the leading organizations apart when speaking about ROI.”
“Don’t deliver product catalog-based websites or bland images of your product to consumers, there’s too much content on social to compete with user’s family and friends. Successful and profitable social media campaigns deliver potential consumers their products in real-life situations that they can empathize and interact with.”
PRO TIP: One good way to assess how effective your copy and visuals are is to first test them organically through your Facebook page. Then, you can use similar creative for your ads once you have a pattern that’s a proven winner. To make sure you track this data properly, you can download our free Facebook Pages and Facebook Ads Engagement Dashboard. With this dashboard, you’ll be able to track all relevant engagement metrics for your content and see whether it’s truly high-quality.
Look at your overall marketing budget and determine how much of it can be allocated to Facebook Ads.
You need to know how big of a role Facebook Ads plays in your strategy – is it the key driver of leads and sales? If so, you can justify a larger budget.
Also, consider the historical performance of your ads.
Analyzing data from previous campaigns can provide insights into what budget has worked well in the past. Look at metrics such as cost per click (CPC), cost per acquisition (CPA), and the overall ROI you had.
And notably, be realistic about what you can afford. Don’t fall into the temptation to overspend and then bite your nails hoping for a quick return.
The majority of experts we approached pointed to retargeting as the best way to drive conversion rates with a small budget.
Andrew Hubbard of Hubbard Digital Pty. Ltd says that retargeting helps advertisers connect with “your website visitors, people who are engaging with you on Facebook and Instagram, your email list, and people watching your videos on Facebook.”
“It also means retargeting people who visit your product pages and checkout pages but haven’t purchased yet with relevant, timely ads. This is the lowest cost, highest ROI advertising you can do.”
On the other hand, we have Lightning AI which has managed significant Facebook ad budgets, says Colette Nataf.
“By aggregating our data, we’ve found that at very low volumes, Facebook scales easily, but we see exponential increases in cost per conversion starting at spends approaching $5,000 per week. This means that for advertisers who are starting, Facebook is a really effective channel in terms of costs.
“But once advertisers are scaling up to more than $20,000 per month in ad spend, even though the CPMs or CPCs may stay in the same range, the cost per conversion increases steadily. We’ve found this is true regardless of the advertiser’s industry and the product that they sell. For advertisers who are looking to scale up on Facebook without seeing an increased cost per conversion, there are three options.
First, test new ads and creatives all the time. Second, test and optimize your funnel—everything from your landing page to your add-to-cart payment portal. The third option is to find and create new audiences. We’ve found that rapidly creating and testing new audiences allows advertisers to increase scale with new types of audiences, which can help to stabilize the overall cost per conversion in the account.”
Start by analyzing the metrics of your existing Facebook Ads.
Conversion rates, the quality of leads generated, the ROI of these ads… these are all things you should be looking at. Are they meeting the set objectives?
If your Facebook Ads are underperforming, you need to find the reason before increasing the budget.
Next, consider the performance of your other marketing channels. How are your efforts on platforms like Google Ads, email marketing, or organic social media performing in comparison to Facebook?
It might turn out that other channels are giving you better results and deserve more investment rather than Facebook.
Many marketers we talked to pointed out that spending more on Facebook ads can be very effective—if your targeting, messaging, copy, creative, and other factors are working well.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Andrzej Muzaj from CrazyCall says that “increasing the budget on Facebook ads will effectively boost the sales only when three conditions are met:
If you’ve hit the roof, it’s time to look for ways to broaden your audience. And if you’ve spammed your target audience to the death, your sales will rather drop than go up.”
PRO TIP: Want to simultaneously monitor your other social media performances, alongside Facebook? For this, you can use our free Social Networks Overview Dashboard. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or any other platform, you can combine your most important metrics in one place and see how they change in real-time.
A sales funnel consists of three different stages – awareness, consideration, and conversion. Your ads should be tailored to speak to potential customers at each of these stages.
At the awareness stage, your ads should focus on introducing your brand to a new audience. These ads are designed to capture the attention of people who might not know about your business.
Moving into the consideration stage, your ads should start to nurture the leads that showed interest during the awareness phase. Here, the focus shifts to more detailed information about your products. This can include customer testimonials, product demos, or educational content that addresses potential questions.
Finally, at the conversion stage, your ads should be more direct and action-oriented.
You need to encourage the audience to make a purchase or take a specific action, like signing up for a webinar, downloading a guide, or taking advantage of a limited-time offer.
Intuitive‘s Rachel Bills warns that “if you haven’t taken the time to create a strong foundation of targeted audiences, dynamic ad copy/creative and precise ad placement, then no, you won’t generate more leads by simply throwing more money at your campaign.”
“However, when you’ve taken the time to build audiences for the different parts of your conversion funnel and curate a narrative with your ads that solve a user’s problem, then Facebook scales swimmingly.”
Lastly, it all comes down to what works for your specific business.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Facebook advertising that all businesses can use, so you’ll need to go through quite a bit of testing to find the right strategy for your offers.
“For example, florists may have a Facebook campaign that scales around Mother’s Day, but on a random weekday in October will be unable to use Facebook as a channel at all,” says agency marketer Josh Meah.
One way you can start is by analyzing your past ad campaigns and trying to identify patterns in the successful ads.
Was it a particular type of content, a certain tone of voice, or specific targeting criteria that made them effective?
Another thing you can do is to spread your efforts strategically.
Paul Romancsak of Flipsnack explained how this works:
“We make the most out of our Facebook Ads budget by diversifying the campaign types we run on the platform. We create both acquisition and retargeting campaigns. For acquisition, we use lookalike audiences and intersections of custom audiences.
Our ads are mainly in-feed ads for Facebook or in-feed videos and stories for Instagram. Our Facebook Ads strategy is equally oriented for brand awareness and website conversions expressed in sign-ups and purchases.”
To adjust your Facebook Ads budget, you can follow these steps:
Keep in mind that budget updates take around 15 minutes to become effective.
Also, if you pause an ad set or campaign for budget adjustment, consider waiting 15 minutes before unpausing, especially for bigger budget reductions.
And since bid changes are instant but budget changes are not, it’s advisable to wait 15 minutes after adjusting your budget before altering your bid.
Facebook Ads is still one of the most powerful advertising platforms for marketers – but it’s not a magic tool.
If you’re flushing money without a clear budget, strategy, and sub-par creative, you can’t expect to see much of a return on your investment.
And even when you set up all of these things, you still need to keep track of your analytics reports to make sure all your metrics and KPIs are on point.
But that’s when another issue arises… the reports you’ll find directly in the Meta Manager simply aren’t intuitive. It’s easy to get confused and it takes time to manually get all the data together, even if you’ve been using it for years.
So, why not simplify the process with Databox Dashboards?
Instead of relying on confusing, manually-scraped dashboards, you can build your own Facebook Ads dashboards in just a few minutes and connect all of the most relevant metrics you need to follow.
This way, you get an all-in-one view of your performance and can track changes as they happen in real-time.
And when it’s time to present your findings to C-level executives and shareholders, you can use Databox Reports to quickly and easily convey your performance data through professional reports (also built in a matter of minutes).
One more thing you’ll get with a free Databox account – access to Benchmark Groups.
With Benchmark Groups, you get an instant overview of how similar-sized competitors in your niche are performing on Facebook Ads and see how you compare.
If you’re ready to start managing your Facebook Ads more efficiently with Databox, you can sign up for a free trial and test it first-hand.
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