Ad Set Cost & Budgeting

Overall Ad Set Cost

The cost of your advertising on Facebook depends on the size of your audience and your budget. This section will help you determine your budget for your ad set.

Yes, it costs money to run ads on Facebook, just as it does to run ads in your local newspaper. Advertisers are in control of how much they spend by setting a daily or lifetime budget.

When you run your ad you will only be charged for the number of impressions (CPM) or clicks it receives. The amount that you pay will never be more than your daily or lifetime budget and there are no additional fees associated with running ads on Facebook.

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The cost of your ads on Facebook is up to you. You can choose between a daily or a lifetime budget, as well as a cost per thousand impressions bid (CPM) or cost per click bid (CPC). You'll only pay for the clicks or impressions you receive, up to the amount you set for your budget, and can view the cost of your ads in real time from your ads manager.

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The type of bid you choose to use depends on your advertising objective. There are four different bid types:

  • Cost per mille (CPM): This bid type is best for getting people to view your ad
  • Cost per click (CPC): This bid type is best for getting people to click your ad
  • Optimized cost per mille (oCPM): This bid type is best for showing your ad to the people who are most likely to take action on your ad. For example, liking your Page or clicking a link
  • Cost per action (CPA): When available, this bid type is best for getting people to take action on your ad. For example, liking your Page or clicking a link

Watch this video to learn about these bid types:

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When you choose your bid, we recommend you follow these best practices:

  • Bid your true value: for every ad you run, you should think about your advertising objective and bid the maximum amount you're willing to pay for that objective. For example, if your advertising objective is Page likes, think about how much you would pay for a Page like.
  • When you set your bid, decide whether you want to maximize for profit or for growth

Keep in mind that the Facebook advertising system uses maximum bids. This means that if you bid $5 cost per click (CPC), for example, you'll be charged no more than $5. And, in most cases, you'll be charged less.

Watch this video to learn more about how to bid for your ad:

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Unless you choose See Advanced Options, you’ll pay for impressions (CPM) on your ad. This means you’ll pay every time someone sees your ad, instead of for clicks.

When you pay for impressions, your ad will be optimized to show to the people who are most likely to take the actions that will help you meet your objective within your target audience. Because of this, each impression your ad receives is likely to add value to your campaign.

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Setting Your Ad Set Budget

If you want to run your ad set continuously, choose a per day budget, but if you know how long your ad set is, choose a lifetime budget. If you choose a per day budget, we'll pace your spending per day while a lifetime budget will pace your spending over the lifetime of the ad set.

Understanding Ad Set Budgets

Your daily budget controls how much you'll spend on a specific ad set each day. Each ad set will have a separate budget, so keep this in mind if you have more than one active ad set in your account. Your ads will automatically stop showing once your daily budget for the ad set has been met for that day.

Keep in mind that you'll never accrue charges in excess of the budget you set. You can also set a lifetime budget, which lets you choose an amount to spend over the entire scheduled lifetime of the ad set.

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Your daily spend limit is the maximum amount that you’ll spend on advertising on Facebook in one day. This limit is different from your daily budget. You control your daily budget and will never be charged in excess of that budget each day.

Your daily spend limit is used to manage payments and will increase automatically as you successfully make payments at each previous limit. If your daily budget is less than your daily spend limit, you will never hit your daily spend limit. It’s a bit like a credit rating. As your credit improves, the spending limit on your credit card may increase, but you never need to spend more than you’re comfortable with.

For example, if you have set a daily budget of $25.00, and your daily spend limit is $50.00, you will only be charged for $25.00 day.

You can view your daily spend limit by visiting the billing section of your Ads Manager.

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Lifetime budgets are similar to a daily budget but instead of setting an amount to spend per day, you set a lifetime budget to spend across the lifetime of the ad set. Our system will automatically try to spread your spend out evenly across the entire period of time that you've selected. For example, if you specify a $100 USD budget for a 10-day ad set, you'll spend about $10 per day. If the ad set only spends $8 on the first day, the system will try to make up the missed amount at a later date within the ad set.

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The minimum daily budget for any ad set is $1.00 USD and must be at least 2 times your cost per click (CPC) bid. For example, if you have a $1.00 CPC, your daily budget must be at least $2.00.

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Yes. The advantage to lifetime budgeting is that we will try to more evenly pace your ad spend. If your daily spend limit is still lower than your lifetime budget amount, we will still cap you at your daily spend limit.

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Using Ad Set Budgets

You can select lifetime budgeting by:

  • Go to the ad create tool
  • Follow the first two steps to create the ad you want to run
  • In the Campaign and Ad Set step, select Lifetime Budget
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Yes, in order to use lifetime budgeting, you must have an end date. Having a start and end date helps our system pace your ad correctly so that your delivery and spend is spread out relatively evenly across the lifetime of your ad or ad set.

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Changing Ad Set Budgets

Yes, you can edit your ad set's end date after you've started your ad set.

If you change the end date of an ad set that has a lifetime budget, the remaining budget will automatically adjust to pace itself over the rest of the time you've specified. We recommend avoiding frequent changes to your ad set's end date as this can interfere with the system's ability to optimize on your behalf.

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To change your daily budget:

  1. Go to your ads manager.
  2. Find the ad set that you'd like to adjust the daily budget for and put your mouse over the Budget column in that row.
  3. Click on the pencil.
  4. Enter your new daily budget into the box that appears and click Save.
  5. Allow up to 15 minutes for your budget change to take effect.

The amount you've already spent that day will be included in your new budget. If you're lowering your daily budget and you've already spent more than your new budget at the time you change it, your ads will stop running until the next day.

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You can’t adjust your daily spend limit, but you can always change your daily budget, which is how you control how much you spend each day. Regardless of your daily spend limit, you will never be charged in excess of your daily budget each day.

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To change from a per day budget to a lifetime budget:

  1. Visit your ads manager and click on the name of the ad set
  2. Look for the Budget section at the top of the page and click
  3. Click the dropdown beneath your budget and change Per day to Lifetime budget
  4. Enter an end date to your ad set
  5. Review your selections and click Save

Changes should be effective within a few minutes. Your new budget will begin spending from zero. If you've already spent money on this campaign today, it won't be counted towards your new budget. For example, if you've already spent $10 on this campaign today, and you update your budget to $25, you may spend $35 on this ad set for that day.

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If you switch ads that are currently running from a daily budget to a lifetime budget or vice versa, your budget will be reset for the day and you'll still be charged for any costs you accrued prior to making the change.

For example, say you are currently running an ad with a $10 daily budget. You've already spent $5 today, but then decide you'd like to change to a lifetime budget of $100 over the next 5 days.

After you save this change, the system will "start over" with your budget for today and will attempt to spend an additional $20 (one-fifth of your new lifetime budget) before the end of the day.

This means that at the end of the day, you may be charged up to $25 ($5 for your old budget and $20 for your new budget).

Note: To avoid spending more than you wish each day, you may want to pause your ad at the end of one day and then restart it with a new budget type the following day.

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Once you set you ad set budget, you'll decide whether you want to pay per click or per impression.

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