There are three bidding options within Facebook, and multiple options within each of those, so how do you decide which one to use? This is a question I deal with on a weekly basis. 

The truth is, everyone has a different bidding method, but some targeting types perform better with CPC while others really have big wins with oCPM. Below is a quick breakdown of when each method should be used.


oCPM for Website Conversions

Before you launch with this method, you need to have a conversion pixel placed on your website. Assuming you have that in place, this is a great bidding method for larger audiences. Facebook will always recommend oCPM for any sort of direct response campaign, and it’s true that it can really be a strong performer, but we often see struggle to hit spend thresholds since Facebook needs to have close to 25 conversions a day in order for this bid type to work. 

If you are only bringing in a few conversions per day, you might want to switch over to CPC bidding. oCPM also uses a smaller portion of the audience size, so I recommend launching with oCPM only when your audience is more than 800k strong. 

oCPM for Reach

This bidding strategy should only be used when you want to target everyone in the audience. I have used this audience on rare occasions when we know that the audience is very highly targeted and we are willing to pay a higher CPC because we expect conversion rates to be high.

CPC Bidding

CPC bidding should be used when audiences are small. It allows you to scale and still control how much you are paying per click. I also use CPC bidding when the CPA goal is higher than $200. (The higher the CPA goal, generally the lower the conversion rate.) When conversion rates are low, CPCs can really drive up your CPA. I also use CPC bidding for retargeting and any custom audiences that I upload that are under 800k in size.

Do you have any favorite bidding tips? Leave a comment!

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Molly McCarty
Molly joined 3Q Digital in April of 2013 after working as a marketing and social strategist for a web development firm in Washington DC. Molly has experience with online advertising for members of Congress, as well as small businesses. She graduated from St Olaf College in Northfield, MN, in May of 2012 with degrees in Political Science and Social Studies Education. When she is not working, you can find Molly walking her dog or trying out new restaurants.