Facebook Ad Industry Benchmarks: Where You Need to Be

DISCLAIMER: It’s about to get technical up in here.

Whether you’re managing paid social in-house or through an agency, industry benchmarks are likely on your radar when analyzing your media performance. The beauty of Facebook advertising is its ability to not only target specific audiences based on their interests, behaviors, demographics and website actions (slightly creepy), but the various optimization goals available to advertisers as well. With so many variables available for your paid social strategy, it can get a little difficult to measure your success against other competitors in the advertising space.

One of your competitors may have a larger emphasis on secondary services due to the already-high demand of their more elite services on other platforms/outlets. Their KPIs will naturally look differently than yours and may not be a fair comparison. Luckily, marketing researchers have gathered average benchmarks for eighteen different industries for us!

From Education, Travel & Hospitality, to Retail and Technology – if you find yourself in one of these eighteen industries surveyed, keep scrolling to see how you stack up against the competition.

Average click-through rate

The average CTR for all industries is about 0.90%, with Legal and Retail pulling in the top two averages and Employment & Job Training and Finance & Insurance coming in at the lowest. Maybe people in legal trouble need a little retail therapy.

These CTR’s are looking at ALL clicks (link clicks, lead fills, app downloads and all media engagements such as post reactions, shares, comments and clicks to expand post/picture).

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

Average cost per click (all)

The average CPC for all industries is $1.72, with Customer Service and Finance & Insurance coming in with the most expensive CPC. Apparel and Travel & Hospitality average the lowest CPC across all industries at under $1.00. Is this a sign to go buy some new clothes and take a trip? Looks like it’s written in the stars…oops, I mean bars.

As with the CTR, the averaged CPCs are looking at ALL clicks (link clicks, lead fills, app downloads etc.)

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

Average conversion rate

The average conversion rate for all industries is 9.21%, with Fitness and Education holding the top spot and Industrial Services and Technology coming in with the lowest. Clearly, Education is out-smarting most industries while Fitness is flexin’ on all the rest.

These conversions are measured based on goals that the advertisers set like sales, providing contact info, submitting a form or placing a call.

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

Average cost per action

The average CPA for all industries is $18.68, with Technology and Home Improvement pulling in the highest cost per action – and once again Fitness and Education averaging the lowest. If only the cost of education was a low as its CPA on Facebook ads.

These CPAs are based on the action metric defined within Facebook, which is typically conversions, but also includes engagements such as lead submissions and app downloads.

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

How do you stack up against the competition?

All jokes aside, whether you’re the lowest on the benchmark totem poll or top dog, there are several ways to help maintain or improve your paid social performance. One way is making sure you’re utilizing the right reporting metrics to help optimize your campaigns based on the data you’re seeing. In fact, Facebook has recently made some additions to their metrics that can help advertisers track the metrics listed in this blog.

Throughout March and April, Facebook will be slowly rolling out these new updates. By the end of April 30th, Facebook will be removing its ‘Ad Relevance Score’ and replacing it with three new relevancy metrics: Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking and Conversion Rate Ranking. The three rankings will be measured base on the following information:

  • Quality Ranking: this will measure an ad’s perceived quality/expected engagement rate compared to other ads competing for the same target audience.
  • Engagement Ranking: this will measure an ad’s expectant engagement rate compared to other ads promoting to the same target audience.
  • Conversion Rate Ranking: this will measure an ad’s expected conversion rates compared to ads with the same optimization goals and target audience.

Lucky for us advertisers we now have several resources to report back on for our bosses or clients. This allows us to make campaign decisions that are backed by real data. By using these benchmarks and data-driven results to guide strategy, we’re in perfect shape to create a lean, mean, paid-social machine.





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