Facebook ads are more efficient on mobile

By October 02, 2012
man with mobile and bills flying around him

Facebook is slowly introducing ads into its mobile platform, which incorporates the content more seamlessly than on its full website. This has led to better performance for click-throughs and cost for brands who want to incorporate social ads into their strategy.

Mobile ads only appeared on Facebook in June, and the click-through-rate (CTR) has been performing well in relation to Facebook desktop ads. A study by Facebook Ad campaign manager AdParlor showed that mobile ads had 15 times the CTR of desktop ads, when using the “page like sponsored story” - the post that is created when a member likes a fan page. Other data further illuminates how mobile ads on the social network compare to the different campaigns that brands can utilize. Posts behave differently on mobile compared to the full site, so AdParlor used the page like sponsored stories as a kind of control category to analyze the efficacy of sponsored stories.

An ad channel with higher CTR and lower CPC

The State of Facebook Mobile Advertising report (PDF) gets more specific on the mobile vs. desktop ad performance - the average CTR for the former is 1.32 percent, the latter CTR is 0.086 percent. This higher rate may be due to the “targeted nature and organic in-stream placement” of mobile ads - users more often see the ads as content, rather than disruptive marketing posts. They look more like content that their friends like and share, and it keeps the user experience intact. The cost-per-click (CPC) is also favorable for mobile - averaging 42 cents each to 60 cents each for non-mobile ads.

A limited supply of mobile ad availability for now

But there are still limitations to the efficacy of mobile Facebook ad campaigns. There is less volume available, so a blend of both types of ads is still a more effective strategy that going mobile-only. This may be due to Facebook’s own implementation - according to TechCrunch, they are “cautiously ramping up the number of ads in the mobile feed to keep the user experience healthy.” This internal limit may cause a shortage initially, but it may lessen the audience loss in the long run - a smoother transition to ads in the mobile news feed may turn away fewer users, and keep the channel’s superior ROI statistics.

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