Bring down your Facebook Advertising cost – sidebar ads vs newsfeed ads case-study

We watch our facebook ads like hawks so we can always bring down our FB advertising cost.

In this video you’ll see an interesting insight – something that frustrates a lot of people who start with facebook marketing:

you try and try and try and NOTHING gives you results (and believe you me, we’ve been there, done that…)

So, if you’re doing facebook for business, make sure you ‘get’ this:

What’s your experience with Facebook advertising so far?

Leave a comment below!


PS: update, at the time of this writing, the ad-spend is $22.45 and the earnings are $97.69 – that’s after killing all sidebar ads

PPS: care to guess WHY this ad works so well? Hint: it’s NOT because it’s a clever ad …. What’s your guess?



  1. Great post Veit. Thanks for sharing. So all that messing around with red borders stuff is a red herring LOL 🙂

    • haha Quentin … of course I forgot to put a red border around my sidebar ads, THAT’s why they didn’t outpull the newsfeed ad!

      (or so the sellers of various FB mass-design tools will surely tell you;-)


  2. wai kei says:

    So one successful newsfeed Ad.

    But I think that real testing, as you have taught, needs to have results that can be replicated,
    before making a definite conclusion.

    What do you think, Veit?

    • Hey Wai Kei,

      thanks for reminding me, I should’ve pointed that out:

      yes, of course this is part of the ‘bigger picture’ – we see this trend in pretty much all our FB ads!

      ok, this may be an ‘extreme’ example as the side-bar ads got 0 clicks (normally, we’re getting a CTR of around 0.2%-0.3% for side-bar ads) – *generally* speaking, a well performing Newsfeed ad gets a CTR of around 5%-10% (as the one does in this case-study)

      here’s the thing:

      ****The cost per click isn’t that much more for newsfeed ads than it is for sidebar ads****
      (and if you can’t live with the cost of the newsfeed ads, then you’re much better off looking at your sales-funnel and specifically the (hopefully self-liquidating) offer you’re making to get people into that funnel!

      Remember: those who can pay the most for market-attention will dominate their market!

      And attention is what you’re getting with NF ads!

      So, your choice: 0.2%-0.3% (aka: very little traffic) … or: a good, solid 5% CTR (aka: lots of clicks) at a fractionally higher cost?

      For the same amount of work!

      What I mean: the same amount of work for setting up ONE ad.

      Here’s why that’s important:

      as you know, there’s Facebook ‘ad-fatigue’ … meaning: after a while your ads stop working, and you have to create new ones.

      So, if you wanted to attract the same amount of traffic from the same target audience with side-bar ads, you’d have to set up a shed-load of ads just to get anywhere near the traffic levels you’re getting with NF ads!

      So, the cost of labour quickly comes into the whole equation too!

      Conclusion: this is ONE case-study that highlights the overall trend we observe with all of our testing – like you say: you’ve known me for a while, so you know how much I hate those who take a ‘one-point-sample-success’ and then wrap it up as a course and sell it

      this is stuff you can take and use in your every-day advertising!


      PS: where is see value in 2 use-cases where it’s worth continuing with side-bar ads:

      1) branding. Just have your face or brand all over the place all the time. Design them in such a way that you don’t even want clicks;-)

      2) when you’re advertising stuff that doesn’t add any value … like all those spammy dating or porn sites. If they tried interrupting people’s newsfeeds with NF ads, they’d get a lot of negative comments.

      But, as long as you’re doing stuff that adds value, NF ads are the way to go. In my opinion, and my TESTING of course;-)

      PPS: on the subject of TESTING: (just to be FTC compliant and have a lil’ “kids, don’t do this at home” warning;-)

      it is *counter-productive* to look for a “general” rule that applies to ALL advertising or marketing, Facebook or otherwise.

      The #1 rule is this:

      every market is different.

      Every market has different decision making & buying behaviours.

      So, you always want to figure out what specific ads work ‘best’ for your particular market.

      Having said that:

      if you quickly want to test a new market you’re not familiar with, go with NF ads!


      simple: if you get no, or a negative response, you know your offer stinks.

      When you get 3%+, you know you’re onto something!

      If you get no response to a side-bar ad, you have NO idea if it sucks or not. Because 0-0.3% CTR is the norm.

      Which I guess brings us back to: use NF-ads;-)

      • sebastian says:

        Can you show your news feed ad and how you set up the audience targeting?

        • Hey Sebastian,

          lol, no, not in this case. It’s hot off the press and this thing is churning out money on autopilot, so for the time being, I have to decline;-)


  3. Harold Glascock says:

    Guten Tag Herr Schenk:

    Danke for your screencap FB video!

    Aber, wonder if you could kindly comment on how/whether to use custom audience capability?
    When I tried it my subject matter focus was laser targeted but my CPC was over USD 2 so I
    stopped it.
    Next I tried selecting general interests. This works fairly well reducing my CPC considerably
    + garnering many more conversions. My question is: is this the right way to go or would it
    be better to leave out interests and so on completely by just entering age range and gender?
    I’m promoting a physical product.
    Last Q: When someone clicks on the ad they are taken directly to a buying page on the site
    and not to the FB Fan Page. (Is it correct that CPC is much cheaper than driving traffic off FB)?
    Do we need to bite the bullet and set up a landing page?
    The reason I ask is we are selling a product and so we don’t care about those who don’t pull the buying trigger.

    Of course I know that we could be using Perfect Audience to re-target but I hate ads following
    me around online. Currently I am hounded by hostgator ads even though I’m already a hostgator
    Returning to the previous paragraph, we could set up a landing page to collect names/addresses
    but then we would have to send newsletters and so to build a relationship with prospects. I don’t
    exactly see how this makes sense for a physical product in the hair and beauty niche.
    Of course once they are actual buyers we will do everything we can by way of product explanation
    and so forth to make it easy for them to understand and apply the product properly.
    Ach du lieber >>>>what a long post!
    My final final concern is mobile ads in the FB newsfeed. We are targeting the U.S. English speakers
    only and as I understand that over 50% of the traffic is mobile I am wondering whether I need to do
    something special to…..mobilize and/or whether it is necessary to set up an App?
    Your usual cognitively responsive opinions appreciated.
    Herzliche Grüße,

    Harold Glascock

    • Harold,

      indeed, war & peace;-)

      right, the nutshell answer is this:

      a) when you set up your funnel correctly, the CPC you’re paying will be irrelevant! The whole point of doing marketing (properly) is to develop marketing systems that work better (in the sense of generating more revenue) than your competitors, so you can pay more for the traffic than anybody else … to the point where your competitors are better off sending their traffic to you, than their own offers.

      b) laser-targeted vs ‘general’ interest are most likely 2 different ‘buying mindsets’, and therefore need to be treated differently (aka: yes, different landing pages)

      c) the fact that YOU hate ads following you around doesn’t mean your audience hates it too! BIGGEST mistake most marketers make is assuming that their target audience thinks exactly like them. Retargeting works! (and yes, it’s not perfect, as illustrated by the hostgator example)

      d) oh look, building a relationship. Yes, do that and you sell far more. As simple as that. If you don’t have a relationship, then the only thing they have to go by when making their buying decision is price and possibly what their friends say. When you have a relationship, price becomes more or less irrelevant.

      e) mobile: absolutely, needs to be a different experience. On mobile you have a few seconds before they bounce off. Long videos? Noooooo! Pages that take a long time to load? Noooooooo …. Complicated checkout process? Nooo……

      if you want a more in-depth analysis and recommendations for your specific situation, happy to set up a consultation, although it’d have to be after Easter, pretty slammed until then (and taking Easter off)



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