Facebook’s average CPM rates globally have increased by 41% since the first quarter of 2011, and 15% since the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile, CPCs have risen 23% in the top 5 markets versus Q4. That’s according to new global research released by social media agency TBG Digital for the first quarter.
In the U.S., average CPM has increased by 11% in the first quarter, as compared to the fourth of 2011, while, in the UK, average CPMs rose 13% during the same period.
When it comes to CPCs, the largest growth (35%) was in France, but the U.S. wasn’t far behind with a 20% increase. When you compare the first quarter to the first quarter of last year, the U.S. rise is more dramatic, at 34%.
The average cost to acquire a “fan” also grew in the quarter as compared to Q4, by 43% globally. The highest rise in costs was in the UK, where it increased 77%. In the U.S., the increase was 37%.
The rising CPMs and CPCs document a story of increasing advertiser interest in Facebook, and the development of new products by the social networking company. Still, during the same period, engagement rates — at least as measured by click-throughs — are down in the U.S. (by 8%) and in France (by 13%). The researchers speculate that the addition of more ad units to the page may be a factor in declining click-throughs.
The advertisers most using Facebook are from the Retail, Food & Drink, Finance, Entertainment and Games categories, according to the TBG report, with Retail growing the most (to nearly a quarter of impressions served) in the quarter.
The researchers noted that Finance advertisers are paying the highest CPCs (3.5 times what the Food & Drink advertisers are paying), and believe it could be because Finance advertisers are working to send consumers to other sites, outside of Facebook, which tends to be more expensive.
In terms of click-through-rate, the News sector increased the most dramatically since Q4, rising 196%. TBG attributed the rise to applications like Social Reader, which put news links more front-and-center for News advertisers. Those in the Entertainment category still got the top click-throughs, however, followed by Beauty & Fitness, Home & Garden and Health.