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Social Media & Search Engine Marketing

How to Choose Between a CPM vs CPC Online Marketing Strategy

Zachary Woods, SEO/Digital Marketing Expert

June 25, 2019

Cost per click (CPC) and cost per mile (CPM) are one of the main methods of bidding for online advertising. CPM vs CPC has always sparked a heated debate on which is the most preferred and why.

The answer is not as simple as, „it depends“, which I will explain in further detail. It doesn’t matter what your overall goals are; your job is to generate impression/traffic/leads/sales at lower costs and higher volumes.

We will take a look at some of the critical areas to look at when trying to make a decision on which method suits you best.

1. Traffic or Visibility?

Knowing the kind of goal you want to achieve is essential on the choice you’ll make.

Sometimes businesses will be more interested in general visibility in the marketplace, and getting their brand known rather than a focus on generating leads. For this reason, focusing on getting maximum amount of impressions will be the best option.

If you are in a time crunch to get the word out about your business at the lowest cost, CPM is the way to go.

2. The Medium of Advertisement

CPM incentivises a platform to display your ads more frequently. Whether or not you achieve a good enough CTR for the cost per thousand views is dependent upon how engaging your banner or ad copy is. Very attractive content will attract more clicks, therefore, providing more value as CTR increases.

CPC on the other hand puts the power in the hands of the platform. Obviously, more clicks on your ads earns the platform more money. If your ads are not receiving clicks they could potentially be sidelined and you will have a much higher Cost Per Click.

The online platform of your preference plays a large role in getting your brand noticed. You have to choose a platform that resonates well with your target audience.

Conduct thorough research to find out where the majority of potential visitors and clients lie. Opt for the platform with the most client base to reach the maximum amount of people that your advertisement targets.

CPC does better on other platforms than CPM and vice versa. Once you settle on which platform to use, find out which method outperforms the other, and stick with it.

3. CPM vs CPC Budget Constraints

The cost of running online advertisement determines which model is ideally suited for your use. Your business or company will have to work with the permitted budget; hence getting value for money is a top priority.

CPC and CPM are subject to different charges on various platforms. CPC costs more money for quite a few clicks while CPM comes at a cheaper cost for a high number of impressions. A good rule of thumb for this is to check if your CTR is over a certain threshold (For platforms like LinkedIn, that means a CTR of 1%).

As stated before, if the message resonates well with the target audience, and you receive many clicks CPM will be a better method to use. The reason is that, when shown, your ad receives clicks much more often than average. So if you pay for a fixed block of impressions, your ad receives many clicks, resulting in a lower effective CPC.

Bottom Line

After reading this, you will realize more light has been shed on the CPM vs CPC debate. Id like to hear your thoughts on this so please feel free to drop me a line or comment here with your feedback. Above all, I hope that this article helps someone out there come up with the correct model to use based on the information provided.