Facebook Ad Impressions


9 mins

Facebook ad impressions

Table of Contents

Facebook is still the biggest social media platform nowadays, with more than 2 billion active users globally. Needless to say, this makes it a strategic platform to promote your business. But just like other forms of marketing, Facebook Ads are not a magic bullet.

Advertising on Facebook, whether paid or organic, can only go as far as your current marketing strategies. Thankfully, this is where Facebook marketing metrics such as Facebook Ad Impressions come into play.

Creating attractive, effective, and high converting ads on Facebook involves understanding, tracking, and analyzing how your marketing methods are currently being perceived by your audience.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Facebook Ad Impressions. We’ll discuss how to get more impressions on Facebook Ads and how you can use it to improve your digital presence, create cost-effective ads, and grow your business online.

Facebook Reporting Tool
Produce intuitive Facebook Ads reports designed in minutes

What are ad impressions on Facebook?

Ad Impressions are interpreted differently based on the platform you’re using. On Facebook, Impressions are defined as the total number of times your ad was displayed in a user’s feed on different devices.

For example, when an ad appears on screen while a user is browsing Facebook with their mobile device, an impression is registered to your Facebook advertising account. If the ad is shown to the same user using another device, it counts as another impression.

One downside to Impressions is that it doesn’t take into consideration if the user clicks or interacts with the ad or not. Instead, it just counts each time Facebook shows your ad on each device.

Nonetheless, it’s still a valuable metric to measure the quality and effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

To correctly interpret your Facebook Ad Impressions, you also have to understand how they are displayed on the user’s device:

  • Served impressions – Each served impression is counted the moment it is registered to be delivered to a user’s device. However, this is not a reliable measurement since there can be times when the ad is delivered but not viewed. For example, an ad is set to be displayed on the window, but the user closes the app before seeing the ad. While this still counts as a served impression, your target audience didn’t actually view your ad.
  • Viewable impressions – This is the total number of times where your ad was seen by your audience.

Understanding Facebook Ad Impressions is essential, especially for advertisers, since it helps them know how the ads are performing and if they are getting the best out of the ad spend. In addition, it will also help them understand your audience’s viewing patterns and how to reach them better.

When interpreted alongside other metrics like reach and engagement rate, calculating Impressions will help you take the steps you need to improve your engagement and, ultimately, your product sales.

How Facebook Ad impressions are calculated

Generally, Facebook counts Ad Impressions using the following criteria:

  • One impression is counted If an ad is shown on a user’s feed or when an ad is displayed, and they scroll down and then scroll back up.
  • Two impressions are counted if an ad is on screen for a user two different times a day, among similar scenarios.
  • Facebook detects impressions due to bot traffic and excludes them from the count.
  • In some cases, it cannot be determined whether ads are on screen (e.g., from feature mobile phones). This is because impressions are counted when ads are delivered to devices.

For ads that contain images or videos, impressions are counted the same way except for ads in the Audience Network. Videos are also not required to start playing for it to register as an Impression. Note, though, that this method of counting video impressions differs from industry standards for video ads.

Difference between reach and impressions

Reach and Impressions are both crucial metrics in Facebook Ads. However, while they have similarities, they measure different aspects of your ads.  

As previously defined, impressions count all the times an ad is shown to users. Your ad Reach, on the other hand, is the total number of unique users who saw your advertisement.

To distinguish between the two metrics, here’s an example: if you calculate your FB ad impressions, you will observe that a single user can result in multiple ad impressions. Meanwhile, Facebook reach will only count unique impressions per user. This includes the virality of your ad or the number of people who saw your post because their friends shared it.

Facebook also categorizes both Reach and Impressions into the following:

  • Organic – The number of impressions or reach your post accumulated for free.
  • Paid – The number of impressions or reach your paid content accumulated.
  • Viral – The number of times your content was seen or interacted with by people because their friends shared them.

How many Facebook Ad impressions are good?

The ideal number of Facebook Ad impressions varies depending on the industry where your business belongs, among other factors. In general, 1-3 impressions per user works well if your goal is for your audience to better remember your ad.

Cost per mille (CPM) can also play an important role in determining how many impressions are best for your ads. Facebook Ads are purchased on a CPM basis. This metric tracks how much you spend to get 1000 impressions (thus, the word mille or 1000 in Latin). Facebook also uses CPM to make sure that advertisers pay a fair price for their ads.

Facebook estimates that a daily spend of $1 will reach 4,000 new people. So a Lower CPM means you’re spending less while getting more impressions. As a rule, you have to keep your CPM as low as you can to maximize the return on ad spend (ROAS).

For example, if you decide to spend £20 for your ads and it yields 20,000 impressions, you can calculate your CPM by dividing your amount spent on the ad by the total number of impressions, then multiplying it by 1000. In this scenario, the CPM would be 1.

How to increase Facebook Ad impressions

Facebook Ad Impressions are great if you want to reach as many new target audiences as you can and raise awareness about your brand.

While best practices change as the Facebook algorithm changes, If you want to increase your Ad impressions, these timeless tips will help you boost your ad Impressions:

1. Increase the number and variety of ad creatives

Ads are a good way to establish your brand and create a personality your audience resonates with. The more users find your ads relevant to their interests, the more people your ad reaches.

Using different ad creatives like videos, images, and audio, among others, play an important role in grabbing and retaining people’s attention. Aside from that, different types of ads can also help you relay a stronger message. With the right ads and a product that offers high emotional value, you can better increase your ad impressions and engagement.

The Facebook algorithm will also prioritize ads with relevant content and show more of them to your target audience.

2. Use the right campaign objective

Facebook advertising campaigns require selecting a campaign objective. Choosing the right objective boils down to your end goals. What are you trying to achieve after running your ad set? What is the basis of your campaign strategy? How many impressions do you want to have for an ad?

With the right campaign objective, you can determine if your ad is performing like how you expect it to. You will have a basis on how to adjust your ads and how long you should show them to your audience.

To increase your impressions, we recommend selecting ‘Reach’ as your primary campaign objective. A better reach will get your ads to as many of your followers as possible while still staying within your budget. Additionally, this will also boost your impressions in turn.

Facebook also gives you a choice to reach only the audience who are near your business locations. This way, you are more likely to get more conversions.

3. Build a lookalike audience

A lookalike audience is a good way to meet new people through your content and ads.

Lookalike audiences can be built by selecting a custom audience with demographics you want to find more of, then letting Facebook find users whose demographics and interests are similar to your selected existing followers.

Building a lookalike audience is one of the most powerful and effective targeting strategies on Facebook that works well in finding high-converting users.

On top of that, it also increases your reach to users that are already interested in your product, thus requiring less effort to guide them down the sales funnel.

4. Optimise targeting

Facebook Ads are nothing without the right audience. Luckily, Facebook allows you to define your target audience. Take advantage of your Facebook Ads by optimising targeting depending on your business goals.

Make sure you specify your target audience’s distinct demographics and interests:

  • For greater reach (more actual people presented with FB ads), your ads will benefit more from wider targeting. This means that Facebook will have more freedom in choosing who to show your ads to, as long as the user expresses interest in your product category.
  • For more FB ad impressions (ads possibly presented to the same person multiple times), niche or detailed targeting can be more beneficial.

5. Use automatic ad placements

Facebook allows you to choose whether you place your ad automatically or manually. By default, ‘automatic ad placements’ or Advantage+ placements is selected in the ads manager when you are setting up a new ad set. By using automatic ad placements, you will let Facebook handle your ads and show them to the right people at the right time.

Facebook has a solid data foundation that determines where your audience will more likely see your ads. Using their delivery system, they promise to allocate your ad budget where it will best perform.

You can place your ad on the Facebook Marketplace, News Feed, Sponsored placement (right side of your screen), Stories, and more. Depending on your settings, your viewers can also see your ads on Messenger, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network.

Automatic placement will save you the trouble of figuring out where best to place your ads, given your budget and audience.

6. Focus on engagement metrics

Engagement metrics basically tell you and Facebook how well your audience responds to your ads. Facebook prioritizes user experience along with content shareability. Therefore, the more engagement your ads receive, the more times Facebook will show your ads. Engagements include leaving comments and reactions, sharing your content, and other interactions with your ads.

Increased engagement creates more impressions and vice versa. To improve engagement metrics, you have to publish fresh content that specifically targets your audience’s interests and pain points.

Focus on getting to know your target audience and their day-to-day troubles. Then, find a way to help your product become the solution they’ve been searching for.

7. Make your metrics work together

Your ad impressions work best when measured with other Facebook Ad metrics.

So first, narrow down the metrics you track by setting a goal you want to achieve using your Facebook Ads. Then, choose corresponding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from your ad metrics and focus your marketing efforts on them.

For example, reach, frequency, and impressions work together to show your audience the right ads without overwhelming them with the same content.

8. Split-testing your ads

Split-testing or A/B testing your ads is an effective strategy if you want to experiment with a new style of ad. It is also best to check if your marketing strategy will be well received while only allocating a small ad budget.
This method works by creating two different versions of an ad by changing variables such as placement, text, etc. Then you publish both and analyze the resulting metrics. Whichever of these ads are perceived better is the one where you would focus your Facebook Ad budget.

Not all of your ads will be as effective as the others. The goal of split testing your ads is to make sure that you publish the more engaging ad. It can also help you stay consistent with your message and style that your audience already loves.

On top of all that, split-testing also gives you enough space to be innovative with your advertisements.

9. Write optimized ad copy

A clear message and call-to-action is always a rule of thumb when it comes to marketing. Write an impactful ad copy that directs your audience to where you want them to go.

The best ads are ones that don’t come off as “sale-sy” and instead help you connect with the right audience in ways that will best promote your business. You can be creative, sassy, funny, or intriguing with your captions. Ask a question or spark an engaging conversation that can help emphasize your product’s benefits to your audience.

Aside from that, it’s also good to check out your competition and see which posts are getting the best engagements, as well as how they craft their content. If they have great ideas, observe how you can improve on them. If they have low-engaging content, learn from their mistakes.

10. Use video

Video ads are proven to be one of the most effective ways to increase impressions on Facebook Ads and even on other social media platforms. This is because they can invoke a deeper emotion from your audience through the use of sounds and motions.

Videos also make it easier to ‘talk to your audience’ and tell them a compelling business story. However, they usually take more effort, money, and time to create than other types of ads.

To make an effective video ad, make sure that you can hook your viewers from the first few seconds of your video. You can do this by finding a relevant topic that will intrigue your viewers and spark their curiosity. On top of that, make sure that your video sticks to Facebook’s best practices to avoid any community guideline violations.

After getting your audience hooked, the next important thing you need to prioritize is to make them stay throughout your whole ad. Since video ads can be skipped, your main goal is to provide value throughout your video. Build a rapport by relating your story to your audience and stay as relevant as you can.

Wrapping it up

Facebook Ads are a great way to promote your business to your audience, and Ad impressions help you gauge how Facebook and your audience are perceiving your ads. You can increase your ad impressions by correctly setting up your Ads Manager settings and finding the right narrative for the right audience.

At the end of the day, what separates the best ads from the rest is how they focus on customers’ behavior, their needs and problems, and how your products can benefit them.

When different Facebook marketing metrics get overwhelming, Reporting Ninja’s Facebook Ads reporting services will ease the load. Let us do the busy work so you can focus on the more important aspects of your business. Sign up for our free trial today!

Audience Tageting on FB
Audience Targeting on Facebook

Getting your audience right when it comes to Facebook targeting can mean the difference between a great return on investment and burning through money. Discover the tips you need here.

Read More »
Post written by