CPM (cost per mille) is a paid advertising option where companies pay a price for every 1,000 impressions an ad receives. An “impression” refers to when someone sees a campaign on social media, the search engines or another marketing platform.

The CPM pricing structure is crucial for businesses that manage affiliate networks. Social sites like Facebook offer CPM options for companies looking to raise brand awareness among new followers and the Google Display Network (GDN) is another popular environment for CPM bidding.


CPM is just one of many methods that websites and social sites use to price online advertisement strategies. While CPC or cost per click requires a business to pay every time someone clicks on an ad, CPM charges the advertiser whenever a promotional message is successfully displayed on a person’s web browser. Alternatively, CPA, or cost per acquisition, campaigns charge a brand whenever a customer converts by completing a critical action.

Each option of paid advertising available online today has unique strengths and weaknesses. CPM is ideal for social campaigns and online marketing strategies that focus on heightening brand awareness and delivering specific messages. If your primary goal is spreading your name across the web, click-through rate doesn’t matter as much to your end goals.

Alternatively, if your goal is to promote a product to a unique audience and generate conversions, then you’ll need the action-oriented focus that comes with CPA and CPC campaigns.

The benefits of CPM advertising

CPM marketing is often less expensive than CPA or CPC promotion. However, the price that you pay will depend on where you’re showcasing your ads. If you want to your CPM campaigns to appear with a larger group of customers, or on a popular website, you may have to bid more for your placement. Social sites like Facebook allow you to narrow down your audience with nuanced targeting measures. With social targeting and a CPM campaign, you generate awareness quickly for a very low price.

CPM campaigns are also helpful in other ways:

  • Raise credibility: Online businesses need to establish themselves in their target market before their audience will take them seriously. CPM campaigns raise awareness so that customers start to feel more familiar with new brands.
  • Offer highly relevant leads: Because companies refine their targeting options with CPM advertisements, it’s possible to reach out to only the most relevant customers. CPM strategies lead to thousands of potential sources of traffic for a budding organization.
  • Generate industry buzz: If the content or display advertisement that’s attached to a CPM campaign is high in quality, people will start talking about the brand. The best CPM strategies generate vast amounts of buzz, which lead to increased traffic and conversions.
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How to maximize CPM ROI

There are many social platforms and search engines that offer CPM advertising services today. Whether you’re using Facebook or Google, remember to:

  • Target the right people: Refined targeting and segmentation will ensure you’re only spending money on relevant leads.
  • Watch the frequency levels: Work to make sure the same people don’t see your ad more than 3 times.
  • Use attention-grabbing copy and visuals: Make sure people have a lasting impression of your brand after they’ve seen your ad.
  • Add social proof: Prove to your audience that you have something useful to offer with an influencer endorsement or quote from a satisfied customer.
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