Cost Per Impression

What is Cost Per Impression?

Cost Per Impression (CPI) is the amount of money spent to get 1,000 views or impressions of an advertisement.

A more commonly used term is Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM), which  is the cost of 1,000 impressions. The term CPM comes from the Latin word "mille," meaning thousand.

What's the TL;DR?

CPM is a critical metric for advertisers to understand the cost of reaching their audience on different platforms and through various ad formats. While it does not measure engagement or conversions directly, it provides a clear view of the cost involved in generating visibility for an advertisement:

  1. Budgeting: Helps advertisers allocate their budget efficiently by understanding how much it costs to reach a certain number of viewers.
  2. Campaign Comparison: Allows comparison of the cost-effectiveness of different advertising campaigns or channels.
  3. Reach Estimation: Helps in estimating the reach of the advertising campaign based on the budget.
  4. Performance Measurement: While it doesn't directly measure engagement or conversions, it provides a baseline for the visibility of an ad.

Tell Me More

Cost Per Impression (CPI), often referred to as Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM), is a common metric used in digital marketing and advertising to measure the cost of 1,000 impressions of an advertisement. An impression occurs each time an ad is displayed to a user, regardless of whether the user interacts with it. This metric helps advertisers understand the cost of reaching their target audience and is crucial for budgeting and evaluating the efficiency of ad campaigns.

CPM Formula

CPM = Total Cost of Campaign / Total Impressions × 1,000

CPM Example

Suppose you spend $2,000 on a digital advertising campaign and achieve 500,000 impressions. The CPM would be calculated as follows:

CPM = 2000 / 500,000 × 1,000= $4

This means it costs $4 for every 1,000 impressions your ad receives.

Factors Affecting CPM

  1. Ad Platform: Different platforms (e.g., Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram) have varying costs.
  2. Target Audience: Narrow and highly specific audiences tend to have higher CPMs due to increased competition for those viewers.
  3. Ad Placement: Premium placements, such as above-the-fold on web pages or in high-traffic areas, typically cost more.
  4. Ad Format: Video ads generally have higher CPMs compared to display ads.
  5. Industry: Certain industries, like finance or healthcare, often have higher CPMs due to the value of the target audience.

Reducing CPM

  1. Refine Targeting: Ensure your ads are reaching the most relevant audience to avoid paying for impressions that are unlikely to convert.
  2. Optimize Ad Creatives: High-quality, engaging ads can improve performance and reduce costs over time.
  3. A/B Testing: Continuously test different ad versions to see which ones yield better performance at lower costs.
  4. Use Frequency Caps: Limit the number of times your ad is shown to the same user to prevent ad fatigue and wasted impressions.
  5. Leverage Data Analytics: Use data to understand which segments of your audience are most responsive and focus your budget there.

Related Glossary Terms