Every business is searching for a way to reach their potential client base in the most cost effective and direct way possible. This has evolved into targeted pay per click media using search engines and social media. We use pay per click advertising to reach potential applicants for our clients.
The pitch is simple, all your customers are using our site and are willing to trade off some privacy for having their favorite social media platform for free. Seems like the perfect way for a business to deliver their message to an audience that can be hand picked by, in this case Facebook, because of the mass amount of data that is collected by social media platforms on spending habits.
There is a large missing piece to this puzzle. The potential clients might fit the demographic you are trying to target, but they are engaged in socializing and that makes them much less likely to positively view advertising. In contrast, pay per click advertising in search engines like Google are bringing your message to people actively seeking your information.
As Facebook started to see sagging ad results a couple years ago, they looked to find a competitive advantage. Facebook did what any competitor with an inferior product does, find a way to be perceived as less expensive. Enter 3rd party ads, and bargain basement cost per click. Why spend your money on Google at $1 per result, when Facebook can deliver clicks for under 20 cents each?
3rd party ads from Facebook deliver your ads on to apps like Candy Crush. The apps get their users to view your ads in exchange for free play. This is actually similar to the TV model, accept messages from our sponsors and you get free programming.
Here is where the advertiser gets taken for a ride. Businesses pay per click, not per view, so getting people to see an ad is not enough to monetize for the 3rd party apps or Facebook. In order to get clicks apps give points and free play for clicks on ads, not just viewing. They are charging advertisers for users that are utilizing the system to get free points in a game, not engaging with any interest in the product being offered in the ad.
Facebook does give you the option to exclude third party apps from your target audience, which I highly suggest you do. Once you change this your cost per click will change dramatically, probably by 4 or 5 times per click. At least you will be targeting an audience that clicked your ad for your product not free lives in a game.