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Differences Between PPC & PPM

An Insight Into The Key Differences Between PPC & PPM

Are you caught in a dilemma trying to figure out the difference between PPC & PPM models of paid advertising? We have got the answers in a simple, eas...

The end goal of any business is to achieve conversions. While publishing SEO-optimized organic content on your website that readers want to consume is a great idea, you sometimes need a little extra push. That is where paid advertising comes in. 

The two most popular paid advertising models are PPC and PPM; however, many marketers, not unlike yourself, find themselves at their wits’ ends trying to decipher the difference between the two and figuring out the model that best fits their unique needs. 

Interestingly, you don’t need to fret anymore as we simplify paid advertising jargon for the dummies with insight into their key differences! Stay hooked, people!

Ok, so tell me what PPC is.

True to its name, the advertising business pays only for the number of times the ad gets clicked under the pay-per-click or PPC model. Let’s explain this with an example. If your ad was displayed 1000 times but only 200 visitors clicked on it, you will pay a fixed amount only for those 200 clicks. 

Your business can decide the amount you are comfortable with for a click on a particular keyword. While the goal is to lower the cost per click, keywords with higher search volume often come at higher prices. Simply said, no one will want to bid on less searched or irrelevant keywords. 

Cool, so what about PPM?

Pay-per-mille or pay-per-impression advertising adopts a slightly different approach. Here, the advertiser pays a fixed amount for every thousand impressions, irrespective of the number of clicks on the ad. The term mille has Latin origins and translates into a “thousand.”

A more cost-effective option than PPC, PPM has a 2% range of effectiveness. This translates roughly into an anticipated twenty clicks per thousand impressions/views. The quality of the ad copy and the landing page affect the accuracy of the PPM campaign. 

What are the major differences between PPC and PPM?

Now that we know the basics of the two advertising campaign models, let’s delve into what sets them apart.

1. Platforms

PPC advertising is commonly carried out on search engine platforms such as Google Ads and Bing Ads. 

Meanwhile, PPM advertising is generally more suited for display advertising on video, banner, and other graphical formats. 

2. Ad Delivery

In PPC, advertisers pay only when a user clicks on their ad. Here, advertisers place their bids on specific keywords or target demographics. 

In the PPM model, advertisers specify the number of impressions they’d like to display and are charged for every thousand views, irrespective of the number of clicks.

3. Fixed Budget

We suggest setting up a daily ad spend budget with PPC so you don’t overspend. In PPM, the cost is fixed per thousand views, and there are no chances of overspending; plus, you know how much you spend in advance. 

4. Benefits

PPC can be great for businesses looking for sales and conversions, precise targeting, and immediate visibility.

On the other hand, PPM borders more towards traditional advertising, such as banners and hoardings, focussed on garnering greater brand visibility and awareness rather than amping up click-through rates. 

5. Method of Payment

So, both models work on different payment schemes. If you go with the PPC model, you pay a fixed amount every time someone clicks on your ad. For instance, if you place a bid of $2 per click and a hundred people click on your ad, the billable amount will be a neat couple of hundred dollars. 

However, in the PPM model, you pay in advance for a fixed number of thousand impressions, even before they hit the online space. So, irrespective of the number of people clicking on the ad, you will be charged for the fixed number of impressions.

In PPC, you pay after you know people have clicked on the advertisement or it has worked, so to speak. Whereas in the PPM model, you are paying for the exposure. 

Too long, didn’t read (TLDR?!)

No worries! We have it all laid out on a neat table for you. Check it out!

Differences Between PPC & PPM

How do I know what’s best for me?

Well, there is no straightforward answer to this. However, asking the following questions can help you decide your preferred course of action in the realm of paid advertising. 

Figure out answers to the following concerns;

  • Objective of the ad campaign: Your firm needs to be very clear on the expected outcome of running any ad campaign. Are you looking for more sales and conversions, or do you seek to raise greater brand awareness?
  • Ad Spend: It is important to have a ballpark figure in your mind regarding ad budget or ad spending. 
  • Brand awareness: How familiar are people with your brand? Is it still in the nascent stages, or has your brand become a household name?
  • Platform or channel: Where do you envision your ads being displayed? Do you see it running on SERPs such as Bing or Google? Or does it seem more appropriate for social media networks such as Instagram, FB, or Twitter? 

Once you have clarity on these pointers, you can find yourself in a better position to navigate the answer to this question. 

PPC is usually preferred by companies that are majorly focused on conversions either through sales or through member sign-ups. Since you pay only for the visitors who click on the ads and reach your website, you can track these metrics and pay only for genuine engagements.

On the other hand, PPM works well for new brands with a lesser budget and a focus on creating brand awareness. Since you pay only for every thousand views and not for the clicks, you can cost-effectively drive enough awareness. 


To sum up, you might want to start with bidding on specific keywords with a low bid price in the PPC model and then proceed toward tracking and analyzing those results. You can always switch to PPM or PPC and see what works best for achieving your unique business goals. If you’d rather let experts handle your PPC campaigns, then that can be done as well!

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Naina Sandhir - Content Writer

A content writer at Mavlers, Naina pens quirky, inimitable, and damn relatable content after an in-depth and critical dissection of the topic in question. When not hiking across the Himalayas, she can be found buried in a book with spectacles dangling off her nose!

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