The cost of advertising on Facebook is rising fast, according to marketing firm TBG Ditigal’s Global Facebook Advertising Report for Q2 2011, with cost-per-click (CPC) rates up an average 74% across the US, UK, France and Germany. The figures could raise eyebrows among companies marketing to expats, many of whom leverage heavily on social media to build connections with the online expat community. Said the report:

The growths were substantial, with over 100% increase in UK, 55% in US and 70% in France. There is still potential for advertisers to take advantage of lower CPC rates in France as its CPC is still 30% lower than in Germany. High CPC prices in the UK reflect the dominance of ROI campaigns (offsite campaigns) in this market.

The TBG concluded that though overall costs are rising, individual ad formats may still help companies reduce acquisition costs. Notable among these are “sponsored stories:”

Sponsored Stories support Facebook’s ‘social by design’ approach to advertising i.e. using the influence of friends to generate actions. There are seven types of Sponsored Stories currently available: Brand Campaigns (Page like, Page Post and Page Post like stories), Application Campaigns (App used and App Shared Story), Offsite Campaigns (domain story), and Offline Campaigns (check in story).

TBG found use of the “sponsored story” format reduced acquisition costs by an average 32%.

The number of brand campaigns, meanwhile, increased 104% over last year, as companies shifted focus toward build their brand pages’ fan bases. Nearly half of worldwide impressions occurred through these campaigns. TBG attributed this trend to the sharp spikes in conversions for campaigns targeting fans (3-6x higher than the rates for non-fans).

The lesson for expat marketers is obvious, regardless of whether you”re paying for ads: grow your fan base as broad as possible–it is an extremely valuable marketing channel.