How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram and is it worth it?
Advertising on Instagram will run you anywhere from $.20 - $2 in a CPC (cost per click) program; with spikes as high as $5 per click, in the highest competitive markets, such as apparel.
If a CPM (cost per impression) is your strategy, expect to pay around $7 per 1000 impressions.
And yes, it’s worth it.
If you’re not advertising on Instagram, you should be.
It’s already wildly popular with your customers, incredibly sophisticated at targeting audiences, boast indisputable ROI; and is affordable enough for even the local, craft-made, sole-proprietor start-up to lean on.
It can be a daunting task. Maybe you feel like you’re throwing money into the unknown.
This article will take the edge off your insecurities.
We’ll talk about best practices, cost variances, and optimizing your return on investment.
Widescale advertising used to be a luxury of corporate giants, with massive marketing budgets.
Instagram makes it affordable for anyone to reach a worldwide customer base. There’s a learning curve, but you’ve got this.
The nitty-gritty of Instagram ad cost variances
Brace yourself, it’s convoluted. Stop scouring the internet for an absolute pricing guide to IG marketing because it doesn’t exist and the pursuit is maddening.
We’ll break it down to be as direct and understandable as possible, then talk about why it’s absolutely worth the headache.
Here are the most relevant variables affecting your IG ad cost.
The cost is based on a bid system.
This is the hardest aspect for most people to grasp, especially if you’re not in marketing.
You will set a budget for your content as a single ad to run or as an overall campaign.
Next, you will decide whether you want to divide your budget by CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per impression).
Further still, you will have to decide whether it is more beneficial for you to enforce your overall budget on a daily basis or the lifetime of the campaign.
After submitting all your information to Instagram, the powers at be will pick which companies they think will perform best and run their ads in prime placement.
Ad relevance score
Instagram will assign a Relevance Score to your ads.
At first, the score is based on projected data. IG will critique how relevant your ad is to the audience and marketplace you decide to target, before it even posts.
The more relevant the ad, the lower the cost.
As your ad earns more clicks, likes, comments, and shares your relevance score goes up, and your cost will go down.
Estimated action rate
Again, Instagram will decide this before your ad begins to post.
They’ll look for copy that converts (language that gets people to do what you want), a strong call to action (tell the reader what you want them to DO), and the likelihood of your selected target audience clicking on your post.
They’ve got crazy accurate metrics to measure these elements instantly.
The more precise you are, when selecting parameters of the target audience, the more cost-effective your ads will be.
Although, this is only true to an extent. Some audiences and particularly competitive industry markets cost more to target.
For example, targeting women is more expensive.
This is probably because we spend more of the household income AND we spend more time on Instagram in the first place. So long as they’re spending, you should be happy to pay more to target them.
Likewise, B2B (business to business) targeting is also more expensive, but for the opposite reason.
There are significantly fewer businesses on Instagram than people, so the likelihood of hitting your mark is smaller.
Pricing fluctuates throughout the day, week, and year.
Costs are highest during the busiest Instagram hours of the day, for your targeted audience - another reason why it’s important to put serious thought into that part.
Costs are generally higher during weekdays than over the weekend.
Want to advertise over the holidays? Of course, you do - and so does everyone else! Expect to see considerably higher pricing in holiday seasons; which, according to Target, is always.
Why Instagram is worth the investment
You’re apprehensive about spending time and money but not seeing a return, right?
Times are tough and margins are tight.
You may feel you can’t afford to try something new, like advertising on Instagram; but if you need ROI, you can’t afford not to.
Let’s break down the stats.
There are over 1 billion monthly users on Instagram.
It’s a huge audience to break into.
If your wallet doesn’t salivate at the thought of reaching millions of potentially paying customers, you may want to rethink your business strategy.
“What about Facebook?!” Wellll.....
Numbers don’t lie
Contrary to popular belief, Instagram is proven to be 10 times more engaging than Facebook.
Forrester’s Q1 US Top 50 Brands Social Webtracker ranked the top social media platforms for audience engagement.
- Google +
People interact with individual social media platforms considerably different.
Interaction styles should be taken into consideration when developing marketing campaigns across different apps.
As far as audience - ahem, customer - engagement is concerned, Instagram takes the [flawlessly photographed and expertly filtered] cake.
Also; to tell the truth, Facebook is being overrun with ads.
More and more people are automatically scrolling past them, annoyed by their ever-increasing interruptions to their feeds.
On-trend tactics, like featuring video ads, drastically increase the odds of successful Facebook ads. Try this Video Ad Creator, to up your FB game.
A Marketing Land study learned that Instagram has a higher click-thru rate than Facebook.
IG earns a click from .8% of all viewers, while Facebook trails at .6%.
We know these numbers seem tiny!
Consider this, if Instagram runs your ad on 1 million people’s accounts, .8% of that is 8,000 clicks.
That’s 8,000 chances to grow your business. Boom.
A SHOPIFY marketing report found that Instagram users, who start shopping based on being prompted by an IG ad, spend an average of $65.
Facebook sees an average of $55 per spend and Twitter only gets $46 per spend. Instagram earns you more money per shopper.
That’s what it’s all about.
What are the different types of Instagram ads?
Stories run at the top of a viewer’s account feed, giving you prime placement. You can mix and match photos, videos, and/or texts to better engage your audience.
There are currently over 500 million accounts running stories each day!
Once the viewer clicks on your story, it fills the entirety of their screen. This keeps their focus on you, for as long as your story runs.
Photos are the benchmark of Instagram and still the most common element used. Image ads have a call to action and “sponsor” tag at the bottom.
Other than that though, aim for your photo ad to blend in.
Viewers recognize a gimmicky advertisement immediately and scroll past; or worse, report it as spam.
Image Source: Neil Patel
Carousels are regarded by many to be the best bang for your buck.
These are the posts you swipe through multiple photos and/or videos at a time. Viewers are drawn to the physical swiping motion and want to see what’s next in the set.
Plus, more content means more chances of presenting the “right one” to any given viewer and landing a click-thru.
Basic tips for creating Instagram ads that earn you money
Like most things in life, you get what you put into it.
Simply uploading your business’ shiny face onto Instagram isn’t going to earn you sales or leads.
Let’s discuss some tips for creating effective ads that build a strong social media presence, convert scrollers into customers, and send your ROI through the roof.
Blend in and stand out at the same time.
We know that sounds contradictory, but hear us out.
Your ad style should look like an Instagram post - not a print ad, not a Facebook ad, not a webpage.
Stand out from your industry competition through your benefits and features. Blend in with Instagram language, styling, and filters.
Grow your brand awareness before selling to your audience.
It’s important to angle your first posts towards building your brand awareness.
Show people who you are and tell your story.
Sing your benefits and features.
This builds trust and interest. Essentially you’re baiting the hook, to land your perfect customer.
Videos are the most effective.
Seriously, jump on the video bandwagon. It’s worth it.
Videos are high-impact advertising that earns the most bang for your buck.
This is one of the few elements that effectively cross over from IG to Facebook advertising.
Motionden’s Video Advertising Templates make a killer, custom video ad for you, in 5 minutes.
Create landing pages specifically for your Instagram Ads.
Have you ever clicked on an ad selling something specific, but it routes you to a page that doesn’t have anything to do with that specific item?
Most users won’t hunt around a site to find the one thing they’re interested in. The one thing the ad sold them on.
Your link failed the ad, the ad failed the viewer, and you just lost a customer.
Make sure that your links take viewers exactly where they expect to be going.
Do this by creating custom landing pages for every ad link.
Which leads me to…
Test your ads!
The first draft is never a final draft. Testing will help you nail down images and language.
It gains you valuable feedback on your customer's overall experience with your ad.
You can even compare to your competitors’ work.
Here’s a tip within a tip: make sure you’re testing on your target audience.
Tricks for lowering your ad costs
Overall ad quality. Remember when we reviewed Ad Relevance and Estimated Action Rate?
The higher your ad scores, the less Instagram charges you to run it.
Follow the tips above and create a high-converting ad.
The ad cost savings and ROI are worth an investment in a copywriter or photographer.
Select the best metrics.
When you set up your account, Instagram will walk you through a jungle of metric options. Selecting optimal metrics is critical to the ad cost to and it’s success.
Take notes on these particular options.
- In the beginning, select “optimize for conversions.”
- Do your homework so you know the precise audience you want to target. This is not the place to “cast a wide net” because it’ll get expensive. Be prepared to choose your targeted location, age, gender, language, demographics, interests, connections, and even behaviors.
- Select to run your ads on Instagram ONLY. Even though Instagram and Facebook are linked, don’t run the same ads on both. Like we said before, they are two different animals.
When you're new, trust automatic bidding.
Bobbing and weaving your way through Instagram’s extensive set-up process can be overwhelming.
This is an easy way to cut it in half.
Manual bidding only pays off when you’ve gathered enough data to better understand your cost per result.
Test your ads.
Elements such as concise wording and interesting videos lead to a lower CPC and a higher conversion rate.
Strong ads save money AND generate more money. Any cost of testing is well worth the ROI.
You can do this. We can help.
There’s no disputing the impressive customer reach or ROI Instagram offers its marketers.
Hopefully, we’ve demystified the process enough for you to take that first step towards creating your IG ad account.
Now that you know how to navigate the set-up process, turn your focus to effective ad creation. Thanks to new, creative-template platforms, this is the easy part.
Start playing around with tools like Canva and Motionden.
They’re inexpensive and geared towards novices. Create stunning custom videos, using Motionden’s Instagram Video Collection, to elevate your ad campaign.
Our vast collection of video templates removes the need for costly graphic designers and sets a professional tone from the beginning.
With a turnaround time of only 5 minutes, you can stay focused on the business aspects that matter most.
You deserve kick-ass Instagram marketing for your business. Now you have the tools to do it yourself.