Instagram Ads Cost: The Complete Budgeting Guide for 2018

Thanks to Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram a few years ago, the photo-sharing app has now followed in its former’s footsteps – becoming one of the largest and most profitable advertising platforms on the web.

With super detailed targeting options, combined with the new-aged phenomena of influencer marketing, the potential that Instagram presents advertisers is unparalleled – particularly for brands targeting a younger demographic.

But just how much do you stand to gain – and how much will it cost you?  

Let’s look at average Instagram ads costs – as well as some effective strategies to get the most out of your budget – to get you started.
 

Average Instagram Ads Costs:

 
Before we go too deep into the costs of Instagram ads, it’s important to note one thing: Instagram ads aren’t Facebook ads.

Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges – especially when you’re talking about Instagram engagement.

Instagram Ads Cost

Instagram ads typically see 10 times the engagement of a Facebook ad – meaning a much higher chance at converting the user into loyal brand follower or paying customer.

Because of this, Instagram ads costs are usually slightly higher than those of Facebook ads – even for the same target audience.

Instagram Ads Cost

This has to do with the nature of the platform, as well as how accustomed users have gotten to seeing (and ignoring) ads on Facebook and other, more long-standing sites.

At any rate, the average CPC (cost per click) on Instagram is around $.70 (about $0.35 on Facebook). CPCs are also higher on audiences in the 18-24, 25-34 and 35-44 ranges.

Pro-Tip: These costs tend to be a little higher if you’re targeting females or users on Apple devices.

 

5 Tips For Determining Your Instagram Cost

 
Obviously, your costs are going to vary based on who you target and various other factors, but there are some ways you can ensure more effective campaigns (and better ROIs), no matter what you’re advertising.
 

First, keep it natural.

At its heart, Instagram is a photo-sharing app, and it’s meant to offer real, authentic glimpses into the lives of others – friends, family, celebrities and even brands they care about.

Don’t over-produce your posts and make them seem advertorial. Keep them candid, fresh and real. This will resonate with Instagram users best. (It’s also what will appear the most native – mean many won’t even notice that it’s a paid ad!)

 

Instagram Ads Cost

Pro-Tip: “When it comes to advertising within Instagram Stories, for retail brands your creative should be ‘thoughtful’ because people are very much in a ‘browsing friends and family’ content mindset.”

– Sarah Sanchez, Manager, Performance Social at CPC Strategy said.

 

facebook audience network

Utilize videos, carousels and slideshows.

Get the most bang for your buck by making videos out of your photo assets or adding more photos to your posts using the Carousel feature. These are a little more interactive and tend to stand out more from other posts in the feed.

 

Get detailed with your targeting (and messaging).

Like Facebook, Instagram lets you drill down deep into gender, age, relationship status, geographic location and more, so you can target the most qualified, ready-to-buy-in audience possible.

Just make sure you create your content and messaging with that audience in mind so that it resonates.

When users do click your ads, be careful to drive them toward landing pages – particularly ones with some sort of lead capturing form or easy to navigate purchasing experience (example: Shoppable Instagram Ads featured below).

This allows you to:

1) Give them targeted content that meets their needs, and

2) Put them in your funnel so you can reach back out (or re-market) to them at a later date.

 

Instagram Ads Cost

Credit: Yotpo

 

Watch your relevance score.

According to Facebook: “Your relevance score estimates how well your ad is resonating with the people you want to reach. The higher your ad’s relevance score, the better it’s considered to be performing.”

This score tells you how relevant the content you’re providing is to your users. If the app shows a poor relevance score (example: 1-3) before you go live, you’ll want to re-think things, as it probably won’t use your budget very efficiently.

Consider drilling down deeper on your targeting or tweaking your creative so the two are in better alignment.
 

Test & test.

 

As with any new marketing strategy, you’ll want to test, measure and adjust based on your findings. If you’re not getting the ROI you’re looking for – or alarmingly, it’s worse than your Facebook ads’ performances – then you’ll want to take a step back and realign.

You can also supplement your Instagram ads with influencer marketing on the platform. A combination of both offers a one-two punch of modern marketing prowess that can raise awareness, build a following and convert more sales.

To learn more about Instagram ads costs, email tara@cpcstrategy.com.

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.