Social Media

How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on Instagram?

Instagram is a social media platform where users can share pictures and short videos with other users. Accounts can be set to public, allowing everyone to view them, or to private, meaning only followers have access.

It’s grown quickly over the past few years, and now has about 800 million users around the world. This means that it presents a significant opportunity for marketers.

As an added bonus, the platform is owned by Facebook—meaning that if you’re already familiar with running Facebook ads, creating Instagram ads will be a breeze. That said, for most marketers, the most important question is this: How much does it cost?

Keep reading to learn about Instagram’s advertising options, as well as how much you should expect to spend.

How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?

Advertisements on Instagram appear as “Sponsored posts” and look just like any other post on the platform. Two elements set them apart.

Instagram ads include a blue “sponsored” tag under the profile name. They can offer a call-to-action button to directly visit a site, open a lead generation form, or view a Canvas, etc. They appear in specific users’ feeds (based on your targeting), even if the user is not following your account.

Instagram launched its advertising options for all businesses in 2015, and they’re accessible through the Facebook Ads Manager platform.

There are several factors that influence the cost of Instagram advertising, including holidays and events, gender, day of the week, and more. Instagram advertising will never cost you more than the budget you set for your campaign.

Average CPMs (cost-per-thousand views) were $6.70 for Instagram photo ads in 2015. This average has remained somewhat consistent through 2018, with average CPMs around the $5 amount.

When analyzing cost-per-click (CPC) averages, a Marketing Land Study saw averages costs at $0.61 in 2016. Another study found that Instagram average CPCs were $0.70 in 2016.

Facebook Ads Manager and Instagram advertising features are constantly changing, so marketers and businesses can expect to see these averages change over time. Competition will rise after major changes to the Facebook algorithm in early 2018. While this will have the biggest impact on Facebook advertising costs, Instagram advertising may be affected as well.

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Other options for Instagram marketing

Even if you’re not ready to use the paid advertising options on Instagram, your business still has quite a few options for marketing on the platform. In fact, many businesses already are launching successful Instagram campaigns on modest budgets. Here's how:

1. Grow your account organically

As with other social media platforms, you don't have to pay in order to enjoy the benefits of more exposure and more engagement with your customers and clients. Many individuals and businesses have extremely popular Instagram accounts with millions of followers, and although this takes time, it’s certainly possible to build this kind of following.

It costs nothing to set up an Instagram account, and once you do, you can use hashtags that are popular with your target audience to reach new followers. You can also link to your account from your website and other social media profiles.

If you create compelling content, reach out to your network and to new potential users, and work on building up an audience, you may find interested customers and potential clients come to your site to look at your content and end up contacting you through your social media accounts or in person.

The key to any successful Instagram account, though, is compelling visuals. Spend some time taking quality photos, and you’ll have a much easier time using the platform to your advantage.

2. Instagram giveaways

If you follow Instagram promotion rules, you can create a giveaway. You can launch a contest or giveaway where you ask entrants to:

  • Follow the account
  • Post pictures of themselves using your product
  • Tag a friend on the post to win
  • Get a friend to follow the account
  • Get a friend to tag the account
  • Use a specific hashtag (such as the company’s name)
  • Post content to their own Instagram accounts, with a link leading back to the your Instagram account

Giveaways and contests have a relatively low cost (the cost of running the campaign plus the cost of the product being given away as a contest prize), but you can get considerably more traffic and exposure for your account through this sort of promotion.

If you decide to host a contest, keep in mind you that have to follow Instagram’s rules and you may need to devote considerable time to managing the contest. For the best results, you’ll also need to promote the giveaway on your other channels.

3. Work with influencers

Much like any other social platform, certain Instagram users hold influence thanks to their large followings. If you’re able to identify influencers whose followers overlap with your target audience, connecting with them can be extremely beneficial.

Sometimes, this happens for free and by accident. Your business may come to their attention, and they’ll mention it on their account. More commonly, however, businesses reach out to these influencers and ask them to endorse or promote their products for a fee.

Depending on their level of influence—and their experience with influencer marketing—this can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. But if you do choose to utilize this strategy, be sure that the influencers you work with disclose that they’re being paid in order to comply with FTC guidelines.

Want to start advertising on Instagram?

At WebFX, our social team has years of experience creating and managing successful campaigns for clients in a variety of industries, and they’ll do the same for you. Contact us today to speak with a strategist!

Need help with your social media? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more about how WebFX can give you the power to reach more people.