How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Instagram?

Social Media Marketing has become an integral part of most businesses’ marketing strategies and brand awareness campaigns. While Facebook marketing leads all digital marketing platforms, Instagram marketing is emerging as a high-potential platform for small to large-sized businesses.

Besides, the ease of running ads on Instagram is making the opportunity of luring Instagram users more accessible and tempting.

However, advertising cost for Instagram marketing is something that forces you to take a more controlled approach on what you are advertising, how you are advertising it, who you advertising to, if it is worth advertising a particular ad on Instagram, and many more aspects. Failing to consider all such questions will quickly make the advertising costs jump so high that it can hurt your financial status badly.

This leads us to a bunch of questions that you, as a business owner, might have while strategizing for Instagram marketing:

  • How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?
  • Is advertising on Instagram free?
  • Are Instagram ads cheaper than Facebook ads?
  • Is there any way to save money on Instagram advertising?

Now, be relaxed, calm your mind, and get useful insights that this guide –  the Cost of Advertising on Instagram – has to offer you.

How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Instagram?

The average cost of Instagram advertising that experts share varies significantly. While some experts say that Instagram advertising can cost you anywhere between $0.20 and $6.70 based on the bidding model (CPC or CPM), others state that you can expect to pay between $0.40 and $3 for a click.

On the other hand, many digital experts think that, in 2021, link cost per click (for ads with a destination URL) is ranging from $0.50 to $0.95, cost per click (all metrics) is ranging from $0.40 to $0.70, and cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) is ranging between $2.50 and $3.50.

Just like with other marketing platforms, the cost of Instagram marketing also varies based on different factors. The main factors that influence the overall cost of Instagram ads are:

  • The Type of Ad
  • Bidding Model
  • Campaign Objectives
  • Ad Relevancy Score
  • Targeted Audience (Demographics)
  • Audience Size
  • Estimated Action Rate
  • Competition
  • Occasion (Holidays and Events)
  • Day of the Week
  • Your Market

Factors that Influence the Cost of Instagram Advertising

  • The Type of Ad

You will find single image ads more expensive. While advertising on Instagram, carousel, video, and multiple image ads perform much better than single image ads. According to digital marketing experts, video traffic comes with lower acquisition costs and helps you build audiences more affordably.

  • Bidding Model

Your bidding model dictates how much you will spend on Instagram ads for a single click, and your bidding model is determined by how willing you are to pay for obtaining potential leads. Instagram is said to have higher bid amounts, so prepare your mindset if you want to get more clicks and impressions.

Unarguably, every business wants to pay as low as possible per click; however, lower bid amounts sometimes are not practical when you are bidding in a highly competitive market. To make things easier for Instagram marketers, Instagram provides a feature to adjust the bidding amount on specific factors.

  • Campaign Objectives

Instagram offers up to 18 options for Call-to-Action buttons to cater to various campaign objectives. Like Facebook, Instagram uses your campaign objective to help you target the right audience. When your campaign objective is clear, you can make your ad more relevant to your audience, which helps bring down the Instagram ad cost per click.

  • Ad Relevancy Score

Instagram aims to cater to its users with more relevant posts, no matter if they are ads or simple feed posts. Through ad relevancy score, Instagram determines who will see your ad and how likely it is that people will engage with your ad.

When people engage with your ad by liking, commenting, sharing, or clicking on it, it will improve your ad relevancy score over time and that will help reduce your average cost per click (CPC). If your ad relevancy score is low, the amount you pay will go up quickly.

  • Targeted Audience (Demographics)

Targeting the wrong audience means lower or no engagement, which ultimately leads to higher costs. For instance, if you want to attract B2B customers, you may find it more expensive to run ad campaigns because, for now, there are fewer businesses on Instagram that engage with other businesses.

If we focus on demographics, you will find it costlier to advertise on Instagram for a female-only audience as females are more likely to engage with advertisements on Instagram.

  • Audience Size

When you target broader audiences, it typically costs you less because the competition is less. On the other hand, as you narrow down your audience – maybe through geo-targeting (location) or age group, you may see a rise in the cost because competition for particular groups is typically higher.

However, eliminating the age range that costs you higher can also help reduce the bottom line. So, in this case, you should start an Instagram campaign with a select audience, and then adapt depending on whether the cost per click is rising or going down.

  • Estimated Action Rate

A higher estimated action rate means the probability of getting desired results is also higher. This is something that Instagram thrives on. Instagram wants you to run ads that compel people to engage and interact with. If Instagram finds the estimated action rate for your ads higher, it will be willing to put your ad in front of its users first. It will ultimately lead to a lower bid amount.   

  • Competition

Competition is one of the biggest factors that affect the cost of Instagram marketing. When more people are competing to gain the attention of the same target audience, it can result in a bidding war. Consequently, with higher competition, CPC can shoot up in no time. No matter what industry or niche you belong to, there is always some competition.

  • Occasion (Holidays and Events)

Instagram ads that target special occasions are often costly because almost every business aims to reach audiences by offering lucrative deals and special discounts. For instance, in India, Holi is the upcoming festival that people celebrate with enormous excitement and love. So, on this occasion, almost all businesses targeting Indian audience will aim to increase earnings by attracting more leads in a variety of ways. Since the competition will be high during that time, it will drive up the CPC quickly. So, you need to budget for popular occasions wisely.

  • Day of the Week

Contrary to the belief of many people, engagement on Instagram on weekends is lower.

cost for Instagram marketing

Image Source: SproutSocial

The most consistent engagement is found between Monday and Friday. And engagement gets lower every day before 6 a.m. and after 9 p.m. While the best day to launch ads on Instagram is Wednesday, the worst time to launch ads is Sunday. So, if you are running ads during weekdays, especially on Wednesday, then expect to pay higher.

  • The Market

The cost of advertising on Instagram also gets influenced by the market. Some markets always have higher competition, for instance, apparel and cosmetics. As a result, CPC for ads of certain markets is usually higher than that of other markets with lower competition.

Is Advertising on Instagram Free?

If you want to run ads on Instagram, you must have a Facebook Page to run ads. Once you have it, you can create your business profile on Instagram for free.

Yes, you can promote your products and services on Instagram free of cost with a well-thought-out strategy. In that case, you must have highly engaging ads that offer value to your followers and compel them to share them with others that increase the reach of your ads.

But it does not always work. Even after having amazing videos and making enormous efforts in writing valuable content, the reach of your content stays limited. In that case, Instagram ads come to your rescue to help you enjoy greater exposure.

Are Instagram Ads Cheaper Than Facebook Ads?

Instagram users are better at embracing ads more readily than Facebook users. Ads on Instagram receive higher engagement rates and that too organically. The engagement is higher specifically on video ads. So, no, the cost per click (CPC) of Instagram ads is not lower than that of Facebook ads.

The average CPC of Instagram advertising is $3.56 while the average CPC of Facebook advertising is $0.97. Falcon.io says the average CPCs of Instagram ads and Facebook ads are $1.28 and $0.51. On the other hand, Agorapulse’s research found that CPC on Facebook is 42.86% lower than the CPC on Instagram.

While you can see a significant difference between the price ranges, you can easily conclude that Instagram ads are not cheaper. However, you should not change your mind about advertising on Instagram because experts also admit that the results you see with Instagram are better and Instagram ads get more quality clicks when compared to Facebook. 

Is there any way to save money on Instagram advertising?

Yes, there are not one but many ways that can help you produce cost-effective Instagram ads. Some of these are:

  • Select campaign objectives that are funnel-appropriate. Build your customer funnel based on user behavior.
  • Allow your followers to explore and shop your offerings without leaving Instagram.
  • Use automatic bidding so that you don’t overspend on ads. Sometimes, marketers tend to spend more money than they need so that they can outbid others. This, in fact, is not good for a cost-effective advertising model.
  • Test your target audiences with different ad variations to find what resonates with them the most. It can improve engagement rates and CTR and that, in turn, will lower Instagram advertising costs.

Final Thoughts

While setting up Instagram ads, think about whom you are trying to reach, who you have already reached, and who you don’t want to reach. There’s no need to spend money on top-of-the-funnel ads for audiences that are already happy customers. While Instagram advertising may seem expensive to you, you should still explore this social media platform as this is one of the hot apps that young adults love to spend time on and can help you enjoy better engagement and leads.  

Vijaya Tyagi

Vijaya Tyagi

Vijaya Raj Laxmi Tyagi has been an avid content writer for over three years with a keen interest in writing SEO articles and blogs. She also finds great enthusiasm in writing about a vast variety of topics, including gardening, interior designing, health & wellness, and tourism. Her educational background in Computer Science and Engineering has given her an edge to write about technologies that tend to mark a great impression on daily lifestyle and behaviour, while her intrigue towards Mother Nature drives her to discuss green topics.
Vijaya Tyagi

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