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How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost in 2021? (+ How to Make the Most of Your Budget)

Mar 26, 2021

While Facebook and Instagram advertising work using the same Ads Manager, their respective advertising costs vary. With Facebook being around longer, having more data, and more ad placements compared to its younger adopted sibling platform, we do find that more often than not, Instagram is slightly more expensive than Facebook in some instances. While that is the case, don’t let it deter you from exploring this lucrative and effective visual counterpart in the Facebook ecosystem. With fewer ad placements, increased competition for impression share, you may pay slightly more to use Instagram, but you may also pleasantly see it being much more cost effective than the results you’re getting with Facebook.

Paid advertising is a powerful marketing tool on Instagram and complements what brands are able to do in their Feeds, Stories, and Explore tabs. While Reels and IGTV don’t yet have ad placements, we may very well see them added as placement as the platform continues to scale and the need for more impressions comes about. Like Facebook ads, Instagram ads offer advanced targeting and flexibility so as to be accessible for just about any business. If this visual platform is a popular channel for your target audience, you may want to advertise on Instagram.

How do Instagram ads work?

Depending on your campaign objective, ads appearing on Instagram can have up to 18 call-to-action button options, can link to your website, and give users options to download applications or shop online stores.

You don’t actually even need an Instagram account to advertise on Instagram. Since Facebook is its parent company, all you need a Facebook Business Page. However, it is best to have an Instagram account so you can familiarize yourself with content that resonates best with your target audience and complement and amplify your organic Instagram marketing efforts.

To set up Instagram Ads, use Facebook’s Ads Manager to set up campaigns, ad sets where you select your budget, target audience, ad placements, and optimization options. Similarly to Facebook Ads, your ads will run within the selected time frame, budget parameters, audience selection, and optimization goals.

What makes Instagram advertising worth the price?

Advertising on social media brings many benefits, and there are some particular benefits of paying for ad impressions on Instagram rather than simply running campaigns and promotions directly from your business’s account.

Advanced targeting

With over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram ranks second after Facebook. These platforms have an incredibly robust arsenal of targeting data and since Facebook owns Instagram, Instagram advertising utilizes the same comprehensive demographic and geographic data. This advanced targeting is what makes Facebook Ads work so well, as you can be incredibly prescriptive when targeting various audiences. Whether you are utilizing Facebook’s native audiences based on interests, behaviors, or other demographics, or utilizing your own custom audiences that utilize your Pixel or SDK, email lists, or other sources, you can find success in reaching the right people in your prospecting and retargeting campaigns.

Higher engagement rates

Instagram is known for its high engagement rates—organically and through paid ads. Images on Instagram receive an average of 23% more engagement than when shared on Facebook. When it comes to organic engagement, brands on Instagram say that they have about 4% of their followers seeing their content compared to the nearly non-existent organic reach that Facebook has today. While it’s better, it’s still wise to pay to play in order to expand your reach and visibility with paid ads.  While any form of visual content can perform well, brands typically see more engagement on video ads—about 38% more. As a visual platform, images and videos are powerful in driving more engagement than on other more text-based social platforms.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

When it comes to Instagram ads where we have a destination URL, we’ve been seeing link click cost per click (CPC) range from $0.50 – $0.95. When it comes to CPC (All) metrics, we see those a bit lower, ranging from $0.40-$0.70. This CPC (All) metrics takes into account all clicks that happen on an ad, which includes not only link clicks, but likes/reactions, comments, and shares. In terms of CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions), Instagram costs since January 1, 2021 have been ranging between $2.50-3.50 for better performing campaigns and their respective ad sets. When it comes to engagement costs, we’re seeing $0.01-0.05.

When it comes to CPMs, our findings show that Facebook tends to be higher than Instagram, by nearly 2x but CPCs tend to be lower by nearly half on Facebook compared to Instagram.

Leverage Instagram ads in 2021

Instagram continues to grow and the advertising options only become more robust. It’s not yet saturated and it’s safe to assume that more ad placements will come our way, hopefully this year, so that our budgets can go further and find success for our brands and our for our clients. Give Instagram Ads a test and see how it fairs in comparison to Facebook Ads and other advertising platforms you may be running on. It may end up being an important part of your funnel by driving more brand awareness and engagement or it may end up bringing a primary source of revenue.

By: Our Copywriting Team | Extracted from

Digiwits • Digital, Creative & Copywriting Agency