With its 300 million photo-centric users worldwide, Instagram is fast becoming an attractive marketing site. Better yet, Instagram’s advertising setup is nearly identical to that of Facebook, the company that owns it. Rarely discussed however, is the price of advertising on this social media media platform.
Instagram advertisements are presented to their target audiences as sponsored posts, regular photo or video content with a blue sponsored tag above it. Even users who don’t follow the company posting the ad will see it if they fit the target audience criteria. The ads were originally reserved for partners of Instagram, but that changed two years ago when the platform gave all businesses the freedom to market as they please.
The average cost-per-thousand-views for photo ads in 2015 was $6.50. This price may seem steep, but data shows that users are more likely to click on your ads on Instagram than on other social media platform. The average cost-per-thousand-views for video ads was $3.00, while the price of the newly introduced carousel ads, a sort of photo album users can flip through and click on, has not yet been determined.
Fortunately, you’re not limited to paid advertisements only. Your first option is to grow your following naturally by interacting with your customers and posting high-quality content. Hashtags are a great way to reach members of your target audience you may not have otherwise reached, and you can put the link to your website in your posts and on your profile page. When growing your following this way, it’s important to word things naturally and put the majority of your effort into creating aesthetically pleasing photos and videos to draw in customers.
Another advertising option companies have is to set up Instagram giveaways. Typically, contestants are asked to follow the account of the company offering the giveaway, tag a friend in the comments section of the post, or take a photo of themselves using the product or service that’s being advertised. Although there are some related costs to run a marketing campaign like this, it generates much more traffic to your company’s account and ultimately gives you a high return on investment. Make sure you follow Instagram’s guidelines if you choose this route, and consider advertising the contest on other social media platforms as well.
The third and final best option that doesn’t use paid advertising is teaming up with influential brands. Seek out companies that have gained a following and have a target audience similar to yours, then request a partnership. If the company thinks your offer is reasonable, something a simple as mentioning your company in one of their posts could expand your fanbase and bring in more revenue. Sometimes, these partnerships are informal and accidental, but most of the time, they’re organized and cost a few thousand dollars.
Instagram is a great platform to advertise products on. Any of these marketing strategies can work if you spend just enough money, create great content, and get that content to the right people.