In this article, we’ll get into a deeper discussion about online advertising, revolving around a single question: “How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?”
Every shopper has a good, bad, and best purchase, don’t you agree? Although I’m proud to say that most of what I buy are good buys, there were still a few impulsive lapses here and there: an unneeded gadget that was from a random sale, an unchecked product bought without checking the quality thoroughly, or an item falsely advertised (but you allowed yourself to buy it, anyway!).
If you were to ask me what my best purchase it, it would definitely be my camera and my latest lens I bought from–you guessed it–a year-end sale. Hey, in my defense, holiday seasons give the best discounts and salary bonuses from where I’m from! I bought this really cool lens that was around $360 for full price, but I wrangled it for $266 (see), and this is definitely a best buy for me because I felt that it was my purchase.
Now for businesses, making that best sale is supposed to be a magical moment. There should be an alignment with who you want to sell it to. I’m sure that you’re already well-aware of who your target market is, and that’s good. You don’t want to keep selling just for selling’s sake because if the customer gets mad or has a change of mind, that’s additional operational costs for you. This alignment comes at a price, but it’s very much worth it. In this article, we’ll discuss advertisements and how it’s at its best in recent history compared to old, traditional selling.
Knowing Your Market
First, we need to discuss exactly who your market is. Do you really know who they are and what they stand for? Well, we’re not here to contest that. We’re here to make sure you reach more of them. The first step marketers often neglect are psychographics, or how your clients behave in their daily lives because later, we’ll discuss how integration is key to your business success.
Consumers nowadays are the most empowered bunch. By empowered, I mean these guys know exactly what they want, when they want it, and how much they are willing to pay for it. This empowerment is something where your business can tap into.
Let’s take a look at some consumer behaviors and tick a check mark which one you think you already covered! Plus, we’ll throw in a few tips.
Consumer Behavior # 1: Customers live, breathe, and buy online.
Did you know that over 96% of Americans shop online? Online shopping and e-commerce has been a serious threat to old mum and pop stores left and right. With the click of a button, you’re free check and see hundreds of items with real-world reviews, costings, and the like. It’s easy, and it’s fast, especially for rare items. For example, I’m into vintage camera lenses, and the secondhand market prices are over $50-$200 more expensive and sometimes have the worst conditions. With online shopping, you’re free to check as many items as you want, at your convenience.
How do you get their attention? Make sure you choose the best channels for selling, and give out offers for multiple purchases. Having a wide product berth can make your store shine through more listings, especially if you offer something more niche.
Consumer Behavior # 2: Reviews create customer advocacy and brand trust.
One of the biggest contributors to sales today is social media and peer word-of-mouth. What’s cool about this is that the word-of-mouth doesn’t even have to come from people you know. It was found that over 90% of online consumers check out the reviews before buying a product. Plus, 88% of consumers trust these as actual, personal recommendation!
That’s one of the biggest things empowering shoppers. In the grocery store, before you bought a new beer to try for this weekend’s barbeque party, you had to either ask someone if it’s good, or just guess if it tastes good. Now, we have online review portals and forums for everything–even beer quality! Being online elevates this advantage, and that’s why people veer towards online transactions.
How do you get their attention? Most companies frown on reviews, especially bad ones. But, as Gary Vaynerchuk says, all reviews are gifts from your clients worth paying attention to. Data says that 31% of people are likely to spend 31% more on good reviews.
Don’t pay for reviews; just naturally encourage people to share experiences! Good service and good products are as likely to generate feedback as complaints. When you do get complaints (especially publicly), make sure to resolve it as soon as you can with a cool head and an accurate solution so people can see that you care beyond sales. Social media is a spectator sport, after all.
Consumer Behavior # 3: Customers are more likely to think of your brand presence at a cheaper price.
Marketing still follows the basic tenets it has years ago. One of it’s biggest and timeless pieces of advice is that brand presence is everything; this means being in their top-of-mind for recall, and top-of-heart in emotional connection. With the big brands on top still dominating offline and online spaces, there is actually a better chance for small and medium enterprises to rise up in a sneaky way, even though market saturation is still pretty high right now.
How do you get their attention? Digging deep in a specific niche can help your brand zoom into specific key players. These key players will be the ones you can target to delight, and your brand spreads naturally afterwards. The problem is, some of these clients can be quite a reach to get into. You can get into their social media, their push notifications, or even their news feeds. You’ll need something more than charm to do this, though. This is why we’d like to introduce the concept of advertising on Instagram in this blog.
The Benefits And Cost Of Advertisements
Whoa there, advertisements? Aren’t those things expensive? I’m just a small shop. You can’t expect me to share thousands of dollars for one measly tarp in the middle of nowhere!
This is actually a true sentiment. Many small businesses are not comfortable with showy, expensive marketing. Those ads what we call Above-The-Line executions. They are in the form of tarpaulins, TV commercials, radio mentions. Now THOSE are the really expensive ones and can set you back to well over $10,000 per a 30-second commercial.
We’re not gonna hold on to above-the-line ads. These are for businesses that have the money to burn.
Today, we’re gonna focus on Instagram ads. Now, you’re probably wondering: “Wait, how much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?” Or worse, “What is Instagram, anyway?”
What Is Instagram?
Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms used by companies, customers, or just plain meme content creators monetizing their following. It can also feature videos, has commenting enabled, and people from all over the world can show appreciation to whatever is posted there. It’s one big gigantic canvas where aesthetic key to success.
Instagram is a social media platform. Social media platforms are giants; for perspective, Americans spend over 23.6 hours weekly online, and over 30% of which are spent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like. For marketers, there are tons of statistics and studies online proving this. In fact, a cursory glance should show you just how much of a behemoth social media is. In addition, the generational divisions within social media are also worth considering.
Long story short: Your customers are all on social media. They are literally there, ripe and ready for the taking. The question you have to ask yourself is: What are you going to do about it?
Why You Should Advertise On Instagram, Regardless of Cost
Now that you’re familiar with Instagram, let’s answer another question: Why do we recommend Instagram for advertising, anyway?
Instagram is more targeted. The more streamlined your content is, the more likely you are to tap your niche.
Instagram presents plenty of engagement opportunities. With over 80% of Instagram users following at least 1 brand, engagement is hardwired to the app.
Being on Instagram means you can reach mobile users better, making you more visible. Websites are cool and all, but no one actively looks and checks websites consistently (and they are quite a pain to update from the back end, too!).
With mobile apps, you’re more likely to get more personal and be consistently available. This includes your ads. Another good news: Instagram has celebrated well over 120 million users that clicked on call-to-actions from purchases, price checks, or even just external website visits. Those numbers alone should tell you that no matter how much it costs to advertise on Instagram, it’s worth it.
How Much Does It Cost To Advertise On Instagram?
Okay, it seems logical. Going broad before fishing for your niche. But how much does it cost to advertise on Instagram, exactly?
Advertising in social media is a lot more variable than your traditional advertisements. If the old wall space near HIghway 12 is a consistent $3,000 per month, social media puts you in charge. You are at the forefront of your ads, how much exposure you’re working towards (or if you’d prefer direct call-to-actions), as well as how many you want to tag. Sounds neat! Now, how much does it really cost?
It costs as low as around $0.70-$0.80 for one click on Instagram. We call these CPCs, or cost-per-clicks. These numbers can blow over of course, considering that there is over 10x more brand engagement in this platform. All ad purchases undergo what we call a bid system supplied by a specific settable budget (now that’s relieving to hear).
First, in creating a bid, you need to specify a LOT of things, namely:
Stage 1: Awareness
The main goal is to get your brand noticed.
- Reach: How far do you want your ad to be seen?
- Frequency: Now that you’ve reached them, how often do you want to notify or make your presence known?
- Brand Awareness: How much publicity or exposure are you targeting?
- Local Awareness: Are you going for a specific geolocation? Localities are a great way to specify your niches.
Stage 2: Consideration
Ads in the consideration stage demand one-tier higher ad goals after awareness, namely:
- Website clicks: How many success full website clicks are you paying for?
- Video Views: Are you promoting video ads? These are most common for product demonstrations or quick content bursts.
- Reach and Frequency: Same as in Awareness Phase.
Stage 3: Conversion
NOW you mean business here. Literally.
- Website conversions: How many successful form completions are you going for?
- Dynamic Ads: Are you planning on going for dynamic ads? These guys are a whole beast on their own. In a nutshell, you set-up ads that change depending on triggers you place.
- Mobile App Installs: Are you selling mobile apps? This is your place.
- Mobile App Engagement: If you’re just going for a few impressions on your app, this one is your baby.
After those have been set, if you win in an auction where you offer the best rates for the specifications you set, your ad will show! That’s why niching is an important art in Instagram ads: it makes advertisement costs really low, and you’re sure that the market you’re tapping is relevant and unique. The more unique your ad placement is, the more likely it is that you’re hitting the right market.
Ready For The Cost Of Advertising On Instagram?
Now these might sound a bit too overwhelming, but that’s okay. Just know that if you decide to eventually pursue advertising on Instagram, your $0.70 cents will go a long way. It’s costing well spent!