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Instagram is a highly visual platform and an ideal channel for businesses to showcase their products and services.

You can run ads on Instagram in two ways:

  • Advertise within the Instagram mobile app – boost posts directly from your mobile phone.
  • Advertise via a Meta ad account – manage your Meta advertising all from one platform.

We recommend setting up a Meta ad account, which allows you to manage your advertising easily. You can also organise all your Meta assets within the tool, including Facebook and Instagram ads.

What are the different types of Instagram ads available?


Instagram ads are available in several formats, including:

  • Stories ads – target users watching Stories on Instagram.
  • Explore ads – appear in the Explore area as either images or videos.
  • Reels ads – last between 15 and 30 seconds and are served to users viewing non-sponsored Reels, on the Explore page and in their Feed.
  • Shopping ads – take users to a product description page within the app.
  • Image ads – comprise an image and caption, allowing you to advertise your products or services.


What factors impact how much my Instagram ads cost?

The price of your Instagram ads is influenced by several factors, including your total budget, ad quality, duration and campaign objective (more on this later).

Advertisers can set their maximum bids for each auction (the amount you’ll pay for your ad to be shown to your audience), or Instagram can do it for them.

If your bid is competitive and your ad has a high relevance score, you’re more likely to win in the auction. This could mean you may pay a lower cost per impression or click because your ad is highly relevant.

Let’s explore the factors that impact your ad costs in more detail below.

1. Audience

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 2 billion monthly users, according to Meta. You can connect with a vast audience—which is just one reason Instagram ads could benefit your business.

Focus on engaging with your target audience to increase the effectiveness of your advertising. You can achieve this by considering location, interests and gender.

It's important to remember that the competition level for your target audience can affect your Instagram ads cost. If many brands target the same audience, this can drive up advertising costs as advertisers bid against each other for ad placements.

2. Budget

Budgets are the amount of money you allocate to advertising campaigns. Naturally, budgets significantly impact Instagram ad costs.

If you increase the budget for your campaign, your ad may be shown to more users, resulting in more impressions and clicks. A larger budget, however, doesn’t always imply that your ad will be more expensive per click or impression.

If you have a limited budget, you may be restricted to running your ads for a shorter period. In this case, you may have to pay more to ensure your targeted users see your advertisements. Less expensive ad formats are also more cost-effective with a smaller budget.

Choosing a budget that does not place financial pressure on your company but is significant enough to produce results is best.

3. Bid

Advertisers bid against each other in the auction for ad placements on Instagram. A bid represents the amount you’ll pay for a particular action. You’ll only be charged for the number of clicks or impressions it receives.

There are various bidding models for Instagram advertising, including:

  • Cost per click (CPC) – the price you pay for each click on your ad.
  • Cost per mille (CPM) – the price you pay for 1,000 impressions of your ad.

The average cost per click on Instagram varies. In particular, costs can increase with more competition for a specific target audience or ad placement.

4. Ad objective

Instagram advertising costs depend on your campaign objective. There are several objectives to choose from, including:

  • Awareness – ideal for businesses who want to get their brands in front of people.
  • Traffic – best for brands wanting to drive traffic to their website.
  • Sales – if you want users to purchase your service or product.

Your ads are shown to users who are most likely to complete the action you want them to take, whether it's driving traffic to your website or buying a product. If there’s high demand for a specific ad objective, you may need to pay more to achieve your advertising goals.

5. Ad placement

The placement of your Instagram ad can affect the pricing because different ad formats have different prices.

Typically, Instagram Feed ads may be more expensive than those in Instagram Stories or on the Explore page. Video ads are also known to be more expensive than image ads.

6. Ad quality

Meta selects the best ad for a specific time based on bid amount and ad quality. Therefore, the quality of your ad can impact the overall ad conversion rate.

To maximise your return on ad spend (ROAS), make sure your creative is engaging and visually appealing. You should also ensure that your ad and landing pages are useful and relevant to your target audience.

7. Seasonality

Seasonality can impact Instagram advertising costs. Demand for products and services can increase during certain seasons or holidays, leading to more competition among advertisers. This can drive up the cost of advertising on Instagram.

You’ll often see this during events like Black Friday when there’s an increase in advertising competition and ad costs. As a result, you may want to increase your ad spend to compete with other advertisers.

8. Industry

Instagram ads pricing can vary depending on your industry and the competition for ad space.

Industries with high competition for ad space generally have larger advertising costs. Industries with lower competition for ad space will likely have smaller ad costs.

9. Trends

Trends can influence the price of Instagram ads in various ways, including increased demand for the same advertising space, which can drive up prices. For instance, a trending service can result in higher demand and, subsequently, higher ad costs if you increase your ad spending to compete with other advertisers. Trending topics can also affect customer behaviour, influencing the cost of ad clicks and impressions.

10. Ad scheduling

Ad scheduling refers to the specific times you set your ads to appear to your target audience.

Choosing the right ad schedule can help you optimise ad performance and reduce costs. For example, you can run ads during peak hours when your target audience is most active on Instagram to achieve better results and lower ad costs.

If you run ads outside peak times, when your target audience is less active on Instagram, you may experience higher ad costs.

11. Location targeting

Location-based targeting means you can create ads for a particular locality, city, region or country.

Location targeting can increase customer engagement because your audience is served a more personalised ad campaign. This could look like a localised ad relevant to the weather in a particular region or an ad with directions to a nearby store, for example.

You might even target users in a specific country if your product or service is only available there.

By targeting effectively, you can ensure the right people see your ads—which can result in lower CPCs.

12. Device targeting

Device targeting refers to the process of selecting specific devices to display your ads.

A device-targeting strategy can be vital for some ad campaigns. When the right people on the right devices see your ads, it can result in better ad performance and lower CPCs.

For example, if your audience is most active on mobile, you may achieve better performance and engagement if you target your ad by that device.

On the other hand, if you use a broad device targeting strategy rather than a very specific targeting strategy, you may encounter lower ad performance and higher ad costs.

Bidding on Instagram ads

To bid on Instagram advertising, you’ll need a Meta ad account. Then, you can go to your Ads Manager account and select ‘Create Ad’. Select ‘Auction’ under buying type to bid on Instagram advertising and choose ‘Instagram’ as the ad placement.

You can choose from several bidding strategies, including ‘highest volume’. Your bid strategy tells Meta how you would like it to bid in the auction.