How to lower your Instagram ad costs
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Create Your First Instagram Campaign (The Right Way)

One thing you may notice about your Instagram ads is that costs can be higher, and creep higher much faster than normal Facebook ad placements. We’ve found costs skyrocket after only a few days of campaigns running.

Of course, all of this depends on your bid and budget size. But in general, we’ve found Instagram ads to be more expensive.

Part of the reason for this is due to supply and demand. Instagram has lower inventory than Facebook, with increasingly high demands as more and more advertisers invest in the channel.

At Online Advertising School, we want to help you sell more and spend less. This lesson focuses on some simple tactics to lower your costs on Instagram.

Approach cold and warm leads differently

It’s important to differentiate audiences between cold and warm leads. Warm leads have some relationship with you, like:

  • Page likes
  • Website traffic
  • Emails

Cold leads are people who have no pre-existing relationship or interaction. If you plan to approach cold leads, you could try making the audience larger than normal.

Larger audiences can sometimes lead to lower costs due to less competition for those audiences.

You could also narrow your audience to a very small group of people you know are interested. For example, at Online Advertising School we could target anyone who uses an ad platform.

Ensure your landing page is mobile friendly

Instagram is basically a mobile-only ad platform. Therefore you need to consider where you are driving traffic.

A large page with a complicated form, or a product purchase with a complex checkout process could result in higher drop-off rates.

Look through your data to check for purchase differences between mobile and desktop results.

To mitigate this cost difference, consider serving Instagram ads that direct people to a less complex form, a simpler checkout process or a more mobile-friendly user experience. Chances are your costs will drop.

Modify your targeting

Sometimes costs increase because you have saturated your audience. Everyone who is going to take action has done so, and so your ad becomes less relevant to the remaining people — this drives up costs, as you a) are running less relevant ads and b) fewer of those people are going to take action.

A good rule of thumb: once your ad unique reach approaches your audience size and your ad frequency is over 2, it’s time to stop targeting those people.

Find a new audience who hasn’t seen your ad already and try targeting them. This can often be a good way to lower costs.

Monitor your results

After running thousands of dollars worth of campaigns on Instagram, we’ve noticed a distinct pattern – costs rise dramatically after a few days of ads running, or when you try to scale a larger spend.

Now everyone’s experience could be different. But we recommend keeping a close eye on Instagram ad performance, and setting a lower daily spend. This will ensure you don’t dramatically go over budget.

Next up

That’s it for our introduction to running your first Instagram campaign.

If you want more courses on digital advertising, why not try out our membership? You can join free for the first two weeks to try it out and you’ll get access to all our courses forever, weekly members only lessons, and a private Q&A forum. Click here to start your two week trial.

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