Benchmark Report, PPC Metrics

Instagram Ad Spend ⬆ 177% + Benchmarks for CPC, CPM, & CTR

In Q3 2018, we analyzed nearly 872 million impressions and over 6 million clicks on Instagram to calculate median CPC, CPM, and CTR for the ever popular social platform. According to a digital marketing report released by Merkle in July, marketers are shifting massive dollars to Instagram because they’re seeing results, including visits to brand sites produced by Instagram growing 111% Y/Y in Q3 2018, far outpacing most other social platforms. Keep reading for additional insights and to see how your numbers stack up against our calculations. You can also download our Q3 2018 Benchmark Report for extensive stats on CPM, CPC, and CTR benchmarks for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube, and Bing Ads.

Instagram CPC, CPM, & CTA for Q3 2018 at-a-glance 

  • Median CPC was $1.09
  • Median CPM was $6.90
  • Median CTR was 0.67%

Instagram CPC lowest on record
Despite Instagram being the hottest ticket for marketers in Q3, median CPC was the lowest we’ve seen it, dropping 28 cents since last quarter, and plummeting from where it was in Q3 2017, when it was up 75%.

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Q3 2018 Instagram ad performance data from 871MM Impressions and 6MM Clicks

Instagram CPM also on a downward slide
Proving itself a savvy bargain for marketers, median CPM on Instagram dropped $1.70 from last quarter and is down 40% from the over $11 it cost in Q3 2017, a drop of 40% Y/Y.

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Q3 2018 Instagram ad performance data from 871MM Impressions and 6MM Clicks

Instagram CTR up 150% Y/Y
Though median CTR for ads on Instagram is low in comparison to other platforms, the number has skyrocketed from where it was last year and has been on a steady uptick for the past two years.

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Q3 2018 Instagram ad performance data from 871MM Impressions and 6MM Clicks

Instagram ad trends Q3 2018
Ad spend up 177% Y/Y. Advertisers may be pushing pause on some of the dollars they had earmarked for Facebook, but they’re not afraid to reallocate that money to Facebook’s other major platform — Instagram. According to a digital marketing report released by Merkle in July, Instagram ad spend was up 177% year over year for Q2. Our own VP of Product, Paul Wicker, says Instagram’s commitment to building out its ad platform paired with the announcement that the platform has reached one billion users, is attracting more brands and marketers to the app.

From marketing tool to e-commerce channel with Shopping. Q3’s major ad platform development was Shopping in Stories rolling out globally, and a dedicated Shopping channel in the Explore tab. Instagram says the Shopping channel in Explore is where consumers can find products from the brands they follow and get introduced to new brands. Finally, brands who have been using Instagram as a marketing tool can up leverage it as an e-commerce channel. Many people in the tech and digital marketing spaces are speculating this is Instagram’s move toward a stand-alone shopping app.

Download the entire report for all the stats on CPM, CPC, and CTR benchmarks for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube, and Bing Ads.  

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Breanna Lambert

Breanna has 10+ years’ experience in marketing, though the tides & trends have pushed her almost exclusively into digital. She lives in the hills above Boulder, CO and spends her downtime outside exploring with her husband, son, and pup.