Instagram Ads, Benchmark Reports

Instagram Ads Benchmarks for CPC, CPM, and CTR in Q4 2018

Despite what’s going on over at parent company Facebook, Instagram continues to thrive, and marketers are more than willing to pay to play, especially as more consumers flock to the platform to discover and buy products and services. In recent studies commissioned by Facebook, of the people surveyed, 81% said they used Instagram to research products and services and 80% said what they found on Instagram helped them decide whether to buy or not. With new features aimed at making marketers happy (check out the Trends section below), stats like this will no doubt sway budgets away from lesser performing channels.

For now, let’s take a look at what we found when we analyzed over 2.2 billion ad impressions and over 14 million clicks for ads on Instagram to surface median CPC, CPM, and CTR.

Be sure to read the Q4 2018 PPC Benchmark Report for additional ad performance trends. Check out our Benchmark Report page for the latest reports by quarter.

Instagram CPC, CPM, & CTR for Q4 2018 at-a-glance

  • Median CPC was $0.83
  • Median CPM was $5.24
  • Median CTR was 0.62%

Instagram CPC ↓ 80.3% Y/Y

According to AdStage’s calculations, median CPC dropped 26 cents since last quarter to the lowest price we’ve ever recorded and is a whopping $4.22 cheaper than it was this same time last year.

Q4 2018 Instagram ad performance data from 2.2B Impressions and 4MM Clicks
Source: AdStage Inc.

Instagram CPM down 55% Y/Y

In Q4, we found that median CPM dropped $1.66 from last quarter and is way down from its cost of over $11 in Q4 2017.

Q4 2018 Instagram ad performance data from 2.2B Impressions and 4MM Clicks
Source: AdStage Inc.

Instagram CTR ↑ 120% Y/Y

Median CTR for ads on Instagram dropped slightly from last quarter but soared from where it was last year when apparently almost no one was clicking any ads on Instagram.

Q4 2018 Instagram ad performance data from 2.2B Impressions and 4MM Clicks
Source: AdStage Inc.

Instagram ad trends Q4 2018

Built-out Instagram Analytics. Before, marketers could only count new followers, website clicks, post impressions, and Story exits, which while helpful, were difficult to pin directly to ROI. With the more robust version of Instagram Analytics, advertisers can now:

  • Learn whether people who comment on or like posts have higher retention rates
  • Compare the LTV of people who interact with your Instagram account vs those who don't
  • Create and analyze the value of segments like “people who have commented on one of your posts”
  • Uncover audience overlaps with the people downloading your app, visiting your website, or engaging with your Facebook Page

New ad type – Promote for Stories. The ad unit allows Instagram business pages to insert their Story into the Stories queue of people they’ve targeted using certain filters. It’s a super simple way for businesses to turn existing Stories into ads without having to do much work. The company said the feature works similarly to Facebook’s Boost in that businesses can pay to instantly show their Story to more viewers.

Cross promotion to bolster IGTV.  IGTV launched in June and hasn't quite taken off like Stories, but Instagram’s not giving up, and the company is hoping some cross promotion will get more eyes on its longer format video hub. In Q4, Instagram announced that users can now share a preview image of an IGTV video to an Instagram Story. From there, friends tap the static image and are taken to the video on IGTV.


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

AdStage Team