You could spend $1 a day or you could spend $1000 a day. It really depends on how fast you want to move the dial and how willing you are to properly train the algorithm as your account grows. A recommended tactic is to determine how much you’re willing to pay to generate the engagement or traffic you desire from the post and go from there. Instagram will then work within your budget to get you as many results as possible.
By now, we all know that social media advertising is a “pay to play” world.
If you want your posts to be seen, you have to put some money behind them to maximize your reach. But how much does it really cost? The short answer: it depends.
Facebook (which owns Instagram) severely limits organic reach, causing the likelihood of your post being viewed without money behind it to be very slim.
To overcome this, businesses are allowed to “boost” existing posts by putting some money behind them. This increases the reach of the post and it is guaranteed to be seen in more users’ feeds depending on how much money is put behind the post.
A sponsored post, or boosted post, is the pared down version of an Instagram ad.
All Instagram ads require you to select an objective for your ad and depending on the ad type, there are a slew of options to choose from.
For a sponsored post, however, there are only two options: website visits and engagement (such as likes or comments).
Similar to the other ad types, a sponsored post will display “sponsored” under the business’ handle in the top left corner of the post. This helps to subtly-yet-clearly make users aware that the images and information they are viewing have been paid for by a brand.
Check out the subtle differences below.
Organic Instagram Post
Sponsored Instagram Post
Note that a sponsored post is not the same thing as a paid sponsorship, which you will see when an influencer is promoting a product on behalf of a brand.
Photos of that influencer may be turned into an ad or may be boosted, thus causing them to appear with “sponsored” under the brand handle. Typically, however, sponsored partnerships attempt to blend in and look as little like an ad as possible.
This is where you’ll most commonly see an influencer posting organically to his or her grid and then using the #ad hashtag to ensure that users know that they are being paid to promote the product.
You may also see a “Paid Partnership” tag underneath an influencer’s handle to indicate that they are being paid to advertise the product in their post. This feature allows the same transparency when using #ad, but allows both the influencer and the brand to gather better data on the post.
How do sponsored posts compare to other Instagram ad types?
Simply put, sponsored posts are an easy way to dip your toe in the water of Instagram advertising.
Unlike other forms, they work off of existing content you have already posted to your Instagram grid so there’s no need to start from scratch. (This can be handy when you have limited resources available to create a fresh campaign.)
Their biggest selling point is that they will get your post in front of a wider audience.
This is great for content amplification — getting more engagement on an already popular or important post or getting a larger pool of people to view blog posts and other content that has a high potential for converting.
This is also a less expensive option for building an interested audience for you to create look-alike-audiences off of to better fuel your ad targeting.
Remember, as mentioned earlier, there are only two objective options available for Instagram sponsored posts. This is a much more limited Objective set than the other ad types. You get what you pay for with Instagram advertising.
These ads are fully equipped with the bells and whistles that pro-level Instagram advertisers need to effectively drive results for their brands.
They can be hyper-targeted and offer a smorgasbord of objective options and call-to-action options (i.e. shop now, get offer, watch now). These options give you more control and flexibility over your creative so you can more effectively match your specific needs.
You’ll likely pay a bit more for these ads, but you’ll be able to customize your campaigns at a much deeper level.
Overall, if you want good, measurable data and more control, go with Instagram’s full-horsepower ads, not the sponsored, or “boosted,” posts.