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  • Writer's pictureRogier Visser, Founder Roundabout social

Instagram CPCs, CPMs drop as click-throughs continue to climb

AdStage's Paid Media report offers Q3 benchmark metrics for CPC, CPM and CTR across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Instagram advertisers experienced a drop in cost-per-clicks (CPC) and cost-per-impressions (CPM) in the third quarter compared to the second quarter of 2018, with CPCs down 21 percent quarter-over-quarter and CPMs down 19 percent, according to AdStage’s Paid Media Benchmark report for the third quarter of 2018. While CPCs and CPMs dropped, Instagram’s click-through rate (CTR) was up 8.9 percent. At $1.09, AdStage reports Instagram’s CPC rate during the third quarter was the lowest it has been all year.

Good news for Instagram advertisers. Instagram’s lower CPCs matched with higher CTRs translated to strong results for advertisers on the platform during the third quarter. Instagram CPCs dropped 20.7 percent in the third quarter over the second and CPMs were down 19 percent at $6.90. As CPCs and CPMs fell, CTRs on the platform were up nearly 10 percent quarter-over-quarter — even more impressive, Instagram CTRs saw a 150.1 percent year-over-year increase during the third quarter of 2018.

AdStage co-founder and CEO Sahil Jain said there are likely a variety of reasons why Instagram is experiencing a drop in CPC and CPM rates.

“Seasonality can play a role during the summer months. In addition, however, we have seen continued excitement and investment in Instagram as a network and placement. With the diversified placement options and mediums (for example, video, carousel, etc.), the competition can be distributed allowing for more favorable auction dynamics,” said Jain.

In July, Merkle reported Instagram ad spend was up 177 percent year-over-year — far outperforming Facebook News Feed ads which had increased only 40 percent year-over-year.

Facebook falls short. Facebook’s third-quarter data was not nearly as appealing to advertisers as Instagram’s CPC and CTR results. While Instagram saw its lowest CPCs of the year, Facebook News Feed ad CPCs were at their highest during the third quarter.  In fact, AdStage says Facebook’s third quarter CPCs were the highest they’ve been in 2018 — up 27.9 percent over second quarter results. Meanwhile Facebook’s CTRs fell 35.7 percent between the second and third quarter of the year — meaning advertisers were paying more for less engagement. (Facebook News Feed ad CPMs were down 15.6 percent quarter-over-quarter.)

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