Is Instagram’s Sponsored Option Worth It?

Hi everyone!

Today I’m going to “take one for the team” and conduct an experiment. (Before I do, please remember that this may work differently for others and this is just facts from my own personal experience)..

Instagram has a feature in which you can pay to promote / sponsor your photo, meaning if you pay Instagram they’ll show your photos to more people. (Which I think is useless and they should show your photo to all your followers anyway since that’s the reason the followed in the first place, to see the photos…)

I paid £5 to have one of my photos promoted for 24 hours. This means that my photo should reach between 3,800 – 6,800 people and could also encourage people to visit (and hopefully like or follow) my Instagram.

I also chose to let Instagram automatically decide who they think should see my photos and what would be most beneficial to me.

The first few times I tried to pay with PayPal (redirected through Facebook) it crashed, so I decided to pay with my business bank instead since it is technically for business reasons.

After a few minuets of waiting to be reviewed it was finally accepted!

For the first hour there was no change to my photo. 0% increased in visits, reach or impressions.

After 2 hours there was a 7%-10% increase then a quick increase to 18%-23% despite a low increase in likes.

By hour 3 apparently my profile visit % had dropped (How?) but there was an increase in reach and impressions yet the likes were less than I would usually have by this point without the promotion.

After 14 hours there was quite an increase but still all my % were less than 50%.

A few followers contacted me to tell me that they’d seen my post being sponsored, but I wasn’t really aiming to promote to my followers (since they SHOULD be seeing my photos anyway without me having to pay since they did follow me) and I was hoping to reach new people.

21 hours in and my impressions were 1,000 less than predicted / promised.

Then by the last 3 hours they’d only increased by 200 (which is again less than I’d usually get in 3 hours on a non-sponsored post)..

After the promotion had ended I was able to see the stats, all of which were my usual audience but I was quite disappointed at how little it helped despite paying for it.

I found that by paying for a sponsored post my photo was actually interacted with LESS than usual. But I must admit that when I see a sponsored post I tend to skip past by habit, just because I skip past shop’s sponsored posts and both show up as “sponsored” so I don’t tend to look at the photos. So if this is the case then that is understandable but it still didn’t reach as many as I’d hoped!

Overall I won’t be doing this again and I wouldn’t recommend it, but remember it may work differently for others so if you want to give it a chance then feel free!

Please let me know how you get on or wether this works for you!

Best wishes ~ Becca x

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