How to Reduce the Cost Per Follower in your Instagram Growth Campaign

We explain the three biggest factors that determine your cost per follower and share how to reduce it.

The Three Biggest Factors Determining Your Cost Per Follower

In terms of improving your Instagram Growth playbook results, there are 3 primary variables in play that impact your overall performance. We've linked to in-depth videos that audit successful campaigns, providing you with context to figure out where you can make improvements for your ad campaign(s)! The three biggest factors that determine your cost per follower are:

  1. Ad creative

  2. Locations you use for targeting

  3. Interests you choose for targeting

Factor #1: Formatting Ad Creative for Instagram Stories

Your ad creative is the biggest determiner of your "cost per follower."

The better the ad creative, the cheaper your cost per click, which means more fans make it to your profile. Even if your targeting is spot on, if individuals don't find your creative engaging you likely won't see many conversions!

Good ad creative introduces you as a brand to new fans. Fans who enjoy your video ads will be more likely to swipe up, engage with your profile, and (hopefully) follow you on Instagram.

Best practices for ad creative include:

  • Use video instead of image (if you have video content, we recommend deleting the auto-generated image Eventbrite Boost includes in your campaign by default)

  • Format video creative for Instagram Stories (9:16 aspect ratio / 1080x 1920px)

  • Limit video creative to 15 seconds

  • Include a brief description of the brand in the video

  • Focus on including a human element, if possible. These tend to outperform videos that don't feature real people in them.

  • Repurpose old content if you can't afford to make a new video yet. Using older video content has worked well for others, so long as it’s engaging and encompasses your brand.

  • Don't go overboard with A/B testing (if you're only spending $5-10/day try to limit your creatives to 2 variations max). This is because the more creatives you upload, the more your daily budget is spread thin. A limited budget for each creative can make it tricky for Facebook to properly optimize your campaign.

Not sure which tools to use to make the perfect creative asset? Here's our guide on top video editor apps to create instagram story ad creative:

Top Video Editor Apps to Create Instagram Story Ad Creative

Here's an example of creative we've seen perform very well:

If you are unable to get sorted with a video creative, there are still ways to make sure your image creative is as engaging as possible. To do so, we recommend utilizing our Canva integration to combine several of your best photos into an engaging image that includes a “call to action" to follow your account on IG.

Factor #2: Location Targeting

Your cost per follower is also determined by the locations you use for targeting.

The more fans you reach, the more opportunities there are for them to swipe up and follow your profile, driving leads up and your cost per follower down.

Event creators want to get followers in the markets they host their events. Our system will automatically gather all the locations of past events you’ve held on Eventbrite, and make a list of these “Recommended” areas, broken down by the event name. This will determine where you should be advertising. Additionally, a 50-mile radius is added to each event and its corresponding location to ensure the audience size is large enough. You can add or remove locations in this section.

Online event-creators & brands catering to broadly English-speaking demographics should select the “English Speaking” option to see best results, and individuals holding events across the world (virtual or not) can select “Global.”

The recommended location targeting varies from situation to situation. See below for best practices based on your brand & event types.


  • Utilize “Recommended” or "Custom" location targeting

  • Ensure this section has all the areas you hold or will hold events in, plus a 50 mile radius

  • If the population in your city is low, or your events have larger appeal from neighboring locales, you can add in a larger county, additional cities, provinces, or states

  • Try not to go too broad: if you hold events in NYC, individuals in California may not be interested in following your Instagram account.


  • Utilize “English Speaking Countries” location targeting

  • Keep in mind the accessibility of your online events from different time-zones


  • Utilize the “Global” targeting option

  • Understand this will reach countries & territories across the globe

  • This option makes sense for international event-promoters & brands that host virtual events, or run in-person events that have global reach & appeal

While your Cost Per Click may be higher while running Custom-location based targeting (as opposed to Global), the goal is to send your campaign to more interested locations and thus improve the campaign's Click-Through Rates – and hopefully, see more followers as a result!

Factor #3: Following Best Practices for Interest Targeting

Your "cost per follower" is also determined by your interest targeting. You can't target everything as an interest, so it's all about finding a balance where you're not going too broad or too narrow.

Interests are important, even though they influence your cost per followers less than location targeting and ad creative. The interests in the "Interests" section reflect who you target on Instagram. To fill out this section, you will want to add interests that encompass your brand. These interests determine who the ad is sent to, so you will want to ask yourself: Who is my demographic? What are their common interests?

Sometimes a less relevant interest appears. Please double-check your interests to make sure they are all relevant to your audience.

Best practices for interest targeting include:

  • Proofreading a list of 15 - 20 interests

  • Making sure you aren’t going too broad (“Events”) or too narrow (“Backyard Yodeling Club”)

  • Complementing a handful of more “niche” interests with some larger ones to balance things out and expand your reach

  • Avoiding anything ambiguous, such as “Spoon,” which can be referring to the eating utensil or the band

  • Checking the “Potential Reach” of the campaign to ensure you’re staying in a healthy range, typically above 300-400k

Here's an example of targeting you would use as a festival:

Notice this interest list includes some broader items, like "Music Festivals" and "Rock festival," but some more event-specific interests (such as names of artists who are performing at the music festival).

Want to do a deeper dive into performance metrics?

Lastly, if you want some more context on interpreting metrics such as your CPC (cost per click), CPF (cost per follower), and CTR (click through rate), feel free to check out our guide below:

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