Facebook-owned Instagram has become been gaining interest from the looks of some stats provided by companies like AppsFlyer and Apsalar, with “a selection of games spanning the Social Casino, RPG, Strategy, Sports and Match 3 genres” becoming notable hits on the site despite the somewhat higher cost.

The show that while Instagram’s cost-per-install is fairly high, it has been doing well to attract game marketers to the platform for user acquisition (UA):

  • Average click-through rate (CTR): 2.32%
  • Average cost-per-install (CPI): $4.17
  • Average cost-per-click (CPC): $0.36
  • Average cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM): $6.22

Meanwhile, numbers across all UA channels in general, provided by Chartboost, are as follows

  • iOS average CPI in US: $2.23
  • iPad average CPI in US: $2.59
  • iPhone average CPI in US: $2.04
  • Amazon average CPI in US: $1.78

To get more insight on Instagram’s strength in this field, we spoke with a couple of involved parties to discuss: Apsalar, an omni-channel data management platform, Christian Calderon of Dots, who has been using Instagram for this specific purpose, and Ayzenberg‘s Charles Vasquez.

There’s a lot that goes into looking at UA channels on the Instagram front, as Christian Calderon, head of marketing for Dots, recently explained to us. “Instagram’s demographic closely aligns with that of Two Dots, and I was really excited to drive awareness for Two Dots to our core audience on Instagram at scale.”

It appears that it’s been greatly effective as well. “Because our core audience is so aligned with Instagram, it has been working out very well for us; Instagram instantly became our top channel, and continues to be. In addition, it is totally additive to our total spend on Facebook,” Calderon said.

But a strategy can only do so much without evolution — something that the team was easily prepared for, according to Calderon. “We tried a few different things creative-wise with Instagram.  I’ve found that the approach that ended up working best for us on Instagram is similar to our approach on Facebook,” Calderon noted. “Two Dots-branded product shots that exemplify the core gameplay mechanic in an art-inspired way are killing it for us on all funnel and ROI metrics.”

The effectiveness of Instagram as a UA channel can go a long way as well, according to co-founder and CEO for Apsalar, Michael Oiknine, explained. “Instagram can be a highly effective channel for app user acquisition,” said Oiknine. “I see four key strengths: engaging, action-oriented ad formats, precision audience targeting based upon a broad range of user characteristics, streamlined ad management via the Facebook Ads Manager, and spend flexibility to accommodate both large and niche ad budgets. But UA is only part of the story. We’re also seeing more and more clients interested in using our audience creation and delivery tools to deliver targetable audiences to the Facebook Ads Manager for remarketing across all of the Facebook properties, including Instagram.”

There’s no question that Instagram is a social media platform with one of the highest level of audience engagement, if not the highest. What remains to be seen is the deeper in-game analytics of these audiences including their LTV,” said Charles Vasquez, Ayzenberg’s Digital Media Director.  Instagram commands a huge social audience, it gives marketers the opportunity to reach highly engaged audiences through native-based ads which increases the relevance of the content. Brands are curating a moment of high engagement with their core audiences. They are showcasing their product in unique and inspiring ways.

“From a retention perspective we are seeing strong metrics that are consistent with the rates we see for programs across the Facebook properties,” Oiknine explained.

As far as how Instagram metrics are being used he stated, “We launched Instagram tracking less than a month ago. But we are already seeing many of our largest clients test and implement programs on Instagram, and inquiries from other clients have been very strong. We ve had clients express interest around the world – in the US, Latin America, Asia, and the EU. Given the strong click, install and retention metrics we have seen, it appears (to be effective). The metrics are strong even in the first weeks of tracking.”

Oiknine concluded, “Instagram can add bigness for a UA program. Instagram offers both scale and the opportunity for precision targeting of a UA program. Further, it s a truly international property with strength in many of the major app markets worldwide.

“Finally, the audience targeting capabilities facilitate great re-engagement opportunities. We’re seeing more and more clients express interest in using Apsalar to deliver customer audiences of user device advertising ids to the Facebook Ads Manager for remarketing efforts across all of the Facebook properties.”