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Case Study: Instagram Stories Generate 79% Lower CPC than Google SEM

Client Background:

Our client operates a gay men's dating and social media website and recently invested $100 in an influencer marketing campaign to promote their platform. The campaign included three influencer posts on social media platforms. The client's primary goal was to drive traffic to their website and acquire new users.

Campaign Details

  1. Investment: $100

  2. Number of Influencer Posts: 3 Stories (each live for 24 hours)

Social Media Metrics:

The performance of the Instagram post was quite promising, as it garnered 1,651 impressions and reached a total of 1,583 Instagram accounts, demonstrating its ability to engage both followers and non-followers. Moreover, the post received significant attention in the form of 278 link clicks, indicating strong user interest. It also managed to secure 61 likes, showing that 61 users hearted the content, while 32 users engaged in conversations by replying to the post.

Additionally, 9 users shared the post, further extending its reach and potential impact. This directly influenced 2 new user sign ups. Overall, this data suggests that the Instagram post was effective in terms of visibility and user engagement, with notable interactions in the form of likes, comments, and shares.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Calculation:

To assess the cost-effectiveness of the influencer campaign, we'll calculate the CPC, which is the cost incurred for each click to the client's website.

CPC = Total Investment / Total Link Clicks

CPC = $100 / 278 = $0.36 per click

Comparison to Google's Average CPC for Gay Dating Websites

To determine the campaign's cost-effectiveness, we need to compare the calculated CPC to the average CPC on Google Ads for gay dating websites. Google's average CPC can vary based on targeting and competition, but it provides a benchmark for evaluating campaign performance.

As of my last knowledge update in September 2023, the average CPC for keywords related to gay dating websites can range from $0.50 to $3.00 or more. The actual CPC on Google Ads may change over time and depends on various factors like targeting, competition, and ad quality.


The influencer marketing campaign resulted in a CPC of $0.36 per click, which is considerably lower than the average estimated CPC for Google Ads of $1.50 related to gay dating websites. This suggests that the influencer campaign has been cost-effective in driving 321% more traffic to the client's website for 79% lower cost. In other words, had the company used SEM, they would've generated only 66 clicks instead of 278.

It's important to note that while the CPC is an essential metric for assessing cost-effectiveness, it's just one aspect of a comprehensive marketing strategy. The client did report that in comparison to an actual SEM campaign in which they spent much more than $100, the influencer campaign resulted in 2 new profile creations while the SEM campaign resulted in 0 conversions. Other factors, such as the quality of traffic, user engagement, and the long-term impact on user acquisition, should also be considered when evaluating the success of the campaign.

The client's investment of $100 in the influencer campaign has generated valuable traffic and conversions to their gay dating website, and the lower CPC compared to Google Ads suggests that this influencer marketing approach has the potential to provide a strong return on investment. Further analysis and tracking of user engagement and conversions will help assess the long-term impact of the campaign.


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