How to Easily and Effectively Advertise on Instagram

Nothing wrong with giving yourself a little boost. The best way to do it is with Dash Hudson's ads tool.

Here's how.


instagram-ads-how-to-advertise-on-instagram-paid-social-sponsoredAd dollars well spent. We make it seamless and intuitive.

It's been almost 5 years since Instagram's been nestled cozily in the arms of adoptive parental unit Facebook. And what a crazy half decade it has been. It's safe to say that the evolution of the the beloved visual app has been unwavering, and going at an increasingly speedy pace.

Growing up Facebook can't be easy. While they have all the best resources in the world readily available, anyone with a heartbeat knows how easy it can be to succumb to the pressures of succeeding (ugh, trust fund babies). Choking is indeed a frequent killer.

Not in Instagram's case though, nope. Insta is the overachieving progeny, the golden child that every parent hopes for. It grew to be so ubiquitous that it's now one of the top priorities for marketers the world over. It's a major brand vehicle, but it's also a titillating visual experience for regular users, i.e. consumers, who are looking to get their aesthetic fix.

It's being used for product launches, community-building, inspiration, growth, influencer marketing, and to drive revenue (hallelujah 🙌 ), among many other things. The beauty of this social channel has been its organic component, unlike its elder, the Facebook. It has thus far been possible for brands to grow an audience and to be discovered by users fairly easily, and without needing to put any dollars behind impressions.

Adidas is a true pro at leveraging insta for product launches.

When the algorithm hit, it rightfully sent folks in a frenzy, businesses especially. They were convinced that their free marketing tool was going to begin adopting their mothership's pay for play model, where it's basically impossible to grow without shelling out some dough on ad campaigns.

Legit concerns, we'd say. But all is still well and it's been almost a year since the change. While the post-algorithm feedback has varied, one thing is for certain: quality over quantity has become key 🔑, because engagement is what makes accounts thrive. Just ask Glossier.

That said, Instagram marketing has become the new normal. Brands are advertising more than ever, now having surpassed the 500k mark. That means that even if you have great engagement and are growing, you could be growing even faster if you hopped on the the Instagram sponsored posts bandwagon. What a time to be alive.

It's effective, it's targeted and it doesn't cost a fortune. And to that you should say: "well why the heck not?!". If running ads on Instagram is not yet a part of your marketing strategy, it might be time to rethink things.

At Dash Hudson, our number one priority is making sure that our customers are as successful as they can be on the 'Gram, the most global visual touchpoint, which is why we're so focused on creating the most intuitively useful tools we can. That's the premise behind the development of all of our functionality. Our very latest, the Ads Manager function, also subscribes to that ideology.

Not only do we make it incredibly easy to create Instagram ads, but we also just came out with a shiny new update that you'll want to check out. To help you learn how to use it asap, we thought we'd put together this little guide to go through all the key features. In true DH form, it's super effortless, it'll save you time, and more importantly, it'll maximize all your efforts.

Ads Manager How-To

  1. Once you're logged into your DH Dashboard, head into the Insights > My Posts tab. As you know, this is the section in which you'll see all of your posted content as it appears in your Instagram profile, ordered chronologically by default. You can select any of those posts to promote as and Instagram ad. And it's so insanely simple.

  2. Click on the piece of content you'd like to boost. Once in the pop-up, click on Promote on the bottom right, which will load the ads booster. From there, choose which purpose you want your promo to serve (learn more, watch more, shop now, etc), fill in the rest of the information you want your ad to have, and scroll down to choose your target audience, running time and budget. Hit Next to review your selection before your promo goes live to make sure all the details are correct. Make adjustments if needed, or hit Promote to launch your campaign!

Instagram sponsored posts paid socials instagram ads advertising campaigns instagram-ads-how-to-advertise-on-instagram-paid-social

3 . Once your ad is live, you can track all of its progress and watch how it performs as it unfolds. Head to the Sponsored > Ads Manager tab on your DH Dashboard. From there, you'll be able to see all your ads, past and present, which you can sort by most recent, highest reach, most clicked, or highest budget. To track your live ad campaigns, click the Active Ads tab and into any campaign on the page. Easy peasy.

Instagram sponsored posts paid socials instagram ads advertising campaigns

New feature alert!

You'll now be able to run promotions on any visual you've created, whether or not it's something you've already posted. Here's how.

  1. Once you're inside your DH Dashboard, go to the Sponsored > Ads Manager menu, to get to the main ads menu we just discussed. At the top of the page above all your current and past campaigns, there's a big blue button to create an ad directly from there.

  2. To get started on a new asset, all you need to do is click on that big blue button that says Create An Ad. From there, you'll be taken into the ad creation pop-up window, where you'll follow the same steps as before: choosing the function of your ad, where you want to direct users, what caption you want it to have, as well as target audience, budget and duration. The next step is reviewing to make sure you entered the right details. Make edits or hit Promote, and you're off to the races. 🐎

Instagram sponsored posts paid socials instagram ads advertising campaigns creat an promotion

Instagram sponsored posts paid socials instagram ads advertising campaigns creat an promotion promoted posts

Monitoring Your Ads

What good is it to run sponsored content if you can't measure its results and ROI? Our Ads Manager makes measuring and assessing a seamless experience. Here's how.

  1. Go into any campaign, past or active, which will take you to a page with all the important info you need. There you'll see the reach of your campaign, how many clicks it received, the total amount spent, as well as a graphic chart illustrating the breakdown of the campaign's duration.

  2. The graph is where you can dig deeper into the campaign results and uncover more granular insights.

    • You can select a designated time period in which you want to see how the campaign fared. For example, if your ad ran for 2 weeks, you can compare its performance on weekends vs. weekdays, etc.
    • You can get really specific and sort to display results by month, by day, and even by hour.
    • You can also sort the results by reach, clicks, numbers of comments, number of likes, engagement, or how much you've spent.
    • When hovering over the nodes, the precise number for that time frame will appear according to the variable you've selected.
    • Finally, you can download a CSV of the results to be able to beautifully show off your campaign's conclusion.

Instagram sponsored posts paid socials instagram ads advertising campaigns

There you have it! Pretty simple, right? While all the amazing content you're creating on the daily for your Instagram account is consumed with pleasure by your current audience, it never hurts to put a few ad dollars behind it to reach an even broader scope.

IG is still very much an organic platform that puts emphasis on community and discovery, but its evolution in the past year is strategically positioning the app as a place where businesses are supported and able to grow their marketing efforts — unlike their parent company and another little entity known as Snapchat (you might have heard of it?).

Insta's model isn't pay for play —not yet, anyway— but that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay to play a little bit. 🌹


For more information on our Ads Manager, get in touch today (right after you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below 👇).