Native Advertising on Instagram: How to Measure Performance

Calling all publishers running native advertising on their social accounts: we've got just the right Instagram marketing tools for you. ☎️


Measuring partner content? No problem.


If you're a regular reader of our blog (hi 👋), then you recently learned here that the Instagram game is different for publishers, as they play the role of both brand and influencer. That dual personality actually encompasses a publication's internal ecosystem, each of those characters serving their purpose for its existence... So they're basically like the Geminis of Insta.

Here's why.

The Brand Personality

Before digitalization, publications spent decades honing a point of view and core values to speak to specifically targeted segments of readers. No matter a person's interests, they could find a magazine that would appeal to those inclinations. Want to prefect that golf swing? No problem. Go real deep on coastal living? Yup. Perhaps you're a horticulture aficionado? Bonjour!

All that to say that niche glossies have built their image around specific points of interest and drilled that ethos into their readers' collective psyche. They've formed a brand aura by positioning themselves as authorities on a hero topic, and delivered on it through a carefully crafted tone and voice.

Visual storytelling specific to Instagram is an extension of that cultivated universe. It's another way to quench reader thirst on an area of expertise while continuing on the mission of distributing the goods... Which brings us to the next point.

The Influencer Personality

A publisher is first and foremost a content distributor and, as we know, makes money with advertisers. The shift to digital shook the industry's process to its core and ad space had to be reimagined to fit the new formats. In order to be able to spread their influence, publications need to make a buck by using that authority to sell their audience on apropos in-feed paid placements. Also known as native advertising.

It's all very meta.

But here's the thing. While buying ad space in a print magazine lets a brand know what kind of reach they're getting based on actual distribution numbers and data, the same cannot be said for social media. Advertisers are a book's bread and butter, and they were once hesitant to move their media buys from print to platform due to the general inability to access return figures.

Until now.

The Martha Stewart social team could get a full breakdown of all of its native advertising placements and present partner @michaelsstores with a full performance report.


Show Me the Money

Nestled comfortably in the Dash Hudson dashboards of our publishing fam members is one of the niftiest little Instagram marketing tools that does big things. It's called Publisher IQ and it's a bit lot of help for media outlets looking to clinch those ad dollars.

Here's why:

  • It helps publishers understand the worth of their Instagram feeds and that of their native advertising spots.

  • It helps them report on results.

  • It helps them understand what kind of imagery performs best.

  • It clears up any confusion as to what to charge for a spot.

  • It's allows them to see exactly what is driving the most success for their partners.

Here's how:

  • Input any of your brand partners into the tool. Once those accounts are in there, it's as easy as clicking into a handle to view all of your sponsored content mentioning that brand.

  • Look at the average engagement rate of all of your sponsored posts for a specific partner. Benchmark that against your average and use that number to adjust your strategy accordingly.

  • Check out how many followers you brought to that advertiser's account by posting about them. You can see the collective number as well as how each individual post did.

  • Click on any of the thumbnails to get an overview of all the post's granular performance stats.

Bet you Shape magazine could sell way more native advertising spaces in its feed if the social team had access to Publisher IQ reporting.


If you're a publisher striving to make your advertisers happy with IG placements, Instagram marketing tools like Dash Hudson's Publisher IQ is what you need. It's hands down the best and only way to sell them with certainty.

Go even one step further and create Boards to segment and analyze your partner content to find out what type of visuals resonate best to ensure that your ads crush it every single run.

Interested in learning more?

native advertising, instagram marketing tools


Want to learn more about how Dash Hudson can help you succeed at visual marketing? Hit us up today (right after you sign up for our weekly newsletter 👇).