Battle of the Social Marketing Tools: Comparing Dash Hudson, Olapic & Curalate

If you're trying to grow your business with social media, gain brand equity, grow your audience, and turn your gallery of Instagram posts into an IG shop, you'll need a visual commerce platform to help track your progress, as well as measure your KPIs and your ROI.

Below we're breaking down the Instagram marketing tools available to assist you with those efforts. After you're done reading about the Dash Hudson competitors, don't forget to reach out to us to learn more about our own (and best) Instagram marketing solution.

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How to sell on Instagram is the number one question on the modern-day marketer's brain, but it's important to understand that the Instagram ecosystem is about much more than shopping pictures on mobile.

While an Instagram buy button has been every brand's dream since the social network became a marketing channel, it's vital that companies not overlook all of its benefits beyond direct sales.

We know that sales are what determine the health of a business, but in today's landscape, there are myriads of intangible factors that indirectly contribute to bottom lines. That's what Instagram facilitates.

These contributing factors are the brand-building activities conducted on the world's most popular photo-sharing platform, which go beyond transactional exchanges, and do so much on a higher level. They feed into consumers' perception of companies, enabling them to take on a much larger role in people's lives.

But marketers want numbers, aka a concrete way to physically measure the return on all those important resources being allocated to brand activity on Instagram. Enter: platforms specializing in IG analytics.

Measuring Instagram metrics is vital to getting a deeper understanding of your account's performance on the channel. If you're serious about building out your brand's Instagram to have it become a focal part of your marketing activities, you're going to need a tool that helps you track and measure everything you do.

There are many available: Olapic, Curalate, and Dash Hudson, of course. Below is the breakdown of each platform's functionality and pricing to help you make an informed decision on what better suits your brand's needs.

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Don't stress over this important decision, we're laying it out for you!


Olapic is heavily focused on content and UGC, in terms of collecting it, obtaining rights to use it, featuring it on-site, and making it shoppable through their Tapshop tool (same principle as Dash Hudson LikeShop).

They've recently added additional Instagram insights and influencer management tools. It should also be noted that the company was acquired last year and has since scaled back on its sales force and customer service.

Cost & Pricing Model

Starts at $18,000 per year. Yearly contracts.

Mission Statement

"Become A Content-Driven Business"

  • Visual Marketing. Olapic collects images from hashtags across social platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. They then enable brands to reach out to the content creators to request the rights to use those photos for commercial purposes.

  • On-Site UGC. Olapic has a web-integrated widget to feature user-generated content on-site as a gallery or a carousel (like Dash Hudson' Spirit On-Site galleries, but Olapic has a complicated integration process). It comes with an ROI dashboard that includes influencer revenue and conversions on owned content.

  • Consumer-Generated Ads. Olapic lets you take the UGC you've acquired rights to and run it as ads on Facebook.

  • Ad Retargeting. Olapic enables you to plug that content into your retargeting engine to run fresh, organic content as retargeting ads.

  • Instagram Shopping. Brands can use its Tapshop functionality to attribute links to posts and make their feed shoppable (like Curalate's Like2Buy and Dash Hudson's LikeShop).

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Curalate was the first to come up with the link-in-bio solution for selling on Instagram with its Like2Buy tool. It enabled brands to drive sales directly from Instagram posts by attaching links to images and mirroring their feeds online through their link in bio for consumers to shop from.

Curalate also offered Pinterest tools early on, having since moved on to also provide visual commerce marketing solutions for Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Cost & Pricing Model

From $6,000 to $48,000 per year. Multi-year commitments. (The company offers sole Like2Buy pricing for those that don't need other tools.)

Mission Statement

"Make social sell."

  • Social Image Analytics. Allows you to track the performance of all of the images you share across social platforms.

  • Community Management. Enables brands to respond directly to comments on Instagram posts from the dashboard (like Dash Hudson's Community tool.

  • Promotions. Curalate gives brands simple tools to create promoted pins for Pinterest, or to run contests or hashtag campaigns on Instagram.

  • UGC. Curalate enables brands to collect and sift through UGC through hashtags (while Dash Hudson pulls it from photo tags and @ mentions).

  • On-Site Shopping. For brands to monetize editorial or blog content online.

  • On-Site UGC. Just like Olapic, Curalate also enables brands to embed UGC galleries or carousels on their website through its Fanreel tool (Dash Hudson has Spirit On-Site galleries, which has seamless web integration in comparison).

  • Instagram Shopping. Curalate's Like2Buy is the same principle as Olapic's Tapshop and Dash Hudson's Likeshop. This comes with e-commerce reporting.

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You may have noticed that both tools analyzed offer similar functionality. Most businesses start off with Iconosquare, which covers more basic needs, but almost always require an upgrade when they reach a certain level.

Once a company needs something more robust than an elementary solution, they look for an Iconosquare alternative like Olapic, Curalate, or Dash Hudson.

Before you can even think of jumping on Instagram's new shop now button, it's fundamental that you understand how your content is performing singularly and as a whole. That can be achieved through the social marketing tools listed above, but better yet on Dash Hudson.

The competitors listed herein run the gamut in terms of pricing, yet all offer pretty similar tools. Do your research to find what's best for your business, and to also understand what kind of support you will receive from each of these platforms once you've signed on.

Dash Hudson's value comes from deep, robust, unparalleled, and unique performance insights to help you monitor your KPIs and see your ROI. To top it off, our platform is beautiful, it streamlines workflows, and we provide the best customer service in the biz.

We're now taking things one step further and have ventured into computer vision for an even deeper understanding of content and performance.

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