Growing a presence on social media is great for any brand, dropshipping brands included.
And Instagram being one of the most popular social platforms in the world, is definitely a good place to start.
In fact, for many niches, it’s the best place to start.
Next to the large audience, Instagram has many options for selling your dropshipping products online including a bio link, shoppable Instagram feed, story links, and more.
There are so many reasons why you should master Instagram dropshipping, this guide will cover everything you need to know.
Why You Should Dropship On Instagram
Most dropshipping is done through Facebook Ads and rightly so. With Facebook Ads you can get some of the cheapest clicks possible all the while maintaining a relatively good conversion rate.
If you know the ins and outs of Facebook Advertising, know how to do in-depth product research to find winners and have the money to invest — Facebook Ads can get you sales in the very first day.
But Facebook Ads require a lot of data (for which you have to invest a lot) before they become profitable, and even when you become profitable, the profit margins are very low.
On top of that, Facebook Ads only generate you money, as long as you continue to pay for them.
Instagram on the other hand, provides a way to establish an audience and generate sales for your dropshipping store, completely free of charge.
As you continue to grow bigger, your sales continue to increase.
And growth it also exponential. The more followers you have, the faster you will grow.
Meanwhile, you are establishing customer loyalty to your brand.
I’ve established entire dropshipping stores almost solely through free Instagram marketing and have witnessed countless of others do the exact same.
Some even convert their existing accounts into dropshipping brands.
Instagram provides a lot of possibilities that you should not neglect when starting your dropshipping brand.
Even if you prioritize other marketing channels, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table by ignoring Instagrams true potential in generating free, organic traffic.
How To Start Dropshipping On Instagram
Complete Shopify Dropshipping Guide
Starting your own dropshipping store doesn’t have to be hard. Shopify makes starting an online dropshipping store very easy in 2021.
Read our complete guide 👇
Create an Instagram Account
Creating an Instagram account is easy. Simply download the app on the app store (iOS) or google play store (Android) and register an account with your email or phone number.
Next you can pick a username (can be changed later) and a password.
If you’re on a computer, you can register by heading over to instagram.com and performing the same steps.
Edit Your Settings
Once singed up, head on over to your Instagram page and select ‘edit profile’.
This is where you can change your profile picture, add a display name, change your username, add a url and edit your bio.
Add Your Brand Logo
Tapp the change profile photo button to add your brand logo. You want to make sure your logo will fit properly in the circle.
If you have a big logo, you should create a smaller version or icon specifically for your Instagram page.
Inserting your big logo will create a very small and unreadable profile picture that looks very unprofessional.
Don’t be afraid to add a colored background to your logo that matches your brand color palette, instead of just white space.
Link Your Shopify Store
Add your Store url in the ‘Website’ feel of Instagram’s profile settings. This way users can click on your link to be taken directly to your store.
Edit Your Bio
The Instagram bio is the small text that is displayed on your Instagram profile. It’s important this text makes it instantly clear what your brand is about and exactly what you’re selling.
Adding a Call to Action (CTA) such as ‘Discover our discounts👇’ can help encourage your visitors to check out your Shopify Dropshipping store.
Your bio can also be a good place to add your brand slogan.
Emojis are often used to break up content and make reading your bio easier and fun.
To add line breaks in your Instagram bio you can write your bio info in the Apps4life and copy/paste the result to your Instagram bio.
How To Gain Followers On Instagram
Follow Others Within Your Niche
The easiest method to gain followers when you’re just starting out, is by following others.
Look for big pages within your niche and start following people who actively engage with their content.
You can also check out their following and start following from there.
You’ll quickly notice that if they like your content and realize your brand is in their niche, they will follow you back.
By following a small amount every day, you can quickly grow your first 1000 followers.
Establish a Consistent Posting Schedule
It’s important that you post a lot (preferably daily) and post on the right times.
The right time to post, will be the time where your target audience is most active.
The right time is likely to be the evening after work, or during lunch breaks.
In order to successfully grow your Instagram dropshipping brand, you should post at least once a day during those peak times.
By doing so, you’ll get the the best possible engagement and grow a little bit every day because of it.
Share on Other Platforms
You should share your Instagram posts to other places such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and so on and interlink between the platforms.
Doing so will increase your potential reach even more and will eventually lead to an exponential increase of your following.
These platforms can in turn serve as an extra way to generate sales without needing to create new content.
Hold Instagram Giveaways
Giveaways are very good to rapidly increase your Instagram following.
Brands have skyrocketed using this marketing trick in the past, gaining tens of thousands of followers from just one viral giveaway.
The best giveaways, encourage engagement bait in the form of ‘tag 3 friends to participate…’.
Those 3 friends can in turn tag 3 more friends and your engagement train has started.
You should keep your giveaway price niche-relevant and make sure you can afford to give it away.
DO NOT host a fake giveaway. There have been many fake giveaways on Instagram in the past and users can quickly spot the difference between a real and fake giveaway.
Hosting a fake giveaway will only hurt your brand.
Create Engagement Bait
When creating content, you can throw in engagement bait here and there. But don’t overdo it.
Brands that continuously use engagement bait get annoying very quickly, not to mention Facebook punishes them for it.
Here are some examples of engagement bait:
‘Tag a friend who likes …’
‘I love … What is your favorite …?’
‘Comment … if you … ‘
Use Niche-Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags don’t look very pretty, but they do work.
Therefore leaving hashtags from your Instagram feed in favor of aesthetics is a big mistake.
Imagine you’ve created a brand selling yoga mats online.
You’re posting at exactly 8PM every day and get a good amount of likes from your established followers but your brand has reached a plateau and is struggling to grow further.
Simply adding a couple of niche-relevant hashtags such as #yoga & #namaste could get you a lot of extra exposure.
People are looking up these hashtags and those looking up #yoga or #namaste are definitely interested in the practice, maybe even in the market for a new yoga mat.
Encourage Buyers to Tag You
Your customers are the best social proof you have. Encouraging them to post your product to their Instagram feeds, can really help you grow.
You can encourage them by offering a discount code or promise to repost them directly onto your feed, creating a WIN-WIN situation for both you and your customer.
They get the extra attention of being on your feed and your brand gets the social proof of having a customer imagery in your feed.
Stay Away From Fake Instagram Followers
I know. I’ve been there. Fake followers are super cheap and for just a couple of dollars you can get thousands of them.
Wouldn’t your store look so much more successful with them? What harm can it possibly do?
Turns out, a lot.
Fake followers completely destroy your engagement rates. You might think engagement rates are no big deal, but they are.
When the Instagram algorithm chooses which users to show your posts to, they look at your engagement rate.
Why would the algorithm want to share a post that nobody seems to like?
This is what happens when you have fake followers, your post gets shown to thousands of accounts that don’t exist.
These accounts don’t engage with your content, and are thus wrecking your reach.
And once you’ve destroyed your engagement rate with fake followers, it’s next to impossible to revive your account.
Bottom line? Stay away from fake Instagram followers.
How To Promote Your Dropshipping Store on Instagram
Use Instagram Posts To Promote Your Dropshipping Products
As I’ve covered before, you should be posting consistently.
An active feed will lead to engagement and thus an increase in followers.
You should also be promoting your dropshipping products in your posts, but not constantly.
Don’t be that brand that has an Instagram feed of just product images, that’s not how it works.
Would you want to follow that brand? Be honest here. No one does.
But look at this brand, isn’t that so much better?
While this feed is still clearly focussing on selling their brand — they are providing a healthy balance of product image, lifestyle images, niche-relevant quotes, and buyer reposts.
Using Instagram Stories To Promote Your Dropshipping Products
Instagram posts are nice and all, but stories are simply better — and you should take full advantage of that fact.
Followers scrolling their Instagram feed are often quick to miss your captivating post and the message it contains.
With stories however, your post and message — take up their entire screen.
In addition to that, business profiles can add links to Instagram stories that can take the potential customer directly to the product page.
And to top it all off, you can post multiple stories a day and they don’t obstruct your feed, because they disappear within 24 hours.
You should be using (read: abusing) Instagram stories to the fullest extent.
With that, I’m not trying to encourage you to spam your followers to death because that will inevitably lead to unfollowers but you should use stories to your advantage.
When putting up Instagram stories, just like with your feed, keep a healthy balance of sales posts, informational posts, niche-relevant quotes, and messages.
Create a Shoppable Instagram Feed To Sell Your Dropshipping Products
Instagram (and Facebook) can be linked up within your Shopify dashboard.
Linking Instagram with Shopify comes with the advantage that your Shopify product catalog will be available to your Instagram account.
This way, you can add product buy buttons directly to your Instagram posts and stories in the same fashion you would tag someone on a regular Instagram account.
This feature is an absolute game-changer for Instagram sellers and should be used if you’re eligible.
If you aren’t eligible, fret not as you can still let customers shop from your Instagram feed through Later’s linkin.bio feature.
This nifty feature will allow you to make your Instagram feed shoppable and available via your bio link.
Using linkin.bio is completely free so you should definitely check it out.
Using Instagram Influencers To Promote Your Dropshipping Products
Influencer marketing is huge. According to mediakix, brands are reportedly set to spend up to 15 billion dollars on influencer marketing alone.
It’s so big in fact, that some of the biggest influencers in the world simply do not post without promoting an item at the same time.
The explanation for this is pretty simple, spending money on the right influencers is simply 10x better than spending money on any type of ad.
Think about this: do you like seeing ads? Of course you don’t.
But somehow when an influencer is sneakily promoting the next new energy drink, we suddenly want to try it.
The power of influencer marketing is huge.
And as a dropshipper, you should be incorporate some kind of influencer marketing strategy in your Instagram game plan.
Now obviously you cannot afford to hire Kylie Jenner to promote your dropshipping products, but you can hire microinfluencers.
A microinfluencer is basically someone with less than 100K followers.
These influencers are actually affordable and when in the right niche, can get you quite a bit of exposure and sales.
Some micro-influencers will even promote your brand for free as long as you send them your product at no charge.
TIP: in order to get a product to an influencer faster, you can try finding the product on Amazon and purchase it from there.
Having an influencer review or promote your product can have a major impact on your brand visibility, trust, growth and eventually — sales.
Use Instagram Ads To Sell Your Dropshipping Products
Next to spending money on influencers you can also spend money directly on Instagram ads.
This can be done by simply promoting items directly on your Instagram business page or by using the Facebook Ad manager.
I’d suggest you only consider the second option as it will give you access to a lot more data for your targeting.
Advertising on Instagram can be very lucrative, gaining you both brand exposure and sales when done correctly.
But it won’t be easy to break even or make a profit using just Instagram ads.
Instagram Ads are considered cheaper than Facebook Ads but Facebook tends to convert better for your average dropshipping ad.
Personally, I primarily use Instagram Ads for retargeting purposes only, meaning I only send them to warm traffic that is already familiar with my product and brand.
Hopefully, this article has taught you a thing or two about dropshipping on Instagram and why the platform is so beneficial to dropshippers.
Instagram has over a billion active users and you can really leverage your brand on this huge platform.
Here are some of the tips from this article summed up for the fastest growth:
- Post consistently, preferably at least once a day
- Follow similar accounts and engage with others within your niche to grow fast in the beginning stages
- Use good copywriting that encourages your followers to engage with your content
- Mix up your posts, don’t just post product images
- Use Instagram story links to your advantage
- Use (micro)influencers to establish trust, growth, brand visibility, and sales.