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Dropshipping on Instagram: Tips for Promoting your Business

Profile picture of Lilla Stefanovszky
Lilla Stefanovszky
13th October, 2021
11 minutes

As a dropshipper you don't need to take care of holding and handling inventory, fulfilling and shipping orders so you can concentrate on creating a stellar marketing plan. Due to the fierce competition in the eCommerce market, you have to put a lot of emphasis on reviewing and analyzing the 5 C's of marketing and adjusting your marketing strategy accordingly to stay in the competition. To be able to be one step ahead of your competition it is important that you utilize the new and trending platforms and techniques that they're likely not using yet. This will allow you to differentiate your brand and store from your competitors'. In this article, we'll explain how you can promote your dropshipping store on Instagram in order to drive more sales and achieve your goals as a dropshipping store owner.

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Important facts about Instagram

Instagram is a widely known social media platform that is used to share visual content such as images and videos with your audience. The company was founded in 2010 as an independent enterprise but was acquired by Facebook in a little over two years of operation. This was an important addition to Facebook’s portfolio, so much so that Instagram generated 36.9% of Facebook’s total revenue in 2020. Instagram’s audience is constantly growing and its number of users exceeded 1.4 billion during the second half of 2021. According to statistics, 62.8% of Instagram’s audience belongs to the 18-34 age bracket, so if you’re targeting this demographic with the products that you are dropshipping, Instagram is a prime advertising platform for you.

Types of Instagram contents

If you’re considering opening an Instagram account for your business, first you need to know the types of content you can share on the platform and how you can benefit from them. Read further to get familiar with the types of posts that you can use as part of your content mix.

Organic content

Organic content refers to any type of content that is created by you and is not featured in paid advertisements on your social media platforms. This type of content can be found by users based on keyword or hashtag searches. If you’re creating high-quality organic content that is relevant to your audience and is evergreen you’ll have a high chance to get noticed. There are mainly three types of organic content that we differentiate on Instagram:

  • Content on your feed: this content can include anything from a photo to video posts and galleries. These will show up on your followers’ feeds or when a hashtag you have added is being searched in the “Explore” section.
  • Stories: Instagram stories for dropshipping are a great type of content if you want to increase interest in your products and your store. 50% of people claimed to visit a website with the intention of purchasing after seeing it in a story and 58% of people become more drawn to a certain product after seeing them in a “story” type post.
  • Reels: Reels are among the newest functions that you can utilize when dropshipping on Instagram. This function allows you to create, record, and edit 15-second long videos that you can share both on your feed and make them available in the “Explore” section as well. These videos are usually a mashup of pre-recorded videos that you can compile and edit into a compact and interesting format for your audience.
Instagram Paid and Organic posting

Paid content and advertisement

Paid content refers to everything on Instagram that is created as sponsored content by the company itself or in a paid collaboration with an influencer or brand advocate that shares content for that particular company. These can usually come in two forms:

  • Sponsored influencer/brand advocate content: these types of posts are usually shared on the influencer’s page or the brand’s page or alternatively both. The goal is to leverage the audience of the influencer in order to draw attention to your store.
  • General paid advertising: when you want to promote an organic post to boost its views or engagement on that given content you can include it in a paid advertising campaign. When creating a paid ad, you can choose the target audience by setting up multiple parameters based on who you want the post to be seen by. In this case, always pay attention to keeping this targeted audience in line with the type of visitors you would want to redirect to your store.

Marketing tactics to use on Instagram

Now that you are aware of the importance of Instagram and the main types of content you can share on the platform, we’ll present you with specific tools that you can use in order to drive sales in your dropshipping eCommerce store.

Optimize your page’s bio

The first thing you need to set up when creating an Instagram page for your business is your bio. This little piece of text is where you can introduce yourself and your brand and give clues to your audience about what they can expect when following your account. It is advised to highlight your unique selling points in your bio in order to start differentiating yourself from your competition right away. Unfortunately, Instagram isn’t a link-friendly platform like other social media outlets and it only allows you to place a link in your bio. For this reason, it’s a must to use this opportunity and link your store’s website here. Always make sure that you’re pasting a link that has UTM tracking parameters so you can see how much traffic is flowing into your website, specifically from your Instagram bio. The link in your bio can be updated as regularly as you wish so it’s advised that you’re including relevant links in line with the advertising campaigns you’re running at a given moment in time.

Use the relevant hashtags

Including hashtags in your business Instagram captions or comments is inevitable when you’re looking for organic growth and interest from your followers. It can not only be a way of increasing engagement but also a tool to make yourself noticeable. If you’re creating high-quality content and you combine them with the right hashtags your posts are more likely to show up in the “Discover” section of your targeted audience and make them visit your store’s account. To determine the right hashtags and their mix, make sure you include this aspect in your competitor analysis when you’re reviewing their marketing efforts.

Launch your Instagram shop

When you’re dropshipping on Instagram, having an Instagram Store is inevitable. This feature has been added to the platform back in 2019 but as of 2020 Instagram developed this feature even further and now you can even purchase products directly from stories. The Instagram store is a highly useful feature if you are expanding your business and dropshipping products in niches like fashion, beauty, and wellness. When you make a post “shoppable”, a small shopping bag icon will appear in the bottom left corner of your image which will let your audience know that they can purchase one or several items displayed in the photo. When they tap on the image, links will appear on the products you have listed in your Instagram store and these can take them directly to the product pages within the app. If they wish to purchase a product, they can proceed to view it on your website and add it to their shopping cart.

How to utilize your Instagram store to drive sales?

In this section, you can read useful dropshipping tips that can help you to utilize Instagram’s shopping function in the best way possible and make the most of it. Surely each point needs to be further tailored to your targeted niche and your brand image but you can use these guidelines to champion this Instagram feature for your dropshipping store.

Post high-quality images on your feed

Posting high-quality images is not only important on your website but on your social media accounts alike. Professional and harmonious pictures are more eye-catching for potential customers and are highly important, especially on platforms like Instagram that are visual-oriented. Therefore, make sure to take advantage of fashion photo editing apps to enhance your visuals in the best way possible. Nevertheless, you have to be sure you are not just posting product images as that is something to do on your website. Instagram grants you the opportunity to show your products in context and in use to create an atmosphere and enforce your brand image further. Also, be careful if your shop is selling branded products as directly displaying brands and logos might go against copyright laws. To avoid any conflict it is advised for you to use images provided by your dropshipping supplier and add a more generic product description without mentioning the brand name directly.

Once you have a sufficient amount of images on your feed, you should check the analytics that Instagram provides you with and the click-through rate (CTR) on each image. This way you’ll be able to see which are the best performing images and try to draw a conclusion based on the click-through and engagement rates. Once you have found a commonality between your best-performing images you should tailor your future content accordingly but make sure to test new ideas and constantly monitor the performance of each image. This will allow you to create genuine, diverse, and engaging content for your followers and more importantly will likely increase your sales as well.

Create outstanding product descriptions

Again, just like the descriptions of your products in your store, your captions and product descriptions on Instagram are equally important as most people pay attention to these after seeing a captivating post. If a product is appealing in an image, visitors will surely check the product description as the next step before making a purchasing decision. With this being said, consider your captions and product descriptions as direct investments towards your sales efforts, and always think them through before posting an image, if you want to succeed in dropshipping on Instagram.

Use Instagram stories for dropshipping

How to use stories for dropshipping on Instagram?

As discussed above, stories have a high impact on potential customers and they also offer an opportunity for you to communicate in a less formal way as they’ll not remain indefinitely on your profile unless they are pinned. As visitors can not only purchase products through posts but stories as well, this tool can be used effectively to communicate about special offers or seasonal discounts. But always remember to be mindful about the number of stories you post a day as people’s attention spans are declining with the use of social media so you wouldn’t want to overbore your audience with unnecessary and lengthy information. Make sure that you’re posting informative and beneficial information on your products and brand and also use this tool as a call-to-action opportunity to grow your business even further.

How to use influencer marketing for dropshipping on Instagram?

Influencer marketing is one of the most widely used marketing tools for both B2B and B2C businesses alike when it comes to social media advertising. The global influencer marketing industry across all platforms reached 13.8 billion USD in 2021 which clearly implies that it’s a tool that should be used when you aim to grow your dropshipping business on Instagram. If you’re past your beginner phase with your store and you have the means to involve influencers in your marketing strategy, it’s highly advised that you do so. As the main selling point of your dropshipping business on Instagram is the way you differentiate yourself and how consumers perceive your brand, you should definitely expand your scoop and use influencer marketing as well, which is available in many forms, including Instagram shoutouts. Contacting influencers leads to increased sales and earnings on social networks, according to research conducted by the best social media marketing agencies in Canada. If you aren’t sure which influencer would best suit your brand, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the influencer agencies.

To conclude

Considering the above it’s evident for you as a business owner to tap into dropshipping on Instagram once you have your store and business operations in place. The question is not about if you should be using Instagram to promote your business and expand your customers’ pool but rather how you should do it. If you manage to champion this platform you can enjoy a head start compared to your competitors and watch your sales grow.

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