Skip to content


Instagram Ads for Dropshipping: How to Run a Thriving Advertising Campaign

Nedina Gjorgjieva
12 minutes
post thumbnail

There’s no doubt that advertising is one of the key ingredients for creating a lasting and effective marketing strategy for your dropshipping business. Great minds, such as Mark Twain, agree on this point and praise the power of advertisements. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising,” observes Twain, alluding to the fact that investing in the right type of ads is bound to bring your products a great deal of fame.

Talking about this right kind of advertising, Instagram ads will easily make the cut, and here’s why:

  • In 2023, Instagram is expected to host over 1.35 billion active users, as stated by Statista, which makes the platform one of the biggest social media platforms that have ever existed.

Find more statistics at Statista
  • In 2022, 79% of marketers used Instagram for advertising purposes, as reported by another study by Statista.
  • Up to 87% of people interviewed said that they took some kind of action after seeing a product display on Instagram, conforming to a survey conducted by Facebook.

With these statistics in mind, it’s safe to say that Instagram is the place to be when it comes to kick-starting your advertising campaign. That being settled, let’s get down to how to run Instagram ads for dropshipping and how will they help you level up your product sales.

Thinking about starting a dropshipping store?

With BrandsGateway's dropshipping service, you can start earning profits in the blink of an eye.

What are Instagram Ads?

As the name already says, Instagram ads are the advertisements you’ll come across on the social media network Instagram. Businesses, including dropshipping store owners, make frequent use of them to promote their products and services as the platform can expose them to thousands of hundreds of potential customers. Instagram ads are pretty recognizable, usually featured with CTA buttons, and can run on both Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and Audience Network to name a few.

How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?

Instagram ads have a unique billing system that enables you to spend as much or as little as you want, allowing you to stick to a budget. The final cost of your ad comes down to the bidding model you choose, such as CPM, CPC, CPR, CTR, and many others which you can read about in this article on Facebook ad metrics. Therefore, when creating Instagram ads for dropshipping, you can expect to pay from $0.01 to $7 or more per ad campaign.

Get the latest tips on how to run your dropshipping business straight to your inbox!

Our dropshipping articles have helped the growth of numerous dropshipping businesses across the world.

*By subscribing you agree to receive newsletters with the latest articles. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Are Instagram ads good for dropshipping?

Instagram ads are a splendid way to advertise your dropshipping business. They’ve shown great effectiveness in informing customers about products they might be interested in, helping stores experience significant improvement in their eCommerce conversion rates.

How many types of Instagram ads for dropshipping are there?

Just like Facebook, Instagram offers at users’ disposal 4 basic types of ads:

Image ads

Simple and straight to the point, image ads convey products in a single photo, putting a strong emphasis on the product that’s being promoted, and thus, successfully catching the attention of users. This is why the image ad is the most commonly used type of ad as it doesn’t include any distractions but rather focuses solely on the item advertised.

Collection ads

Designed specifically for mobile devices only, the collection ads include both photos and videos from multiple products, usually part of the same product collection. These ads are quite popular among dropshippers as they allow customers to have a look at a few items at the same time, encouraging them to make a few more purchases than planned.

Carousel ads

Carousel ads are another type of ad allowing you to combine both videos and images, this time in a slideshow format, enabling you to incorporate up to 10 visuals. You can either introduce various products or advertise the same product by highlighting its different features.

Video ads

Video ads give you the opportunity to be truly imaginative and create something unique and captivating. With these ads, you have the chance to transform your brand’s message much more effectively and leave a bigger impression on customers as dropshipping ad videos are often more memorable than just images. 

Bonus section: Instagram ad formats

Now that we’ve covered the primary types of Instagram ads, we can continue explaining the further differentiation. Depending on the section these ads are delivered in (feeds, stories, reels, etc), they can additionally come in various ad formats as well, such as the following: 

Feed ads

You scroll down your Instagram feed and out of nowhere come across ads. These are your feed ads, often confused with posts by users. The only thing that makes them stand out is the ‘sponsored’ sign located at the bottom.

Stories ads

Stories ads are those that pop up while going through the stories section of Instagram. With up to 70% of the platform users detected to watch stories on a daily basis, as stated by Tech Jury, this ad format is probably among the ones bringing the most engagement.

Reel ads

With reels taking the Instagram world by storm, watched by billions of users, the platform now enables you to create reel ads that can bring you a significant increase in conversions. These can be long up to 30 seconds and must be accompanied by sound or music.

IGTV ads

IGTV ads show up on IGTV videos. They can be up to 15 seconds long and are usually displayed in the middle of the video with the option for users to skip them. Nevertheless, with IGTV content becoming more and more popular, potential customers are likely to discover your winning products through these ads.

Shopping ads

An Instagram shopping ad is not your regular ad. It doesn’t only focus on promoting your fashion product but also allows customers to access it and purchase it without even leaving the platform. 

Article you mind be interested in: Google Shopping Ads for Dropshipping

Explore ads

Explore ads can be found in the Explore Tab, a section of Instagram where users can search for content. These ads won’t appear once you access the tab but rather after you’ve clicked on a photo or video.

How to advertise on Instagram for dropshipping?

It may look a little overwhelming at first, but creating Instagram ads for dropshipping isn’t complicated at all. To get your mind at ease, we’ve taken our hands to provide you with all the specifics of the ad-building process and give you a thorough step-by-step guide on how to advertise on the platform.

STEP 1: Create an Instagram business account

To be able to create ads, Instagram requires you to have a business account. Here’s how you can create and later convert a regular account into a business one.

  • Set up your profile by inserting a picture, a short bio, and a link to your website.
  • Turn your account into a business one by navigating to ‘Edit Profile’ and then ‘Switch to Professional Account.’

STEP 2: Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook page

The Meta Business Suite is the place where you’ll be creating your ads and distributing them across social media. 

However, because Meta owns Instagram, in order to be able to do that, you’ll need to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page and if you don’t have one, you must create one. In addition, you’ll also need a Meta account as well as a separate Meta ad account.

In case you don’t have any of these, continue to our guide on How to Create Facebook Ads for Dropshipping, where you’ll find a thorough explanation of how to set up your Facebook business page, Meta Business Suite Account, and Ad Account.

In case you already have a Facebook business page and both of the Meta accounts: 

  • Open your Facebook business page.
  • Navigate to the page settings.
  • Click on ‘Linked Accounts.’
  • Click on Instagram and select ‘Connect Account.’

STEP 3: Build your first Instagram ad campaign  

Just like Facebook ads, Instagram ads involve focusing on three components – ad campaign, ad set, and ad – each with different features that need setting up.

Create the Instagram ad campaign

The ad campaign focuses on choosing your ad objective which defines the goal of your ad. Here’s an overview of the objectives available for Instagram ads:

  • Awareness – Spread brand awareness of your dropshipping store and products and display your Instagram ads to as many people as possible interested in your brand.
  • Traffic – Get people to click on your ads which will direct them to different locations such as your website, product page, landing page, etc.
  • Engagement – Get people to take action, such as viewing your content or contacting your store, and work on increasing likes, shares, and comments on your engagement interactive posts.
  • Leads – Collect personal data from users (ex. newsletter sign-ups or get people to register on your website).
  • App promotion – Direct people to download your app.
  • Sales – Encourage customers to make a purchase.

To create your ad campaign, here’s what you need to do:

  • Open your Meta Suite Business Account.
  • Click on ‘+Create’.
  • Insert your ad campaign name.
  • Choose your ad campaign objective.

Create the Instagram ad set

The ad set involves defining your audience, setting up your ad budget, and deciding on the placements you want your ads to run as well as the date and time for them to be displayed.

  • Provide a name for your ad set.
  • Decide how much you’d like to spend and set up the dates your ad will run.
    • You can choose between Daily Budget – how much you’d like to spend on your ad per day – and the Lifetime Budget – how much you’d like to spend for the entire duration of your ad.
  • Define your target audience.
    • You can build a custom audience based on demographics, such as age and gender, location, interests, and preferred language.
  • Set up your placements.
    • You can choose between Automatic Placement – your ads will automatically run on places they’re likely to get you the best results – and Manual Placement – you can select the placements you’d like your ads to be displayed on.

Create the Instagram ad

Finally, here you’ll need to build your ad creatives which include deciding on an ad type and format (from the ones discussed above) and inserting a bunch of visual elements (CTAs, description, headline, etc.)

  • Write your ad name.
  • Select an ad format.
  • Include your visual elements.
    • As you can see, this is where you insert your media (photo and video), headline and primary text, call-to-action button, and a URL link where you’d like to direct users once they’ve clicked on your ad.

Best practices to run efficient Instagram ads for dropshipping

Running Instagram ads for your clothing dropshipping business is a full-time job on its own as you need to constantly keep an eye on your ad campaigns to see if they’re getting you any conversions. To further ease up your ad-building process, these are the best practices to put into action in order to give your ads the necessary boost.

Implement audience segmentation

Audience segmentation is probably the most crucial part of your ad campaign. The most effective way to do this is by narrowing it down only to customers relevant to your store – in other words, by creating custom audiences. Despite optimizing your target consumers based on general demographics, you need to go further and start identifying subgroups within your intended audience.

For example, you dropship luxury brands, specializing in selling luxury clothing and accessories. This means besides targeting people interested in buying clothes, you can personalize your clothing ads to specific customers that are interested in buying designer apparel. That can be done, for instance, by including or excluding people from your ads in the audience section of the Meta Business Suite.

Play with ad formats

There’s no way to tell which ad format is the best to use. Therefore, switching the format from time to time will give you the chance to test out which type of ad your customers fall for the most. Based on that, you can plan out your future Instagram advertising strategy and benefit from a  great outcome.

Improve your media files

Now no one would want their ads to run with blurry images and poor-quality videos. What would that say about your ad campaign? That being said, really focus on delivering high-quality, high-resolution media files with the help of good camera equipment and photo editing tools. Moreover, you can always add something extra special your customers would find delightful such as a picture in motion or trending music.

Optimize your budget 

Did you know that there’s a way to let Meta automatically allocate your ad budget across all of your ad sets? Simply activate the Advantage Campaign Budget and let Meta do its magic. The platform will distribute your assigned allowance based on your ads’ performance, investing more in those that are most likely to achieve productive results.

Track performance with Meta Pixel

Meta Pixel is a free piece of software that allows you to track ad conversions. Whenever someone visits your dropshipping store’s website and takes a certain action, the Meta Pixel will automatically fire up and let you know about it. In this way, you can stay on top of your customers’ behavior and use it to tweak your ads.


Instagram ads, along with Facebook ads and Google ads, are one of the best ways to advertise your dropshipping business. All of these platforms allow you to target a wide audience and sell to your customized buyer persona.

Yes, most definitely. With the platform’s enormous user base, running dropshipping ads on Instagram is a marketing strategy you should absolutely not miss out on.

You can advertise your dropshipping business on Instagram by following these steps:

  1. Create an Instagram business account
  2. Link your Instagram account to your Facebook page
  3. Build your Instagram campaign in the Meta Business Suite

There really isn’t a rule regarding how much you should spend on your Instagram ads. It all depends on what you wish to achieve with your campaign (drive engagement, increase conversion rate, spread brand awareness, redirect people to your website, etc.). Luckily, to help you navigate your expenses, the Meta platform allows you to set up a budget for each of your Instagram ad campaigns.

Closing statements

Without a doubt, Instagram advertising can be of great assistance to dropshippers and fellow business owners. With the platform’s ever-rising popularity, your dropshipping ads are certain to catch the eye of a substantial amount of Instagram users. By allowing you to control your spending costs, choose your target audience, and create ad campaigns based on your buyer persona, Instagram will further build up your marketing skills and raise your sales.

Profile picture of Nedina Gjorgjieva

About the Author

Nedina Gjorgjieva

Proud bookworm, passionate content writer and devoted Arctic Monkeys fan. Always in the mood for travel and sightseeing.

Get the latest eCommerce tips and insights to help you grow your online business!

Join our growing community and receive a monthly digest of valuable eCommerce content for free!

*By subscribing you agree to receive newsletters with the latest articles. You can unsubscribe at any time.