Dropshipping is an inexpensive business model and a convenient one to run, but that’s because instead of spending hours on daily operations, your core focus is marketing. You are selling products to the public for a higher price than what you purchased them for, which means you need to convince them why they should. You are also competing against other dropshippers who may sell the same merchandise. Why should people buy goods from you? What do you offer that someone else, or the manufacturer, does not?
The reason lies in branding. When people purchase from you, they are trusting that the price you charge them includes access to helpful customer service, quality materials, and timely shipping. Part of the business is also reaching your audience before other dropshippers do.
Almost all of this process happens online. Ecommerce retailers do not print ads and display them city benches. Instead, they leverage tactics like SEO, emails, and of course, social media campaigns. Each social media platform is different, though, and it’s a lot of work to manage them all (though there are helpful analytics tools and automation techniques). Which channels are the best for dropshippers, and what should you be doing with them?
YouTube is, of course, videos abound. You might think that you can skip this platform because you have no reason to produce videos or because people don’t pay much attention to content over a certain length, but YouTube is the second largest search engine—right behind Google. With 1.5 billion users, there’s an audience on there for you somewhere.
What kind of content should you generate, though? If you sell clothes, maybe you could keep your subscribers updated on the latest fashion trends. If you sell hair products, give people demonstrations of how to use them. Plan YouTube channel ideas ahead of time, and remember that your videos don’t necessarily need to be promotional—they just need to be relevant to your industry.
Instagram is another massive platform with over a billion users. This channel is image-heavy in nature, which means it’s a perfect opportunity to show pictures of your products, or even better yet, photos of people using them. Though you should always stay on-brand, you probably don’t want only to share images of your merchandise, so Instagram is also an excellent place for sharing photography, infographics, and further videos. Remember to respond to comments, comment on and like other people’s posts, follow influencers, publish at advantageous times, and buy Instagram views for your videos if need be.
Facebook provides you with lots of paid advertising opportunities (and you can use its Marketplace if you are not using other dropshipping platforms like Shopify). With ads, you can drive traffic to your website, spread brand awareness, provide offers, get likes, and more.
Even though dropshipping occurs online, people still expect physical products at their doorsteps in a timely manner. Facebook Insights can also give you an idea of where most of your audience lives so that you can cater your ads to them—according to Wood Dropship:
“The first thing to address in Facebook Advertising for a successful dropshipping business is the location. Being a retailer of South Pole, won’t selling windcheaters to the North Polar Bear be a little too adventurous? Target your prospective buyers within a certain geographical circumference where you think you can deliver products the fastest.” `
LinkedIn is the most professional social media platform out there—which means it’s perfect for businesses. Having a LinkedIn account gives you legitimacy amongst customers and fellow entrepreneurs. This is your chance to network with other professionals, build relationships, establish credibility, and identify yourself as a thought leader in your industry. If you tie your personal brand into your business’s, people might also decide to check out your professional history before deciding to purchase from you.
Pinterest is a unique social channel that is optimal for finding products and related ideas. It offers a variety of advertising opportunities, but it’s also a practical place to interact with your audience, learn their likes and dislikes, and keep up with industry trends. What products are people into that you could consider selling? What strategies are your competitors using that you could learn from? Besides posting your own content, you can use Pinterest to pin material from other people’s boards, share user-generated content, and tell your customers just how much you appreciate them and their ideas.
Dropshipping success depends on marketing, but fortunately, you have a variety of social media tools at your disposal. Which platforms will your dropshipping business be on?