How to handle marketing for a Dropshipping store


Dropshipping is a competitive business. Unless you have a powerful marketing strategy, you won’t be able to survive dropshipping. So, let’s find out how to handle marketing for a dropshipping business.

Dropshipping is quite different than traditional business methods. In dropshipping, there are thousands of sellers who are selling the exact same product. Since dropshipping is an eCommerce business, a potential customer has a choice to buy from any of these sellers without any restrictions.

So, you can imagine how hard it is to reach a potential customer and make a sale! That is why you must learn how to handle marketing for your dropshipping store.

Are you a beginner to dropshipping?

Do you know that more than 90% of the newbies fail in dropshipping? The most common reason for this is the lack of knowledge in dropshipping. Check this complete guide for dropshipping to start learning from the basics.

How to handle marketing for a Dropshipping store

As we have been telling over and over again, more than 90% of the start-up Dropshipping businesses closes down within the first few months. One of the main reasons for this failure is, most of the new sellers underestimate the power of marketing.

Usually, people think, if they can run a couple of ads on social media, they can make a large number of sales in dropshipping.

Of course, you can make some sales using ad traffic. But that will not convert into a sustainable business model. In the long run, unless you have a good marketing strategy for your dropshipping business, you will realise that the business is not profitable.

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1. Start by identifying the right target market for your dropshipping store

Marketing is all about reaching the right customer for your products. The right customer is the person who is fit for your products.

For example, there is no point in advertising meat products to vegans. Likewise, you need to find the right customers to sell your dropshipping products. In marketing, we call this process as selecting the target market for your business.

Search for the demographics and psychographics

Now, how to identify the target market for your dropshipping business? This part is a bit tricky. First, you have to research for the customer demographics and psychographics.

From that data, you can visualise your potential customers and their interests. So, you can properly address them in your marketing strategy.

Where can you find the demographics and psychographics?

Well, the answer is google and facebook. They have the largest user bases, and they know likes, dislikes, life events, purchase interests and every ins and outs about their users. The users willingly or unknowingly contribute to these data. So, we can benefit from this vast data collections to identify the demographics and psychographics of the people.

How to use Facebook data? You can use Facebook Audience Insights for this purpose.

To have a case study, let us assume that we are selling pet toys as our Dropshipping niche. Now we need to identify the people to show our ads.

Case study – using the Facebook audience insights for Dropshipping Pet toys.

Step 1 – Select the base audience

create base audience for marketing
Select the base audience for your niche

When we select our audience, we can start from the top, and then go down narrowing down our group. To start from the top, here we are going to select our base audience, using the Audience location, age groups and interests filters.

I am thinking of selling only to the USA market. So, I have selected the Audience location as “All United States”. If you have another target market, you can add them too.

And, as we have discussed on the guide to select the Dropshipping niche, the best age group for online sales is age 25 to 40 years. So, I have chosen my target audience to be in that range.

Avoid generic audiences

When it comes to interests, our advice is to try to avoid any generic interests. For example, since you are selling pet toys, if you select pets or even dogs as interests, it is going to pick all the people who like pets or dogs in general.

But we do not want to advertise our products for those who do not own a pet. We need pet owners, who are interested in buying pet toys. So here, I have added the term “Pet supplies” as an interest.

Now, if you look at this term carefully, you will understand that if someone says explicitly that they like pet supplies (not just pets) on social media, there is a higher chance that he or she owns a pet. And, may have already made an online purchase of some pet supply.

When you use specific terms for interests, this is going to narrow down your audience. But remember, that our target is to utilise our ad budget efficiently. So, by targeting a specific audience, we are increasing our chances of getting an ad click.

Once you have selected the above filters, you will see the number of active people and some charts related to that group of people.

You can try the advanced filters, checking for household incomes, life events etc. and narrow down your audience as you wish. But, the above three main filters do a great job selecting a good set of audience.

STEP 2 – Narrow down the audience

Now we are going to narrow down our audience further using the “page likes” tab. This is a significant set of information, as page likes describe a lot about our customers. Also, we can see the customers who have already liked our e-commerce competitors pages. If someone like an e-commerce business page, there is a huge chance that they have already bought something from these sites. This assumption brings in two further assumptions.

create base audience for marketing
Identify the most popular pages in your niche
pick audience of marketing
Select the best fanbase as your audience

Since we are searching in pet supplies niche,

  1. Those who liked our competitor’s pages own a pet
  2. They already bought pet supplies online

Now, this is great insight. It’s like knowing these people in person. And, the most beautiful thing is all this information is freely available.

STEP 3 – Check your audience’s activities

Now what I would do is, I would go through the most popular pages in my niche and check people’s activities on these pages. If you can find pages with a lot of active fans, you can target the fanbase of such pages. For example, the Pet Smart is a leading player in the pet toys niche, and they have an active fan base for their FB page. So I think I can easily target my ads to these people.

Now I go back to the interests search box and type in the name of Pet Smart. This gives me the people who had liked their FB page. Now this gives me around 2M monthly active people. This is an average audience to test your ad.

If you cannot target well using the filters, you may have to increase the audience size further. But, if you can find an excellent fanbase for your niche, you can reduce the target audience.

Having niches for hobbyists is a great starting point for Dropshipping. There are a lot of well active hobbyist pages and groups, so you can easily target such page with this method.

pick audience for marketing
Use google analytics audience data

Now, how can you use google data? Google offers similar user insights on Google Analytics. You can search register with your website, and check for the audience insights for the same purpose.

Since we have described the concepts behind selecting an audience with Facebook audience insights, we will not go into the details with google analytics. But, you can try the search criteria and check for the best audience for your niche using similar concepts.

2. Marketing strategies for a Dropshipping store

Now that you know how to select the best audience for your Dropshipping niche let us see the different marketing strategies you can use to reach your audience.

Low-cost marketing strategies for a Dropshipping store

As we have already discussed, when it comes to marketing, the ad budget matters. But, as a beginner or as a part-time drop shipper, you may not be willing to spend a lot on marketing. So, here we will discuss some low-cost marketing methods which you can use to market your products.

You don’t always have to pay to advertise your businesses. There are different ways to advertise your business online for free.

Facebook groups

Facebook pages with huge fanbases are usually super engaging. In these groups, since all the members can freely create posts, they get a large number of posts every day and reach easily to the member’s news feeds. If you can find a relevant facebook page for your niche, you can do some free advertising on that.

But, before you start, check if the ads are not against the group rules. Also, remember not to spam the group with your ads. Otherwise, people will block you. Also, do not use the group only to post ads. Create new conversations every day, ask questions and answer the questions to build up your reputation within that community.

As of our example, if you are selling pet toys, try to become a pet toy expert within that community. And, when you post an ad, do not go with regular ad templates. Hide your ad inside a proper post, so people do not skip reading that post.

SEO your Dropshipping store

If you ever read or listen to any guide or tutorial about online business, you should have come across with the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is an essential process with any website or online business. By optimising your website (or web store), you can improve your visibility on a web search. It defines how quickly your brand will pop up related to a particular search term(s).

In this guide, we always try to stick to the practical aspects of everything. So, we would never say that you should optimise your site to become the first result in a google search, or even we wouldn’t say your website should be in the first page of a google search. If you are creating your dropshipping store by yourself, we know how far you can go with only the basic knowledge.

But, at this point, if you can have a basic understanding of SEO, and if you develop your site in an SEO friendly way, maybe after a couple of years you will be able to define your spot on a web search. And, as your business grows, you may hire an SEO expert to make things better. And that conversion will be hassle-free.

In this guide, we will define only a few basic tips for SEO. And, we will also show you some useful resources, if you are willing to learn more.

Use only a single H1 (Header 1) tag per page – Create a unique and descriptive title for the product pages. Include the page’s main keywords into the title, near the beginning. And, remember to create a meaningful title, which is readable. Most of the search engines cut off the trailing end of a long title. So, create your page title with max 65 characters.

Use clear and descriptive meta-descriptions – Meta descriptions are the small text snippets displayed below the search results. By creating an understandable and descriptive meta description, you can attract more customers. Create the meta descriptions with an impressive sales pitch and target for a character count of 155.

SEO your drop shipping store
Pick a descriptive and readable title and meta description

Add Alt text for images – Search engines use individual page elements to understand what your page is about. Whenever you add an image, use a readable Alt text with page keywords. Since Alt text is used as an accessibility feature for visually impaired users, you have to describe the image with Alt text.

Use Keywords in page content – To assist search engines in identifying the purpose of your page, you have to include keywords with the descriptions within the page. When adding keywords, remember to make everything human readable. Never forget the true meaning of your site! When you are creating product descriptions, try to target for a word count of around 250 words. Also, you can maintain a blog with your Dropshipping store, to provide more information about the products. For blog posts, target a word count of 500+ words. Since it is easy to write blog posts targeting specific keywords, you can use your own blog to drive traffic to your product pages. This strategy is called content marketing, and we will discuss this further outside this beginner’s guide.

Create backlinks – Search engines use backlinks (other websites providing links to your site) to rank websites. Before you start, you can use free trials of Ahref explorer or Moz to see who is providing backlinks to your competitor’s websites. This can give you a great starting point to understand your business segment. If you are a beginner, you can search for the rising influencers, and ask them to promote your site. We will discuss more about the influencer marketing below. So, in that way, you can have backlinks to your site through these influencer’s blogs or websites.

Other marketing strategies for dropshipping stores

Previously we have discussed some low-cost marketing strategies for Dropshipping stores. When it comes to marketing, if you can spend more, apparently you can reach more potential customers. So, below we will discuss two marketing strategies with some cost involved.

Influencer marketing strategy for dropshipping stores

Influencer marketing provides an excellent opportunity for startup businesses to grow their customer base. As the name suggests, influencer marketing means the use of a well know or famous person in your niche to promote your products. For example, if you are selling fitness products, you can get support from a fitness blogger, a vlogger or an Instagram fitness freak with lots of followers to promote your page.

When you select an influencer, you can have freedom of picking someone who you afford to work with. Influencers with huge fanbase may be costly to reach. But if you can find out a trending influencer, you can develop a business relationship which is mutually beneficial.

If you are selecting a trending influencer, you may not need to pay him or her at all. Sometimes cross-promotion would be sufficient. Sometimes, gifting them some products or product package will be sufficient. There is a lot to learn about creating an efficient influencer marketing strategy. And, since it is beyond the scope of this guide, and we will discuss them in detail later.

Using paid ads for marketing a dropshipping business

Paid ads are the most common and the most popular method of reaching out to the customers. When you are using paid ads, you can select a popular website and ask them to post your ad, or you can use large ad networks to publish your ad on a large number of websites.

Google ads and Facebook ads are the most beginner-friendly ad networks out there. Creating a display ad to promote your business is easier than you think.

When you are using paid ads, you have to consider two things. First one is the methods of selecting an audience (which we have discussed at the beginning of this guide). The second one is the ad templates. Remember that you might have already seen some eye-catching and impressive ads and some sloppy advertisements which degrade the brand itself on the internet.

When you select an ad template, remember to make it about the person who is seeing that ad. Your ad should describe a solution. No one likes to spend money. So, unless you are promoting a sale or an offer, do not highlight the price. Make it more personal and show them how your products can solve something for them.

Be thoughtful about the concept of your ad, and look carefully at the ads of these big companies. Usually, they hire marketing professionals, and by observing their work, you might be able to grab a concept or two.

Now you know the basic marketing strategies for a dropshipping store business, what’s next?

Now that you know the basics of how to handle marketing for a dropshipping business, make sure to keep your knowledge updated!

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