While dropshipping is great for keeping a low overhead, it cannot succeed to its fullest without solid digital marketing strategies. For people to notice your brand and become customers, there’s some work you need to do. You should think of marketing tactics. But which one to choose among the dozens of approaches?
We know the answer to this question. This post will focus on 3 known digital marketing strategies that still rock and will make your dropshipping store strive.
Challenges of dropshipping marketing
Before diving into marketing practices, let's discuss why you need it. Being quite a well-known strategy, dropshipping has a few challenges to overcome.
Source: Google Trends
From the screenshot above, you see that high levels of competition are constantly growing in the dropshipping segment. Unless you have signed an agreement with the supplier for them to exclusively dropship certain goods, there will always be others selling the same things with sometimes a better price.
Relying solely on dropshipping means that retailers will always need to find ways to stand out in the competition and emphasize their own strong sizes.
When developing a marketing strategy, you need to look at your competitors, carefully analyze their metrics: pricing, conversion rates, customer reviews, and other e-commerce KPIs. As a result, knowing your competitors will allow you to start with the marketing efforts.
Keep in mind that except for brand promotion and customer engagement, you should be able to provide a high-quality customer experience and service.
Target audience identification
With the competition comes another challenge, you need to identify your target audience and not try to attract all the buyer personas possible. For example, you are operating in the online clothing field or any other oversaturated segment. There are dozens of consumer types, and it's a real challenge to interact with all of them. That's why finding your own niche in a broader segment is a solid way to obtain identity and attract target customers.
Without understanding customer segments, their behavior, and communication preferences, it's also challenging to choose a correct dropshipping marketing strategy. In this way, focusing on a smaller segment of customers and leveraging a smaller number of marketing tactics may solve the challenge.
There are also two challenges that indirectly affect marketing efforts:
Usually, to get a better profit, your store should have an increased sales volume. To increase sales, you'd probably require promotion, advertising, and acquisition tactics. These, in turn, need a budget. That's why the challenge of underfinancing can affect your marketing.
Operations costs will always take a good chunk of the profit. To keep the balance with marketing expenditures, a detailed plan and roadmap to understand upcoming marketing spendings are a must. Otherwise, a decline in marketing budgeting is inevitable.
With dropshipping, there is always the need to rely on a number of suppliers who execute orders. Related failures can harm customer experience with your store. Imagine you have started a promotional campaign for a product, warm up your customers, but there is a manufacturing delay. Some customers will wait, some customers will turn from you. And the entire campaign with all the spending becomes useless.
It is essential to ensure there is always a Plan B for the situations when the supplier fails to operate as agreed.
Dropshipping digital marketing strategies to have
With all the existing dropshipping challenges, it still remains one of the effective e-commerce approaches with an expected 29% of annual market growth in the next 4 years.
And while it might be hard to start with dropshipping marketing, your store needs it to bloom, develop, and withstand the competition.
Below, there are 3 digital marketing strategies that you should consider trying.
Content still works
You're now reading this article on the Dropified blog. That's because people still read and like blogs. We find blogs valuable, trust them, and follow the things brands describe or advise.
Launching a blog is a great and relatively inexpensive way to talk to your target audience. The major benefit of blogging is generating more website traffic and attracting new customers.
With SEO magic, your blog can increase relevant, organic, and free traffic. You'll have a higher ranking, a bigger number of daily visitors and potential consumers.
Keep in mind the following core principles of content marketing in 2021:
Only valuable content. A 500-word post about how cool your store is won't work anymore. People strive for valuable content. Product comparisons, posts about trends in your niche, practical tips, personal stories, roundups with expert quotes are the content you should produce. Blogging is about providing value foremost and not about just advertising yourself.
Consistency in posting. No need to post something every day. But try to post on a somewhat regular basis. You'll need to have a content calendar, think of a blog post series describing an area in detail. Never forget about one essential point: quality over quantity.
Various types of content. Content marketing is not about blogging exclusively. People like visual content, so think of making infographics, product reviews with high-quality images. Landing pages for special offers or occasions are a good way to experiment with a more promotional type of content. Creating a podcast series can be a good move as well.
Besides, starting a newsletter, as a combination of email and content marketing, where you can share your store news, best blog posts are a way to distribute your content and engage without much effort.
In general, volumes of content production depend on your goals and, of course, resources. Starting a blog and focusing on textual content empowered by some original visuals is not that expensive to experiment with. You have an option to hire freelance writers and designers, use AI copy services, and post on your own.
Social media is worth trying
Social media presents a good opportunity to spread the word about your dropshipping store. Setting up accounts, showcasing products you have, replying to comments, addressing questions, building trust – through social media, you will have all the means to engage with your target audience.
Additionally, with such an abundance of different social media platforms, you can choose the ones that will suit you best. In the post-Covid environment, Instagram, for example, has increased its advertising potential due to 43% growth in visits. Needless to mention, TikTok bloomed.
But with the various social media platforms, the question arises: which one should I choose? According to the Oberlo research, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram are among the most promising social media sites to grow your business.
Undoubtedly, a selection of which social media to try depends on your niche and target audience. However, Facebook and Instagram work well. If you want to boost your brand’s presence and get noticed, ads on Facebook and Instagram can help you do that.
You can also experiment with non-obvious social media channels like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, or Telegram.
Overall, social media is good because it's focused on customer engagement and fast promotion delivery. You have an opportunity to create different types of content: textual posts, videos, stories, images, carousel posts, etc. The main disadvantage is that it's a trend-oriented, pretty expensive full-time activity. It gets harder to engage customers using the same patterns.
Video marketing is a new black
To buy a product, you need to see it from different angles – it's much better than reading reviews. No wonder that 90% of people are ready to complete a purchase after seeing a product review video.
Source: Grey Sky Films
It is easier for consumers to get a sense of the item, and for you to present your store and goods in a visually appealing way.
For a dropshipping store, videos can make a huge difference and help it withstand massive competition with similar brands. You can start with product reviews, short how-to videos, or a video series. Each and every video you publish can be distributed via YouTube, shared as a blog post, shared on social media as a part of your video marketing strategy.
Another great way to use videos is to cooperate with influencers, experts who are working in a similar niche and ask them to review the products you offer. People have a natural sense of trust and developed empathy towards those they have been watching for a while and will gladly try a new product advised by a trusted person. You might even consider sending an influencer some products for giveaways to their audience to create some buzz as well.
When you can show your potential consumers explicit videos of your products, the latter might become the needed conversion point that results in sales and becomes that advantage for your brand to differentiate from others.
Even though having a video marketing strategy is worth it, the process of creating videos is usually not fast and requires resources.
If you want to get your dropshipping store noticed, digital marketing is your go-to strategy. Among several approaches, the three mentioned above are must-haves. They are relatively easy to implement, they can be interested and mutually empowered, and they show good results.
It would be nice to check your thoughts and the strategies you use. Share them in the comments section.
Dmytro Zaichenko is a Marketing Specialist at Coupler.io, a data importing and synchronizing service. He has 6+ years of experience in content making. Apart from writing, he's passionate about networking and the NBA.