March 1, 2018

How to Make an Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping

Bonus: check-list for effective Instagram influencer marketing
The popularity of Instagram influencer marketing shows stable growth. Cooperation with influencers helps dropshipping stores to reach the target audience via the same consumer as they are on behalf of a brand. Any social media network may be used but Instagram shoutouts are especially effective for a dropshipping business. Weighty results are possible even with limited budget. Let's learn how to work out an Instagram influencer marketing strategy and gain profit from Instagram influencer for your dropshipping business.

After reading the article you will learn (click to navigate):
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What is an Instagram Influencer?

An Instagram influencer is a blogger that has already taken a personal rapport with your target audience on Instagram. Followers of influencers are glad to get information about products and services as the content is presented as interesting, informative and even entertaining, unlike annoying commercials.

Influencer shoutouts are effective marketing content, as bloggers are "heavyweights" relatively similar to celebrities. They are known among your niche audience as well as respected. The audience is genuinely excited about products and services, so dropshippers gain organic traffic.

Why Influencer Marketing in Instagram is Powerful for Dropshipping Businesses?

1. 91% influencers say Instagram is their #1 platform, due to its community and opportunities to connect with brands, according to the research.
How to Make Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping: A Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
2. Instagram Influencer wins Instagram owned posts. Already engaged audience get organically excited about the brand/product as they are loyal to an influencer. Look at engagements of Instagram influencer posts and brands' posts:
How to Make Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping: A Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
3. Businesses earn 11 times higher sales ROI with influencer marketing, according to the study of Tapinfluence.

4. Ad relevance.
You choose influencers followed by to your targeted audience.

5. Customer acquisition cost. Influencer marketing doesn't require much investment from dropshipping store owners. Even $5 is enough for an Instagram shoutout.

6. Faster results in comparison with Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads is the most popular tactic among dropshipping online store owners. Dropshippers see results within 12-24 hours after an Instagram shoutout, however, Facebook Ads require several days to test and then scale when dropshipping.

7. Increase in sales by means of Facebook Lookalike Targeting after Instagram shoutout. There is a possibility to create a Facebook Lookalike audience to target the audience similar to the customers that purchased after influencer shoutout.
We may sum up these seven reasons saying Instagram influencer marketing is effective for dropshipping business. There are only some hidden pitfalls like "wrong" influencers, fake followers, follow-to-follow, "not visible" shoutouts for an audience, or bloggers get payment upfront and disappear.

We're going to cover the steps you may take and find the ways out to each pitfall to craft an effective Instagram influencer marketing strategy for your dropshipping business.
Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping: Step by Step
Here is a scheme how dropshippers cooperate with influencers:

  1. A dropshipper finds an influencer
  2. Provides information about a product for a shoutout
  3. An influencer post if make and the influencer gets payment
  4. A dropshipper receives orders from followers
Now let's split the whole process to have a step-by-step guide specifically for a dropshipping business:
Step 1 - Create your Instagram business account
Create an Instagram business account of your brand first if you still don't have one. Add a description, a link, hashtags, contacts, make some posts. In the end, your account should eliminate credibility. Now we won't go into details how to make an account effective. Let's focus on profitable Instagram influencer shoutout.
Step 2 - Install Facebook Pixel
Install Facebook Pixel on your dropshipping store if you haven't installed it yet. It helps to measure audience activity on your Shopify dropshipping store. You may use this data to target Lookalike audience on Facebook. It means you are able to reach new audience similar to people who became your customers after a shoutout as they are likely to be interested in your dropshipping products.
Step 3 - Select a product
Select a product or products for promotion. Visit a dropshipping marketplace Dropwow to import products to your Shopify dropshipping store:
How to Make Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping: A Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
Trending and Impulse items are weekly updated and may be used as a product research source.
Note: Your dropshipping niche and products you wish to promote should match an Instagram shoutout. It works best for niches of passion. Fans act under impulse as they like the goods of their passion and get a recommendation from a person they know.
Step 4 - Find the right influencers
Where to find Instagram influencers? There are two options for sourcing:

Option A - Influence platforms. Below you may find a list of some platforms with a possibility to filter Instagram profiles by different parameters.
There are lots of influence platforms, you may Google even more than you see below. I won't tell much about these sources, as there is another option which is not complicated for using, in addition it's free of charge which is important for dropshippers with tight budget.

Option B - Instagram search bar. Yes, it's that trivial.

  • Go to Instagram and search tags by hashtags. For instance, if your niche is Unicorn lovers or Star Wars fans you search by hashtags #UnicornLovers or #StarWars:
How to Make Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping: A Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping How to Make Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping: A Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
  • If your niche is Baby Night Light, use hashtags of your category niche like #baby, #motherhood, #newmom, #parenting, #maternityleave, etc. If your niche is Kitchen Gadget, try #cookingtime, #beautifulfood, #learntocook, #cookingathome. Use imagination and creativity when search!
  • Pay attention to "Related" hashtag variants
  • Click the hashtags bloggers use for their posts
  • Examine similar influencer pages Instagram offers after Follow click.
Who is the right influencer for dropshipping? An appropriate Instagram influencer for you should match the following criteria:

1. Niche fit - Our task is reaching our targeted audience via influencer that's why we check if a blogger matches the niche you have. Pay attention to posts and followers of the account. For instance, if you offer sexy women underwear or bikini, look through followers in case there are mostly men but you target women.
2. A number of followers is an important factor as it affects a shoutout cost and a number of people a shoutout will reach.
What is a recommended number of followers? Someone may associate Instagram influencer marketing with celebrities (top Instagram influencers) that have millions of followers. As we're saying about tactics applicable to dropshipping business model, there are let's say common numbers for effective shoutouts when you don't pay too much to reach as much audience as possible. In dropshipping you start from Instagram influencer from 30 to 50 thousand followers and 500-600 thousand followers is usually maximum.

The study of 500 top Instagram influencers showed "general engagement rates decreased as popularity grew. For those with less than 1,000 followers, the research showed an engagement rate of just over 15 percent. For those with fewer followers, a high engagement rate can help boost brand image and earn more followers. However, as that follower number increases, engagement falls off significantly. Those with 100,000 followers or more jumped down to a 2 percent engagement rate. With those followers, though, 2 percent still represents 2,000 users to interact with and can help maintain a sense of loyalty among followers".
How to Make Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping: A Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
A number of followers on Instagram is important, however, investment into cooperation with rising stars known as micro-influencers generates higher engagement. It is also good for the start when you're a beginner in Instagram influence marketing.
3. Content quality.

4. Activity of followers (engagement rate). We should browse how often followers like and comment posts to predict engagement rate of a paid shoutout. There are two parameters to check here:
  • A ratio of likes to followers. It's ok when a ration is 4%. For instance, a number of followers is 100,000 and a number of likes under posts is 4,000.
  • A ratio of likes to comments. 1-5% is ok. For instance, a number of likes under posts is 4,000 and a number of comments is 40-200. You will read below how to check ratios.
5. Quality of comments. When you see comments like "great", "cool", "love it" and so on, these comments are probably fake but we need real followers to reach our goal.

6. Quality of followers. You may go even deeper (especially if you had negative experience before) and check some accounts of followers to learn if they are real, fake or follow-for-follow.

"Follow-for-follow" is a method of gaining a massive following by asking other bloggers to like and comment. A blogger who was liked and commented follows back. This way bloggers help each other to attract brands for shoutouts. In this case, the number of followers is usually similar to the number of likes.

7. Fast growth. We check history to be sure a number of followers grew gradually. You may look how a number of likes and comments grow under posts or check if there are few posts with a large following. When there are spikes or the same number of likes under posts, it's unusual following activity, so followers are probably fake.
How to check Instagram influencer accounts?
  • Manually - Fast growth, low activity, dead audience, boosted likes, follow-for-follow, etc. may be checked manually. It will only take time.
  • Use tools - Check if audience and its activity is organic or not via services like,
Look how you may identify boosted followers & organic growth:
    How to Make Effective Instagram Shoutout for Dropshipping: A Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
    Why check so many parameters?

    You need to eliminate risks before you start working with influencers, as there are many boosted following and likes of the dead audience (Instagram bots). You will pay a fixed payment for a shoutout that will result in zero purchase in the end.
    Step 5 - Set your goal
    When you found Instagram influencers and selected products for shoutouts, it's time to define a goal. It's needed for negotiation with influencers and analysis of results. The main target is getting new dropshipping store visitors to purchase. You may also focus on getting new subscribers to your Instagram account.
    Step 6 - Send a brief to the influencers to stand out
    Contact several influencers and think how you may attract their attention to your offer. Send a message via Instagram Direct Message. Use other contacts they have on the account for instance emails. You may also comment the most recent post and ask to check a message from you. If you wish to contact via email, remember to make a tempting subject. Include the following points in your message:

    • Information about your brand
    • Information about your product
    • A high-quality image of a product. You may also send a product itself which is less popular among dropshippers
    • A task - what you expect from an influencer
    • Your email for convenience
    • Notify you will duplicate the content on your account. As both of you have the same target audience this should interest an influencer especially if your account has many followers.
    Step 7 - Agree about key aspects
    • Content. When you prepare your recommendations to remember that Instagram influencers, as well as their audience, are visual people. You may require either a lifestyle image, a flat lay with a product or an influencer in the short. You may also negotiate a post with a story. You should also remember not to limit influencers too much regarding content. It should not be a commercial but native, otherwise, it won't work. As influencers have already engaged the audience that in addition keep following, they need freedom for creativity. Let influencers give their feedback to decide together.
    • A clear call-to-action message. Decide to what the desired action the audience should be involved in the content, for instance, Buy now, Shop now. Should they visit your brand Instagram account or go to the store, or else. Agree about the step before the endorsement.
    • A link in bio to the product page. The audience should go directly to the product page (the same rule works here as with Facebook Ads), there should be a link in bio to ease convention. Use Google or Bitly URL shortener. Note: Your product page should be optimized not to ruin the whole Instagram influencer marketing strategy.
    • Cost. A fixed payment is much more popular for Instagram shoutout than a commission of sales influencers drive. Read below about safe payment methods and how much to pay.
    • Day and time of a shoutout. Audience activity depends on the day of a week and time. You may offer your day and time but it's better to discuss both with influencers. They have data in analytics.
    • Method of payment. Choose only PayPal Goods/Services for safe first-time fixed payment. It protects you as you may get your money back if an influencer doesn't follow the agreement.
    • Duration. A paid post maybe deleted soon after posting, if you only negotiate making a post for a fixed price. In this case, a blogger will do the task for which you pay but your expectation may differ from reality.
    • Making other posts right after your paid post. You should also agree when another post should be created right after a shoutout. Instagram Feed works in such a way that it displays only the most recent post you follow. So, if an Instagram influencer creates a shoutout and then he/she makes another post, the last post will be visible in the Feed of the followers. Don't expect engagement into a shoutout.
    • When you expect a feedback. Discuss a date when an influencer should provide data if you expect any.
    Influence marketing is all about partnership so you may discuss many things together about the issues like a product to promote. You may offer an influence to choose a product. Or a blogger may advice what image to create as he/she knows the audience much better than anyone else.
    How to Get the Most from Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
    Step 8 - Make an offer to buyers
    Offer free shipping or make a time-limited sale providing a discount code to stimulate impulse purchases.
    Step 9 - Duplicate the post
    Duplicate the same post on your Instagram account with a call-to-action message and a link in bio to the product page.
    Step 10 - Be online
    Stay online when the post is created to respond questions. The activity usually lasts for about 2-3 hours so you won't need to stay online forever.
    Step 11 - Scale
    Implement tactic constantly to scale. Implement Instagram influencer marketing consistently into your game plan. Don't use the same images but hire influencers weekly. Practice the tactics every week starting from micro-influencers with 30,000-50,000 followers.
    How Much Dropshippers Pay for Instagram Shoutouts
    Final prices for an Instagram shoutout in dropshipping business depend mostly on a number of followers:

    • 30,000-50,000 - $5
    • 50,000 - $10-15
    • 50,000-150,000 - $10-25
    • 150,000-300,000 - $20-40
    • 150,000-500,000 - $30-60
    You may ask why the prices "overlap". The point is that an engagement rate is also an important factor. The lower it, the lower price you pay. Moreover, a package effects on prices. If you order (1) a post, (2) a link in bio and (3) a story you pay more than for a post with a link as you reach more audience.

    Remember that a link in bio may not be included in the price you get from a blogger. In ideal, agree about a post, a link in bio and a story.

    Talk about a discount for 10 or 12-hour posting. Influencers usually charge for 24-hour posting. You may ask for a discount for 10 or 12-hour post, as the audience is engaged more at the very beginning during the first 2-3 hours.

    Negotiate about a number of posts in case of long-term cooperation. Discuss bulk and schedule posts.

    If you wish to negotiate about commission (not a fixed payment) on all sales that influencers drive, it usually varies from 5 to 10% in dropshipping.
    Measure Success of Instagram Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping
    Finally, it's very important to track and measure marketing campaigns for further analysis and scale. You need to know if you reached the defined goals. Instagram shoutout success may be checked by these measures:

    • New customers and purchases. View a total number of clicks, visits and reached goals (purchases, visits) from the Instagram channel in Google Analytics.
    • Engagement rate. Request for influencer's analytics to view a shoutout engagement.
    • New followers. Check your Instagram account to see an increased number of followers, increased engagement of your account.
    • A frequency of discount codes used if you provided any.
    • Calculate income.
    • Calculate ROI.
    Bonus 1 - Check-list for Effective Instagram Shoutout
    Here is a check-list for effective Instagram influencer marketing:

    • A brand Instagram account is created
    • Facebook Pixel is installed
    • A trending or impulse product is selected
    • The influencer following is your targeted audience
    • The number of followers is higher than 30,000 and lower than 500,000
    • The engagement rate is higher than 1%
    • There are no fake or follow-for-follow likes and comments
    • The following growth is gradual, organic
    • The goal is defined
    • The image is of high-quality
    • There is a clear call-to-action message
    • A link in bio to the product page
    • Time-limited sale or free shipping is offered
    • A product page is optimized
    • The payment method is PayPal Goods/Services
    • You agreed about content, cost, a day of a week, time, duration, the day when the influencer should provide analytics
    Bonus 2 - Source of Trending Products
    There are 200 trending items of this month you may use for influencer marketing.
    Did we cover all the question regarding the issue? Or you still have something to learn? Please leave your comment in the section below.
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