The internet is not what it used to be. Nowadays everyone is trying to make a buck on it. This has its ups and downs. If you are one of those who are trying to make money, you can expect a lot of competition. One of the industries that a lot of people flocked to is dropshipping. Once completely unknown, it gained massive popularity. As the industry evolved and matured, so came new and interesting developments. One of the most popular ones currently is hiring social media influencers. But what is it all about and how do influencers fit into this whole thing? You are about to find out!
What Is Dropshipping?
If you are at all interested in the marketing industry, you probably heard about dropshipping. But what is it? Well, simple. Dropshipping is a retail sales method where the seller doesn’t own or stock the product. The seller links the product producer and the customer. The customer buys directly from the producer but through the seller (drop shipper). This means that the customer can buy products at lower prices. The product producer can reach a broader audience of customers. And the drop shipper can connect these two and earn nice profits.
The whole process usually looks something like this.
- A dropshipper creates a store with selected products that he advertises
- A customer places orders for said products through the store
- The dropshipper sends these orders directly to the product producer/supplier
- The product producer/supplier prepares the order and sends it to the customer
As you can see, the dropshipper doesn’t have to do much of anything. They usually limit their work to selecting products and advertising them. This is what makes this venture so popular. The advertisers don’t have to hassle with most things that other retailers have to do. They can focus on one thing and do it as best as possible, earning them more money.
Is Dropshipping Profitable?
When dropshipping first gained traction, the people who did it saw incredible revenue. At first, everyone doing it gained immense wealth as the competition was low and the potential earnings incredibly high. This spawned a plethora of gurus that tried to monetize their experience by showing their wealth and scamming people that wanted to get into the industry.
This lead to dropshipping having a bad reputation. But as people saw what kind of money was involved in the industry, more and more joined. As the competition grew bigger, the margins got smaller and each “piece of the pie” decreased drastically. All of this led to dropshipping being far less profitable than it was in the past. But if you know what you are doing. If you promote the right products for the right price, you could still snag a fortune.
Throughout the years, the industry changed a lot. One of the recent developments in dropshipping is hiring influencers for promotion. This trend spawned a new wave of profitable campaigns. But how does it all work and what is the best way to find influencers?
What Can Influencers Do for Your Brand?
Social media influencers are a relatively new development in the industry. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and other platforms gained in popularity. So did the people that are the biggest creators on these platforms. The people with the biggest following on social media got the name influencers. They got it because they could effectively influence their audience in one way or another.
This was used mostly by advertisers who used the creators’ reputation and influence to sell their products. On social media, most audiences are younger and more impressionable people. The top creators are considered celebrities by their audiences. Most things said by these people are considered as gospel by their audience. This is why advertisers are more and more focusing on advertising through social media influencers.
For the influencers themselves, it’s a great way to earn a lot of money. They usually get sponsored deals that pay a nice sum of cash right away with the promise of a percentage of sales. Something similar to affiliate marketing in a way. One of the biggest social media platforms for these influencers is Instagram.
On Instagram, most of the biggest content creators promote some sort of product in every post. They advertise it as being their ideal product choice. Or as something that can make consumers more like their idols. This is used by marketers and dropshippers for their gain. Using the influencers for pushing your products isn’t hard. You just tell them which products to promote, pay them what you agree on, and hope that their audience buys something. Finding the right influencers is the hard part.
The Best Ways To Find Influencers
As with most things, there are a couple of proven ways to find the right influencers for your products. Not every influencer will fit your needs. Some might be too small. Some might be too big and expensive. Some on the other hand just don’t have the audience you want to target. Finding the right one can be difficult, but here are some tips that can help you in your search.
Browse your recommendations
Sometimes the best influencers you can find are the ones you stumble upon organically. These are the ones that the algorithm deems best for you. And most of the time, the algorithm is right! This free way of discovering influencers should be the first thing you do anyways. When finding a couple of influencers, see what the comment says. Check if they promote other products. Research how they promote them and how their audience reacts to it.
You can utilize the explore and reels page to find content creators in your own niche. The more you interact with content from these creators the more similar influencers will get recommended to you. This way you can see exactly what the platform offers. Keep in mind that you should focus on niche more than audience size. Smaller creators that align more with your niche are much better than big ones that have broad audiences. The more focused your ads are, the more successful they will have.
Check your followers
This tip only works for those dropshippers that invest in their accounts as well. If your account has been growing and has a decent following, you might have a couple of influencers in your follower list. These influencers are most likely already familiar with your brand. They should be happy to work with you and they will promote you to the best of their ability.
You should take a look at each account that has more than a couple of thousand followers. These might have audience members that are willing to listen to small creators and buy those products. What you need to make sure is that those followers are real
People noticed that social media fame is lucrative. This is why some of them found ways to trick the system. Some people buy followers and boost their numbers artificially. This might seem like an account with a big following but in reality, it’s a big lie. Those fake followers will never buy anything from you or anyone else.
Researching if the followers are fake or not can be difficult. First, you should check if people comment and like their posts. See what those comments are. If the comments are unrelated to the content and seem artificial, they are. You can even utilize third-party apps to check on those accounts. Apps like Phlanx and SocialBlade can show you a lot about those accounts.
Searching for hashtags and keywords
Another free way of finding influencers is through actively searching for them on the platform. Instagram allows searching keywords, usernames, and hashtags through its search feature. This means that you can type in keywords that relate to your product category and find popular results for it. Hashtags are also valuable as you can search for broad terms. When searching for these influencers, try finding ones that are close to your niche. These will be much better for business in general.
Instagram advertising through content creators is becoming a big industry. Many third-party apps are attempting to help advertisers find the best influencers. Nowadays multiple services attempt to do the same thing. But out of the bunch, there are a few that stand out from the rest. One of those is Heepsy.
This platform specializes in finding influencers and analyzing their performance. The combination of this knowledge should help you decide who to hire. You need to consider audience, location, engagement, outreach, demographics, and costs.
Consider all of these aspects and compare influencers against each other. Find the ones best fit your business. Negotiate prices always but don’t be afraid to pay your influencers even more than they ask. If they feel you consider them a worthy partner who treats them well. They are bound to work harder on promoting your products.
Product research tools
Product research tools are mostly utilized by advanced marketers who know exactly how to get what they want. These tools give you a list of products to sell, as well as influencers they deem great for that purpose. These lists can be hit or miss at times, but on average they are pretty good.
Two of the most famous product research tools are Dropship Spy and Ecomhunt. Both of them have their pros and cons. These apps even allow you to research particular influencers in detail. Giving you even more information about your potential partners.
To Conclude Things
Dropshipping is very competitive in every aspect. Getting an upper hand and beating your competition is hard. One of the things that might help you differentiate yourself from the rest and coming on top is finding great influencers. With the help of these people, you can promote your products to a vast audience. Compared to standard advertising, using influencers gives far better results on average. But combining multiple ways of spreading your brand is always advisable! If you are a dropshipper, or you want to get into the industry. Consider hiring influencers and promoting your products through their pages.
If you want some more detailed explanations and guides on how to dropship and find influencers. Try joining premium affiliate forums like iAmAffiliate. Where the members can help you with everything!
Have you ever used influencers for your campaigns? Were you happy with the results?