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From 3 to 195 Orders by Promoting Our Dropshipping Store with Instagram Shoutouts

By Polina B.

Promoting Our Dropshipping Store with Instagram Shoutouts
Sometimes it’s pretty hard to say in advance what promotion channel will work for your business, isn’t it? Now that you are puzzling over what strategy to choose, let us draw your attention to an immensely powerful SMM method – shoutouts on Instagram. If you’ve been wondering how to run dropshipping on Instagram easily and efficiently, keep reading!

Study this notable example of a smart SMM strategy of promoting dropshipping on Instagram! This project brought us 195 orders and $2,427 in just 1 month (with only 3 monthly orders being normal just a couple of months before).

A few words about the project:
“Seven Kingdoms Mart” was a WordPress store based on the AliDropship plugin. It offered a wide range of Game of Thrones related stuff: costumes, gadget & computer accessories, T-shirts, other clothing, gifts, posters, jewelry, etc.

Disclaimer: This particular store was mostly used as an experimental playground to test, evaluate, and improve various selling techniques and online management tools. As of now, this store is inactive – we have stopped using it for ethical and legal reasons, and we strongly advise all our readers and clients to avoid selling branded/copyrighted items. Still, feel free to follow the promotional algorithm we’re describing in this case study!

We waited until fan interest reached its peak, just before the beginning of the new season – and we used another huge bomb of recent years – Instagram – to promote the dropshipping site. And there was an explosion.

Here’s the formula of our detonation mixture. Try to cook it yourself:

We used several promotion channels including PPC and on-page SEO. Since the niche is perfect for visual presentation, we were primarily focused on Instagram. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest were also involved, but just as an addition.
Follow these steps if you want to boost your sales:
#1 Create an Instagram account for your dropshipping business and fill it with product posts and entertaining materials. Don’t forget to add calls-to-action, hashtags and enticing captions.
#2 Use Instagram search to find other niche related accounts with the highest possible number of subscribers.
#3 Contact the owners of these accounts via Direct mail, ask if they publish paid shoutouts and discuss the details.
#4 Make the payment and provide the materials for shoutout: a product image, a link to the product page, a short caption and hashtags. Wait until your shoutout begins.
#5 Duplicate the post in your store’s Instagram account. Answer comments and questions about the product, and advise where to buy it.
#6 Watch your number of subscribers grow and the curve of social traffic rise in Google Analytics.
Not as complicated as you thought, is it?

And this is how we followed these 6 steps promoting dropshipping on Instagram:

Step 1: Create an account on Instagram

We opened the website’s account on Instagram and filled it with primary content before starting the promotion.
Dropshipping on Instagram: preparing your account
The content was as follows:
We made a mix of product (commercial) and entertaining (neutral) posts with neutral ones prevailing. They included memorable movie shots, actors’ photos, quotes, series related humor, de-motivators, etc. Photo captions contained calls-to-action, links to the store and popular relevant hashtags to grow the reach.

Example: “Like if you find it cool! Love Game of Thrones? Visit us! #gameofthrones #gameofthronesfamily #gameofthronesfan”.

Product posts contain a merchandise image, its name and price, a call-to-action (“check out the site”, “ask us for more merch”, “tag a friend”, etc.), a note about free shipment and a note that there’s an active link in the bio leading to the product page.

Example: “Game of Thrones Bracelet for only $5.99 (FREE shipping worldwide!) Isn’t it cool? Check out [site name] for more deals like that! Ask us for more merch. Active link in BIO. #gameofthrones #gameofthronesfamily #gameofthroneshbo #gameofthronesfanart #gameofthronesfan #gameofthronesmemes #gameofthronesfans #gameofthronesmarathon #gameofthronestour #gameofthronesaddict”.

We found numerous Game of Thrones related accounts via an Instagram search and followed the biggest ones with most active subscribers (our target audience). We entered keywords such as “Game of Thrones” or “GOT” into the search field and examined the results. Unfortunately, Instagram does not indicate the number of subscribers to the accounts listed in search results, so we had to visit each one to see the number. Be ready to spend some time doing this.
Promote Your Activities in the Field of Dropshipping on Instagram
Instagram is choke-full of Game of Thrones addicts, so the list of fan communities is endless. We joined the most popular ones.

Step 3: Contact the accounts’ admins

Having chosen the biggest accounts (10K to 2M subscribers), we contacted their admins via Direct mail asking if they published paid posts.

In case of a positive reply, we proceeded to the details.
Messaging other accounts' owners
The experienced admins normally have ready price-lists and terms of work. The price usually varies from $15 to $50 depending on the community size. You only agree or disagree to co-operate, depending on your budget and needs.
As for less experienced admins, there is often a space for negotiation. The price and other issues are solved flexibly. Sometimes you are even asked what price you would find reasonable. In such cases our offers were as follows: $5 for a shoutout in a community with 30-50K of subscribers; $10-15 for 50-100K; $20-25 for 100-250K; $25-50 for 250K and more. $50 was our maximum budget. You can also stick to these prices in case you are asked to set the cost yourself.
Some admins can temporarily (until the shoutout is over) place a link to your product page in their bios. Some take additional sum of around $5 for the favor; others do it for free, as a bonus.

Step 4: Provide your materials for the Instagram shoutout

We made a payment by PayPal and provided our materials for the shoutout (BTW, some admins are eager to see them before the payment – they want to be sure that the post will suit the whole account and won’t spoil their reputation). We sent: 1. The product image (or a collage) with our Instagram username and the store’s address printed right over the image. We usually selected one of our bestsellers and made a collage of the product images and a portrait of the hero associated with it:
Preparing a post for an Instagram shoutout
2. The caption text with a call-to-action; 3. The link to the product page. It’s better to use a URL shortener such as Bitly if your link is too long; 4. The hashtags (some admins also offer their variants).

Step 5: Wait for a shoutout

We set the publication time. Intervals were 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. (local time for the audience), which always showed good results. We agreed that the admin would tag us on the photo as soon as the post was published (to know at once when the shoutout started). Shortly before the set time we duplicated the same post in our own Instagram account and placed the same link in our bio. Then, we waited for the start. Here are some screenshots from our shoutouts:
Promote Your Activities in the Field of Dropshipping on Instagram
Promote Your Activities in the Field of Dropshipping on Instagram
Fan merchandise is always welcome in relevant Instagram communities, so the number of likes is usually pretty high:
Instagram shoutout example for a dropshipping store
We answered all comments in both accounts. If somebody asked questions about the product, we answered them publicly and privately (via Direct mail) and explained where the product was available for purchase. Sometimes we offered related products from our store.
Contacting Instagram users expressing their interest in our products

Step 6: Analyze conversions

And then came the time for conversions!
Instagram is not so convenient when it comes to backlinks, but links in bios and in direct messages do work, as you can see. The dropshipping store’s traffic made up 1,000-2,000 sessions per month.
Promote Your Activities in the Field of Dropshipping on Instagram
Orders were not long in coming. Just look at the number of paid orders in the website’s dashboard – and this is for just 3 days!
Promote Your Activities in the Field of Dropshipping on Instagram
These are payment notifications in our mailbox:
Promote Your Activities in the Field of Dropshipping on Instagram

The Results:

In the first three months of Instagram shoutouts, we upgraded from 3 orders and $155 in March to 195 orders and $2,427 in May. The average monthly dropshipping income comprised $4,500.

The Conclusion:

Promotion of your products on Instagram is quite simple and immensely effective for a dropshipping store. Taking into account the huge popularity of Instagram and its focus on visual content, every store of this kind will find its receptive audience here.

Every dropshipping store owner – even those with zero SMM experience – can easily follow the steps described above and reach the same (or even greater) success. To get more information about Instagram Shoutouts check this Guide!

By Polina B.
Polina Beletskaya, Marketing Director at AliDropship, has spent over 10 years as a strategy consultant, working with brands across the world to deliver results from their online presence. Forbes Contributor.
Cha Cha 8 years ago

Hi I wanna asking doing instagram shoutout it must related account with my niche? Which more effective and fast to get sales doing promote instagram shoutout for 30-50K of subscribers; or $10-15 for 50-100K; or $20-25 for 100-250K;?

How to doing right instagram shoutout? can you explanation more to me Yaros?

You doing instagram shoutout begin only this time with Intervals were 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. (local time for the audience) which always showed good results.? its still works and good result?

wazha D Mgadla 7 years ago

Is it possible to use your personal paypal account on the dropshipping or you have to apply for business account

yaros 7 years ago

Yes, you can use your personal PayPal account.

Aamar 7 years ago

I want to know what payment method aliexpress use when we buy from aliexpress or which one is the most cheaper and convenient way for paying to aliexpress.?

yaros 7 years ago

Using your debit/credit card is the most convenient payment method.

Richard 7 years ago

After you make the collage, how do you upload the ad copy to instagram?

yaros 7 years ago

Yes, we make a post with this image as usual.

Monica Aguilar 3 years ago

I would like to start my business.

Liang 7 years ago

May I know how frequent you do Instalgram Shoutout per month to achieve that result? 1 per day?

yaros 7 years ago

it depends on the number of accounts you work with for a particular store, but it is recommended to launch shoutouts not more then twice a week per one account.

Liang 7 years ago

Thank you

Liang 7 years ago

Btw, I found at least 4 similar competitors in my niche using similar website layout and strategies. Any advice?

Jojimer 6 years ago

Hi can I add alidropship plugin to my existing online shop and mix aliexpress products from the local products that I am selling?

Yaroslav Nevsky 6 years ago

Hi, yes, that’s possible, but make sure your site is using WooCommerce platform.

John 6 years ago

Hey I just wanna know what template you guys used for the website. It seems to be the same as the World of Harry website. Looks pretty good. Would love to find it!?

Yaroslav Nevsky 6 years ago

Hi, you can find themes here

Francesco 6 years ago

Hi everyone! I’m kind of super late on the post, but got a simple question… what about copyright infrigements? Is it enough to just say “inspired products” to be able to use their pictures, name, quotes?

Thanks to anyone that may answer!

curious 6 years ago

Is it legal to sell merchandise of these TV series?

Tanka Raj Joshi 6 years ago

Can Ali express directly ship the product to the customer With our logo?
Can we connect to multi dropshipper or not?

Francis Duru 6 years ago

Woow am truly amassed. Been reading any articles I find here.. Really brainstorming especially this one.. I got to understand how shootout are made via I.G would love to get this plugin someday so I can start my own drop shipping business… When I have enough cash I”ll definitely get my self one…. Great post love it.

alibaba 5 years ago

hi i m working on belts,gloves,hair-accessories,hats,scarves,sunglasses how to find related accounts ?please help me

Olga L. 5 years ago

Hi, thank you for your question!

Open Instagram and go to the Search tab. In the search field, write the name of your product categories one by one, and go through the accounts that get shown in the results.

alibaba 5 years ago

can i have your email discuss about my store ?

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