Every dropshipper on Shopify knows that an e-commerce marketing campaign is a key element for success. However, many find the Facebook or Instagram marketing options to be expensive, complicated, or ineffective. Sometimes they just give up.
But what if Facebook and Instagram were not the only ways to get customers to your Shopify store? Using Facebook and Instagram as default strategies, dropshippers miss out on plenty of low-budget or free marketing opportunities for their e-commerce store.
The aftershocks of the social media explosion created many new platforms, each with its distinctive specialty. This opened the door to new marketing opportunities. It’s no longer a question of if other strategies work but which of the many are right for your dropshipping business.
This article walks you through twelve strategies to market your Shopify store without Facebook or Instagram.
12 Online Marketing Strategies Without Facebook or Instagram
Before we tell you about these proven e-commerce marketing options, keep in mind that most come down to one of two categories:
- Paid advertisements on a given platform
- Organic traffic to your website at no financial cost to you
Not every platform offers both, but don’t forget to get creative. With so many options, you can create your own strategy.
In many cases, you can rely on organic traffic and save money. However, paid marketing can be the difference-maker for your e-commerce store. Therefore, keep an open mind. On a relatively low budget, you may just unlock high profits.
Without further ado, let’s begin:
As you probably know, TikTok is a short video platform where users make minute-long reels on just about any topic you can think of. Yes, even dropshipping. Initially a Gen Z trend, TikTok now has over 800 million users from many demographics. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular mobile apps globally.
It’s time for you to hop on this train. You don’t have to spend any money on the platform if you’re willing to invest the time. So treat it like it’s the next Facebook or Instagram and take advantage of the free organic traffic opportunity at your fingertips. For example, record a video and add a link to your store in your bio. While we can’t add links in videos, we can get creative by adding social media handles.
If you’re willing to pay, this is a great place to start an e-commerce marketing campaign with less competition and a large and relevant audience. The unique design of the platform will have users scrolling into your ads in no time.
We can all admit to typing questions into Google and ending up on Quora. Now imagine that millions of people are doing the same for their questions! With such high traffic, you might be tempted to start a free marketing campaign by answering questions with links to your e-commerce store.
However, we highly advise against doing that. Quora aims to be a place for the community to find relevant answers to specific questions. Therefore, it has strict policies about spamming with links and bans accounts that try to do it.
But, do not worry! While you can’t use Quora for organic traffic, rest assured that you can invest in paid Quora Ads and see quick results. As you probably noticed, there are often several ads in between answers. Millions of users can view your ad, and with the right touch, the viewers will become your buyers.
3. Influencer Marketing
Never undervalue the power of influencers. Armed with a passionate and engaged fan base, they can accomplish what many ads cannot in one video. The influencer already has the trust of their followers. If they recommend something, then it’s probably good.
Influencers have the ability to send massive traffic to your store. There are a few different ways for them to do so. They can create a shout-out post on their social media platform for your product/brand/niche or even go on a live stream. Additionally, there is a growing trend of dropshippers paying influencers to create ads for their brand. With such a wide reach across multiple social media channels, it’s a worthwhile investment.
However, don’t mistake influencers for celebrity appeal. Micro-influencers can better target the right people for your Shopify e-commerce store and offer a more affordable price. If you’re looking for some great advice on selecting the best influencer for your product niche or brand, give the Top Influencer Marketing Platforms a good read.
The Microsoft Bing search engine has significantly less activity than Google. However, for a dropshipper looking to advertise their Shopify store, that is a gift in disguise. You won’t have to worry much about competition for e-commerce marketing.
As a search engine, Bing offers a way to send free organic traffic to your store. Configure the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) correctly, and you have a good chance of coming up high on search results. Fewer buyers will be looking for your products on bing, but those who do can find you relatively easily.
Similarly, because of the low traffic, you’d be able to purchase Bing Ads for a fraction of the cost compared with Google. With a low marketing budget, Bing might just be the place for your e-commerce store to start.
Conversely, paid Google Ads are the gold standard for an e-commerce marketing campaign for those with a high budget. The traffic on Google is exponentially higher than on any other search engine. It accounts for over ninety percent of all search engine activity.
Once you make the financial investment, Google places your ads on search results and various other pages and apps. With so many avenues and a widespread presence on the web, your Google Ads campaign is sure to yield fruits.
If you want to take advantage of Google’s wide reach but don’t have the funds for ads, you’ll have to rely on free organic traffic. Using good SEO techniques can go a long way toward your success by placing your store high on the search results. Combine that with Google’s traffic, and you are on the road to a winning e-commerce store.
Unlike previous platforms we mentioned, Reddit is a hybrid of a social media site, a search engine, and an answers platform. Here users can find information on any topic as well as interact with one another on subreddits.
It may seem tempting to respond to posts in subreddits with links to your e-commerce store. However, that won’t be very effective. Moderators and bots can recognize that you’re spamming and remove your posts. Some sellers recommend that you open your own subreddit, but we haven’t seen any worthwhile results from such efforts.
Instead, take advantage of the high traffic of over 400 million users on the site. We can start an e-commerce marketing campaign on a relatively low budget and target forums with paid ads related to our product niche/topic. Ads are often one of the first responses to a post, so there is no doubt people will see it.
But enough about comment threads and posts. Today’s youngsters are sharing their thoughts and feelings via photos and stories on Snapchat. It is estimated that over 75 percent of millennials and generation Z Americans are on the platform.
If your store is geared toward the younger demographic, Snapchat is a perfect place to target them with paid ads. Additionally, you’ll be one of few dropshippers using Snapchat Ads in your niche. Create video ads that appear full screen in stories or more opt-in style ads in the discovery section.
You can also market on Snapchat completely for free! Over 280 million users spend thirty minutes per day on the platform, so you’ll send organic traffic to your store if you do things right. Build up followers by linking your snap handle on other platforms and creating fun and engaging content. Once you have a following, create product teasers and offer promo codes for your store.
Maybe your product isn’t exactly for younger people, and you cater more to the older women out there. Well, then Pinterest is just the place for you. Over two-thirds of the users are female visitors looking for design ideas or inspiration for home decoration projects.
Users create “pins” or image posts with ideas. If you’re willing to spend a little on your e-commerce marketing, Pinterest offers to create paid promoted pins. In turn, they appear alongside other pins related to your product topic.
You don’t have to spend money to enjoy the traffic on Pinterest. If you can’t afford to pay for ads, we recommend using the site to create effective pins for free. Join a group and contribute meaningfully while also promoting your Shopify store. It might use up some of your time, but the investment pays off in the long run with organic traffic to your store.
As one of the largest video platforms in the world and a Google affiliate, YouTube advertising is too good an opportunity to pass up.
Undoubtedly, an investment in paid YouTube Ads is a great way to attract customers. Many videos either begin or get interrupted by an ad. Likewise, we often come across ad videos in search results. With an audience the size of YoutTube’s, you can count on the ads to deliver.
Whether or not you have a budget for marketing, any e-commerce store should create a dedicated YouTube channel. Post periodic short videos about your brand, products, or advice for shoppers interested in your store’s niche. All of this is absolutely free, and if your content is engaging and to the point, you will start to notice the organic results start to build slowly but surely.
10. Email Marketing
If we’re already on strategies that every e-commerce store owner should utilize, let’s not forget email marketing. Whether or not you market elsewhere, email marketing is a no-brainer.
There are many benefits to this. For one, it won’t cost you a dime. Additionally, from content creation to audiences, you have almost full control over the whole operation down to the last detail.
As long as you know how to build one, your customer list can become an unlimited resource to tap into sales and profits. You can send emails to prospects, one-time customers, or your loyal base. While each category requires a slightly different approach, all can bring in sales, which is why the smallest to biggest companies today email marketing.
To learn more about getting email subscribers for your list, read about email marketing in the Top 5 Low Budget Marketing Tricks To Market Your Shopify Stores.
We thought we finished covering social media marketing, but how can we forget Twitter? Unlike other platforms, it is completely open. We don’t need to add friends or join groups to start seeing engagement with our tweets.
If you’re willing to spend, Twitter offers a robust paid advertisement program. They use their high traffic to target the fans who viewed or interacted with your tweets most. Twitter offers a lower price point than other platforms and less dropshipping competition. This might be just the place for your e-commerce marketing needs.
With access to over 350 million people worldwide, free organic traffic is not an issue. Dropshippers see high activity on their tweets shortly after opening their accounts because anyone can see their tweets as soon as they post them with the help of #hashtags. Do your own market analysis by checking how many people saw or clicked on your tweet.
12. Push Notification Ads
Not sure what push notification ads are? You’ve probably already seen them popping up on your phone from a new app you just installed. Alternatively, you must have seen websites asking your permission to send notifications. When you allow them, you’ll see offers coming in short order.
Designed as a conversion method, push notification ads send offers either on a desktop or mobile phone to customers who visit our store. Additionally, you can design push ads for different customer categories, whether they made a purchase or added an item to their cart, etc.
This is a great strategy to supplement your existing e-commerce marketing campaigns. While there is no free option, we recommend you try Propeller Ads, Mobidea, or Rich Push to start.
Who would have thought there are so many ways to market your e-commerce Shopify store? You must be relieved that there is a marketing strategy for just about any e-commerce store, many at no cost.
Don’t worry about expensive Facebook campaigns if it is too deep for your pockets. We recommend you pick an e-commerce marketing strategy that fits your budget and targets the right audience for your dropshipping products.
Marketing is just one of many ways to increase your e-commerce store sales. Enjoy these articles and video on Shopify sales success and continue empowering your knowledge: