marketing strategies

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6

Apologies for the long post!

We have a new drop shipping niche store that has been online for about 3 months now.  We have been tweaking the site, fixing product entries, adjusting prices, setting weights to be as accurate as possible, doing cosmetic changes etc.  We are just about ready to start some kind of marketing program and wonder if some of you might share what you have done that has been successful in any way.

I will give a bit of background -- I am familiar with web site design and have build a number of sites over the last 10 years or so.  I have a background in wholesale in a brick and mortar environment for about 40 years, so I am not unfamiliar with how this is "supposed" to work and am capable of various tasks that would get this to work efficiently.  What I would like is some feedback on what are some of the better ways to drive visitors to our store.  Just starting out we have a VERY limited budget so this is what we are thinking:

  • We have a Facebook business page and have made a couple of test campaigns to get an idea of how that all works.  I am NOT a fan of Facebook, but it appears to be a necessary evil. The 2 small campaigns we ran supposedly targeted several hundred users, but resulted in zero visits to our store, just a bunch of "likes" on the page.  So what ides are there to make the best use of it without spending a lot of money that does not drive traffic and conversions?
    • Not a fan of Instagram, as I do not see any advantage to that platform as a business tool.
  • We have a Twitter account and so far I think that is absolutely useless.  We have made a few posts about some products to drive a little traffic, but no results.  We have about 65 followers and get nothing to indicate that it is doing anything for us.  Fortunately, it has not cost so far so we can take it or leave it, unless there is a strategy that we can use to make it more effective.  There are Twitter ads and the cost is not unreasonable (promoted ads run about $100/month) but we as yet have not seen Twitter as a viable vehicle.
    • We have a Google account (Adwords, Adsense, Analytics etc)  and have not used them yet for marketing.  We did not want to start any campaigns until the site looks and acts the way we want so that visitors have a good experience and are not turned off.  I "think" I can work out the details of a campaign to drive traffic via display ads.  We don't want to do a product sales promotion because that requires a Google Merchant account and products listed on Google Shopping.  We tried that process with the Shopify Google Shopping app and it was a nightmare!!  That app is junk and simply does not work.  So we are going to stay away from that until such time as Shopify can get that working properly.
      • As I said, we have a very limited budget for this at present.  So we can put about $200 into this to start.  If there is any return to it then we can increase that as we go.  I understand that there are people spending thousands of dollars on this to get a big return and we are just not there yet!  It is like going to Vegas.  Only take what money you can afford to lose!
    • There are some other actions we have investigated that are relatively inexpensive and promise a variety of actions and potential ROI, like expressflux.com with a $15 investment for a 30 day program that could give us some idea of what the possibilities are before we dump money into a Google ads campaign that would be poorly thought out and doomed to failure.  Has anyone used Expressflux.com, and what were the results?

So, while it might seem that we are being cheap, we have a limited budget and want to get the most bang for the buck with the best potential for good return.  We know that there are no guarantees and that we will have to try a few variations, or combination of things. to see what works.  Just like the stock market, we need to get the most information about where to put our money that can give us the most informed return on the investment. 

It would just be helpful if some of you that have had varying degrees of success, or failure for that matter, would be so kind as to give us some ideas and insights about what has worked or not worked that you have tried.

Thanks in advance! 

The Globetrotters Outfitter

https://globetrottersoutfitter.com

 

Replies 20 (20)
EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1553 93 374

Please note that you can use Google Ads, Google does not allow for drop shippers to advertise on Google Shopping. Only if you have the products in your warehouse is it allowed.

 

You can read more on unavailable promotions in this link: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6150127?hl=en&ref_topic=2701536

 

Hope this helps.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
DuaneBrown
Shopify Expert
1568 152 932

You can use Google Shopping for a drop ship site as we know many who do it right now. However, $200 is a low monthly budget and it's not even worth trying to run ads on that budget. You would be better to look at PR, SEO and maybe even influnencer promo to drive sales in your early days. Looking at your store, you are going to need to put in more work as it's not going to meet the minimum standard people expect when they show online. Your product images being one big area that needs work.

We help ecommerce & DTC brands create, manage and scale profitable PPC campaigns: TakeSomeRisk.com

P.S. Take my Google Shopping Course and help grow your revenue this month.
EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1553 93 374

I want to emphasize that being able to advertise on Google Shopping does not mean you have followed Google's Policy.

 

My replies are always intended to educate and to avoid policy violations. I do a disservice by advicing merchants knowingly going down a path of policy violations as the ramifications can be severe as in lifetime suspension. Not only that, advicing merchants to advertise on Google Shopping by allowing them to spend there hard earned money on setting everything up, to paying for advertising to only be suspended when caught by Google's review team.

 

The policy clearly states: Promoting products that are not stocked, promoting a deal that is no longer active, call-to-action in promotion that isn't easily achievable from the landing page

 

Reference: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6150127?hl=en&ref_topic=2701536

 

Products that are not stocked in your warehouse, cannot be advertised.

 

I see lots of videos explaining how to advertise on Google Shopping, but noone, seems to care or understand Google's policies.

 

With all my clients, I always advise to follow policies, this allows them to grow there business in the correct way without the fear of losing everything in one day.

 

Hope this helps.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
jackyle
Explorer
71 1 9

I think with a budget of 200 usd / month, it will be very difficult to compete with other competitors. Why don't you choose the way Seo, PR this way low cost but effective compared to your limited budget

Looking at your store, you will need to put in more work because it will not meet the minimum standards that people expect when they display online.

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6

Good to know.  Since we will never be stocking anything, we will never be using Google Shopping.

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6

Can you elaborate on specifically what more we need to do to the site?  You mention images and that is mostly beyond our control as they come from the suppliers.  We know some are crappy but we cannot change them.

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6

Can you offer any suggestions on how to improve the site? I have studied some regarding SEO, and I consider myself fairly knowledgeable, but how to accomplish that with Shopify has me stumped.

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6

Just to clarify something I said earlier.  We have a $200 budget for marketing, but if spending that gets us some kind of measurable return where we can evaluate to potential for success, we can add to that.  But we are simply not in a position to throw good money after bad just to experiment

Galaxy_Media_Co
New Member
7 0 0

I've had the most bang for my advertising dollars with Google Adwords since you can highly target your ads. I run a wholesale company so I've found Google to be effective; however, we've also see some success with Facebook at driving traffic, but have not had a high rate of conversions.

----------------

Charles

Owner at Hotel Bath Items

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6
Thanks for input Charles.  Our issue is that we have no idea how to use
adwords, without throwing away tons of money trying to learn how to do
it.  We do not use Facebook personally and have no idea how to use
that.  We have a Facebook business page and I have spend at least a
month trying to set that up and figure out how to use it, with zero success.

Your business model is different from ours.  You have inventory you can
price and sell competitively to a specific market.  You can market to a
select set of users with products they use everyday and need to
replenish on a regular basis.  I spend 40+ years in the electrical
wholesale industry, so I understand how that works.  There is not much
market in that industry for the kind of things you are doing and we do
not have the space or the time to commit to inventory and operations.

We are using drop shipping and that puts us in a very competitive market
where marketing is extremely expensive and we just do not have the
budget for that.  We are self funded and living expenses come first so
there is very little left for this.

Amit_Roznak1
Shopify Partner
243 4 29

Hi,

 

Even with a low budget, if you haven't begun using an automated advertising system, you might be significantly under-utilizing your site and budget potential. Here at AdScale, we recommend always using a system with AT LEAST AI automated processes for cross channel and platform advertising as well as bid and budget automatons. This can make a significant difference in your targeted advertising and improve your conversion rates, even with a low ad spend.

 

Moreover, I suggest trying out a Free store analyzer to be sure that your website is optimized since we cannot always catch every detail. Additionally, there are often quite a few details going on behind the scenes that we miss, and these details can dramatically affect the effectiveness and purposefulness of your site as well as your advertising budget as low quality sites require higher ad spends.

 

So, using a free Store Checkup Tool like the one from AdScale might be of help. It will give you a report on how ready your site is to advertise and deliver you actionable fixes that will help you save money.

 

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me.

AdScale is the best way to advertise on Facebook & Google because we use the power of your store data (that they don’t have) to run highly targeted ads and get an average ROAS of 10X.
Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6

This did not provide any valuable information.  it ran on our shopify.com url and not the actual store domain.

Amit_Roznak1
Shopify Partner
243 4 29

Hi,

 

I believe that I've found the problem. Your store is not available outside of the United States, so the servers we're using can't access it. If there isn't a very specific reason, this could greatly affect the effectiveness of your site. 

 

Capture.PNG

 

Let me know if you need any additional help or would like another set of eyes on your site once it's available externally.

 

AdScale is the best way to advertise on Facebook & Google because we use the power of your store data (that they don’t have) to run highly targeted ads and get an average ROAS of 10X.
JeffreyDaniel
Tourist
11 0 2

Hey what's up Globetrotter1!

 

I came across your post and it sounds like your having some traffic/lead gen./marketing obstacles. I'll outline below exactly how to use Facebook (FB) and how to make profitable campaigns. I hope this post can help you get things running.

 

To begin, let's cover some basic marketing best practices...

 

First, you should define EXACTLY who you're targeting in your FB ad. It sounds like you have a handle on this, but just to be sure, you want to be specific as possible. 

 

FB basically has 3 audience levels: interest-based (cold traffic) audiences, custom audience (email lists, website visitors, people who have engaged with you/your brand in some way) & lookalike audiences (which are incredibly powerful, but are only feasible after you have a large enough custom audiences)

 

I'm assuming that you'll be focusing on interest-based, cold traffic - people that don't know who you are yet

 

So think of your ideal customer and who they are exactly:

what they like, and why they would buy from you (i.e., we are targeting 'John who lives in PA, speaks 2 languages, likes vintage clothing and travel, and hates big brand products')

 

If possible (if you have a large enough email list), I would recommend you make a survey to find out why people buy your products.

 

This customer-understanding step is crucial because we need to make a specific offer with good ad copy. And for that to happen, we need to know who our ideal customer is and why they're buying from us.

 

This is why FB is great, we can get super targeted and continue to optimize our ads over time to get more and more specific and profitable

 

In general, in marketing, we will often talk about 2 things for an effective ad:

1) the current pain your prospective customer is in/issue they're having

2) and how your product/offer will solve that problem (or how great life will be after they buy your product)

 

(if you need inspiration for why your customer is buying from you or what problem you're solving - look at the reviews section of Amazon for similar products and read the reviews to find some common issues people are having)

 

So, you need to decide on a specific offer for your campaign and (ideally) identify an issue that you're solving for your customer.

 

Don't just advertise your store - you need to advertise a specific offer - nobody knows who you are yet

 

If you're interested, I use ClickFunnels to build out super simple/high converting sales page funnels for specific offers - which then link to your website and build out your email list, etc.

(you can check them out here if you want - I definitely recommend them for any business using paid advertising: https://clickfunnels.com/?cf_affiliate_id=1796015&affiliate_id=1796015&aff_sub=dashboard&aff_sub2=tr...

 

So after you've listed out a collection of interests, demographic points, people/brands that your ideal customer follows...

 

1) Go  into your FB business manager and in the top left drop down menu, find the link for "Audiences" (under 'Assets') - click it

2) Click the "Create Audience" drop down menu to the left and select "Saved Audience"

3) Go through the boxes fill in the target customer information (interests, etc.) that you listed and thought about

4) I strongly recommend you make more than one audience (depending on your budget, the more you can test the better)

5) Try to make your audience sizes ('potential reach') to be between 1,000,000-3,000,000 people

6) When making your audience, you can adjust the 'Potential Reach' by 'Excluding' certain interests, demographics, etc.

7) BONUS TIP: Use the 'Suggestions' tab to get more ideas for other interests your target customers may have related to your original search

 

Next, you need to setup your Facebook Pixel - this allows you to track your website visitors/customers off of FB - SUPER IMPORTANT AND ESSENTIAL

 

So, setting up your Facebook pixel is actually quite easy and pretty straightforward.

  1. Inside of your Facebook Business Manager, Click on the menu tab “Business Manager” in the top left
  2. Click on “Pixels” in the Events Manager under ‘Measure & Report’
  3. Click “Create Pixel” (if it’s your first time) or “Set Up”  if you already have a pixel created
  4. Click on "Connect a Partner Platform" - I'm assuming you're using Spotify to host your store
    1. Follow the steps and it should be pretty painless/easy, but just in case you need to manually install it, here is a step by step (for ClickFunnels, as an example)
  5. Click on “Manually Install Pixel Code Yourself”
    1. On the next page, the number 2 option is the code: copy it
    2. Finish setup
  6. Go to your funnel inside of ClickFunnels (or whatever platform you're using)
    1. Double check that each page’s settings have the pixel code installed in the head tracking code area
    1. Click on “Settings” in the top right
    2. Scroll down until you see the “Head Tracking Code” box option
    3. Paste your Facebook pixel code here
    4. Scroll all the way down the page and click “Save and Update Settings”
  7. Recommend Step - Install the Chrome Extension ‘Pixel Helper’ (you can simply Google this)
    1. This will allow you to see which websites have a Facebook pixel installed on their pages (it will appear as a “</>” image in the top right of your browser)
    2. You will be able to see if you installed the correctly pixel inside your funnel
    3. Visit/preview each page in your funnel and check to make sure the Facebook pixel is installed 
  8. Done!

Next, you need to set up Custom Conversion (this means FB will optimize your ad campaign for a specific conversion event - for example, targeting your ad to people most likely to click on your ad and visit your landing page)

 

(I recommend) that most ads ads geared toward cold traffic/sales have campaign objectives set as "conversions" (you will choose this option when you actually make your ad - but NOT YET!)

 

Let's set up your custom conversion first...

  1. Inside of your Business Manager in Facebook, click on ‘“Custom Conversions” inside the drop down menu (under Measure & Report)
  2. Click on the button “Create Custom Conversion”
  3. Next, go to the actual page(s) you want to add
    1. Copy/paste the page URL(s) into Facebook’s custom conversion setup window
  4. Name your conversion
  5. Select a value (this doesn’t matter too much actually, so you can just put $1 - unless you have an actual offer/product worth a specific amount, then put that amount)
  6. Choose a category (again it doesn’t matter really which category you choose, just choose the most logical one for your conversion goal)
  7. Repeat this process for every conversion event you want to create and track (and you will be able to choose these specific conversion events later when we are actually setting up and creating our campaigns)

Next you want to actually create your ad..

 

1) Go to your "Ads Manager" in your business manager (in the drop down menu)

2) Select "+ Create" and name it

3) Select "conversions" as the objective

4) Keep the 'auction' option as is, name your new ad set, name the new ad - click "Save to Draft"

5) Now click on the ad set option to the left and click on the blank space under 'Website' and select the conversion event you previously made

6) Set your daily budget (I recommend doing $5 for at least 3 days - this is the time required for the FB algorithm to go out and really test your target market and to see if your ad set will be profitable/successful) - this is why I recommend making many different ad sets/interest audiences - so you can test many different combinations and choose the most profitable ones over time

- But I understand you may be on a budget, so do what you can (even if it's only one ad set...)

7) Under Audience, select 'Use a Saved Audience' and choose one that you created earlier 

😎 For placements, I recommend you "Edit Placements" and only do FB columns and FB feed*

9) Now click on the actual ad on the left side menu

 

Here, you will create your actual ad copy, headline and upload pictures/images

 

This part is super important, so remember to sell the problem you're solving for your customers

 

Also, be FB compliant! So...

- no clickbait headlines

- no misleading headlines/claims

- no specifically addressing the reader (avoid "you")

- no "trigger words"

- no income results or claims

 

I know there is a lot of info here and you'll probably encounter additional questions, but I hope this helps you get started

 

My name is Jeff by the way and I do digital marketing/paid advertising - feel free to reach out and I will try to get back to you!

j.quinn4686@gmail.com

 

Best of luck to you!

Narjisinfo
New Member
1 0 0

here many way to increase your marketing strategies .

like you can use 

paid marketing, search engine optimization, google ad word, Facebook advertisement, Instagram feeds.

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Panos_Tzitzinos
Shopify Partner
42 1 3

Hey @Globetrotter1 

 

I completely understand your limited budget for Marketing purposes as this is the case for most new dropshipping business owners. 

 

A practical advice I could give you is to spend this budget on testing products and audiences only through using Facebook ads. 

 

For example, decide the first product you want to drive traffic to, then build a Facebook campaign with conversion/purchase optimization event and then create like 5-10 ad-sets with 5$/day each. 

 

Once your Marketing budget will be spent, you'll have some data to decide if you keep or not advertising this product or moving to another one. 

 

It will take more time to find something that's selling well, but it can certainly be done even with this amount of money.

 

Key takeaway, is to focus all your efforts and budget on one channel. 

 

Good luck! 

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6
Thanks Panos.  We tried that with no success.  Nothing but a few likes
to our page.  no one even went to the actual site.  Tried the same ting
on Twitter, no responses.  Frankly we are tired of throwing good money
after bad and getting zero results.  We are closing the site effective
tomorrow and going to go a different way.  While this may work for some,
largely those with significantly more money for it than we have, we are
unable to compete in this kind of market and we do not have the
knowledge of social media that it seems is necessary to make this work. 
I am being truly sincere when I say we despise Facebook and Twitter and
Instagram and because of that we will never be able to use those
channels.  We are old school and cannot compete in this kind of market.

We did learn some valuable lessons with this venture, and while the
investment returned zero back to us, we got some value in the
experience.  Good luck to you as well!

Panos_Tzitzinos
Shopify Partner
42 1 3

Sorry to see you disappointed @Globetrotter1  but yes this is the nature of online marketing. 

 

It is very competitive, all brands are fighting for users' attention and projections are that it will become even more competitive the upcoming years.

 

So, from one side it is good that you are aware about your lack of knowledge on Social Media Marketing on the other hand I'd say you're wrong not giving more effort to understand and utilize them. 


Leaving you with this: 53% of all retail sales will be made online in like 3-4 years from now. I don't feel is a good strategy to dismiss this channel. 

 

Best of luck to all your new business endeavours! 

Globetrotter1
Excursionist
24 0 6
I know that online sales is how business will be done. We will try some
other venture in online sales outside of the Shopify platform, with a
more specialized product and narrower market.  We find that the Shopify
platform really does nothing contribute to success.  We own our domain
and have a hosting plan that costs us less than $4/month.  I have built
websites with Joomla and can manage the site much easier and more
powerfully than anything Shopify has to offer.

Our goal has never been to get rich or make this a full time job.  We
just want a bit of extra income and the drop shipping model is weighted
too heavy towards the ones with large budgets and expertise for us to
try to compete.  We can never get there in that model.  The amount of
money that can be spent on social media ads and Google is astronomical
and the return on investment is marginal at best.  We could get in front
of more eyeballs with well placed television and radio ads.

Social media is just too uncivilized and volatile for it to have much
appeal for us, so even in a new venture we are unlikely to use it to any
extent.

I appreciate your comments and hope you do well.