Can you do dropshipping without Facebook ads? Off course you can! That is not the important question to ask. The real question is whether you can do dropshipping without Facebook Ads and still make money.
Dropshipping became incredibly popular on Facebook ads back in 2015/2016 when it was incredibly lucrative.
Two factors contributed to this success.
- Social media was a perfect match for interesting and novelty products at great prices. It sparked impulse buys as people reacted in droves to certain products. Buying a cool gadget or a cute outfit for $20 or $30 was an easy sale. A win-win for both dropshippers and consumers (until they realised they have to wait 4 weeks to get it).
- The Facebook Ads platform was perfect for these products. Back in the day Page Post Engagement Ads (PPE Ads) drove most of the sales as the ads took over an entire mobile screen (the first large vertical ad image size). It also created a lot of buzz as people commented and shared the ads.
Come 2020, all this has changed. Most notably, Facebook Ads has changed. With a flood of dropshippers advertising similar products, the competition is fierce. Ad costs have gone up dramatically and the overall sophistication of Facebook ads has made it much harder to succeed with dropshipping.
Doing dropshipping without Facebook ads is a completely different ballgame. Not only is this possible but there are many dropshippers making a killing without ever touching a Facebook ad.
If you are tired of the constant account bans, inconsistent ad performance and having your stuff jacked on Facebook then buckle up as we explore dropshipping outside of Facebook Ads.
1. Google Ads
Probably the most obvious place to go after Facebook. Dropshipping with Google Ads is a totally different ballgame though. It is not a sociaL network. Everything is search based and keywords will soon become your best friend.
The type of products you will run will also be quite different because you do not have the power of images and videos in your ads (you can run Google Display but I do not recommend that).
Google traffic converts very well BUT your products needs to match search intent. Google also has much stricter guidelines as to what they allow. Google also has Google Shopping Ads which can be incredibly lucrative for dropshipping.
2. Native Ads
Native ads are ads that are usually “disguised” as content on websites and apps. There has been a lot of criticism for native ads but it is definitely here to stay. The first wave of regulation has already seen more transparency for this and a lot of the spammy native ads are gone already.
Yahoo Gemini, Taboola and RevContent are the 3 biggest players if you do dropshipping. You will need a very different approach though.
Your standard Shopify dropshipping store will probably not work on native ads. The vast majority use Clickfunnels with single products “stores” and use long form copywriting (or video) to sell.
You will need some sort of story to hook people in. Think of the context in which they found your ad. They thought they are clicking on an “article” and they probably expect a story.
Have a look at sites that have spammy viral content and look at the native ads that run there. You don’t have to search very hard to find dropshipping products.
There is off course a moral dilemma with native ads. You will probably need to manufacture some sort of story to sell your product. Most of the products you find on native ads tell complete lies and make up completely false stories. You can probably do it without the lies but you will soon find out why most dropshippers on native ads do that – it works!
Native ads are expensive and a very different ballgame. You will not get far with $10 campaigns. The way it works is that you push big budgets in at the start, run RON (run of network) campaigns and kill placements that do not convert.
After a week or two you are left with a few great placements and you can then crank things up.
There are different strategies where you can use more targeted campaigns with lower budgets but this is the topic for another article.
This forgotten social network actually do have ads and something that is overlooked by most dropshippers. If you want to dropship without Facebook ads but still have many of the benefits that you have with facebook as a social media then this is a great option.
I have not had much success with Snapchat ads and dropshipping. I think it takes the right product – most likely something low priced and that appeals to a younger audience.
There are definitely dropshippers doing very well on Snapchat. The most common complaint however is that sales are not stable.
If you are selling clothing or jewellery in the $20 – $50 range that appeals to a younger crowd then its well worth a shot.
4. Pinterest Ads
My prediction is that Pinterest Ads will rule dropshipping in the next 5 years. It is a relatively unknown ad platform with a lot of room for new advertisers. For a start, there are almost no dropshipping ads at the moment and almost completely untapped.
Pinterest however is a very unique platform. You need to understand the mindset and habits of its users to be successful. It is a visual network where users share and save images (and they now also have video).
This makes it ideal for any product with visual appeal.
Fashion is the obvious choice and if you spend just 10 minutes on Pinterest you will see that it is flooded with fashion, clothing, cooking and DIY. It is also predominantly older females – the perfect buying demographic.
Doing dropshipping on Pinterest is very different to Facebook ads. Its users are not used to ads and generally like to browse. Getting sales off cold traffic is much harder. There definitely are impulse buyers but it is not Facebook.
Great images with great product pages is a must. There is quite a learning curve though as with any other ad platform but it is most certainly a great option to do dropshipping without Facebook Ads.
Yes, I said it ‘SEO’. Something that many online newbies don’t know much about. Anyone that was online pre-Penguin and Panda will know what I mean. Back in the day, ranking websites on Google was fairly easy and manipulating search results was certainly possible.
Until Google stepped in and killed off a large chunk of affiliates and paper-thin websites that manipulated the Google bots.
For a long time SEO remained a mystery but over the last year or two there certainly is a renewed interest in SEO. Not because it is easy but because we now know that Google is very good at finding quality content – and rewarding you for it.
Free SEO traffic is some of the best traffic you can find.
This is most certainly not a quick way of doing it though because it takes time. You will also have to put in a lot of manual labour in crafting content that is worthy of a page 1 search engine listing.
There are a lot of opportunities though because very few dropshippers have the time, patience or mental fortitude to put in the work – and have the patience.