Tom-Chris Emewulu
Chargeflow's Digital Evangelist
Table of contents

In today’s vibrant dropshipping world, every click, every user interaction holds the potential for prosperity. It’s a business model rooted in social engagements. Your success as a dropshipper largely depends on adapting and mastering the art of influence.

Dropshipping influencer marketing has become the secret sauce for brands seeking to resonate with their target audience. Collaborating with voices that wield unparalleled sway over your niche effortlessly bridges the gap between your dropshipping business and its rightful clientele.

This piece is your compass through influencer marketing for dropshipping businesses. Get ready to harness the power of influence. We’ll unravel the intricacies, share insider insights, and provide a roadmap for transforming your brand into a magnetic force in the ever-expanding digital marketplace. It's time to turn heads, capture hearts, and elevate your brand with the strategic alchemy of influence.

The Power of Social Influencers

Social Media content creator Marques Brownlee (a.k.a MKBHD) recently brought fast-rising American electric automaker Fisker to its knees with a single review of the company’s SUV car. MKBHD’s review of the new Fisker Ocean SUV posted on his YouTube channel garnered over 4 million views within two weeks. In the video, MKBHD said: “You could give me this car, and I wouldn’t want to drive it.”

The weeks following the review were a nightmare for Fisker. The company’s stock tanked dramatically. The senior management went into crisis mode – even to the point that they warned in an earning call that Fisker might not have enough finances to survive 2024.

For context, MKBHD is a 30-year-old social media influencer/tech reviewer/journalist with 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. Many view him as one of the most influential tech product reviewers today. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook quoted him during a product launch last year. And he was among the first creators to review Tesla’s Cybertruck.

Social media influencers like Brownlee are moving markets and shifting industries in ways Wall Street pundits of the ‘80 and ‘90s never thought possible! They’re speedily replacing brands as trendsetters and trusted sources of news.

Making Dropshipping Influencer Marketing Work for You

Dropshipping influencer marketing is one vital growth hacking strategy for dropshippers. But that doesn’t mean it works automatically. And you know that all too well. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this post. Grasping the rubrics of profitable dropshipping influencer marketing makes all the difference.

The rest of this blog will unveil the keys to making influencer marketing propel your dropshipping empire to new heights.

#1: Understand the Fundamentals of Influencer Marketing

As intimated in the previous passage, influencers are folks (and sometimes brands) with significant, engaged following. They command people’s attention. They’re also known as “Key Opinion Leaders.” Influencers can be celebrities like LeBron James or TikTok sensations like Khabane "Khaby" Lame.

Therefore, influencer marketing involves collaborating with these individuals to drive sales or add a positive spin to your brand image. You leverage their credibility and authority within specific niches to promote your dropshipping to their audience in a more organic and relatable way.

Dropshipping influencer marketing aims to increase your brand awareness and drive user engagement. Ultimately, you want to get people to notice (and buy) from you because of the influencer's endorsement or organic content creation.

Remember, influencer marketing is slightly different from paid celebrity ads. Paid celebrity endorsements don’t often have the human touch and niche appeal. They can also be quite expensive. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, is more natural and has a first-person perspective – which is why businesses are making $5.2 ROI for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. Estimates suggest the top 13% of entities achieve $20 revenue or higher for every $1 invested.

That said, there are primarily two methods through which influencers can market your dropshipping brand:

  1. Providing positive (video or written) reviews of your products.
  2. Using your product and creating content about it.

In either case, posts are usually shared on channels like:

  • Social media (Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, TikTok, etc,.)
  • Newsletter/Blogs
  • Podcasts

Influencer marketing is a quid-pro-quo arrangement based on mutual interest and value.

#2: Be Clear About Metrics and Consideration

To ensure successful dropshipping influencer marketing, you’ve got to establish the KPIs for the collaboration. Define your influencer marketing campaign goals. It can be branding, driving product sales, or increasing website traffic. Specifying these metrics helps you develop a strategic plan.

You can research successful influencer marketing campaigns within your industry and beyond to learn from their successes and failures.

Once you’re clear about your campaign goals, the next point is to define what you’re offering in return. The following are some incentives you can use to entice influencers to vouch for or post about your brand:

  1. Monetary Compensation: Paying influencers for their time and efforts in promoting your brand is a common incentive. Some brands use a flat fee. Others opt for commission on sales generated through their promotion or a combination of both.
  2. Free Products or Services: You can offer complimentary products for influencers to experience your brand firsthand and create a mutually beneficial partnership where they can authentically endorse your offerings to their audience.
  3. Exclusive Discounts or Offers: Providing influencers with exclusive discounts or special offers for their audience can incentivize them to promote your brand. It adds value for their followers and enhances their credibility.
  4. Affiliate Programs: Enrolling influencers in affiliate programs allows them to earn a commission on sales generated through their unique referral links. This incentivizes them to promote your products to their audience.
  5. Brand Exposure and Collaboration Opportunities: Cross-promotional opportunities with your brand can entice influencers looking to expand their portfolio and network.
  6. Creative Freedom: Granting influencers creative freedom to develop content that aligns with their brand and resonates with their audience can be a powerful incentive. It allows them to maintain authenticity and engagement.
  7. Equity: Offering some form of equity builds long-term partnerships with consistent collaboration opportunities and incentives. It fosters better relationships with influencers and ensures ongoing brand promotion.
  8. Special Recognition and Appreciation: Recognizing and appreciating influencers for their contributions through shoutouts, features on your brand's social media channels, or personalized thank-you notes can go a long way in building goodwill and loyalty.

Providing a combination of these incentives tailored to the preferences and needs of each influencer can engage them in promoting your brand and building mutually beneficial partnerships. Case study of Béis Travel:

#3: Find the Right Dropshipping Influencer Marketers

Having established your KPI indicators and considerations you wish to offer, the next step is to find the right dropshipping influencers.

How to start? Research social media platforms, niche blogs, and industry-specific websites to find influencers relevant to your dropshipping products and brand. You can evaluate influencers based on follower count, engagement rate, content quality, and audience demographics (using tools like Social Blade or HypeAuditor).

If searching organically on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you can use hashtags, location tags, and search filters to discover potential collaborators.

Another option is to use dedicated influencer marketing discovery platforms like AspireIQ, Influence, or Upfluence, which offer databases of influencers across various industries, along with tools for search, outreach, and campaign management.

Pinterest and Tumblr host communities of content creators with influence within specific niches. Explore relevant boards, tags, or communities to identify potential influencers.

You can also tap into podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher for influencers who host podcasts relevant to your niche. Reach out to podcast hosts for potential collaboration opportunities.

Industry events, conferences, or networking gatherings also attract influencers. Engage in conversations, exchange contacts, and explore collaboration opportunities with influencers you meet. Alternatively, you can use the good old recommendation approach from industry peers, colleagues, or customers for influencers they admire or have worked with.

Finally, you can conduct Google searches, monitor social trends or explore local forums, and meetups related to your industry or niche to find influencers.

Note! There are three categories of influencers: Top influencers (creators with over 100,000 followers), Medium-range influencers (creators with between 30,000 and 100,000 followers), and Micro-influencers (those with between 5,000 and 30,000 influencers).

Influencer Marketing by the Numbers. Source: Statista

#4: Incorporate Influencer Content into Marketing Assets

Your team should do more than passively reposting influencer-generated content on social media. To amplify your brand's message, enhance engagement, and increase the lifespan of influencer content, consider integrating your dropshipping influencer’s authority into your marketing strategy.

Here are some recommendations:

  1. Repurpose Influencer Content: Use influencer-generated content, such as photos, videos, testimonials, and reviews, across your marketing channels. Repurpose this content for social media posts, email campaigns, multimedia message or SMS campaigns, website banners, and advertisements to showcase authentic endorsements from trusted voices.
  2. Feature Influencers in Branded Content: Collaborate with influencers to co-create branded content that aligns with your brand messaging and objectives. Incorporate influencer insights, expertise, and storytelling into product demos, eBooks, or case studies to provide valuable insight or strengthen your message.
  3. Highlight Influencer Testimonials: Showcase testimonials and endorsements from influencers on your website, product pages, or landing pages to build social proof and credibility. Incorporate quotes, ratings, or influencer reviews to reassure potential customers and encourage conversions.
  4. Host Influencer Takeovers: Invite influencers to take over your brand's social media accounts for a day or week to share their perspective, behind-the-scenes content, or product experiences with your audience. Promote these takeovers through teaser posts, stories, or announcements to generate excitement and engagement.
  5. Create Collaborative Campaigns: Develop integrated marketing campaigns that feature influencers as key ambassadors or spokespeople for your brand. Co-create campaign assets like promotional videos, sponsored posts, live streams, or challenges, with influencers to drive awareness, engagement, and conversions.
  6. Create Influencer Events and Experiences: Partner with influencers to host events, webinars, workshops, or product launches that provide value to your audience and authentically showcase your brand. Capture event highlights, testimonials, or user-generated content to share across your marketing channels and extend the reach of your influencer collaborations.
  7. Incorporate Influencer Recommendations: Integrate influencer recommendations, mentions, or endorsements into your email newsletters, product catalogs, packaging, or promotional materials. Highlight specific products, features, or benefits your influencers have endorsed to leverage that clout and persuade potential customers.

Case Study: How Béis Travel incorporates UGC.

Automate your dropshipping chargeback

#5: Track and Analyze Performance

Measure and monitor the impact of your dropshipping influencer marketing. This helps you know whether or not you met your established KPIs and adjust strategies for future campaigns.

For referrals via blogs, emails, Podcasts, or YouTube videos, you can assign  UTM codes to reference links influencers can use for seamless tracking. Consider using Campaign URL Builder for better monitoring of influencer campaign metrics.

Promotional codes enable you to track traffic from the influencer's platforms. Engagement metrics, such as likes, comments, and shares on the influencer's posts, provide valuable insights into audience interaction. Site visits and sign ups provide insight into conversion rates.

Common Dropshipping Influencer Marketing Pitfalls to Avoid

Take note of these notable influencer marketing pitfalls to protect your brand reputation, maximize ROI, and foster successful partnerships:

  • Partnering with influencers with zero authenticity or credibility with their audience.
  • Looking at follower count while forgetting to thoroughly assess the relevance of an influencer's audience to your dropshipping business.
  • Setting unclear expectations or guidelines for influencer collaborations.
  • Neglecting Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines when engaging in influencer marketing.

Final Words on Dropshipping Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is one vital strategy for developing brand equity, enhancing media presence, increasing sales, and building trust with your prospects. Use the thoughts discussed in this piece to make dropshipping influencer marketing work for your business. Understand how influencer marketing works, know the KPIs that matter to your brand and the considerations you can offer, find influencers that align with your products, incorporate influencer expertise in your marketing assets, and track the results of your campaigns.

If Fisker hadn’t been dismissive of creators like MKBHD, if they’d been proactive and worked with him in the review, I guarantee the results would’ve been much different. Now that you know how to wield the power of influence, I hope you get the full benefits in your next campaign. All the best!

Learn more about chargeback automation for dropshipping.

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