Getting traffic is like riding a bike. You need to make an effort if you don't have gasoline money. In this article, I will share 3 ways that you can use to drive free traffic to your Shopify store. If you start a Shopify online store, free traffic can play a big role in your success. It means you can get your product to customers without spending any money.
In this article, I'll explain how you can sell without paying for ads. But a word of warning: these are techniques, not cheat codes, so be prepared to get to work!
You'll know by the end of this article:
- What channels to find your target market
- How to provide valuable content for valuable traffic?
- How to get this traffic to your store for free
- And some more bonus tips.
Before I start the list, let's make sure we're on the same that we’re talking about dropshipping. Dropshipping is the easiest way to start an online business. Rather than buying tons of inventory for your online store, you only order products when selling. Your supplier will ship your orders for you, so you can sell worldwide!
Dropshipping is a low-risk business model because you don't need inventory to get started. All you need to pay is your monthly Shopify account fee. But apart from that fee and your domain, most of your money is spent on advertising.
After all, once your dropshipping store is set up, you must find ways to get customers there. Most dropshippers invest in Facebook ads, Google ads, or influencer Instagram to bring traffic to their store. But, how to get sales without these sources of traffic?
I'm sharing a few free approaches with you today. Let me be clear before I begin. If you don't pay for traffic, you must work (very hard) to get it. There's no cheat code for a successful business. Now, let’s jump right into the details!
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How to Get Free Traffic to Your Shopify Store
Going after online communities to get free traffic
Facebook groups are one of the best platforms to find, engage your audience, and drive traffic to your store. Facebook groups are a place for people to share their interests with others, you can create a group for anything!
While there’s no option for you to advertise Facebook groups directly, you can still use them to your advantage. To start driving traffic from Facebook groups, join Facebook groups that are relevant to your product or service, and begin posting quality content. Contact other members and ask for reviews about your products or store.
Once you build a relationship with other group members, they become free traffic organically. Also, once you have a stronger reputation, tell the group administrator if you can share a unique discount code with the group. This is the perfect way to bring your store free, quality traffic.
The second free-traffic community is Pinterest. In the past few years, Pinterest has grown from a community that loves sharing awesome content to one that loves shopping. Today, a lot of Pinterest users said Pinterest helps them decide what to buy. So Pinterest is also a really useful channel to drive free traffic to your Shopify store.
To leverage this active market, build a Pinterest board, and start pinning! Your Pinterest pins never expire, and your posts will show up in searches for life. Pins are the ideal way to launch organic free traffic to your store. Want to learn more about Pinterest? You can check out our guide on how to sell on Pinterest.
The last platform that you can use to drive free traffic to your website is Reddit. In recent years, Reddit has seen explosive growth, especially after the redesign. Reddit now has more than 150,000 communities of all types of subjects. So, there is definitely your target audience among those groups. There is a group (called subReddit) for just everything you can think of, which makes it the perfect place to find high-quality and relevant traffic.
You can use different strategies for Reddit. You can post and share your product or service in niche-related subreddits. You need to keep in mind that straight, intrusive advertising (sales pitches, if you will) is not allowed. You're free to share your love for a brand, though! Share a link in the comments so that when someone is interested, they know where to go.
The second method is finding subreddits where you can exchange items. r/Ineedit or R/Iwantthat are the perfect subreddits to share your products. Such subreddits have huge traffic, and if Redditors are interested in your product, they'll definitely visit your shop. Instead of posting a sales pitch, share your photo or video using your product. It'll be more authentic and work more effectively.
Grow an Instagram account to attract free traffic
Instagram is arguably the best social media site for free traffic. Whether or not you have the budget for advertising, your dropshipping store could benefit from an Instagram account. Instagram has over one billion active monthly users. That's a ton of potential customers! Hobby photographers have been using Instagram for years to share their photos. Today, it's all used by mommy bloggers to pets. It's become a place for people of similar interests to gather and share their stories. So why is Instagram one of the best platforms to drive traffic for free?
You can create a free Instagram account and even make it a business profile to see helpful data at no extra cost. Here’s a common mistake that dropshippers often make on Instagram that I want to correct.
That mistake is they create an Instagram account, upload a few posts, get zero engagements, engage with nobody, and then wonder why they have no traffic or sales from this platform.
To generate quality content, you can follow the 80/20 rule. Ensure that 80% of your posts are simply beautiful, motivating, or helpful to your audience. Use the other 20% to promote your brand and products. Quantity means uploading multiple times a week. You can create and follow a repeatable content schedule.
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To win Instagram, particularly without spending money, you need two things:
- Lots of followers and great content.
- Customer engagement
If a prospect visits your Instagram page, and they see lots of interaction, they'll be much more likely to click the link to your Shopify store. And the question you’re having is how to get lots of followers, right? There’s no shortcut. When uploading content, you need to focus on both quality and quantity.
To generate quality content, you can follow the 80/20 rule. Make sure 80% of your posts are beautiful, inspiring, or provide value to your audience. Use the other 20% to promote your brand and products. Quantity means posting several posts a week. Make a simple, repeatable schedule to follow.
For instance, you can use this 4-day template to post content in a loop:
- Day 1: use a free stock photo from websites such as Unsplash to share with a relevant caption.
- Day 2: use Canva to design a simple graphic of a motivating/inspiring quote.
- Day 3: repost a relevant piece of information from an influencer in your niche.
- Day 4: share a well-taken photo of your product.
- And repeat!
The second thing you need to do to get free traffic from Instagram is engaging with your community. It includes anyone posting hashtags relevant to your product. To communicate with your community, browse related hashtags on Instagram. Start leaving meaningful comments for those hashtags. Chances are Instagram users posting content that will visit your profile and check it out.
Here's an important tip for you to save money. Growing an Instagram page takes time, so if you don’t want to pay for your monthly Shopify account before having a well-developed Instagram account, start your Instagram account before having a website.
Next up, I’ll address the last strategy of this article to drive free traffic to your Shopify store: working with influencers! But how do you get influencers to partner with you? The solution is affiliate marketing.
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Grow affiliate marketing partnerships to drive free traffic
No doubt, influencer marketing is one of the most successful ways to make drop shipping sales. Last year, 86 percent of companies used influencer marketing, and this trend is expected to grow in the coming years. To drive traffic to a Shopify store, influencers are one of the easiest ways to do it.
Dropshippers usually pay an influencer to repost an advertisement in their Instagram stories or new updates. While this can be expensive, an alternative will cost you nothing. Until I continue, you should keep in mind that Influencers are running their own companies. Like you, they want money. Remember that when it comes to discussing affiliate marketing opportunities.
To get an influencer to partner with you, you must do something for them. If it's not upfront payment, potential income gains must be down the line. That's just a win-win relationship.
An affiliate relationship is one you set up with an influencer to make a share of their sales. You will collaborate with each person influencer to decide what percentage works for them and still make a proper income for you. Although you may receive slightly less revenue, you won't pay for any endorsement until you receive orders.
This approach is effective for several reasons. First, because of the potential to make lots of money instead of a one-time payout for a sponsored post, many influencers are interested in this partnership. Partnerships are also effective as they incentivize sales. When you pay for a single post, they post your advertisement and forget it. But the affiliate partnership model will incline your influencers to market and sell your products effectively. That's because if you do, they get a chunk of profit.
Do research on Youtube and Instagram to find popular niche influencers. First, I'd suggest seeking micro-influencers; these are influencers who have under 50,000 subscribers or followers. That's still a huge traffic base, and they're likely to have a close relationship with their audience.
A common mistake I see beginners dropshippers are trying to work with giant influencers. Due to having more followers, they are less likely to work with a new company. Also, they won't have an audience connection as personal. Products shared by micro-influencers look more authentic than larger influencers.
Remember this equation: 3 influencers with 20,000 followers will be more effective and easier to partner with than 1 with 60,000!
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Driving traffic to your shop is a necessity to churn out a profit. The higher your web traffic, the more likely you get sales. This is valid whether you're a newbie seller struggling to get your shop off the ground, a Shopify veteran whose revenues have been plateauing in the last few months, or an ambitious businessman who wants to take their profits to the next level.
Even the most popular sellers struggled at some point, so don't worry too much if you don't first know how to drive traffic to your store. Take your time with your work and try different strategies — it's always better to use multiple approaches rather than throwing all the eggs in one basket.
I hope this article has given you valuable information about how to drive free traffic to your new Shopify store. Now go and execute them, and please feel free to leave comments below for further discussion. :-)