With the increase in competition in the dropshipping and e-commerce space, also comes an increase in advertising costs. When I first started dropshipping back in 2016, turning a profit after covering ad expenses was relatively easy, unfortunately, it’s not that simple anymore.
With several advertising platforms available, each boasting unique features, audience demographics, and engagement tools, selecting the right platform can be daunting and confusing.
If you’re undecided as to which platform you should advertise your dropshipping business, I suggest you read this entire article in full first. By the end, you’ll have clarity on the ideal platform, irrespective of your niche or target audience.
You may also be interested in my article on do you have to advertise for dropshipping?
Which Platform Do Most Dropshippers Advertise on and Why?
The preferred advertising platforms for most dropshippers are Facebook, TikTok, and Google. In this article, I’ll focus on these platforms. However, I’ll also touch on some alternatives and when they might be more suitable.
There are several reasons why dropshippers choose these platforms over others:
- Huge Audience: Having access to billions of users provides access to audiences in every niche imaginable.
- ROAS: Whilst these platforms are not the cheapest to advertise on, the return on ad spend is higher compared to other options.
- Advanced Targeting: You can target specific audiences based on demographics, interests and behavior which can increase conversion rates.
- Retargeting: Using a pixel, which is a small piece of code that allows you to collect user data, you can retarget users who have shown an interest in your products but did not complete a purchase.
- Immediate Traffic: Brand new dropshipping stores can drive traffic to their store as soon as they run ads.
- Testing: Flexible ad budgeting allows users to test fast and inexpensively.
Which is the Best Platform to Advertise a Dropshipping Business?
Unfortunately, there is no “best platform” when it comes to advertising a dropshipping business. Facebook may be the best option for me and Google may be the best option for you. There are several reasons why dropshippers will opt for different advertising strategies including:
- The products or niche you’re dropshipping
- The price range of your products
- The audience you’re targeting
- The type of ad you’re creating
- Your budget
- How visually appealing your product is
- The geographical location you’re targeting
For example, if I were dropshipping magnetic eyelashes, I would create videos of the product being used in real-life situations and advertise to younger females on TikTok. This approach aligns perfectly with the product and its target audience.
Conversely, if I were dropshipping an educational kid’s toy, I would target parents and grandparents on Facebook. This demographic often has disposable income and can’t resist unique gifts for their children that may not be accessible in retail stores.
However, Google ads would require a different strategy. For high-ticket items such as a sauna, golf bag or patio furniture, Google is the perfect platform, as users visit Google when actively searching for such products. Convincing someone to buy patio furniture on Facebook, when they’re not actively seeking it, is a difficult sale to make.
|13 – 24||15.3%||11%|
|25 – 34||17.6%||12.3%|
|35 – 44||10.9%||8.5%|
|45 – 54||6.1%||5.5%|
|18 – 24||17.8%||19.5%|
|25 – 34||16.6%||16.3%|
|35 – 44||7.8%||7.9%|
|45 – 54||4%||4.3%|
Below is a screenshot of choosing your demographics and interests in the TikTok ad manager.
Which are the Best Products to Advertise on Each Platform?
There are specific niches and categories of products that tend to perform better on each platform.
Best Product to Advertise on TikTok
With a large percentage of TikTok users consisting of Gen Z and younger millennials, specific product categories will appeal to this demographic more than others. It’s important to leverage trends and create videos that will resonate with the younger audience when advertising on TikTok.
Below are some niches that are popular and tend to appeal to TikTok users.
- Fashion and Beauty
- Online courses
- Eco-friendly products
- Arts & crafts
Best Product to Advertise on Facebook
Facebook’s large and diverse user demographics make it suitable for a wide range of products. High-quality and engaging images are key for Facebook ads, as you have a split second to capture user’s attention as they scroll through their feed.
Facebook also has a feature called the Facebook Pixel which is a piece of code that tracks your customers’ interactions and provides an improved understanding of your customers and the actions they took when they saw your ad.
I have found the baby and pet niche to be especially profitable niches on Facebook. These are also niches where users tend to share photos and videos for user-generated content (UGC) which leads to organic traffic.
- Baby & toddlers
- Health & Fitness
- Sports & Hobbies
- Home Decor
- Arts & crafts
- Tech & gadgets
Best Product to Advertise on Google
Google Ads is a versatile platform for advertising dropshipping products as it targets audiences across demographics. However, low-cost trending products are not a viable option for advertising on Google because of the additional ad cost.
For this reason, high-ticket dropshippers utilize Google ads as their primary advertising platform as the higher profit margins make it worthwhile.
Because consumers are actively searching for the product on Google, you’re not trying to interrupt them and sell them a product they are not necessarily looking to buy. High-quality images and relevant keywords are very effective with Google ads.
Below are some of the products and niches dropshippers have the most success with on Google ads:
- Home Decor
- Health and Fitness
- B2B Niches
- any High Ticket Niches
For some more ideas, I have an article with 400+ high-ticket product ideas.
How Much Does it Cost to Advertise for Dropshipping?
The cost of advertising your dropshipping business on different platforms can vary significantly. This is because platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Google determine ad prices via an auction system.
During the ad creation phase, you’ll set your budget, select target demographics, and design your ad. All these factors combined determine your advertising costs.
If more competition and more advertisers are willing to pay, the ad prices rise. For example, if you’re advertising a portable solar panel for recreational vehicles, expect higher ad costs. Such products, with healthy profit margins targeted at audiences with disposable income, are typically pricier to advertise.
Another big factor that determines ad costs is the country you’re targeting. Advertising in countries like the United States, UK, Australia, and Canada is pricier compared to regions like Asia, Africa, and certain European countries.
As a dropshipper, there are some important metrics you should learn to determine the right advertising platform for you.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): This is the average cost an advertiser pays every time a user clicks on your ad.
- Cost Per Mille (CPM): Also known as Cost Per Thousand Impressions, this metric indicates how much you pay for every 1,000 times your ad is shown to a potential customer. It’s especially relevant for campaigns focused on brand awareness.
- Cost Per Conversion (or Cost Per Acquisition, CPA): This metric reveals how much you pay for each conversion, this includes a sale, a sign-up, or any other action.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): While not directly a cost metric, the CTR helps in assessing the effectiveness of an ad. It’s the ratio of users who click on an ad compared to the number of total users.
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): A crucial metric used by dropshippers to determine the profitability of your ad campaigns. It’s the revenue generated for every dollar spent on ads. If your ROAS is $4, for example, you’re making $4 in revenue for every $1 you spend on ads.
|Advertising Platform||Average Costs||Average CTR|
|CPM – $14.20|
CPC – $1.84
|TikTok||CPM – $10.50|
CPC – $1.63
|CPC – $1 to $2||3% – 5%|
Although average advertising costs on Facebook are higher than TikTok, the CTR and conversion rates are higher.
A big reason for this is the older user base who is more likely to have money, the products being sold on TikTok are mostly short-term trends and Facebook has more data on its users making it more effective at determining the right user for the product.
Google ads pricing is higher than Facebook and TikTok but is also much higher converting than both platforms. The reason the ad cost is higher is that users are actively searching for the specific product which makes converting much easier.
Google uses PPC (Pay-per-click) which means the advertiser pays Google a fee each time someone clicks on their ads. Advertisers bid on specific keywords for their products to be shown, which is why the more competitive keywords will typically cost the most per click.
For this reason, Google is the most popular advertising choice for high-ticket dropshippers. The higher the profit margins the higher ad cost a viable advertising strategy.
For more information, I have an article on what kinds of profit margins you should expect with dropshipping.
Best Ways to Advertise a Dropshipping Business Without Facebook, TikTok or Google
Facebook, TikTok and Google are the go-to advertising platforms for the majority of dropshippers. However, there are several other options that may be more suitable depending on your business goals.
After Facebook, TikTok and Google, Instagram is my next top choice for advertising a dropshipping business. Instagram is owned by Facebook so your ads are created through Facebook’s ad manager.
There are several options for advertising on Instagram such as creating your own business, page, story ads and influencer shoutouts are often extremely powerful depending on your niche.
Being such a visual platform, the best dropship products to promote should be visually pleasing and how some kind of wow factor. Influencer shoutouts are effective for dropshippers trying to build a brand.
Works similarly to Google ads as advertisers pay-per-click and bid on specific keywords. Bing is often an underutilized advertising option for dropshippers when Google ads are out of their budget.
Targeting tools enable advertisers to reach specific demographics, locations, device types, and time zones. Performance is tracked via Microsoft Advertising’s dashboard, which shows metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversion rates.
YouTube ads are managed through Google ads and you have several options including skippable videos, non-skippable ads, display ads and more. Another option is to reach out to YouTube influencers within your niche and ask them to promote or review your product.
Depending on the niche you’re dropshipping starting a YouTube channel and creating videos on how to use your products and reviews is a traffic method many competitors would not utilize.
InVideo is an amazing tool that can help you create YouTube videos easily.
As with other platforms, advertisers can use Twitter Ads to target specific demographics based on factors like age, location, interests, and even the type of device they use. The platform offers several ad formats, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends.
Reddit is known as a forum and most people don’t consider it for advertising. However, advertising on Reddit involves placing ads that blend in with user-generated content whilst still being distinguishable as sponsored. The platform offers two primary ad formats, Sponsored Posts and Display Ads.
The vast majority of Snapchat users are of a younger demographic aged between 13 and 34. Take this into consideration as many niches will not be viable options for marketing to this age bracket. Snapchat offers a variety of advertising formats, including Snap Ads, Sponsored Lenses, and Sponsored Geofilters.
Advertising on LinkedIn may not be applicable to my dropshippers as the majority of users are professionals, job seekers, and industry leaders. Advertising on LinkedIn is particularly effective for B2B marketing and offers various advertising solutions, such as Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Display Ads.
Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy for marketing a dropshipping business as opposed to a fast and easy way of driving traffic. I suggest focusing on paid advertising strategies initially and once your store has grown then focusing on driving traffic organically on Google.
Pinterest can be an effective platform for advertising if you’re in the right niche. With such a large percentage of Pinterest users being female, niches in beauty, travel, crafts, DIY, fashion and home decor can be profitable.
Affiliate marketing is another long-term strategy for driving traffic. Having affiliates market your store for you is an effective method of making sales without having to pay or take the time to advertise yourself.
Whilst building an email list will take time, it’s worth it. Selling to people who have already purchased from you or have a keen interest in your niche is one of the return on investments with advertising.
Monthly Users and Time Spent on Each Platform
|Advertising Platform||Monthly Users||Average Time|
|3 Billion||33 minutes|
|TikTok||1.1 Billion||55 minutes|
|2 Billion||30 minutes|
|450 Million||14 minutes|
|YouTube||2.5 Billion||47 minutes|
|5.4 Million||34 minutes|
|Snapchat||750 Million||30 minutes|
|930 Million||7 minutes|
Pros and Cons of Advertising on Facebook, TikTok and Google
Before making any decision, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons to avoid any pitfalls. Below is a full breakdown so you can make an informed decision without any surprises.
Pros & Cons of Advertising with Facebook
Pros & Cons of Advertising with TikTok
Pros & Cons of Advertising with Google
Conclusion – Which Platform Should You Use for Dropshipping?
I wish I could give you a single answer as to which is the best to advertise your dropshipping business, unfortunately, the answer will be different for everyone. The main factors to consider are:
- Which platform best matches the main audience of your website?
- What is your budget?
- Can you create your own video content?
- What is the price range of your products?
|Advertising Platform||Best for|
|Targeting diverse demographics|
Products with specific audiences
Wow factor products
Baby, pet and home decor niches
|TikTok||Targeting younger audiences|
Trending and low-cost products
Smaller advertising budgets
Creative sellers with video editing skills
Beauty, fashion and fitness niches
|High ticket products|
Regular household products
Higher advertising budgets
Professional product images
Furniture, fashion and hobby niches