Instagram Shoutout: How to Grow Your Dropshipping with Influencer Marketing?

by Stanley


An Instagram shoutout is an incredible opportunity for brands to give kudos to each other and harness the power of social media. A shoutout on Instagram can immensely increase your reach, exposure, followers, and ultimately – sales.  

So, do you know how to use Instagram shoutouts to your advantage? Did you know you could even buy a top Instagram account shoutout? Yep, many Instagram shoutout pages earn money exclusively from shoutouts. 

Let’s get going and see how you can use Instagram shoutouts to start a successful dropshipping business

What Is an Instagram Shoutout?

In its essence, an Instagram shoutout is when one IG user or business creates a post or a story mentioning another IG account or business. 

Typically, the influencer will post a photo (or a video) of a product of the dropshipping store account. In most cases, the Instagram influencer will also tag with an @ the company whose products or services they’re promoting. 


How Do You Give a Shoutout on Instagram?

A shoutout on Instagram could be a story or a post where user A (the influencer) shows the product of user B (the dropshipper). 

They do this by sharing a photo or a video of them using the product or unpacking it, etc. Typically, the influencer will mention your Instagram profile by tagging you with an @. 

How Can I Get an Instagram Shoutout?

There are different ways to get Instagram shoutouts, some paid and others free. Here are some of the main ones:

Free (Voluntary) Shoutout

If your dropshipping product is so good that it gets voluntary shoutouts, you’ve hit the motherload!

Voluntary shoutouts occur when a customer that bought your service or product loves it so much that they decide to post about it and mention your business. That’s the holy grail of Insta shoutouts.

Shoutout for Shoutout (S4S)

S4S is perhaps one of the most common ways to get a shoutout on Instagram. It means getting a shoutout and offering one in return – shoutout for shoutout. 

To do this, you’ll have to find and reach out to Instagram accounts with approximately the same follower number as you and offer them a shoutout in return for the same. When choosing between a paid shoutout or S4S, the latter is always the better option. 

For new dropshippers who don’t have such a big following yet, paid shoutouts could be the best option. There are many apps or tools like Shoutcart, which you can use to find top Instagram accounts for a shoutout. 

Many influencers will ask for a monetary payment for a shoutout, but some might agree to a free product instead. Ask them, and you won’t lose anything. You can only gain. 

Affiliate Shoutout

And finally, we have the affiliate shoutout model. This model can work great if you sell clothing or merchandise. 

An affiliate shoutout on Instagram works by giving the influencer a UTM-tagged link or a discount code for customers to use at checkout to track how many sales came from them. Then, they get a percentage of each sale. 

If you’re dropshipping with Shopify, there are affiliate apps to help you work with influencers within the Shopify app store


How to Get an Instagram Shoutout for Free?

If you’re interested in free dropshipping, one of the best ways of getting a shoutout on Instagram for free is the S4S method. 

We recommend searching for accounts with about the same number of followers as you do so that the value you’re offering to them is proportional to what you’re asking. 

For instance, if you have 5000 followers, you cannot ask a “shoutout for shoutout” from an account with 1M+ followers. The chances are meager that they would agree to something like that because, well, what would they get out of it? 

You could use different hashtags that describe the type of Instagram accounts you’re looking for to find the most suitable ones. Influencer marketing relies on the right audience, so approaching accounts in your niche with similar content is crucial. 

For instance, if you sell baby toys, you need to approach a mother who has a large following of other new mothers. Promoting baby toys through an account for man cosmetics doesn’t make sense.

What Are Paid Instagram Shoutouts?

Paid Instagram shoutouts are the primary income source of many Instagram influencers. Once an influencer gets established as an authority in their industry and has a decent number of followers, they can start accepting payments for shoutouts. 

Having said this, it’s only natural that there are many websites, directories, and tools helping you find the best influencers for your brand. You can even find Instagram shoutout pages dedicated only for reach and shoutouts.

For instance, Instagram quotes pages that reshare aspiring authors. Or, Instagram profiles with photos of exotic trips with regular shoutouts for different travel agencies. Get the gist?

How Much Is an Instagram Shoutout?

The cost of an Instagram shoutout usually depends on the influencer in question and, most importantly, their audience’s size. IG influencers often charge for 12-hour or 24-hour featured posts with a link in bio to your product. 

A shoutout on Instagram can vary significantly, depending on the size of the influencer account. Some smaller accounts can agree to do a shoutout for just $10 a day, while others might have a minimum of $200 for a shoutout. 

Did you know that some famous stars that promote a product can get millions for a single shoutout? Yes, you read that right! It’s all about the reach – and theirs is valued to be worth a lot! 

How to Pay for Instagram Shoutouts Securely?

Most Instagram influencers will ask to get paid through PayPal before the launch of the shoutout, and this is perfectly normal and expected! We would stay wary of payment methods like Western Union or wire transfers. 


The advantage of PayPal payments is that you can get your money back within 30 days if the influencer doesn’t do the shoutout as agreed in advance.

Whenever appropriate, you could ask if the influencer will accept your product for free (or a box of your products) instead of monetary payment for a shoutout. You’d be surprised how well this tactic works, especially if you’re selling expensive products.

What Are the Benefits of Instagram Shoutouts for Dropshipping?

Here’s what you get if you decide to dou influencer marketing on Instagram:

  • An increased reach and exposure;
  • An increase of followers of your dropshipping store;
  • More trust and loyalty;
  • Increased brand recognition;
  • Tons of social proof – people love seeing other people use a product – it gives them a sense of approval;
  • Increased sales; 
  • Organic sales in the long-term;
  • More results on a lower budget;

What Are the Risks of Instagram Shoutouts for Dropshipping?

Although a shoutout on Instagram can be life-changing for your dropshipping business, it comes with a few risks included:

  • Collaborating with the wrong influencers;
  • Lack of control over the audience;
  • Lack of measurable results;
  • An increase in traffic but not in sales – typically due to a wrong target group;
  • Coming off as over-salesy;

What Do You Write in an Instagram Shoutout?

The main goal of an Instagram shoutout is to increase your sales and your IG following. So, naturally, you want the shoutout to present your product in the best light possible. 

Typically, you’d show the influencer using the product, list some benefits of the product, explain its uses, or similar. The goal is to get as many people interested in the product or brand they’re promoting as possible. 

We recommend keeping the caption short, simple, and precise, with a clear CTA. People don’t read much nowadays, so make your caption easily understandable and scannable at first glance. 

If you need a longer caption, catch people’s attention with something eye-grabbing in the first sentence, and then move on with the more boring stuff further down. 

A caption should push a person to follow the dropshipping store or buy the product. In both cases, ensure the influencer tags your user account with an @ and posts a clear CTA like follow, buy with a code discount, etc. 

Is My Dropshipping Niche Suitable for Instagram Shoutouts?

Shortly explained, if your drop shipping niche and products have an audience on Instagram, then yes, your dropshipping business is suitable for Instagram shoutouts. Think of your ideal buyer persona – would your typical customer have an Instagram account? 

Another point we’d like to mention here is to remember that Instagram is a visual social media. The success of IG posts depends mainly on visual esthetics. So, is your product visually appealing enough to be presentable on Instagram? 

How to Find the Best Instagram Influencer for a Shoutout?

When searching for the best Instagram influencer for your dropshipping business, there are several things to pay attention to:

Account language

First and most important, what language is the account in? If the Influencer account posts in Spanish and your audience speaks English, it doesn’t make sense to get a shoutout from them. 

Account language

Account niche

Influencer marketing works only if the audience is right. For this reason, it’s vital to choose an account with similar content. However, never reach out to a direct competitor. 

If you’re selling phone cases, reach out to someone who sells phone car holders or phones, but not another shop that sells cases. 

Number of followers

The number of followers plays a role in shoutout exposure and success. If you’re searching for S4S models, approach IG users with a similar following to yours. 

If you’re using paid shoutouts, it’s a good practice to choose accounts with a more considerable following but not too large. Accounts with 1M+ followers will be expensive. Plus, they don’t have such a good ROI because they look a lot like sponsored posts. 

On the other hand, accounts with 50K to 200K with engaged followers could be much more affordable and bring you much better results. 

Lately, so-called “micro-influencers” (from 5000 to 50K followers) are taking all the credit for producing the most successful shoutouts. We believe this is because they have a smaller audience, so they’re closer and more personal, thus creating more trust. 

Quality of followers

It’s not just the number but the quality that counts. You don’t need accounts with 10M spammy or bought followers. You’ll need actual people who have engagement and have established a connection with their fans. 

A good pointer of whether the account has real or scam followers is the comments p. Real users will typically have an engaged audience and comments on all their posts. 

Good engagement analytics

A good practice, especially if you’re paying for it, is always to ask to see engagement analytics before agreeing to work with an influencer. 

Instagram Engagement Analytics

Paid influencers who are legit and not afraid in their abilities won’t have any issues sending you a quick screenshot from their Audience Insights. If they refuse to send you this, look for someone who will. 

By looking at an influencer’s audience insights, you can see the type of posts that worked best, their audience’s age and gender, which days have the best engagement, and much more. 

Where to Find Good Influencers for Instagram Shoutouts?

You have three different options for finding influencers:

Directly on Instagram

The first step to start looking can be directly on Instagram, by searching for the hashtags that closely relate to your business. For instance, if you’re selling natural skincare products, you can look for: 

#organicskincare #naturalskin #naturalproducts #cleanbeauty #naturalbeauty #cleanskincare 

Then, open some intriguing accounts and check the number of followers and the type of content they post. Typically, influencers open to shoutouts will have their contact info like email or ask you to DM them for collaboration in their bio. 

Google search

Another thing you can try is to search on Google directly. For instance, if you’re selling skincare products, try typing something like  “top skincare Instagram influencers.” 

Google search

Check out the first few pages, and we’re sure you’ll find a suitable influencer that might fit.

If you don’t want to search for influencers manually, you could go to a paid solution such as ShoutoutExperts, Shoutcart, or NeoReach. These are all tools with directories full of vetted influencers who could give you a shoutout on Instagram. 


How to Analyze and Track Conversions from Instagram Shoutouts?

As a dropshipper looking into influencer marketing, you’ll often have more than one IG profile giving you a shoutout at the same time. In this case, you need some way to track the results of each shoutout (to know which influencer works best for you). 

The best solution for this is UTM tagging. You can use the free Google campaign URL builder to tag each link. Fill out the fields and place the influencer name in campaign_source or medium. The tool will then generate a URL for every influencer. 

Campaign URL builder

If you don’t want to do this, then the best thing to do is avoid having two or more shoutouts overlapping at the same time. Like this, you can measure every activity individually within the time frame of each shoutout. 

What Type of Content to Prepare for an Instagram Shoutout?

When you’re asking a top Instagram page to give you a shoutout, you want to make it as simple as possible to increase your chances of acceptance. 

The last thing you want to do is give them more responsibility in the sense of looking for a visual on their own or trying to think of a caption to describe your product. 

We recommend approaching these accounts with a pre-made template that they can copy-paste and use as it is. What you’ll need is usually the following:

  • High-quality visuals in the proper format – correct sizes for an Instagram story or a post;
  • Video if necessary – of unpacking the product, using the product, or just showing the product from different angles;
  • An appropriate tag or mention back to your IG page (a user account tagged with an @);
  • Hashtags you’d like them to use;
  • One (or more) options for pre-written captions to go with the visuals;
  • Link to your external shop or product (ideally, this link will be placed in the influencer’s bio for a limited amount of time so that it’s clickable);

By providing the above things when reaching out to an Instagram influencer, you simplify your request and make their job much more manageable. 

Imagine how much more time they’d have to spend doing all that on their own. Like this, the influencers need just a minute to do everything – this strongly increases the chances of them accepting to give you a shoutout. 

However, some top Instagram accounts might insist on writing their captions, and that’s perfectly fine too! 

How to Use Giveaways in IG Shoutouts?

Giveaways are an incredible way to give a shoutout, increase sales, and increase your following. Usually, two or three Instagram accounts in the same or similar niche will join and prepare a giveaway for their audiences. 

Giveaways on Instagram

All three users will share the giveaway, with the simple rule of following all three accounts and tagging a friend (or more) in the comment p. There will be a set deadline when they draw a random winner who will get the giveaway prize. 

That’s is a brilliant way to increase the Instagram following of all three accounts and increase your sales in the long run. Typically, this type of shoutout is S4S since all parties gain something in the process. 

Are Facebook Ads Better than Instagram Shoutouts for Dropshipping?

Let’s start by the fact that Facebook Ads will cost you more! Ultimately, the success of both the ad and the shoutout depends on the accuracy of the target audience. 

Facebook Ads

In short – if you choose the right Instagram user for influencer marketing, a single shoutout can bring you more success than an ad that runs for a month! 

You just need to make sure that you’re choosing the right influencer who has a following that would buy your product. 

What Is Shoutout for Shoutout (S4S)?

S4S or shoutout for shoutout is a popular way of getting an Instagram shoutout and giving one in return. That’s usually an agreement between two Instagram accounts to give a shoutout post to each other. 

For this to be successful, usually, the two accounts have to be in related industries so that the audiences fit. However, they shouldn’t be direct competitors and sell the same things. 

How to Approach an Instagram Influencer for a Shoutout?

First of all, it’s vital to engage with the influencer and show some activity before reaching out. With that, instead of feeling like you’re doing a cold outreach, it will be a more friendly atmosphere. For instance, write some insightful comment once in a while or like some photos. 

Next, you should know that copy-pasting the same message and sending it to multiple DMs will get you nothing more than a ban. People don’t respond to generic and robotic messages anymore. So, try to personalize every influencer outreach message as much as possible. 

For instance, try to include the user’s first name if available, compliment their account, be polite and friendly – add value to your message. 

If you want to get an S4S, try something like:

“Hi {first_name},

I love your account and have been following you for a while now. It would be cool to merge and do an S4S (shoutout for shoutout). At least I know my audience would love your content!”

If you’re looking to pay an influencer, you could go with:

“Hi {first_name},

First of all, I want to let you know that I love your content! Do you do paid shoutouts? And if yes, please give me your rates?

I could send you a template and visuals, or if you prefer, you could put something together on your own – I don’t mind. Let me know, and we can discuss the details.”

Or, maybe you want to offer them a free product in exchange for a shoutout:

“Hey there {first_name},

I love that you constantly post tips on skincare! I’ve been following your content for a while, and I’m impressed. 

I’d love to send you free samples of my clean and organic skincare line to test out. Perhaps, you could give me a shoutout if you like it – but no obligations at all!”

Remember that short and sweet is always the best first approach. You can discuss all the technicalities later on after they agree to the shoutout. 


On a Final Note

Using Instagram influencers for eCommerce is a powerful tactic that can bring tons of success for a tiny investment if done right. 

If, despite everything, you still struggle to sell, maybe it’s not you, but simply a wrong product. 

Contact us and let us help you find the products you are planning to sell. And once we find the right product, Instagram shoutouts will give you the results you want!

About the Author

stanley nieh ceo


Over 10 years of experience in foreign trade
Helped 2k+ customers improve their dropshipping businesses

Leave a Comment