Opportunities for companies to work with influencers to promote their goods and brands have increased as influencers become more well-liked on social media platforms.
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to launch or expand an influencer marketing program that increases brand awareness and boosts sales is through product seeding for companies that sell physical goods.
Influencer gifting is one of the finest ways to increase brand loyalty among your influencers by giving them the chance to discover your company, experience your product, and fall in love with both.
The capacity of influencers to connect with a brand’s target audience on a more genuine and authentic level and the fact that customers trust the influencer’s suggestions are known to marketing experts.
In this article, we’ll go over what product seeding is, how it functions, its advantages, how to run the influencing campaign, and some examples of brands that have incorporated the strategy effectively.
What is Product Seeding (aka Influencer Gifting)
Product seeding is a procedure where a firm gives away free goods (gifts) to influencers. In return, the influencers post about the product and provide images and reviews to their followers.
There are tips to do influencer gifting effectively.
The offering of free goods may seem like a negative approach to marketing, yet it has shown to be efficient and profitable for businesses that employ it.
In 2019, the global influencer marketing platform market was valued at 148 million U.S. dollars. It is expected to grow to 202 million in 2022 and surpass 337 million dollars in 2027.
Tips For Doing Influencer Gifting Effectively
Now that you know what product seeding (influencer gifting) is, let’s look at some tips for doing it successfully.
As a business owner, you need to know more than just what your product seeding is. You must develop strategies that will benefit you, the consumer, and the influencer.
How do you achieve influencer gifting effectively?
1. Personalizing Your Product Packages Before Shipping Them
Most likely, your brand isn’t the only one delivering things to influencers, and that’s just fine. This demonstrates how crucial it is for your seeding campaign to stand out. Also, an influencer will likely share your product if it looks good in photos and videos.
When it’s time to unbox your wares, you just have one opportunity to make a statement. First impressions matter and one of the first lines of your brand’s representation is the product packaging.
The following should be considered when branding your products.
- Having your customers in mind while designing
- Contemplating your packaging needs
- Selecting your branding elements carefully
- Use branding that aims to tell a story about the product and your company
Branding may call for extra costs, but it’s worth it. Always do enough market research to avoid duplicating your competitor. Duplicates expose people to perceiving your product to be fake, and you can also face the law for copyright issues.
Consumers claim that 77% of social media posts have encouraged them to buy products from unheard-of brands. The first appearance of your products contributes significantly to this interest.
2. Sending Your Influencers the Best Product
An influencer needs to be regarded in the same manner as a customer. Don’t provide the influencer with cheap, substandard goods.
A good example is if you give out low-quality skin care products, they might harm the influencer’s skin.
Naturally, no one would want to promote something negatively affecting them. The influencer’s poor reputation could ruin their influencing job, and your brand name is affected Negatively.
It is typical for marketers not to want to waste money on expensive products that might only be ghosted. The truth is that influencer seeding is dangerous since there is no guarantee of content in the absence of a contract.
But the less likely you are to be ghosted if you are selective and deliberate in your approach.
You can still undertake product seeding even if you typically offer low-priced goods or are undecided about high-ticket things.
Consider how you might put together multi-item, high-value bundles. Many items delivered to your influencers’ doorstep, even with less-priced products, can make them happy.
3. Contact Influencers Before Your Products Arrive
You may be itching to give your influencer the product, but the emphasis on how crucial PR package planning is cannot be ignored. Your campaign objectives must be clearly stated before you ship a single item.
You must also consider which goods are the most logical candidates for shipping. Inform the influencer of the target audience.
Reach the influencer through email to explain the progress of the products they expect. In case of any changes don’t delay to inform them.
4. Participating in the Posts of Your Influencers After They Go Live
Knowing what is going on after you have delivered the goods to the influencer is among the tips to do product seeding effectively. Make an effort to interact with your influencers’ content after it has gone live to build relationships.
Things to look into include:
- Verifying that PR packages have been delivered to influencers
- Addressing inquiries about your items from influencers
- Contacting influencers who haven’t posted after them after receiving the products
- Interact with posts after they go live. This entails leaving feedback on the influencer product page and answering questions from followers.
- Tracking remarks, exchanges, and interactions with posts from your influencer. This will help you know on areas you need to improve on.
As a bonus, doing all this makes you visible to your creator’s audience. These engagements may positively impact your influencers and target audience.
Smaller producers and micro-influencers value brand shout-outs especially.
Avoiding Limiting Your Influencer Seeding Strategy’s Audience
We have emphasized that your influencer marketing plan should focus on people similar to your target market. However, that does not necessarily apply to one audience or one kind of influencer.
Consider which influencers in various niches might find your product ideal. The influencer is aware of how they pull their audience.
After giving them your products and explaining what you aim to achieve, leave the rest of the creative work to them.
Both you and the influencer should be open to new ideas. Also, you should avoid using one influencer to promote all your work. Different influencers move the crowd by convincing them numerous people benefit from your products.
Product Seeding Examples
After finding individuals who share their basic beliefs, corporations may trade goods for excellent content and foster connections with their favorite creators, frequently resulting in long-term collaborations.
With an understanding of how to effectively do gift influencing, we can now look at different brands that have implemented the strategy and achieved successful results.
GoPro Products – Image Source: Amazon
GoPro Inc. is a US-based business specializing in designing and marketing cameras, mounts, drones, and other gadgets. The business contracts with Chinese companies to handle a portion of the manufacturing.
The business is known for giving influencers complete equipment packages as product seeds.
The influencers get to test out the newest gadgets and offer feedback. This has made the company make great sales in the past years.
Over half of the total revenue is generated by the company’s direct sales channel, which sells goods globally. Indirect sales are also made through this channel through distribution.
ZAFUL offers trendy fashion style women’s clothing at affordable prices on new tops, dresses, outerwear, and more. It is based in Berlin, Germany.
The online marketplace operated by the e-commerce business enables communication between its buyers and merchants. “ZAFUL Hauls,” one of its most well-known initiatives, allows influencers to choose an outfit from the store and post a photo of themselves wearing it to their page.
To help its followers save money on purchases, the brand also provides a promo code for the creator.
The brand was established in 2014 and has increased its Instagram following to more than 5.2 million through product seeding. Below is an example of one of its influencer gifting strategies.
ZAFUL Job Announcement – Image Source: ZAFUL
Brand Bliss is cruelty-free, clean, and thoughtfully formulated to minimize our environmental impact. They design products that make you feel good about your skin and boost your self-esteem.
Reaching out to potential ambassadors via social media and email is their primary method of product seeding. In exchange for sharing previously authorized material, they promise to send a Bliss care box of goodies.
For feedback on their goods, Bliss concentrates on micro-influencer groups of skincare enthusiasts who support their brand’s mission.
Skincare products are sensitive goods. People care about what they apply to their skin, so an influencer’s positive influence will be good if your skin care products are legit.
The Santa Clara, California-based company Chegg, Inc. is a provider of educational technologies. It offers textbooks, online tutoring, rentals for both physical and digital versions of the texts, and other student services.
Chegg distributes coupons and sample products to the college market in partnership with different brands.
When textbooks are delivered to students, they can anticipate receiving products like laundry detergent, energy drinks, and even gift cards from the brands.
Both Chegg and the brands it collaborates with benefit from the relationships.
Chegg gets to offer something extra special enabling the marketers to provide their products in front of college students, allowing them to keep good relationships with their clients.
Product Seeding Advantages
Product seeding is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to push your product through influencers if your firm focuses primarily on selling tangible goods.
If done effectively, influencer gifting will achieve the following benefits:
1. Building the Brand Love
Influencers who get products without being asked to comment right away develop the kind of trust that results in brand loyalty.
By taking your time, slowing down, and establishing a genuine connection, you have a greater chance of converting an influencer into a loyal person.
This means that the influencer will be willing to do what it takes to market your product. As a result, you’ll win the admiration of the followers who passionately support that influencer’s goals.
2. Increases Brand Awareness
Brand awareness measures how well consumers can identify a company or brand by its name, logo, or other distinguishing characteristics. The first step in a customer’s route to purchase is brand awareness, which is why it is crucial.
Brands that are well-known to consumers perform better than less well-known ones.
As a business owner, you should concentrate on raising your brand awareness among the target audiences that truly matter – people who are most likely to purchase their goods or use their services.
This can be easily achieved through influencers.
Many social media users subscribe to influencers based on their aesthetic choices and pay attention when their favorite creators use or wear something they haven’t previously seen.
Influencer gifting ensures more people learn about your brand through influencer content, shout-outs, or word of mouth.
3. Attracting and Retaining Customers
The influencer will definitely pull a mass of customers if tips for influencer gifting are done effectively.
If this customer uses your product and it matches what the influencer was campaigning for, you gain a loyal customer. These customers can also tell their friends and family about your product.
This is evidence of how strong word of mouth is. You continuously generate opportunities to win over new clients by distributing your items.
Even if the objective isn’t to find a new influencer to represent your company, giving away a product could win you a devoted customer who will return to you later.
Giving products to the influencer is among the less costly strategy to gain customers’ attention. It only requires you to give the influencer just a few products, and they do the most of making your brand known.
For any marketer, getting high-quality content for the cost of a product makes sense.
To ensure that you end up with content that can be reused and repurposed through paid advertisements, email marketing, and other channels, select influencers who are currently creating content your audience enjoys.
5. Deep Connection with Authentic Influencers
According to research, there may be 37.8 million influencers active across TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Building an influencer campaign on partnerships rather than just transactions is the key.
It is crucial to remember that there will always be fake influencers, despite the fact that influencer marketing channels make an effort to evaluate and check influencers in their database for fraudulent behavior and inauthenticity.
Creators who are just concerned with maximizing their financial gain and the number of their fans seek a transactional relationship.
The quality, long-term relationships required to scale an influencer marketing program won’t be created via this strategy, and neither side will succeed.
Great influencers seek to develop connections with brands that benefit their audience. Product seeding is crucial because of this.
It allows the influencer to assess whether your product is something they would naturally recommend and invites discussion about how creators feel about a product.
Given that so many businesses either already use influencer marketing or are thinking about doing so, it is important to understand some of the hazards associated with brand-influencer relationships.
1. Fake Influencers
Social media marketers must also be cautious of influencers whose follower counts are heavily skewed toward bots or who buy followers.
Marketers should place more emphasis on the quality of engagement and less on follower counts. The potential for phony followers to grow grows as an influencer’s following increases. Working with a fake influencer comes at a cost.
People who suspect the influencer to have fake followers are likely to believe the product they are promoting is also fake.
Unreliable Collaborations and Content
Everyone knows influencers don’t always use the goods or services they promote on social media.
Should audiences perceive influencer endorsements as false or deceptive, and both the business and the influencer lose credibility, even if some brands don’t seem to care if an endorsement originates from a place of true authenticity?
Tips to product feeding, if done effectively, bring a positive impact to your business. Always ensure that you brand your products attractively.
When giving the products to the influencer, explain your expectations to them and listen to what they can offer. Keep on updating the influencer of the product delivery.
After the influencer has gone, love always ensures that you interact with their different followers. Answer different product questions and explain how they can easily access it.
Influencer gifting gives you an upper hand in making your brand known to strangers—this is a win-win situation for you and the influencer.
The influencer gets more gigs due to positive recommendations, and you gain loyal customers on the other side. Be wary of the fake influencers who can cost your brand.
Also, you should remember that it is not guaranteed that everybody will accept your products after influencer marketing. You should blend product seeding with other marketing strategies.
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