Influencer gifting, or product seeding, is a great way to foster relationships with influencers, increase brand recognition, and grow a loyal customer base. Today, over 50 million people consider themselves influencers, providing businesses of all shapes and sizes opportunities to make their brands household names.
Everyone loves getting gifts, but it’s essential to approach influencer gifting with a solid strategy. If you want to jumpstart your product seeding campaign in 2023, this guide is for you.
What Are the Benefits of Influencer Gifting?
Influencer gifting is when a brand “gifts” its influencer network with a particular product or service. The goal is for the influencer to share the product or service with their community through a post on social media, blog, or another shared community platform. When done correctly, gifting an influencer with your products allows you to reach a large number of potential customers with minimal cost and effort.
In addition to boosting revenue and creating raving fans of your brand, influencer gifting is a great way to nurture relationships with your influencer partners. When an influencer is excited about your brand and has a track record of sharing your products with their audience, you create an authentic partnership that inspires customers to make a purchase.
Influencers can also serve as test customers when launching a brand new product. Using a gifting campaign to obtain reviews and testimonials prior to the official launch date captures valuable social proof for potential customers.
Influencer Gifting Best Practices
Before you start mailing gifts to influencers, take a look at some of these top influencer gifting best practices:
Find the Right Influencers
First, look at your customer profile and use that as the model for finding ideal influencers to promote your brand. Look for influencers who already promote products and services similar to your brand. Analyze other important factors like audience size and geographical location and consider using an influencer marketing platform like Traackr.
Once you’ve drafted a list of targeted influencers, you’ll want to reach out and ensure they’re a good fit for your campaign. Some influencers prefer paid sponsorships over gifting and may not be interested. Others may not have the time or resources to commit to your desired posting and sharing guidelines.
After solidifying your gift list:
- Make sure you have each influencer’s correct address.
- Establish clear deliverables and put a delivery confirmation process in place.
- Make sure your influencers confirm that they’ve received their gift and can adhere to all of your deadlines.
- Ensure your list contains several influencers to maximize the amount of participation.
Customize Your Gifts
As family members and friends appreciate a personalized gift, so do your influencer partners. Before putting together your gift packages, do some homework and learn more about each recipient’s interests and personality. The more customized your gift is, the more likely an influencer will be delighted and share that with their audience.
To foster long-term partnerships with influencers, take note of their birthday and send them something special each year. Take note of special events and life milestones, like a wedding, the birth of a child, or entrepreneurial achievement. Doing so not only makes your influencer partners feel special, but it also keeps your product or service top of mind and on their social media feed.
Remember to include a personalized note along with your gift. Handwritten notes are a thoughtful way to show gratitude and appreciation. You can also have suggestions on how to use your products, such as applying makeup in a certain way or styling a piece of clothing to achieve a specific look. Some brands even provide their influencers with a content guide with related hashtags and links to incorporate into their posts.
Measure Gifting Campaign Data
To track the effectiveness of your influencer gifting campaign, it’s important to measure key data points. Some of the most common key performance indicators (KPIs) are engagement rates, the number of posts, and the number of video views.
Another creative way to track a campaign’s effectiveness is to use a branded hashtag to measure awareness. Create hashtags that contain both your brand name and a unique identifier. Some relevant examples from top brands include Audi’s #WantAnR8 campaign and KFC’s #NationalFriedChickenDay. Keep your hashtags short and sweet, so they’re easy to share.
Another way to measure engagement is to monitor the quality of the interactions on an influencer’s post with your products. If the audience is engaged in detailed, positive conversations with the influencer in their comments, they may be more likely to become customers. On the other hand, if there is little to no engagement on gift-related posts, the influencer may not be a good fit for future campaigns.
Remember to Follow Up
After your influencer gift campaign is complete, follow up with each partner to get feedback on their experience. You can use their unique perspective and insight to strengthen future campaigns and partnerships. Ask them specific questions on how their audience reacted to the products, either positively or negatively. Also, ask for suggestions on how to improve things in the future.
Today’s top influencers often juggle multiple priorities and deadlines, so approach the feedback process delicately. Avoid bombarding your partners with too many follow-up emails and allow a reasonable response time. Too much communication can come off as pushy and could damage your relationship. A good rule of thumb is to wait several days to a week before following up on an initial request for feedback.
A successful influencer gifting campaign is a budget-friendly way to boost brand recognition and build robust and sustainable influencer partnerships. Influencer gifting is also a great compliment to other influencer marketing campaigns, like paid sponsorships.
At the end of each campaign, regroup with your marketing team to assess how well things went and what should change for next time. Feel free to include your top influencer partners in any post-campaign meetings. The more you value their input, the more likely they will participate in future opportunities.
Additionally, consider asking your most successful influencers for referrals. Chances are they have a strong network of other like-minded influencers who could be a perfect match for your brand and upcoming initiatives.