Product Seeding (Influencer Gifting) – A Quick Guide
What is product seeding?
Product seeding, also known as influencer gifting, is when a brand sends its products to a selected group of influencers. In return, the influencers create content featuring these products. Product seeding is an effective, cheap, and less time-consuming influencer marketing strategy to generate leads and increase brand awareness.
How are notable brands using product seeding to their advantage?
A lot of reputed brands use the product seeding strategy to grow their influencer programs. When they send out their products to influencers, they not only get high-quality content with great reach, but the brand profiles also gain visitors, followers and witness increased engagement.
How do they do it? They get these two things right:
- They find the right influencers by finding personalities that are aligned with their brand
- They nurture quality relationships with the influencer on a personal level. For example, they personalize the package for each influencer, and they engage (like or comment) with the influencers’ posts.
Examples of brands using the product seeding technique successfully are LUSH, Chegg, GoPro, Graze, Clinique, and House of CB (just to name a few).
Benefits of Product Seeding and Key Takeaways
Wildly effective in creating robust influencer programs, product seeding helps yield many benefits for brands. These benefits broadly include:
How does Product Seeding work?
Influencer gifting is a simple concept but requires planning to be truly successful. Here is a basic process you can follow to create a successful plan that can guarantee product seeding success.
Will product seeding work for all brands?
Products should naturally appear in the influencer’s content without indicating that the influencer is working in partnership with the brand. It has to be subtle, and this is a challenge. Many brands employ a product seeding strategy because it’s cheaper and less time-consuming but fail to invest in technology that can help them find the right influencers who can speak about their product without making it look like an advertisement.
How can Affable help your brand with product seeding?
Affable makes the process of product seeding easy for you. Its end-to-end influencer marketing platform helps you find authentic influencers across any industry globally and engages them for product shootouts. Affable does a lot more than discover relevant influencers; it can manage and run product seeding and influencer gifting campaigns. Talk to our expert to know more.
How many influencers should products be sent to – is there a formula that works?
It varies depending on what you want to achieve with product seeding. That said, the more gifts you send to the influencers, the higher your reach will be. Consider applying a blanket approach; spread your product far and wide by sending the gifts to as many relevant influencers as you can.
5 Key Areas to Focus on for Product Seeding to Actually Work
Product seeding is a lot more than sending free products to influencers and expecting them to talk about them in their posts. There’s more to it, and here’s what you should take care of:
- Personalization: Know this - you are not the only one sending products to influencers to try them out. Go the extra mile and personalize your gifts. Include a handwritten note with their name on it to make it a memorable experience. Don’t forget to tailor the experience so that the influencer can make it look Instagram-pretty.
- Packaging: Marketing begins the moment your gift arrives at the influencer’s door. They don’t know you yet, but they’ll form an opinion about you once they receive your product. So, make sure you put in lots of effort in packaging the product. For the most part, influencers care about how pretty their images look on social media. First impressions are everything, and packaging is what will create your first impression.
- Preferences: There’s no point in sending a product that doesn’t fit the influencer’s image. If the product is not an aesthetic fit to their personal brand, influencers simply won’t talk about it. So, be mindful of their preferences.
- Product Picking: Since you are giving your product for free, you might be tempted to send your least expensive one. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, send your hero product. If your influencers were not familiar with your bestseller, they are more likely to use it and talk about it in their posts. They might even want to try your other products or become your brand ambassador.
- Permission: Ask before sending a gift, and after sending a product, let the influencer know that a parcel is on its way. This interaction, however, small shows that you value the experience they have with the brand. This also helps you keep track of shipping errors and package damage.
It’s clear that product seeding works well and is a good strategy for utilizing influencer marketing for a brand. Using the information above, you can start working on a strategy and thinking about leveraging it, but first, it’s super important that you have the right tools.
For all your influencer marketing needs, including product seeding, Affable is what you need. Schedule a quick demo with Affable and see how we can help you maximize your influencer marketing efforts.