In today's digital age, when social media dominates our lives and influences our choices, brands are continuously searching for innovative ways to connect with their audiences on a personal level. If you’re keen on trying influencer marketing to grow your brand, influencer gifting is a good place to start.
Read on to find out all you need to know about influencer gifting. We’ll explore how to grow your brand by gifting to influencers and also provide you with the ultimate template for writing your influencer gifting note.
Table of contents:
- What is influencer gifting?
- What are the benefits of influencer gifting?
- How do I start doing influencer gifting?
- Influence gifting note example
- Influencer gifting vs paid partnerships
- Influencer gifting FAQs
What is influencer gifting?
Influencer gifting, also known as product seeding, is where brands offer free products or services to influencers instead of traditional monetary compensation. In exchange for the free product or services, the influencers may showcase these offerings to their audience. This practice leverages the influencer's credibility and reach to organically promote the brand's products or services, fostering a more authentic and relatable connection with potential customers.
Influencer gifting allows brands to tap into the influencer's established trust and rapport with their followers, generating brand awareness and potentially driving sales without a monetary transaction.
If this sounds like something that your brand is interested in, Room Unlocked is here to help you find influencers who can promote your product with authenticity and personal experience! Explore our all-in-one platform and book a demo with us.
What are the benefits of influencer gifting?
As we’ve mentioned influencer gifting is a great way to reach users in an authentic and organic way, there are also a number of other benefits of influencer gifting which we’ve included below.
Appealing incentive to micro and nano influencers
Micro and nano influencers are smaller scale in terms of their audience size; however, they have a higher likelihood of covering a niche area and enjoying greater interaction with their followers. These influencers are the sweet spot for brands to do product seeding as their followings are sufficient to give them credibility in their niches, but still intimate enough to nurture loyal communities.
Moreover, they don't come with a crazy price tag. As bigger influencers tend to prioritise paid collaborations, these smaller influencers are genuinely content with receiving gifts, and in return, they craft authentic content that effectively bridges the trust gap.
Cost effective strategy
If your budget is tight or you're not ready to spend big bucks on influencer posts, there's a clever solution: instead of paying in cash, consider giving away free products to influencers. Of course, this works best when your products aren't super high-end like diamonds or luxury cars. We're assuming you sell moderately priced items targeted towards general consumers.
Think of it as a barter exchange system, offering flexibility and limiting your influencer campaign costs. Take a look at our blog about barter collaboration to craft your influencer strategy.
Creativity and diverse media content
As brands, we know that shooting product photos and videos is a time-consuming process. Imagine never having to worry about the steep costs of hiring professional photographers and videographers for your product shoots! The truth is, such expenses can quickly add up and strain your budget. But what if there was a cost-effective solution that also brought fresh creativity to the table? Influencer gifting provides the chance of getting innovative creators to produce photos and videos of your products as part of the agreement.
By offering your influencers free products, you open the door to a world of creative promotional material that aligns with your brand's vision. These influencers tend to have decent equipment and adept media editing skills that can seamlessly enhance your brand's image.
How do I start doing influencer gifting?
After having some idea of the benefit of influencer gifting, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start your influencer gifting journey.
1. Define your goal and strategy
Determine what you want to achieve through influencer gifting. Is it brand awareness, product promotion, reaching a new audience, or something else? Define your target audience and the type of influencers who align with your brand.
2. Research and outreach influencers
Research and identify influencers whose content, values, and audience match your brand's image. Consider factors like their follower count, engagement rate, content quality, and niche relevance. Just before reaching out, engage with the influencers' content to establish a genuine connection. Follow them, comment on their posts, and show interest in their work with your brand account. This would make outreaching easier because you know what to write in the personalised outreaching message later on!
A gifting message should explain why you admire their work and how your products would resonate with their audience.
3. Find out the best gift for your influencers
After the influencers accept your product offer, you can start deciding which products you want to send out to them. Perhaps you have a new product series you plan to promote? Or you’d like to offer a range of your popular items to drive more sales? Using insights about which products your influencers already love will help you decide which products to offer to boost your brand value!
4. Write a gift note and send your product
As we know, influencers receive a lot of packages and samples from brands. It’s important to attach a personalised gift note in your package to let your product stand out. If you don’t know where to start, here we provide you a template to follow below.
5. Try influencer packaging and keep it on track
Ready to send out your gift? Here are some tips to make your product unforgettable! First, make the package unique so the recipient knows it's from you right away. Also, use a tracking system to avoid losing the package and to know when it arrives.
Influencer gifting note example
Here is an example of an influencer gifting note:
Exciting news – we've sent you some samples of our [product name(s)].
Inside, you'll discover [list all products in box]. We remember how much you enjoy [personalised detail, e.g., natural skincare, tasty snacks], so we've carefully chosen [ingredients, flavours, shades] that we think you'll love.
Just a reminder! To get the most out of [product name], try using it [product detail, e.g., before you sleep, during your skincare routine].
We're eager to hear your thoughts after you've given these products a go. Feel free to reach out or tag us on Instagram or TikTok – we can't wait to hear from you.
Thanks for letting us introduce you to our special [product(s)]!
Influencer gifting vs paid collaboration
The key distinction between influencer gifting and paid collaborations lies in the financial aspect. Paid collaborations involve a transaction where a brand pays an influencer for posting about their product or brand. On the other hand, influencer gifting involves brands providing free products to influencers with the expectation that they will share about them on social media and generate user-generated content if they like them.
Does influencer gifting work?
Since influencer gifting is different from paid collaborations, major measurement tools such as promotion codes are not applicable in this type of strategy. Furthermore, brands are not 100% sure if the influencers will post or share about your product. Therefore, there might not be a guaranteed ROI to be achieved through product seeding.
So how do we measure the success of influencer gifting? Here we have listed some ways for you to track your gifting results.
Track UGC’s impression and engagement rate
After the influencers receive your gift, keep a close eye on the influencer’s content and posts to see if they tag your account. Impression, influencers’ interactions, and comments are significant indicators of whether your product resonates with the influencer’s followers. If you don’t see any increase in engagement after six weeks, consider researching and gifting a new group of influencers.
Track your organic and direct traffic
Take a closer look at what your site and social media traffic looked like before your influencer posted about your product. Keep track of changes in traffic every day or week during the event, noting when there are more or fewer visitors. After about 6 weeks, check how your traffic looks again and compare your earlier observations to understand if gifting influencers helped bring more people to your website. For social media, look at how many followers you gained and how many people are interacting with your posts, and then compare these numbers.
Use affiliate link
As a brand, you can also provide influencer affiliate links alongside the gift for them to mention on their post. Affiliate links are an effective tool to measure sales and traffic. It could also inform you as brands who your most successful influencers are.
If you plan to try influencer gifting and want to do it effortlessly, Room Unlocked is here to help you! Our platform is designed to match your brands to the influencers who are already passionate about your product, so you can gain genuine advocacy with ease! Book a demo now!
Influencer gifting FAQs
Do you have to pay influencers for gifting?
No! Gifting influencers your product or service is essentially giving it to them for free, in the hope they will feature your product or service on their social media channels in return. Therefore nano or micro-influencers are more likely to agree to gifting opportunities whilst they're in the starting point of their influencer career.
What can you expect from influencer gifting?
In most cases, there is no guarantee you will be tagged or mentioned in an influencer's post after you share a gift. However, at Room Unlocked, we can guarantee that your brand will be featured and mentioned in the influencer’s content because there is a written agreement in our influencers’ contracts. Find out more about how Room Unlocked can help you with influencer gifting.
How can you pick influencers to be included in your influencer gifting?
When choosing who to share your products or services with, it's important to think about whether you would make a good partnership. Macro and micro influencers may be more inclined to promote products they enjoy for free as they are building their own personal brand. You should also consider if your product and service will benefit their brand as this is a two way relationship.