9 Tips for a Successful Influencer Seeding Campaign

Influencers. You've probably seen them across all social media platforms, sharing their daily lives, promoting products they love, and even busting out some trending TikTok dances.

According to Statista, the global influencer marketing platform market was valued at over $15 billion US Dollars in 2002 and is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2025. It’s clearly an area of huge potential and not just a passing fad.

Now, among all the influencer strategies out there, one brilliant tactic stands out: product seeding. Best of all, it can be used alongside your traditional influencer marketing strategy. Rather than spending thousands on full-blown influencer campaigns, many brands find this to be a more realistic and cost-effective way of leveraging influencers.

Our guide to influencer seeding will break down the approach and its benefits. Plus, we’ll share some examples and explain how to plan your product seeding strategy. Let’s get started.

What is an influencer seeding campaign?

Influencer seeding is the process of sending your product to influencers for free. Some marketers believe that it’s like product gifting without any obligation for them to post. Others see it as sending free products in exchange for posts or other actions.

We lean towards the former—considering the tactic as a no-strings-attached gift from a brand to a creator. If they post about your product, great! Starting a relationship with influencers using gifted products is a great way to establish goodwill. 

Benefits of influencer seeding campaigns 

Numerous companies are partnering with influencers. Chances are your competitors are doing it too. But how can the simple act of sending products to influencers benefit your brand?

Enhanced brand visibility and awareness

Even the smallest mention can be massive for spreading brand awareness, whether that’s an unboxing video from a micro-influencer or a positive review in an Instagram story. When content creators create authentic content about your product, it introduces your brand to their audience.

Now, if you've done your homework, their audience should be your target audience too. If that’s the case, your brand is getting front-row exposure to a slew of potential customers, increasing brand awareness, and potentially raking in sales all in one go.

But don't just take our word for it. According to the 2023 Influencer Product Seeding Report, 92% of marketers at least somewhat agree that influencer product seeding has successfully driven awareness for their business, and 76% say the same for sales. 

Increased credibility and trust among target audiences

Did you know 69% of consumers trust a friend, family member, or influencer recommendation over information coming directly from a brand? 

When influencers provide authentic social proof of your product, their followers take notice. You’re getting that all-important stamp of approval from a trusted source who they admire and trust. An endorsement like this elevates your brand's credibility and establishes trust among the people you want to be your customers. 

Higher conversion rates and return on investment (ROI)

There’s a reason influencers are called influencers. Their followers trust their recommendations and are more likely to take action, whether it's making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or visiting your website.

Potential for long-term partnerships and brand loyalty

When influencers genuinely love your product, there's a high chance they'll want to keep working with you. After all, who wouldn't want to promote something they genuinely enjoy using? This lays the foundation for a long-term partnership complete with ongoing content.

9 tips for a successful influencer seeding campaign

So, you want to get going with your influencer marketing program. Before you send out gifts, here are our tips for a successful campaign. 

1. Identify relevant influencers aligned with your brand goals

To kick off your campaign, start by researching the perfect influencers. The list of influencers out there is huge, but you want to make sure their audience aligns with yours. 

influencer marketing example
Screenshot Sourced from Instagram

Your ideal influencer is someone who posts content related to your industry or at least demonstrates a genuine need for what you're selling. Their endorsement is far more likely to resonate with their audience, increasing your chances of hitting your campaign goals.

2. Establish campaign objectives and key performance indicators

Don’t jump on a trend just because everyone else is. You need to clarify what you hope to achieve with your influencer seeding strategy. 

For example, do you want to:

  • Create awareness?
  • Drive sales?
  • Build trust and credibility within your target audience?
  • Expand your audience?

The best way to establish goals that work for your objectives is to analyze your business data. Ideally, you should use tools such as business management software, as this centralized data point allows you to access your financial, marketing, and integrated CRM data. Combined, you can create well-informed campaign objectives and plan a full breakdown of your project.

Once your goals are set and have been discussed with your new partner, you need to consider and agree to the metrics that will be used to measure them. Identify the key social media performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track to help meet your goals. Metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, or even sentiment analysis will give you great insights. 

3. Develop compelling messaging and creative assets 

Sending a free product doesn't mean placing it in a boring box. Your packaging and messaging are just as important as the product itself—they’re an extension of your brand. Custom packing solutions can help you include compelling messages about your brand story or personalized touches like a handwritten note to make your brand stand out.

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Screenshot Sourced from Instagram

Don’t forget any additional resources that will make it easier for the influencer to use and share your product. This could include links to images and videos or a detailed explanation of how to use your product.

4. Tailor outreach to influencers, emphasizing mutual benefits

Influencers receive numerous partnership requests daily, so standing out is essential. 

Research the influencers you want to work with and tailor your message to them accordingly. Clearly communicate how teaming up with your brand will benefit the creator. Perhaps you want to send them exclusive products before release dates or collaborate on future campaigns. 

At the same time, highlight how this benefits both them and your brand. By framing the collaboration as mutually beneficial, you'll show that you value the influencer's expertise and are committed to building a positive relationship.

5. Provide clear guidelines and expectations for content posting

Your campaign is all about increasing brand awareness. So if influencer-generated content includes the wrong website link or mispronunciation of your brand name, it can derail your goals. Avoid this by providing clear posting guidelines and expectations.

Outline any specific requirements for the content, which might include:

  • The number of posts per product
  • Types of content (e.g. Instagram stories or unboxing videos)
  • Key messaging points 
  • Branded hashtags 

Be as detailed as you can to guarantee your brand message is communicated effectively.

Also provide guidelines on brand aesthetics and tone; you want the content to align with your brand identity. Provide instructions on using brand colors, logos, and imagery, as well as maintaining a certain level of professionalism or creativity in the content

6. Offer unique incentives or perks to motivate influencers 

Influencers love freebies. But they will need additional motivation to post about your brand. 

Think VIP. Consider giving them exclusive access to new products or services or offering personalized gifts that are relevant to their niche. You could even give them a personalized shout-out on your own platforms. 

These thoughtful gestures can make a significant impact on your long-term relationship.

7. Foster authentic relationships with influencers to build trust

It's not just about sending out products and crossing your fingers. You need to get to know these influencers on a real, personal level before you even think about pitching them.

Start by following them on their social platforms. Engage with their content and take time to understand what makes them tick. What causes are they passionate about? What are their core values? 

This will pay off in the long run, showing the influencer that you’re genuinely interested in working with them. Be transparent and authentic to build trust and develop the relationship.

8. Encourage user-generated content and audience involvement

Influencers have a great connection to their audience, so use it. Encourage them to get their followers involved in your campaign. This could include creating user-generated content and actively encouraging audiences to share their own experiences with your product.

You could also ask creators to host contests or giveaways to really ramp up engagement. 

9. Monitor and analyze campaign performance 

Keep a close eye on influencer campaigns. Are they delivering the results you expected? Are they staying true to your brand's message? 

influencer marketing example
Screenshot Sourced from Instagram

By monitoring this and analyzing campaign performance, you can spot opportunities for improvement and make informed decisions for the future. 

Social media is fast-paced, and things can change in the blink of an eye. So make sure you not only plan meticulously but also build in resources that let you respond to changing needs as the campaign develops.

If your campaign succeeds, you might need access to increased stock and closely managed inventory to ensure supply can meet demand. Solutions like a cloud ERP system for small businesses, for example, can help automate supply chain delivery and procurement to ensure you have the needed stock, as well as support returns and customer service. 

Key takeaways

Working with influencers can be incredibly beneficial for your brand. However, influencers are in high demand, and many receive freebies on a regular basis.

Use our guide to influencer seeding campaigns to nail your strategy. Do your research, tailor your messaging, give the influencer all of the assets and guidelines they need, and take time to foster the relationship.  

Your hard work is sure to pay off. Now, it’s time to get creative and watch your brand shine with the help of influencer marketing!