Gifting Trends
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Influencer Gifting: Tips for Sending Products to Influencers

June 19, 2023
Influencer Gifting: Tips for Sending Products to Influencers

Creating an effective marketing campaign for your business often requires thinking outside the box. One popular method for boosting brand awareness and driving engagement is influencer marketing.

This trendy chestnut has already seen massive adoption in the direct-to-consumer space—and there’s no slowing down in sight. The global influencer marketing market has more than doubled since 2020, proving that this channel is definitely coming into maturity.  

A bar graph showing the growth in influencer marketing market size worldwide from 2016 to 2023. The market size has grown from $1.7billion to $21.1 billion.

By sending products or services as gifts to social media influencers, you can increase your reach and establish a stronger presence in your industry. Plus, when you consider that nearly 70% of consumers trust influencers, 37% trust influencers more than they trust brands themselves, and 80% of US shoppers have purchased something as a direct result of an influencer in their social scrolling, well, it becomes clear that this is a strategy to consider for modern shoppers.

When it comes to influencer marketing, though, there are some hurdles you have to clear. Aside from choosing which influencers match your audience and landing on the product you want to push, you have to also overcome the logistics of influencer marketing.

What’s the easiest way to send products to influencers? How can you minimize the back-and-forth? What are ways you can strengthen your relationship between your brand and these creators through the most positive and seamless experiences? 

Without a grasp on some answers to those questions, you could find yourself struggling to make influencer marketing work for your brand. 

With the right gifting platform, you can maximize the potential of influencer gifting in your next marketing campaign. In this blog post, we'll explore how to successfully implement influencer gifting into your strategy and help your influencer marketing take off.

Understanding the Power of Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers have become a driving force in marketing campaigns. These individuals have built a loyal following of fans who trust and engage with their content. As a result, influencers have become an essential component for brands looking to reach their target audience and increase brand awareness. 

People are drawn to influencers for a variety of reasons. From being highly relatable personalities or proven experts in a relevant field or topic, to simply living aspirational lifestyles, there’s a broad spectrum of motives for why we follow who we follow. There’s one common thread regardless of reason: Consumers trust influencers. 

The popularity of influencer marketing, though, may come with a prohibitive price tag—especially for brands just getting off the ground. Sourcing influencers and creating full-blown campaigns can come at a huge cost.

Influencer gifting is a strategy that leverages the power of these influential individuals to promote your brand without the massive price tag. This strategy is executed just as it sounds — it involves sending gifts to influencers to build trust and relationships and in the hopes that they will share your brand with their followers. 

The idea is that their endorsement will create buzz and generate interest in your product or service. The key to successful influencer gifting is to choose the right influencers and gifts that align with your brand and campaign goals. By doing so, you can harness the power of these influencers to create a lasting impact and increase your reach and engagement.

Why Influencer Gifting Works

In today's digital age, social media influencers have a massive impact on consumer behavior. They have established themselves as thought leaders and trendsetters within their niche communities. 

They have the power to sway their followers' opinions and purchasing decisions, which is why incorporating them into your marketing strategy is a smart move. One way to do that is by sending them marketing gifts.

Gifting influencers not only allows them to experience your brand and products firsthand, but it also creates a sense of exclusivity and appreciation, making them more likely to share their experience with their followers. Furthermore, this gifting strategy can lead to increased brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately, conversions. 

TL;DR: Influencer gifting works because it helps build meaningful relationships between brands and influencers, which, in turn, translates to an improved perception of the brand and its offerings.

Defining Your Goals for the Campaign

Before you start selecting gifts and reaching out to influencers, it's important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your gifting strategy. What are your marketing gifts trying to accomplish?

Are you looking to increase brand awareness and gain more followers on social media? Or are you hoping to drive more traffic to your website and increase sales? Perhaps you're looking to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry and want to collaborate with influencers to create valuable content.

By defining your goals for the campaign, you can create a targeted gifting strategy that will help you achieve your desired outcomes. You'll be able to identify the types of influencers you want to work with and choose gifts that will resonate with their audience.

Moreover, defining your goals will help you determine the metrics you need to track to measure the success of your campaign. Whether it's the number of new followers gained, website traffic, or sales, having a clear understanding of your objectives will enable you to evaluate your gifting strategy's effectiveness. 

Take the time to think through your goals carefully before you begin, and you'll be well on your way to creating a successful influencer gifting campaign.

Identifying Relevant Influencers

Once you've defined your campaign goals and objectives, it's time to start identifying the right influencers for your brand. While every brand would probably enjoy having some of Instagram’s top influencers on board, that’s not always a feasible or smart tactic.

Four of today's highest paid Instagram influencers—Selena Gomez, Leo Messi, Naymar Jr., and Katy Perry
Some of the highest paid influencers on Instagram today

When picking who to gift in the influencer world, it's important to consider a few key factors to ensure that the influencers you choose are the right fit for your brand.

First, consider their audience demographics and psychographics. Who are their followers and what kind of content do they engage with? Make sure the influencers' audience aligns with your target demographic.

Next, look at their content and brand image. Do they post content that is aligned with your brand values and aesthetics? Will their audience resonate with your brand? Choosing an influencer who grates against your core mission or values is a foolproof way to sour the relationships or trust you have with your existing customers. 

It's also important to consider the influencers' level of engagement and influence. Look at their engagement rates, follower count, and the quality of their followers. The influencer doesn't necessarily have to have the largest following, but they should have an engaged and dedicated audience that trusts their opinions and recommendations. 

Lastly, take a look at their past collaborations. Have they worked with other brands in your industry? If so, how did the collaboration perform? Were there any issues or concerns? Do they take care in who they collaborate with or are they simply in the influencer game to make a penny with anyone and any product?

Overall, choosing the right influencers is crucial for the success of your campaign. Take your time to research and identify relevant influencers who align with your brand values, aesthetics, and target audience before you start gifting.

Choosing the Right Influencer Gifts

Once you've identified the relevant influencers for your gifting strategy, the next step is choosing the right gifts. Imagine that the gifts you deploy are little representatives of your brand as a whole.

If your store’s top seller is a chocolate chip cookie, don’t send influencers only a fun tote with your brand. The tote and logo may be fun and branded, but they should get to experience what your existing customers love most about you so they can shout about it on their channel. 

The gifts you choose should align with your brand values, and they should also appeal to the influencer's interests and preferences. 

When choosing the gifts, it's also important to consider the gifting platform. For example, if you're sending physical gifts, ensure that they are lightweight, easy to ship, and are packed in a way that makes the influencer feel special and valued. Alternatively, if you're sending digital gifts, make sure they are personalized and delivered in a way that will make the influencer feel special.

To ensure the success of your influencer gifts, consider offering a range of gifts that the influencer can choose from. This will allow them to choose the gift that best aligns with their interests and preferences.

Ideally, you can gift with a platform that enables you to check these boxes as well as conserve your own time and resources. Zest is the gifting platform that can seamlessly connect your brand with influencers without any logistical legwork.

When working we Zest, our gifting concierge can create a bespoke campaign that lets you send your gifts to influencers in a personalized link or email — no addresses needed. Let influencers swap products and pick one that they feel will resonate most with their audience, and make the entire gifting experience an easy yet memorable one that starts the relationship on the best foot.

Another important factor to consider when choosing the right gifts is budget. The amount of money you're willing to spend on the influencer gifts will depend on your goals for the campaign, and the influencers you're targeting.

Overall, the key to choosing the right influencer gifts is to put yourself in the influencer's shoes and think about what would be meaningful and valuable to them. By doing so, you'll create a personalized experience that will help to generate brand awareness and loyalty.

Creating a Personalized Experience

Now that you've identified your target influencers and chosen the perfect gift, it's time to think about how to create a personalized experience for them. The highest paid influencers and microinfluencers alike are most likely inundated with outreach day in and out. Making your mark and standing out with a personalized experience is one way to cut the noise and catch attention.

One way to do this is by using a gifting platform that lets you write personalized messages and create a branded experience. Source a platform that will work with you to customize the packaging, messaging, and even the timing of the gift delivery. This can make the influencer feel like they are receiving a truly unique and special gift from your brand.

Another key factor to consider is the user experience. Think about how the influencer will feel when they receive your gift. Will it be a positive experience? Will it make them want to engage with your brand even more? Is it entirely frictionless and respectful of their time? By taking the time to think about these questions, you can ensure that your gift is memorable and impactful.

Ultimately, the key to creating a personalized experience is to put yourself in the influencer's shoes. Think about what would make them feel appreciated and valued, and use that to guide your gift-giving strategy. By doing so, you'll not only create a positive experience for the influencer, but you'll also be more likely to achieve your marketing goals in the long run.

Measuring the Success of Your Influencer Gifting Campaign

Once you've sent out your marketing gifts to your chosen influencers, it's important to measure the success of your campaign. This will help you determine whether or not the investment was worth it, and what you can do to improve for the future.

One key metric to look at is engagement. How many influencers accepted your gift? Which gifts did they choose if swapping was available? Did the influencers post about your gift on their social media channels? Did their followers respond positively to the post? Did it lead to an increase in traffic or sales for your brand?

Another important factor to consider is the ROI of the campaign. Did the gifts result in enough sales or brand awareness to justify the cost of the campaign? You should also take into account the long-term benefits of influencer partnerships, such as increased brand credibility and customer loyalty.

Lastly, make sure to gather feedback from both the influencers and their followers. This will help you understand what worked well and what didn't, so you can improve for future campaigns.

Overall, measuring the success of your influencer gifting campaign will give you valuable insights into the effectiveness of this marketing strategy and help you make informed decisions about future investments.

Wrapping Up: Tips for a Successful Influencer Gifting Campaign

Now that you've learned how to unwrap influencer gifting in your next marketing campaign, it's important to remember that success isn't just about sending out gifts to social media influencers. To truly see a return on your investment, it's important to approach your influencer gifting campaign strategically.

Here are the tips to remember to ensure your campaign is successful:

1. Define clear goals: Before you start sending out gifts, determine what you want to achieve with your campaign. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or boost engagement? Knowing your goals will help you choose the right influencers and gifts to maximize your return on investment.

2. Choose relevant influencers: Don't just pick any influencer with a large following. Make sure their content and audience aligns with your brand and target demographic. This will help ensure the gifts you send are well-received and make a lasting impact.

3. Select the right gifts: Choose gifts that align with your brand and the influencer's interests. Make sure the gift is something they will genuinely enjoy and use, and that it fits within any legal or ethical guidelines.

4. Personalize the experience: Don't just send a generic gift with a note. Take the time to personalize the experience by including a handwritten note or creating a custom package that shows you put thought and effort into the gift.

5. Measure success: Set up metrics to track the success of your campaign, such as engagement rates, website traffic, or sales. This will help you determine if your investment in influencer gifting is paying off and make any necessary adjustments for future campaigns.

Remember, influencer gifting should be part of a larger marketing strategy. While gifts can help generate buzz and brand awareness, it's important to also invest in other marketing tactics to drive sustainable growth for your business.

Gift products that tease a bigger product launch, hype up a specific collection before holidays, or use influencer gifting as a way to roll out a new product line. Whatever you do, remember that influencer marketing is just part of the story, but you can make it the best chapter possible by making it an easy and enjoyable experience for all.

Liz Lorge
Liz Lorge
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