This February we brought you the first installment in our “What Influencers Want” series.
For our newest edition, we surveyed over 800 influencers to uncover best practices for sending product to influencers with a keen eye for experience-driven packaging.
Guiding Principle: Value Exchange
Influencer Marketing is, at its core, a relationship. This concept extends into every aspect of the market, including sending product to influencers. No one likes to do something for nothing: it’s against the core tenet of maintaining a healthy relationship.
More likely than not, the attention and detail you put into this process will have an impact on the outcome. If you do right by your influencer, they are inclined to do right by you. The experience they have receiving your product is a key element of their view of your product, your brand, and, ultimately, their decision to share this with their audience or not.
If you are going to send product to influencers, you need to jump in with both feet. It’s best to put the requisite time, money, and energy into the process. Without research, accurate targeting, and those special details that create surprise and delight, you’re likely to get a lukewarm response from your influencer recipients.
1. PERSONALIZATION & DETAILS
Influencers are being sent free product all the time. 41% of the influencers surveyed get product every week on average, while 35% get product every month. Beyond that, 11% of influencers get product at least quarterly and 10% get product sent daily.
Be clear about how and where an influencer can post. Influencers are professional content creators and they are mindful of FTC protocol, brand hashtags, and using the right brand handle. Include a note card that lists the brand or product webpage, the appropriate brand handles, the hashtags influencers can use, and other relevant details (e.g. purchasing instructions, a personalized coupon code, or anything else that makes things smooth and easy). Then send a follow-up email, just as you would in any other professional interaction.
72% of influencers surveyed stated that they would be most likely to post about a product sent to them if they genuinely loved the brand and the product. Of those who post, 53% of the influencers surveyed say they would post an Instagram Story.
Do your due diligence. In order to reach the right influencer for a campaign, you need to do a little digging. Get down into the details and find out who each influencer is, what they like, what type of content they create, and determine if that style is an organic fit for your product or brand.
Get creative and think thematically. Some of our influencers cited carefully curated, themed boxes with a conceptual element tying the product to a holiday, a season, or a certain aesthetic. Have fun, be quirky, and be unique. Remember that unboxing is a process unto itself: the more intriguing elements you can include, the more thrilling the experience will be, both for your influencer and for their audience.
4. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Be mindful of how you are packaging your product. Many influencers cited environmental concerns when receiving a bunch of stuff that may or may not be used. Whenever possible, try to be ecologically sound in your packaging and shipping choices. Some brands even send postage and instructions on how to donate or recycle an item if they don’t use it.
5. COMPELLING PRESENTATION
There truly is an art to sending product to influencers. While it may seem obvious to some, it’s important to remember that the packaging you use is another way to win over your influencers and their audience. Think of color, size, material, and presentation. Personalized touches like a handwritten note can make a world of difference. Remember to consider the optics (how will this look?) as well as the experience (how will this feel?) as you put together your packaging.
Sending product is not necessarily an “easy win”. Like so much of influencer marketing, the opportunities are vast, but so is the potential for missteps. It’s important to invest in a meaningful, organized strategy for sending product and to execute it with professionalism, attention to detail, and forethought. The amount of energy you put in is likely to show in your results; not just in the number of influencers who post, but in the quality of their content and the longevity of the relationships. With the right resources, you can reach your audience in a fun, natural way that allows both your brand and the influencer to truly shine.
Want More Resources? Ready to Roll?
TapInfluence allows you to quickly discover and assess influencers at a glance. You can drill into the details, and even get the information you need to contract them and send them your product— in addition to cash compensation or as a primary value exchange.
If you’re looking for a partner to help create, brainstorm, design, produce, and deliver high-quality product boxes, we recommend Vivabox Solutions. They have worked with leading brands to create meticulously designed product boxes. When it comes to experience-driven packaging, no one is more knowledgeable.
Check out our infographic that includes the 5 tips for successful experience-driven packaging.