Influencer gifting is an exciting strategy in influencer marketing.
It can make an influencer a passionate advocate of your brand, thus enabling business owners to foster partnerships and improve campaign results on social media.
But how can you use it to your advantage for your social media campaigns?
This guide will provide answers to your questions.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is Influencer Gifting?
Influencer gifting is the process of sending your products or branded merchandise to influencers to:
- Initiate a partnership with them.
- Start a social media campaign.
- Persuade them to share a few words about your brands with their audience.
Alternatively, if your brand offers services and not products, you can invite influencers over to your store and give them a free service.
Keep reading to see how much value influencer gifting can bring to your brand.
Why is influencer gifting important for brands?
The general idea of influencer gifting is that when you give away gifts, an influencer can have an authentic experience of interacting with your brand or using your products.
When this happens they’re more likely to be persuaded to create compelling user-generated content (UGC) that will resonate with your target audience.
According to this survey, consumers think UGC is more authentic compared to branded content.
This authenticity can help you drive sales, boost brand awareness, and generate leads.
Also, influencer gifting is important to brands because it’s a cost-effective way of driving influencer partnerships.
You can get an influencer to work for you in exchange for gifts, free products, and monetary payment.
This is especially so with micro-influencers.
These types of influencers can be paid through gifts or rewards.
Because micro-influencers have a smaller following (usually between 5k to 20k followers) compared to mega-influencers, some accept gifts as a means of payment, as these collaborations also help them build their portfolio.
You get more awareness and authentic publicity for your brand, and the influencer gets a free gift or service and an opportunity to build their portfolio for long-term partnerships.
It's a win-win situation!
Now, let’s talk about some key steps you must take to start your influencer marketing campaign using influencer gifting.
Step #1: Understand Influencer Gifting
Influencer gifting is not just about sending out free products.
It involves various processes such as choosing, packaging, and shipping these free products to your influencer network.
To do this, you need to send gifts that inspire them to create truly engaging influencer content on the social media platforms they use, such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook.
When it comes to curating gifts, make sure these are suited for popular content formats like:
- Product unboxing video content.
- GRWM (Get-Ready-With-Me) sponsored posts.
- Shopping hauls.
- Behind the scenes.
- How-to Reels.
- A day-in-the-life.
Taking the time to create relevant gifts can feel like unnecessary work but it isn’t!
Personalizing your gifts and thinking of the type of content the influencer will create for each product means that you will end up having content that’s engaging and relevant.
Moreover, you’re more likely to:
- Develop opportunities for healthy long-term relationships.
- Increase engagement.
- Provide real-life product experience and reviews.
- Gain marketing exposure through word-of-mouth with a wide range of audience demographics.
- Lower the cost of investment and increase your marketing ROI (return on investment).
It’s time to talk about how you can identify the right influencers.
Step #2: Identify the Right Influencers
Identifying the right influencers is one of the trickiest yet easiest steps brands and agencies encounter when launching influencer marketing campaigns.
To do this effectively, you want to begin by focusing on engagement and effectiveness, rather than follower count.
Statistically, a macro-influencer (usually having between 10K to 1 million followers) is more expensive and has a lower engagement rate compared to a micro-influencer.
This proves that when it comes to choosing a suitable influencer, the follower count shouldn’t be your first criterion.
You should pay attention to how much value the influencer can potentially add to your brand.
Simply put, make sure that they have followers who resonate with your brand as this will boost your chances of driving sales.
But where can you find these social media influencers who are just right for you?
Consider using the following methods:
Social media platforms
For many of these content creators and influencers, you can easily find their descriptions in their bios.
Look out for the content of their page, as this often includes product reviews, promotional video content, morning routines, and so on.
To search for these creators, simply use the search tool on the explore page of the social media platform and press enter.
For instance, if you’re looking to partner with an influencer for your e-commerce business, you can search “e-commerce influencer” or “influencer in e-commerce”.
The search tool will automatically display a list of recommendations for you.
Alternatively, you could use other methods to filter your search, such as:
- Checking competitor's list: To find out the potential influencers your competitors intend to work with, all you need to do is search their list of followers.
- Using hashtags: Hashtags help you streamline your search by using certain keywords that align with your industry.
Influencer marketing platforms
Insense is a creative platform that helps you get custom creative assets, and run successful influencer marketing campaigns.
Here, advertisers, agencies, and small business owners can source the right influencers, the ones who are a great match for their brand.
One of the unique marketing features of Insense is the creator marketplace.
It includes a range of filters that match you directly to the most suitable influencer for your brand’s products, according to their niche, location, age, and so on.
Step #3: Craft Irresistible Gift Packages
First impressions matter a lot, even more so with influencer gifting.
You want your first gift to be the one that does the trick and makes influencers interested in establishing long-term relationships with you.
Having said that, no need to focus on sending out an expensive gift. The best gifting strategy is to give away something that will make the influencer want to create content about it on their social media.
For instance, in 2021, Rare Beauty launched an influencer program where they sent a beauty influencer, Sylvia Gani, a puzzle of her favorite picture with her best friend on National Best Friends Day.
This is the sort of personalization that gives a lasting impression and gives your brand “free” publicity and social media marketing.
Some tips and tricks to craft irresistible gift packages:
Getting to know your influencer
Before you start picking out a gift, take a moment to get to know your influencer.
What are their interests and preferences?
What are their favorite colors, styles, or hobbies?
You can find these out by simply following them or checking out their social media stories, Instagram posts, tweets, blogs, or videos.
Knowing such details will help you personalize their gift.
Aligning with your identity
While trying to customize the gift for your influencer buddy, don't forget to incorporate elements of your brand’s identity.
You can send personalized gifts that carry your brand colors, logo, packaging design, or even the product.
Personalizing with notes
Besides sending personalized gifts, you can choose to go a step further by leaving notes as part of your influencer marketing strategy.
You can leave a handwritten note that appreciates the influencer for their time, or one that communicates your enthusiasm to work with them.
After you have sent out your gifts and packages, follow up and ask the influencer for feedback.
Use this feedback to improve future influencer outreach campaigns.
Below are more ways to enhance meaningful connections and improve your marketing efforts through influencer gifting.
Step #4: Initiate Meaningful Connections
The aim of this influencer marketing strategy isn’t just to gain potential customers and increase sales, but also to build long-term collaborations and partnerships.
Below are some tips you might want to consider.
Long story short, an influencer will accept your offer for collaboration if they see value in your brand.
And value doesn’t have to be monetary; it could be passion and relatability.
✅Follow your influencers and interact with them
Another step to take is to follow the influencers you wanna work with on their social media platforms and show them you stay up-to-date with their work.
This doesn't mean running after them on social media but rather making your presence known, letting them notice you.
For small businesses, you can start by retweeting some of their posts on Twitter, commenting on some of their social media posts, subscribing to their blogs, responding to their newsletters, etc.
✅Approach them with a collaborative offer
As much as you might want the influencer to abide by your brand rules and guidelines, remember that they’re creatives.
Allow them to explore their creative experience, in accordance with your brand objectives and seek their input, opinions, and feedback.
Doing this fosters a sense of ownership, and makes them more interested in collaborating with your brand.
Encourage influencers to share authentic experiences about your brand with their audience.
Authentic storytelling creates a bridge between the influencer's life and your brand.
This makes it possible for your brand to resonate with their audience on a personal level.
Step #5: Execute the Gifting Process
So now you know how to identify the right influencers, craft personalized gift packages, and initiate meaningful conversations, what about the execution process?
How do you send the gift?
Start by asking! Rather than assuming everyone wants a gift, ask them first.
Send a personalized email or DM to the influencer, their assistant, or their manager.
Ask if it’d be okay for you to send them a gift and then request their shipping address.
Below is a sample email you can use:
“Hi [Influencer's Name],
I hope this email finds you well! My name is [include your name] and I work for [include organization].
We have been longtime fans of your incredible work and the positive impact you make on your followers. Your creativity and authenticity truly reflect in everything you do.
As a token of our appreciation and admiration, we would like to know if we could send you a little gift.
This would be carefully selected to reflect your unique style and interests and we sincerely hope it brings a smile to your face.
If you are comfortable with this, could you please provide us with your preferred mailing address? You can reply directly to this email with the address, or if you have a preferred method of sharing such information, please let us know.
Thank you for your time.
[Your Contact Information]
P.S. You can find us on [social media channels] as [your username] if you'd like to connect. Looking forward to staying in touch!”
You can rewrite and edit the above sample to fit whatever style and tone you are aiming for. Remember to keep it simple, polite, and straightforward.
Let’s now talk about the final step… fostering genuine collaborations.
Step #6: Foster Genuine and Long-Term Collaborations
One way to foster genuine collaborations is by offering continuous support and appreciation.
When the campaign starts, let them know that you see their efforts and input and you appreciate them.
More specifically, share positive outcomes of your campaigns, engage with their content, give shout-outs and incentives, and even invite them to events you may be running.
Put another way, extend your appreciative spirit beyond the campaign.
Plus, follow up and keep in touch after the campaign is over.
Last but not least, be as transparent as possible with everything – from intellectual property rights to payments and negotiations, laws and regulations, terms and conditions, and so forth.
Let’s now wrap up this guide.
Remember to take a look at our FAQs right under the outro. 🤓
Looking to Get Started with Influencer Collabs?
When it comes to influencer gifting, don’t overthink it.
You now know the tips and have several useful strategies.
All you have to do is choose an influencer, get them an irresistible package, send them a personalized message to build connections, and execute the gifting process.
If you need help managing these processes, simply sign up with Insense and elevate your brand through strategic influencer collaborations.
We’ll be thrilled to help you!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Need answers to questions about influencer gifting?
We got you covered.
Q1. How do I choose the right influencers for my gifting campaign?
Search for influencers within your niche using the search toolbar on social media platforms, or use influencer marketing platforms such as Insense to find the perfect match for your brand.
Q2. What types of gifts should I offer influencers?
Anything that aligns with your brand identity, preferably your product. For instance, if you’re a beauty brand, you can give an influencer a makeup box.
Q3. How do I approach influencers for gifting collaborations?
First things first, when it comes to approaching influencers for collabs, be respectful. You can send emails or DMs to them and engage with their posts and content by liking and commenting.
Q4. What are common mistakes to avoid in influencer gifting?
Some common mistakes when it comes to influencer gifting are:
- Skipping the research phase.
- Relying solely on follower count rather than engagement.
- Prioritizing promotional content over authenticity.
- Partnering with the wrong influencers.
Q5. How do I measure the success of influencer gifting campaigns?
By measuring metrics like reach and impressions, likes, shares, brand perception, feedback, audience growth, and post-campaign influencer engagement.