Influencer Seeding: How to Get Creators to Promote Your Products?

A network of influential customers or individuals sharing their - hopefully positive - thoughts on your products would be a dream come true for any business. Influencer seeding (also known as product seeding) enables brands to better reach their intended customers through trustworthy user-generated content and influencer recommendations in a budget-friendly manner. This collaboration involves businesses giving freebies to creators they think will love their products. But seedings come with a twist, as the influencer has no obligation to promote said product. The question is how this cooperation works or whether it even works.

A wide range of businesses - whether small or large, well-established or new - have benefited from influencer seeding. It is all about finding like-minded individuals who love your product and care about their followers' tastes and interests. The result: genuine and heartfelt content that reaches your target audience. Influencer seeding partnerships can help you achieve these goals. Hence, if you'd like to give this strategy a try, read our article to find out how to get seeded influencers to promote your product samples.

The Dilemma of Influencer Seeding: Will Creators Post?

There’s no guarantee that every influencer who gets your products will talk about your brand to their followers. And this isn’t only because they receive your package as gifts and there is no formal agreement between you two. It also depends on who you send your box to.

Are they already familiar with you, like loyal customers with thousands or tens of thousands of followers? Or are they creators who haven't heard of you? If it’s the latter, how much time have you invested in choosing people who will be attracted to your products and who fit your company's philosophy?

Seedings often fail because companies contact influencers who will not necessarily benefit from the product. Others send the package without knowing the influencer well, only listing their requests. The chances of them responding to your offer - let alone posting - are slim.

And with this, we described the next problem. When companies fail to do thorough research, they will create generic and clichéd messages, which will communicate to influencers that the company is focusing on its own profits. Lack of influencer vetting will also have an adverse effect on product selection and delivery. You can expect a big nothing if your product isn't a hit, and your packaging isn't memorable.

Before we get to the bottom of how to motivate influencers to promote without asking them, let's look at the essence of influencer seeding.

Seeding Is the First Step in Building Long-Term Partnerships

Influencer seeding shouldn't be treated as a quick transaction. Taking advantage of influencers' intellectual capital can lead to influencers simply moving on from brands after the campaign is over. Instead, think of product seeding as a long-term investment that benefits both parties.

Assume you're a skincare brand launching a new line of face-care products. You decide to leverage influencers to boost awareness for them. You discover content creators who showcase and review products similar to yours in an appealing, fun manner. Consequently, you contact them and send them your products without asking for anything in return - as with gifts - and some of them actually create posts, videos, or stories about you. In time, you start seeing results: more social media followers, more brand mentions, more traffic to your product page, or interest or demand for your new collection.

What about those influencers who all played a part in this? They got free stuff, you might think. Did you follow up with them or thank them? Was there any mention of involving them in future projects? No? Well, this seems to be pretty one-sided, since you are reaping the benefits. Influencers will also realize this.

Influencers are more than just assets

Many influencers have worked hard for years to build their brands. It took them self-discipline, motivation, and perseverance to build their renown and following. Content creation, especially in industries where visuals play a critical role, requires time and relevant skills. They are experts in their field and are familiar with the platform on which they are active. A wide range of creators know how to market brands to their audiences and monetize their knowledge. They are particularly careful about who they work with and don't want to compromise on the products they recommend. Accordingly, if brands don't invest time in forming relationships with them, they will most likely turn down their proposals.

It should be clear to you by now that seeding is about building relationships with influencers.

What Gets Influencers to Promote Your Sample Products?

Or more precisely, what can you do to inspire them to post about you? Check out our specific tips:

Tip 1: Team up with the right people

The first step is to identify individuals according to a set of criteria. This is particularly important if you are thinking of working with cold prospects. To gain as many influencer promotions as possible, your prerequisites should include the following.

  • The influencers are knowledgeable about your industry and niche,

  • They understand and fit your brand's mission and identity,

  • Your target audience matches their follower profiles,

  • Their content won’t endanger your reputation,

  • Their style and vibe suit your brand,

  • You like their content,

  • They frequently engage with their followers,

  • Are willing to endorse your products without additional fees. This is especially true for nano- or-micro-influencers.

Your business may be in a broad industry, so try to narrow down your pool of potential candidates to a smaller niche. In the beauty industry, age - one of many factors - plays an important role in the kind of products you send to influencers.

Anti-aging face-care products gifted to a creator

Another option is to partner with customers who have a decent following on social media. Why? Because they already know your brand, have used your products, and might review them. They can provide authentic endorsements and other customers will trust their opinions more than paid influencers. Furthermore, if asked, they will give you feedback about your products to assist you in improving them.

A nano-influencer is thrilled to use her favorite brand’s gifted products

Glossier disrupted the beauty industry by strongly relying on users’ feedback and preferences when developing their products. They team up with its top customers to spread the word about its new products before releasing them on the company’s official channels. The brand grew its social media following with UGC and became one of the most trusted businesses on the internet.

Tip 2: Invest enough time in learning about influencers’ content

Getting familiar with influencers’ posts is another great tactic and can positively impact your cooperation’s success. What type of content do they usually post? Photo posts or Instagram Reels? Do they upload YouTube unboxing videos or tutorials? Do they review products regularly? Does their audience value their views on particular items they tested? Do they post consistently on the same topic? What are their hobbies, etc? All the information you gather during your exploration will help you craft your message and product sample to their likes. Also, your message will reflect that you already took the time to get acquainted with their work and they will appreciate this.

Get your brand noticed by creators:

  • Follow them on social media,

  • Like their posts,

  • Even better, share their content or comment on it.

Tip 3: Customize messages and products

As you reach the point of sending your first message, you've probably gathered a lot of facts about the influencer, and hopefully, they are aware of your brand too. For this reason, avoid sending a template email that looks like it’s been sent to dozens of others. Instead, explain why you selected them, and why you think they will love your samples. If you've done your research, this shouldn't be too difficult. Don't ask, just give. Be sure to let them know you are here if they have any questions.

Put some thought into your demo products and try to adjust them to their personalities, interests, or expertise. If they have sensitive, pale skin, make sure to add a face cream with UV protection to the package. Do they have dry hair? Then include conditioners and oils in your box.

It is said that the inside matters more than the outside. When it comes to influencer seeding, they are both equally significant, as they increase the number of potential posts that mention you. From the parcel, influencers should be able to identify the brand. A stylish package alone can get the creator to post about it without actually showing the contents of the box.

Tip 4: Track the outcomes

Naturally, you will keep track of who has agreed to cooperate with you, how many posts they share about you, and what kind of reaction these evoke. Measure brand mentions, traffic growth to your website or product page, the number of direct and indirect purchases, and an increase in social media followers.

Tip 5: Don't let the relationships fade

Monitoring brand mentions serves another purpose as well. Whenever a post about you is published, you can respond with a comment. Although not all content will succeed, thank cooperating influencers for their efforts. Creators whose posts triggered the most engagement can be treated to a special gift. This can be a bouquet of flowers, a gift certificate or a discount code that they can share with their followers. As a result of your little touches, they will add more content about you, while you gain a trusted partner.

Final Thoughts

With influencer seeding, you can reach relevant people at minimal cost with the - authentic - word about your products. Your seeded creators will become trusted partners and through these relationships, you create a genuine interest in your business and establish credibility.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 139.1M+ account database.
Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
Topics:Relationship ManagementStrategy
June 19, 2023
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Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 139.1M+ account database.