How to Get Influencers to Post About Your Brand During a Gifting Campaign

Explore ways to encourage influencers to post about your gifts

Contrary to popular belief, gifting campaigns are a popular strategy for companies of all sizes. Although it’s the preferred solution for start-ups and micro businesses, several large brands have used it to expand. These collaborations are particularly effective when it comes to high-margin and low-value products. By using this approach, a brand can easily attract attention or create buzz for its products. Gifting is the provision of free samples or services to creators who in turn review or endorse them on their social media channels. Sounds easy and doesn’t pose a high financial risk for businesses. Even so, there’s no guarantee that all influencers will post about your products as expected or at all. So what can you do if creators don’t publish content about your gift or brand? More importantly, how can you prevent or reduce the chance of this happening? In this article, we'll answer these questions.

Why Wouldn’t an Influencer Post About Your Products During a Gifting Campaign?

The answer is simple: because they are meant to be gifts. You send content creators freebies because you think they could be interested in them or their audience would love them. While your goal is to get them to endorse your products and recommend them to others, you can't start a conversation with that kind of request. Especially, if they were cold prospects and hadn’t heard of your brand previously.

It is true that influencer giftings can provide you with exposure and new audiences, but on average, 30-50% of influencers post about brands' free products upon receiving them. As there is no written commitment between you two - again, due to the nature of this collaboration - they may not publish anything. Moreover, it isn’t advisable to push them to post about your products because it will backfire.

This type of collaboration only works if you have invested time and energy into getting to know them and getting them acquainted with your brand. Therefore, you're completely on the wrong track if you want to resolve this issue by “gently” reminding them to create an Instagram story in exchange for the swag.

What Can You Do if Influencers Don’t Post About Your Gifts?

Let's assume you did your homework. A lot of thought went into selecting creators, getting to know them and their audiences, and developing relationships with them. You delivered the product, yet, your brand is barely mentioned in any posts.

Don't assume the worst right away! There might be a more mundane explanation for why there have been no postings.

  • Ask the influencer whether they received your package at all. You may have misunderstood the shipping address or your package may have been lost.

  • After you're sure they got your box, follow up with a friendly message reassuring them you can answer all their questions. It may enhance their trust, eventually motivating them to mention your product.

  • Eventually, if they don't post, ask them to share their experience with your product and discuss the possibility of displaying it on your website.

Be patient and flexible, if you don’t receive an answer right away! Influencers have busy schedules and receive many collaboration requests and demo products. If your products are unique and relatable, they will be eager to try them out and will spread the word about them among their community.

How to Get Influencers to Promote Your Product During Gifting Campaigns

Again, giving gifts without expecting anything in return is the first step toward developing a close and mutually profitable partnership between brands and influencers. Even if you find the right partners, you can't expect 100% conversion, aka not all influencers will promote your products, once they get them. Instead, you should work on increasing the likelihood of influencer endorsements if you choose this method.

Let's see how you can go about this.

Research influencers thoroughly before approaching them

Before you start looking for influencers, answer the following questions. Who are the best candidates for your gifting campaign? Do they create in your niche? Are they sharing your brand’s values? Do their follower profiles match your target market? Will they accept free gifts as compensation?

  • First, you want to team up with individuals who post content related to your field. The more they relate to your industry and are interested in your products, the more authentic their posts will be.

  • Accordingly, if they have experience in your subject, they probably understand your mission and values and can identify with them. Start your search with a couple of industry-related hashtags. You can narrow down your list by using more specific keywords.

  • Thirdly, their audience has to fit your target customers. Therefore check their audience demographics, including gender, age, location, and language, and study their interests and behaviors.

  • Lastly, contact influencers who have less than 50,000 followers. Top-tier creators generally aren't interested in posting for free products, unless the product has great value, or is part of a paid collaboration.

Keep in mind that not everyone will be open to cooperation or responsive to your inquiries. In the best-case scenario, approximately half of those who give positive feedback will promote you on social media. Therefore, list three or four times more influencers than you need.

Start establishing relationships with creators

The success of your campaign heavily depends on whether you make the effort to familiarize yourself with the influencer. Here's why this matters:

  • By following them on social media and liking or commenting on their posts, they are more likely to recommend you to their followers wholeheartedly.

  • You can decipher if their content and audience align with your values and get an idea of how their followers react to your brand.

  • It makes your outreach email and communication much smoother.

  • Gifting campaigns can be stand-alone projects or evolve into long-term partnerships, such as brand ambassador programs. The key to success here is effective cooperation and building deep trust between the two parties.

  • You can establish authority in your niche by forging lasting relationships with creators and gaining credibility.

Reach out to creators the right way

You shouldn’t let short-term gains cloud your vision when approaching influencers. When you send your first outreach email, don't begin by explaining why cooperation is valuable to you. Instead, describe what the gift will offer them and why you believe they - and their followers - can benefit from it. In addition, mention that no strings are attached to your gesture from their end.

Up your response rate with these tips:

  • Get to the point in your first email! A short, 4-5 sentences long message is a good start.

  • Add a CTA at the end of the message. For example, provide a link to a product description, or a video tutorial or assure them you answer any questions they have and ask for their shipping address.

  • Requesting a social media post is a bad idea. As a result, they will immediately recognize that you are taking unfair advantage of them. However, you can encourage them to share their thoughts about your product and service.

  • Always follow up at least twice on those creators who don’t answer you.

Ship your products to influencers

After you obtain the mailing addresses of influencers interested in your product, you can begin product fulfillment. This includes packaging and shipping your products and tracking the delivery.

Here's another chance to shine! The more time you take to get to know the influencer the more fitting products you can send them. A positive unboxing experience may result in them creating several posts revolving around your goods.

  • Choose a product that aligns with the creators’ interests and target audience.

  • Pay attention to details like tailoring the gift set to the creator.

  • Include a handwritten message in the parcel thanking them for their time and interest in your product.

  • Increase your brand recognition with custom packaging that reflects your brand’s aesthetics. Plus, place merchandise - branded cap, mug, bag, etc - in the parcel.

  • You may raise your game by providing a promo code for their followers in your note - and your social media handles for easier tracking. This demonstrates that you care not only about the influencer but also about their followers, thus increasing your chances of getting a mention from them.

You’re almost there but still can’t relax. Now you must mail the packages, update influencers on shipping dates and track the deliveries. Following delivery, if you don't hear from the creators, send them a short message asking if they received their box. Again, emphasize that you are happy to answer any questions they may have.

Track posts and measure the outcomes

Upon successful product fulfillment, keep an eye on social media platforms and measure the number of posts that mention your brand or product. Be sure to note how many times each creator mentioned you. Generally speaking, a campaign is considered successful if the conversion rate exceeds 30%, that is, at least 30% of the influencers who received the package mention your brand. If the results are below this threshold, you have to improve your strategy.

By using an influencer marketing platform such as HypeAuditor, you can perform all of the steps outlined so far, including influencer search and analysis, outreach, and product fulfillment. As an added bonus, our social listening tool also allows you to keep track of posts about your brand.

Keep engaging influencers and nurture relationships

Remember how we stressed that your gifting campaign was intended to build and strengthen a long-term relationship between your brand and influencers? In other words, your job isn't over once the campaign is over. It's crucial to nurture these fresh relationships and demonstrate that you still care about them and the fans they represent.

The easiest way to do this is to send them regular updates, and access to free tutorials and informative materials about your products via email drip campaigns. Or just simply provide interesting trivia about your company they can share with their audiences. Stay relatable, and entertaining! To put it another way, keep your brand in their minds.

Creators who haven't posted about the freebies, but have shared positive comments about your product, should also be kept in the loop. By considering their opinions when you create your products or services, you might even get them interested in joining your active influencer network. Or you'll convince them if you provide them with interesting behind-the-scenes information about your business and what kind of products you intend to introduce.

Wrapping Up

To summarize, influencer gifting can bring your brand to light and help you reach diverse audiences. However, it is important to bear in mind that this collaboration is your first step towards building a lasting partnership rather than reaping immediate benefits. Your strategy and communication should reflect that you give something to the influencer without expecting anything in return. Using our tips, you can increase the likelihood that creators will promote your product without asking. This will result in more sales and revenue for your business and authentic brand ambassadors for future campaigns.

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
April 21, 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.