Get Your Gift On!
As influencer marketing becomes a core strategy for brands everywhere, more and more are investing in long-term influencer relationships.
Every day, more brands are looking for better returns from their influencer marketing efforts. It’s essential for brands to think strategically about how they are using influencers and think about the results they want to see.
As an influencer myself, I’ve had a first-hand look at what works and what doesn’t work for brands when it comes to influencer marketing.
Everything from long-term ambassadorships to influencer events, increase awareness, and generate sales.
While most influencers emphasize being paid for their work, it is possible that gifting influencers, specifically gifting at scale, is a very successful tactic in the influencer marketing business.
Gifting influencers has the potential to create strong ROI for brands that put in the time and the resources.
What is Gifting at Scale?
Gifting at scale is similar to market testing except with several influencers at once.
Companies that gift at scale can see results before investing in longer-term paid collaborations.
Although an effective marketing strategy should include various tactics, incorporating influencer outreach via gifting at scale ensures that you reach all kinds of audiences.
We’ve got a comprehensive guide for retailers, startup designers, and brands of all niches to use.
Use this to see a more significant ROI from your influencer marketing campaigns!
Influencer Gifting Myths & Facts
Before we give you the guide, let’s get into some myths and facts about influencer marketing and gifting. It’s essential to have some background and clarity from which you can base your decisions!
- Myth: The best influencers won’t accept gifts as payment.
- Fact: Many top-tier influencers are happy to accept gifts, but only when presented the right way.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions we see in the influencer business, and we understand why.
Some of the best influencers charge for their content, and many are earning quite a bit from brand collaborations.
Leading influencers have built such loyal audiences because they are authentic with their audiences. Being helpful means trying out different products, writing genuine reviews about those products, and letting viewers know whether they should engage with the products.
Influencers understand that their followers want to see more variety in their work.
The opportunity to showcase new brands, discover new brands, and introduce them to their audience is incredibly valuable to great influencers. Gifting allows influencers to maintain this kind of variety.
This is why the best leading influencers accept gifts.
The important thing is that you don’t just expect an influencer to accept the gifts you’re offering, especially instead of payment.
- Myth: There’s no way to make sure an influencer will post.
- Fact: You can guarantee exposure for gifting campaigns.
This is perhaps one of the more annoying myths we see about gifting influencers.
This myth is only valid with poor execution and often associated with a PR execution rather than actual influencer marketing. You can see results when you approach gifting influencers with a contractual mindset.
When you do this, you usually do not run into issues with influencers posting content. The problem typically lies with brands that think gifting means an influencer has to accept their offer.
In the early days of influencer marketing, publicists would send product or samples with a press kit and a story attached. This is not an appropriate strategy for brands that want to increase exposure across platforms.
PR is not the same as running a sponsored campaign, and it’s essential to know that. For best results, make sure you have a contract in place when sending your gifts.
Upon shipping the gifts, cover the posting requirements necessary for influencers.
- Myth: It’s impossible to measure ROI from influencer gifting campaigns.
- Fact: Many tools exist that allow brands to track the success of gifting campaigns.
Brands can trace sales directly to a campaign by narrowing their focus to a specific product or campaign.
Brands continue to see several significant sales when they accurately track results. Something as simple as how many followers engage and comment can be monitored as ROI.
Although not every collaboration success makes a dramatic difference, most brands can see a clear correlation between sales and influencer-promoted products over time.
- Myth: Influencers don’t disclose if the collaboration isn’t paid.
- Fact: All contracted collaborations must be disclosed.
As we just discussed, one great benefit of gifting is guaranteed exposure by making a contract.
However, when a contract is signed, it means that collaborations must also be disclosed. It’s your responsibility as a brand to ensure that bloggers disclose their collaborations with you.
How to Run an Effective Gifting Campaign
Here are some strategies you can implement to ensure a high ROI on your collaboration.
1. Find a platform that tracks ROI for you
One of the biggest mistakes we see among brands is the manual tracking of things such as ‘likes’ and comments.
While a personal note certainly helps establish an authentic relationship with influencers, sending analytic emails one-by-one is not practical, especially for busy brands.
It’s also not cost useful for brands looking to secure multiple influencers for a time-sensitive campaign.
Manually tracking the results is time-consuming.
Also, without a platform approved for Instagram insights, you do not have access to the key metrics such as follower demographics.
2. Personalize each gift
This is important!
When you approach leading influencers, it’s essential to know what they enjoy in their packaging.
Your product needs to feel like a real gift, one personalized for them, not a promotion for your brand.
Keep in mind each influencer’s style and choose products that reflect their overall aesthetic. When in doubt, ask the influencer you’ll be working with.
Taking the time to ensure an influencer will love what they are receiving can create the result you’re looking for.
3. Don’t forget the presentation
How a blogger feels about your brand is as important as how they feel about the gifts you give.
Take the time to add a personalized touch that stands out. If you’re promoting a new line of skin care, for example, add in a product you know they would enjoy.
If you gain rapport with a blogger who you know has a pet, add a small gift for the pet. It’s the little things that matter.
The little details can make a big difference and demonstrate your interest in the influencer as a person, not just a worker with the ability to promote your brand.
4. Be reasonable about requirements
Although many top influencers accept gifts, it’s essential to manage your expectations.
Don’t think they must follow your every rule just because you’re giving them a gift. The more restrictions you impose, the less likely you are to work with influencers.
A simple, straightforward request that will help you get more value from each gifting collaboration by allowing the influencers more freedom.
The more requirements you add, such as the timing of the post and caption requirements, the less likely you are going to see the considerable interest.
Most influencers are trying to work with brands that are a good fit for them and their followers.
So they want their posts to be as natural and organic as possible.
5. Take advantage of the retail calendar
One of the critical benefits of influencer collaborations is the opportunity to choose your promotion timing.
To promote gift ideas ahead of holidays, you can time content to run within the peak sales timeframe.
We find that gifting collaborations are most effective about a month ahead of a holiday!
3 Reasons Why Gifting Works for Promo
1. Gifting works better with micro-influencers
On Instagram, micro-influencers are influencers that have less than 100K followers.
Micro-Influencers typically accept gifting more easily than influencers with more followers. They are prepared to offer more content in exchange for products, especially when they love the brand that offers.
More significant influencers or celebrities are usually more particular. However, what is sometimes overlooked in the quest to get as much exposure as possible is the rate of engagement.
Micro-influencers are much more likely to have a higher percentage of loyal followers that engage with their content than more significant influencers of celebrities.
Consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity influencer than a celebrity. Consumers can relate more to these influencers since they represent them the most.
They value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers because celebrities don’t live lifestyles similar to theirs.
2. Gifting creates more trust and authenticity
To drive sales in today’s social setting, it’s critical to build trust in an audience.
When accepting a gift in exchange for the product, influencers are posting to their followers because they genuinely like the product.
This allows them to share a more genuine, personalized review about the product rather than a manufactured one.
Having authentic reviews about your brand is incredibly important, especially when it comes to overall community building.
Most people say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they support. Millennials, which make up a large portion of the consumer market, say brand authenticity is essential.
This data proves that young consumers prefer organic promotions over manufactured ones.
3. Gifting doesn’t break the bank
Instead of shelling out a massive budget for a few more significant influencers, your brand can afford to gift more product and achieve a wider reach.
You reach a more extensive range of potential customers by using the gifting method. You also make your campaign more visible for more extended periods.
This type of exposure is significant on platforms like Instagram or Youtube, where it has become increasingly difficult for brands to get organic reach.
The more influencers are talking about your brand, the higher the chance your brand will get noticed by thousands of people.
The goal should be to get your brand in front of new audiences.
What Does This Mean For Brands?
To drive sales in today’s social setting, it’s critical to build trust and authenticity with influencers and their audiences.
Running an influencer gifting campaign will allow you to utilize hundreds of micro-influencers, with highly engaged, loyal audiences, without cracking your budget.
When done correctly, gifting empowers influencers to create and share authentic content about a brand they love. It makes it easier for influencers to connect with their audiences.
Overall, authenticity is your brand’s social currency.
Over the last years, influencer marketing has become known as the best way to market a product.
Hundreds of brands have run gifting and paid campaigns to get ahead in the market, especially when the goal is to sell products. As a brand, you won’t be able to get ahead unless you find the right influencers.
This will help you generate thousands of dollars in revenue and social engagements.
Luckily for you, BeautyClout is dedicated to ensuring that beauty brands and beauty influencers find the perfect match.
While some influencers do require payment, others will accept gifts because they love your brand so much! Make sure you check us out and let us know how you like it.
We’d love to hear your feedback!