The power of social media influencers is unlike anything else. They can compel their fans to purchase a product regardless of its price. No wonder the most reputable brands are collaborating with influencers to spread awareness about their products.
Brands are adopting influencer seeding to boost their organic reach — because they understand that even a single photo from an influencer can skyrocket sales. When done right, influencer seeding campaigns can have a 70% posting rate in 4 to 6 weeks following shipment. This gives your product massive exposure on social media and potentially increases your conversion rates.
If you’re new to the concept of influencer seeding, you’re in the right place. This blog will tell you the whats, whys, and hows of seeding to help you launch successful campaigns.
What Is Seeding?
In simple terms, influencer seeding is the practice of sending new products to multiple influencers for free to encourage organic posts. The most direct benefit of seeding is exposure and enhanced visibility, which leads to more conversions and sales. Brands are aware of the influencers’ tendency to post about products they love. Therefore, they send their products hoping that the influencers would post about them. Basically, influencer seeding is an effort to gain word-of-mouth referrals and positive feedback.
But it also enables you to build relationships with multiple influencers — in contrast to traditional influencer marketing, where you only make a bond with one influencer you partner with.
Since seeding allows you to connect with multiple influencers, you will likely get extended reach. Besides, a handful of influencers will post about your product, if not all of them.
Why Do You Need Influencer Seeding?
One of the reasons influencer seeding is a must is because of the rising trust of customers in influencer recommendations. Surveys show that 61% of buyers trust product recommendations from their favorite influencers. Additionally, 92% of consumers believe in word-of-mouth recommendations. So, you have a high chance of selling more products if influencers give them a shout-out.
Seeding marketing is also an incredible way to tap into the power of micro-influencers — people with a following that’s larger than the average person’s but smaller than a celebrity’s. They are known for having highly engaged followers who are their family, not just fans. Sharing your products with micro-influencers will make them feel valued and expose your brand to the right audience. If you serve a highly niched market, micro-influencers can be your lifesavers.
Another critical reason to invest in influencer seeding is enhanced scalability. Since a group of experienced influencers — not just one — talk about your product, your business scales faster. Though the best part is that there is no hassle managing and paying them a fortune just for one post. You even save time by not having to develop a one-on-one relationship with each of them.
So basically, you need seeding marketing because it’ll help you gain visibility by doing the bare minimum! You’ll get a return in terms of a solid connection with the influencers since you’ll be sending them free products.
How To Do Influencer Seeding Like An Expert
Find and shortlist “real” influencers within your niche
Reports reveal that fake influencer fraud costs companies $1.3 billion. To top it all off, 20% of IG influencers with 50,000 to 100,000 are fake. In other words, the social media world is not as hunky-dory as it may seem. So, before reaching out to influencers, carefully analyze their profiles and see if they have a genuine set of fans. Here are some red flags:
- The followers have no profile photos
- Almost all followers have private accounts with “spammy” names
- Irrelevant or gibberish comments on most posts
- Following or followers by accounts offering “fan-buying” services
- Low engagement rate despite having a ton of followers
Identifying fake influencers is a crucial step for a successful campaign. After you’ve determined your potential partner-influencer is “real,” examine if they have a similar target audience and values. Otherwise, your product will be irrelevant to the people it is being marketed to.
Experiment with cross-industry influencers
Though brands usually partner with influencers in the same industry, they sometimes invest in cross-industry promotion. Collaborating with influencers in a different sector is not so uncommon these days. Even brands partner with other brands outside their industry. Such collaborations have more mutual advantages since the brands are not rivals. Research shows that 54% of companies stated such partnerships drive over 20% of their total company revenue.
Partnering with influencers outside your industry will help you tap into newer audiences and establish brand awareness. And as a matter of fact, you’ll get many first-time purchases driven by curiosity, producing more revenue.
Figure 1: Selena Gomez’s collaboration with La’Mariette. Source: Instagram
One famous example of cross-industry influencer marketing is from the swimwear brand La’Mariette. The brand leads with the belief that all bodies are beautiful. For a swimwear brand, you’d think that its ideal influencers would be famous swimmers. However, they collaborated with sensational American singer Selena Gomez. Selena posted a picture wearing La’Mariette’s swimsuit and tagged their IG account. The post gave the brand massive exposure as Selena has millions of fans on IG.
Set specific influencer KPIs and campaign goals
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics you can track to measure your performance. They give direction to your campaigns and help you meet your business goals. 95% of marketers agree that KPIs should always be tied to broader business goals. For influencer seeding campaigns aimed to drive top-of-funnel awareness, common KPIs to measure are the number of posts, engagements, video views, and engagement rate.
KPIs are also essential to all influencer campaigns as they add structure to a campaign and help you analyze your successes or failures. Measuring the right KPIs will expose the potential flaws of your campaign. This will help you take precautions and make amendments before the issues escalate. As a result, your campaigns will always be a hit. And successful campaigns have a higher ROI. In other words, you’ll get back more than you invested! Besides, you will become a campaign pro over time, as you’d know the mistakes to avoid. This will help you scale your business massively.
Quality over quantity
Don’t reach out to a hundred influencers expecting an extended reach. Instead, handpick the best ones — prioritize quality over quantity. Once you’ve selected the most experienced influencers, create tailored seeding strategies. Bespoke strategies will drive interest and motivate influencers to create positive content for your products.
Additionally, give the influencers a head’s up before sending the products. This way, they’d be ready with their armor to shoot like-worthy, appealing unboxing videos! These videos will excite your audience and encourage them to try out your products, especially if you have aesthetic packaging. To add more bells and whistles, you can include personalized notes. 98% of marketers say that personalization advances relationships.
Chanel is an excellent case in point. One of Chanel’s sales associates sent a personalized handwritten note to their recent customer — take a look.
Figure 2: Chanel’s employee’s personalized note to a customer. Source: Vend
Send your best product, not your least expensive
Figure 3: MVMT sending its most premium product to all influencers. Source: Shane Barker
Price can be an issue when you send freebies to more than one influencer. But if you want a positive response on social media, you’d have to overlook how expensive the product is. The key is to send the best-selling product so that the influencers don’t ghost you or post negative reviews, which will taint your reputation. And if the influencer uses the product, sending the highest quality product is paramount.
Moreover, sending your bestseller will make the influencers more invested in your brand, and they’d willingly try out more products or become your brand ambassadors. And creating a positive first impression will ensure the influencers uphold your brand’s reputation on social media. Additionally, ensure your brand name and logo are visible on the products you send and are aesthetically pleasing.
Segment influencers by content types and programs
Every influencer has a distinct personality, likes, and preferences. Therefore, you can’t take the one-size-fits-all approach for product seeding. You’d have to segment the influencers by content types or programs to offer enhanced experiences. One way is to segment influencers as per their reach. For this, you can run micro-influencer, macro-influencer, or celebrity product seeding programs.
Another common way to segment influencers is based on their content, such as funny videos or makeup tutorials. Research the top-performing content of the influencers and encourage them to produce that kind of content featuring your products. This will ensure the posts featuring you get higher engagement.
Evaluate all of the data
Once the influencers have finally uploaded the posts, it is time to assess your campaign’s success. This is important as it’ll help you determine if your investment received sufficient returns and expose the mistakes to avoid in the future. So, examine every piece of data, regardless of how tedious it may seem — it’ll all be worth it!
The most important metrics to monitor are engagement rates, website traffic, affiliate links, and sales. Analyze if people followed the influencer’s call to action on the seeding post. Do not forget to check the likes, comments, and brand mentions to get an idea about the overall engagement. In addition, pay attention to the referral traffic on your social media account and website. If the referral traffic was the highest on a specific day, check if it was the day when the influencer uploaded the post. This will give you a clear idea about the campaign’s performance.
The Most Friction-Free Way To Leverage Influencer Seeding In 2022!
The most important part of an influencer seeding campaign is the influencers themselves. Choosing the right influencers potentially indicates the campaign’s success. Sadly, looking for THE influencers amongst thousands of others is challenging. That is where our product, Atisfyreach, comes into play.
Atisfyreach is an AI-based platform that connects brands with ‘right fit’ influencers in the same industry. Once you register at Atisfyreach, you get access to a list of varied influencers with similar values and target audiences.
Want to give Atisfyreach a try? Sign-up today!