The holiday season is just around the corner. One of the best things you could do now is to use a product seeding strategy to maximize your chance for success during that period. This marketing strategy usually takes time to implement, so you should plan this ahead of time.
If you have no idea where to start, this article is meant to give you an idea of how to use product seeding.
What is product seeding?
For physical product brands, product seeding can be a very cost-effective process to get great results from your marketing campaigns. Product seeding is also called influencer gifting.
Long story short, an influencer will create content in exchange for the product received from you as a company.
1. Steps to run a product seeding campaign
Set your goal
After determining your target audience, it's time to map out your marketing plan and set clear goals. Here are three key objectives to consider:
UGC (User-Generated Content): This type of content is crucial in today's world. Why? It fosters a sense of loyalty, trust, and authenticity, which can impact a customer's buying decision, as emotions often play a bigger role than logic.
Brand Awareness: The goal of brand awareness is to make people familiar with your brand. This will help increase recognition and ultimately drive more sales.
Conversions: Conversions refer to a website visitor taking a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up, or downloading an app. Measuring conversions is a way to gauge the success of your marketing efforts.
Discovering influencers can be achieved through two methods: self-search or delegation.
Self-Search: This option requires a significant amount of time and effort. You can search for influencers on various social media platforms, with Instagram and TikTok being the most popular. Use hashtags and location filters, or search on Google, blogs, and other sources.
Delegation: To simplify the process, consider working with an agency or platform such as Social Cat. This will help you reach your goals faster, saving you time and money compared to other options in the market.
Choose your seeding products and ship them to the influencer
Choosing products for seeding should align with your budget. The specific budget will vary from company to company and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
However, it's important to keep in mind that your product choice should match your goal and vice versa. For instance, if you have a budget-friendly product, you won't be able to request extensive content from influencers.
Analyze the results and improve the marketing campaign
Once you work with an influencer and agree on social media content, you can also ask for the analytics. Besides that, checking the creator's post's engagement is pretty easy. If your goal was to get UGC so you could use it elsewhere, like in ads or on your website, then you can just check if the quality of the content aligns with your expectation.
2. The strategy elements for your marketing goals
Having a couple of strategies in mind would be beneficial to reach your marketing goal. The point here is to help you create the right one. There are tens of strategies that could work or not, but here we will point out the five elements extracted from analyzing thousands of collaborations between brands and creators.
Packaging & Product Selection
It's important to consider the influencer as another customer when it comes to product packaging and selection. Sending a full product, rather than just a sample, can make a difference in the influencer's willingness to create content. Additionally, having attractive packaging can improve the influencer's experience when creating content.
When choosing a product, consider giving the influencer a free choice from your store or select a high-quality item that may influence the influencer's decision to post about it.
Engagement with Influencer Posts
Engaging with an influencer's social media posts can bring value to your brand in several ways. It shows that you are invested in the collaboration and it also provides an opportunity to connect with the audience.
Feedback, whether positive or negative, can be valuable in driving business growth. Responding to all comments and engaging with the audience is important for building trust and maintaining a professional image.
Promoting Influencer Reviews & Establishing Long-Term Partnerships
When an influencer creates great user-generated content, consider promoting it on your website, ads, or social media. This not only benefits the influencer but also helps build trust and establish a long-term partnership.
Having long-term, positive partnerships is crucial for success in any business. Even if you do not continue the partnership, maintaining good relationships can lead to potential future collaboration opportunities.
3. Brands that had successful product seeding campaigns on Social Cat
Below you can see just a couple out of hundreds of the satisfied brands with the product seeding campaigns. These brands were from different industries, and each had different goals. We thought about giving you a couple of specific examples so you can have an idea of what successful product seeding campaigns can do for you as well.
Founded in 2018, CLCKR is a tech and mobile accessories company that operates in the USA and the UK. CLCKR creates unique ranges of accessories that cover the latest tech gadgets on the market.
According to a study case made by Social Cat this year, CLKR managed to save over $3500 and reached over 52k unique people, thanks to the collaborations they had so far.
(UGC created for CLKR by @martinapetreska)
The natural spa
The Natural Spa is an ethical lifestyle brand that creates & retails handmade, vegan & plastic-free products for personal care.
The Natural Spa began collaborating with Social Cat in April 2021, with the primary goal of obtaining user-generated content and finding micro-influencers that could potentially generate sales.
By working with gifted influencers from Social Cat instead of paid micro-influencers, The Natural Spa saved more than $30,000 (£30,000) over a year and had more than 200 collaborations and UGC to use on their marketing materials and channels.
(Content created by @k_w_y_n_beauty for The natural spa)
4. Micro-influencers vs. Macro-influencers for product seeding
Selecting the type of influencer to partner with is dependent on your goals and budget. Working with micro-influencers can be more cost-effective and offer a targeted and more involved audience. At Social Cat, we collaborate with micro-influencers who have 2k-50k followers. Those with more than 50k followers should be considered macro-influencers.
Macro-influencers can rapidly increase their social media following and often have consistent growth in followers and collaborations, but they come with higher costs and lower engagement. To learn more about micro and macro-influencers, read this article.
If you want to learn more about micro-influencers and macro-influencers, check out this article here.
5. Advantages of product seeding
Boosts brand exposure & awareness: By giving products to influential people or organizations, a firm can raise its brand's visibility and reach a wider audience, especially when these recipients have the power to influence others, such as bloggers, influencers, or media.
Provides customer feedback & product improvement: Seeding also offers valuable insights into the product, enabling the company to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes before its official launch.
Boosts sales & revenue: Seeding products creates buzz and generates interest, driving demand for the product and resulting in increased sales and revenue.
Saves cost: Seeding is a cost-effective way of promoting products, reducing or eliminating the need for conventional advertising, resulting in savings on marketing expenses that can be re-invested in other parts of the business.
6. Disadvantages of product seeding
From time to time, you will face some of the problems mentioned below. These are an overall industry problems.
Limited control: When a company partners with influential individuals or organizations to showcase its products, it's natural for there to be some uncertainty about how the product will be used or promoted. Although the company may have plans for how the product should be represented, the receiving individuals or organizations may have different ideas. This can lead to an unpredictable outcome for the company.
Reputation risk: If the individuals or organizations that receive the product are not fully satisfied with it, they may share their thoughts publicly. This could result in negative feedback or reviews, which could impact the company's reputation and its product. This is particularly concerning if the individuals or organizations have a large following or great influence, as their opinions could reach a broad audience.
Loss of revenue: Although product seeding has the potential to boost sales and revenue, it may also lead to a loss of revenue if the individuals or organizations do not effectively promote the product or generate enough interest. This can be a significant disadvantage for companies that rely on product seeding as their main marketing strategy.
Legal and ethical concerns: Product seeding can sometimes raise legal and ethical questions, such as the requirement to disclose that the product was given for free or at a discounted price. Companies should always be mindful of relevant laws and regulations and avoid practices that may be considered unethical or misleading.
Considering product seeding when the budget is tight, launching a new product, or exploring alternative marketing strategies is a smart move. This article showcases a few brands that successfully utilized product seeding, but there are many more. Social Cat was built on product seeding and continues to prioritize it as a critical strategy.
Would you like to get started with influencer marketing? Start a free trial with Social Cat and collaborate with micro-influencers to get sales, brand awareness and user-generated content.
Want to learn more before starting a trial? Book a demo.