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 you have decided who your audience is, you should think about your plan. What would you like to get from your marketing campaigns?
The three main goals are:
UGC - Getting user-generated content is essential these days. Why? First of all, it creates a feeling of loyalty, trust, and authenticity. We know that people usually buy on emotions, not logic, which is why UGC influences the buying decision.
Brand awareness - describes how well-known your brand is. Having a brand awareness goal in your mind, you are trying to have people become familiar with your brand.
Conversions - are ****a way to measure a completed action by a website visitor. There are different types of conversions: purchase, sign-up, app install, etc.
⭐ Finding influencers
There are two ways to find influencers. You can do this yourself, or you can delegate the process.
The first choice implies much manual work as well as time. You can look for influencers on all social media platforms, but the most popular is Instagram and TikTok. You will have to search them by hashtags and location, or you can search influencers on google, blogs, etc.
The second choice, where you delegate the process, will have to work with an agency or a platform that can help you reach your goal. This is why Social Cat was created, to minimize the time you spend dealing with influencers for a tiny fraction of the market prices.
⭐ Choose your seeding products and ship them to the influencer
Seeding product choices should be made according to your budget. This differs from company to company, and there is no general rule.
Although you should keep in mind that according to your goal, you should choose the product and vice-versa; for example, if you have a low-priced product, you won’t be able to ask for much content from the creators.
⭐ 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 and product choosing
This might be a little unusual, but you have to consider that the influencer you work with is another customer. Sending him a product sample means nothing compared to sending him the actual product. The packaging should be flawless, so the influencer won't have a problem when the content creation time comes up.
You also must consider that the influencer doesn't need to post content about your products. They don't have to do it if they feel like they don’t want to. Choosing a good quality product from your store or giving the creator a free choice of their product might be a good idea to influence the creator’s decision to post the items on their social media.
⭐ Engage with influencers’ social media posts
First of all, your products are in that post. Besides that, you collaborate with the influencer, so it is professional, and at the same time, you can connect with the audience.
No matter your engagement, even though it might be negative, you should still interact with people for their feedback. Overall, feedback can always take your business forward, either good or bad.
⭐ Promote your influencers’ reviews and create a long-term partnership
If someone made great user-generated content, you shouldn’t consider promoting it yourself on your website, ads, or social media.
You might think that you are doing a favor to the influencers, but this is not only about them; it is about several benefits you get in exchange for promoting the provided content, like building more trust and developing a long-term partnership.
Long-term good partnerships are one of the keys to success. And even if you decide not to proceed with a longer partnership, you never know when you will need a favor.
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
Choosing your type of influencer depends on your goal and also your budget. The pros of working with micro-influencers are the low price and a tailored and more engaged audience. Here on Social Cat, we work with micro-influencers with a following between 2k-50k. What goes more than 50k followers should be considered a macro-influencer.
Macro-influencers can build up a social media following quickly. They tend to have consistent growth in followers and collaborations. The downside of macro-influencers is the pricing and the lower engagement. If you want to find out more about micro-influencers and macro-influencers, check this article here
If you want to learn more about micro-influencers and macro-influencers, check out this article here.
5. Advantages of product seeding
- Increased exposure and brand awareness: By providing products to influential individuals or organizations, a company can increase the visibility of its brand and reach a wider audience. This can be especially effective if the individuals or organizations that receive the products are in a position to influence others, such as bloggers, influencers, or media outlets.
- Customer feedback and product development: Product seeding can also provide valuable feedback on the product, allowing the company to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes before launching the product to the general public. This can help the company to create a product that better meets the needs and preferences of its target market.
- Increased sales and revenue: By creating buzz around the product through product seeding, a company can generate interest and demand for its product, leading to increased sales and revenue. This can be especially effective if the individuals or organizations that receive the products are in a position to influence others to purchase the product.
- Cost savings: Product seeding can be a cost-effective way for a company to promote its products, as it can reduce or eliminate the need for traditional advertising efforts. This can help the company to save money on marketing expenses, which can be reinvested in other areas 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 problem.
- Limited control: By providing products to influential individuals or organizations, a company relinquishes some control over how the product is used or promoted. The individuals or organizations that receive the product may use it in ways that the company did not anticipate, or they may not promote it at all. This can make it difficult for the company to predict the outcome of its product seeding efforts.
- Reputation risk: If the individuals or organizations that receive the product are not satisfied with it, they may provide negative feedback or reviews that can damage the reputation of the company and its product. This can be especially damaging if the individuals or organizations have a large following or influence, as their negative feedback can reach a wide audience.
- Loss of revenue: While product seeding can potentially lead to increased sales and revenue, it can also result in lost revenue if the individuals or organizations that receive the product do not promote it or do not generate enough buzz to drive sales. This can be a significant disadvantage for companies that are relying on product seeding as their primary marketing strategy.
- Legal and ethical issues: Product seeding can also raise legal and ethical issues, such as the need to disclose the fact that products were provided for free or at a discounted price. Companies should be careful to comply with all relevant laws and regulations, and to avoid any practices that could be perceived as unethical or misleading.
In situations when you are low on budget, you want to launch a new product, or you might just want to find another working marking strategy, you should consider product seeding. In this article, we only presented you with a couple of the multitude of brands that found this strategy affordable and effective.
Social Cat started based on product seeding, and even though we introduced a couple more options for brands and creators, this strategy remains our main focus.
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.