MICRO-INFLUENCER MARKETING

Product Seeding | Building a Strategy that Works

Daniel Cruz

By Daniel Cruz
9 min READ | Nov 18 2021

Product seeding, also called product gifting, is on the rise as many brands gift their products to influencers to build brand awareness. However, it’s crucial to send products to the right people.

To avoid any mistakes, start by reading this article.

You’ll find out what product seeding is and how to leverage it as we discuss studies, examples, and strategies that work for your brand.

Let’s get started.

What Is Product Seeding?

Product seeding is influencer gifting: giving your best products to influencers so they can write authentic content about your brand. This organic content will then attract more customers and generate even more high-quality content.

Of course, you’d want to send your free product to influencers who:

  • Appreciate the thing you’re sending them
  • Write about it
  • Have an audience that’s potentially interested in your products/ brand

For example, you can send gifts to a momfluencer if:

  • Your brand can help parents in any way, from holidaying in a family-friendly location to beauty treatments or cooking appliances.
  • You have a kids brand, such as toys, clothes, or books.

Why Is Product Seeding Important?

Product seeding has become a popular marketing approach because the type of content you’re getting out of it is very authentic. And authenticity is exactly what consumers are after, as 92% of people trust their peers and word-of-mouth over traditional ads.

Statistics about influencer marketing and product seeding
One must adapt their marketing strategy to stay relevant. Image source

The user-generated content (UGC) that comes from influencer product seeding is evergreen, relevant, and trustworthy. In other words, product seeding can be a part of a UGC marketing campaign.

Product gifting is suitable for a broad range of brands. It is widely used in CPG influencer marketing, for example. It's also an excellent way to reach out to any niche markets via nano-influencers or micro-influencers.

A chance to build genuine relationships with your target audience and your influencers

It’s difficult* to find dedicated content creators that go the extra mile for your brand. And when you do, you must hold on to them. If an influencer writes about your brand/products genuinely and with passion, you have more chances to work together in the long run. Ultimately, this long-term relationship will benefit you both.

*Alternatively, you can work with inBeat to source those perfect influencers for your needs in no time. We specifically constructed our micro-influencer platform for this purpose because we have extensive experience working with diverse brands, influencers, and targets. During these years, we’ve honed specific algorithms and a straightforward intuition to make sure we pair brands with similar-minded content creators.

So test our platform to find influencers; you won’t regret it. Alternatively, you can schedule a free call to discuss your needs and the strategy that suits you best.

Product seeding has many perks. It allows you to:

  • You can increase your sales at little cost compared to other advertising channels because your influencers create high-quality content. This digital content reaches a large but very interested target market with a higher likelihood of converting. Besides, that amazing content from all those social media posts or blog posts is evergreen, meaning you can reuse it anytime you want to without paying a dime.

Build brand love.

  • Once you have the ear of keen everyday consumers, you become part of the consumer conversation. Couple that with the trust that stems from your authentic content, and you get the perfect recipe for brand love. The key, of course, is to choose influencers that are/will become true believers in your brand.

Create loyalty from your consumers.

  • Social media platforms are the engine that activates brand loyalty because word-of-mouth spreads like a bushfire. Once enough people try your product, your brand becomes a symbol and using that symbol showcases belongingness to a particular group. For example, we helped Deux Par Deux become a success in the kids’ clothes industry. We know that nowadays, moms want their kids to be thriving and comfortable above all else. Understanding this primary need helped Deux Par Deux present that their products provide style and comfort.

Get new customers.

  • Influencers writing about your products is product placement 101, which converts no less than half of people. This technique will bring in more new customers than you’ve ever expected, along with higher overall brand awareness.
An example of product gifting to a momfluencer by DeuxParDeux on Instagram

These advantages are fairly self-evident once you get the gist of product seeding. So here’s a surprising effect of word-of-mouth that Yakov Bart showcases in a 2017 article:

Spillovers.

When gifting products, you monitor and measure reactions/purchases related to that product via the original influencer posts. Yakov Bart argues that this is a mistake for marketers because the focus is too narrow.

Instead, he suggests looking at the larger picture contoured by off-topic consumer conversations:

  • You can mitigate the effect of other lower-quality products from your offer as you’re shifting the discussion towards this new product. Besides, Yakov Bart’s research shows that focusing on this new product doesn’t negatively affect your other quality products, especially for novice customers.
  • You distract the attention from your competition. If you have a strategic seed product strategy, you can shift the discussion from your competitors’ products to yours.

What Are Seeding Samples?

Now that you understand why product seeding works, let’s see some excellent word-of-mouth marketing examples to inspire your next gifting strategy.

1. Proya: The Power of Trends

This deep-purifying mask attracted countless Chinese consumers who started wearing the same masks on social platforms. Douyin and RED, two of China’s most popular social media platforms, were instantly filled with ordinary people showcasing their masks.

Tip: Staying on trend is essential for young people, so encourage them to post their experiences with your brand.

Proya facial purifying mask trend on Chinese social media.
Proya facial purifying mask trend on Chinese social media. Image source

2. BANG! Energy: Becoming Your Audience’s Symbol

BANG! Energy does in-person product seeding on college campuses and at festivals. They specifically target niche micro-influencers that address students or who are still students themselves.

Tip: Make your brand synonym with your audience’s values to become the focal point of their life experience. Additionally, try to meet them on their turf.

3. House of CB: FOMO and Desire

House of CB is an excellent example of a luxury fashion brand targeting upscale influencers like the Kardashians or Demi Lovato. Before releasing a new line to the public, these influencers get free access to House of CB pieces, which they post a few weeks before the collection reaches the stores.

Tip: If you send first-test products to your influencers, they’ll want to brag about what they’ve received. Thus, they create desire and FOMO for their audiences who get hyped about your product.

4. Ohne: Go All In

The world we’re living in is trying to be more environmentally responsible, and that’s why average consumers are trying to reduce their plastic use as much as possible. Ohne understands this need, which is why it sent a lovely gift bag with 100% biodegradable, organic period products to tabbyfortea, a micro-influencer with about 1800 followers.

Tabbyfortea is a woman who promotes clean living, so it’s evident that she’d post about this gift. Besides, this post features a unique proposition: Ohne promises similar free products to anyone registering on their website with the code freeboxbabe.

Tip: Make your influencers and their audience an offer they can’t refuse; it shows you trust your products entirely, and you’re making a risk-free choice for them.

5. Pixi: The Power of Reviews

Tutorials motivate many beauty products consumers; after all, they’re purchasing cosmetics because they want to see results such as smoother skin or fewer black spots. Cosmetics brands like Pixi have a lot of success if the influencers who receive their products write reviews.

Pro tip: Try to understand why people use your brand and what they need from it before anything else gets done.

A screenshot of an Instagram review of a Pixi beauty product.
An Instagram review: Asking people to review a gifted product can boost your marketing strategies.


What Are Seeding Strategies?

Once you’ve seen these excellent examples, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to get the same ball rolling for your brand. Here are some steps for a successful product seeding campaign.

Preliminaries

Establish how many influencers you should send your products to.

A blanket approach is more costly, but you have the chance of finding that perfect influencer(s) faster.

Consider your budget.

If you’re a small company, consider micro or nano-influencers. Play your cards right, and the only costs will be the products you’re sending and possible shipping. Remember that a product seeding campaign is an investment; if done right, it will pay off.

Choose the right influencers.

Send your products to people who would love them and talk about them. Also, follow-up within a few days to see if they received your gift.

Actual Product Seeding

  1. Make sure the packaging stands out, especially if the influencers you’re sending these products to don’t know who you are.
  2. Tailor the influencers’ experience with your brand; send each influencer products they need based on the research you’ve done on their social networks. Also, handwritten notes or other personalized messages go a long way to ensure excellent posts.
  3. Go the extra mile. Don’t send influencers your cheapest products from your line just because you want to save some money. Remember that you want to hook them and create that wow factor, and you can only do that with a bestselling item.
  4. Engage with them. Message the influencers before and after their package arrives and ask for product feedback. Even if they post negative reviews, politely try to explain why those negative experiences happened and what you’re planning to do to correct your potential mistakes.
A woman recording herself doing an unboxing video of running shoes.
Gifting influencers in exchange for reviews is a popular strategy to make more people hear about your brand. Image source

Evaluate Results

Evaluating results is always important because you find out what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve in the future.

For easy tracking of your campaign, you can try the an influencer tracking software.

Choosing the right platform can be of tremendous help to avoid any potential missteps and evaluate your campaign’s performance.

If you’re selecting the best influencers from the get-go, you’re saving money and time in the long term. Try the inBeat influencer platform for an efficient influencer campaign, including a product seeding strategy and other online services.

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