Although influencer gifting campaigns have been a staple of influencer marketing for ages, it’s still one of the toughest strategies to get right.
There are three key elements that impact the success and efficiency of product seeding campaigns:
The stakes for getting these elements right are high. They could make the difference between a mediocre vs efficient campaign, or a low vs high return on investment (ROI).
In the article below, Eva Dunn, associate marketing manager at Bite Toothpaste Bits, shares how the sustainable personal care brand has cracked the code on influencer gifting campaigns. More specifically, she shares three strategies that her team utilized during their recent Smell Good Summer deodorant campaign.
“At Bite, a key concern with influencer seeding campaigns is the high potential for waste. If we send out to a large list of influencers without properly vetting their interests, affinities, and audience demographics, we might send products that will never get used or seen. As a company that really cares about sustainability, we felt it was important to minimize this risk as much as possible.” — Eva Dunn, associate marketing manager at Bite Toothpaste Bits
Narrowing down a list of possible influencer partners is no easy feat. In fact, 81% of marketers say that finding the right influencers is a key challenge for producing successful influencer marketing programs.
The team at Bite Toothpaste Bits answered this challenge with data. During their Smell Good Summer gifting campaign, they used Traackr to evaluate:
In the end the team narrowed its list to approximately 60 influencers! While this is no small roster for an indie brand, the thorough discovery and vetting process ensured that every influencer on the list was a great match for the brand.
“Similar to other indie brands, we’re working with smaller budgets, teams, and overall resources. This is why it was critical that we increase the efficiency of our influencer seeding campaigns at every step of the way. This includes everything from minimizing the amount of “wasted” product, to shortening the amount of time our team spends messaging back and forth with potential partners.” — Eva Dunn, associate marketing manager at Bite Toothpaste Bits
Even if your team does thorough research on every influencer, there might be other factors that disqualify them from being partners for your campaign. They might be inundated with requests and unable to meet deliverables on time, or they may prefer sponsored partnerships over gifting campaigns.
Whatever the reason is, it’s important to get on the same page from the get-go. What are they getting, and what do you expect in return?
Bite Toothpaste Bits approached these conversations with transparency. During its Smell Good Summer campaign, outreach messages clearly labeled the campaign as gifted (non sponsored), laid out the desired deliverables, and asked influencers to “opt-in” or confirm they were happy with the terms before proceeding. It sounds simple, but at Traackr we’re constantly surprised by how many stories we hear about brands sending vague outreach messages!
Tip: Traackr has a feature called “Studios”, that allows marketers to create branded landing pages for their campaigns. Influencers who receive this landing page can opt in to campaigns, read creative briefs, and share their product preferences.
“In the influencer marketing community there’s a lot of talk about how to balance creative freedom with brand messaging in campaign briefs. We want influencers to do their thing and be authentic! But we also want to make sure our products are presented in a way that aligns with our brand. Our solution to this was an influencer toolkit.” — Eva Dunn, associate marketing manager at Bite Toothpaste Bits
Instead of sending a typical creative brief, the Bite Toothpaste Bits team decided to take a more creative approach. They created their first “influencer toolkit”, or, a highly branded, beautifully designed, information packed pdf to help influencers visualize what they could create.
This influencer toolkit contained:
If you want to see Bite Toothpaste Bits’ actual toolkit, you can see the full thing here. If you use this as inspiration give them a shoutout (@Bite) — they were very generous to share this resource with our community!
By incorporating these three strategies into their influencer discovery, vetting, outreach, and briefing processes, Bite Toothpaste Bits’ Smell Good Summer campaign was a major success!
More specifically, this campaign resulted in:
This campaign also served as a great way for Bite Toothpaste Bits to identify some new long-term partners. The team plans to include the influencers who had high loyalty (posted about the brand frequently) or great content in future campaigns, and some have even been moved into the brand’s affiliate program. And, since the influencer discovery, outreach, and collaboration process was such a success, the team also plans to use it for its future gifting campaigns.
If you want to stay up to date on the incredible work that the Bite Toothpaste Bits team is doing, follow them on Instagram or TikTok at @Bite! If you’re curious to learn more about influencer marketing best practices from other industry experts, subscribe to our newsletter.