How to Combine Influencer and Product Sample Marketing
Influencer marketing has become a significant driver of sales on the internet. People with a large number of followers who can easily connect and engage with their fans can also introduce a product or a service to a large audience. More than influencing people, influencer marketing can create conversations and approach consumers to a brand, humanizing them. When done correctly, influencer marketing can increase the reach and awareness of a product, as well as drive sales.
A great way of connecting your brand with digital influencers is through sample marketing. Combining both strategies can be highly effective in reaching new potential customers and increasing the visibility of your product.
This article will explain influencer marketing and how you can use samples to connect with digital celebrities and their followers.
What is influencer marketing?
If you are on any social media platform, you probably know what influencer marketing is and how it works. People with a large number of followers have the ability to easily talk to their audience, suggesting products or services they love – or were paid to display – in a way that looks and feels organic.
From the point of view of the company looking into doing influencer marketing, this strategy is extremely effective and beneficial. The approach combines a celebrity’s appeal with a friend’s closeness, as the status of digital influencers has grown exponentially in the last decade. However, their suggestions are still seen as a close friend’s recommendation.
According to Meltwater, 49% of consumers follow influencer recommendations, 82% of people trust the transparency and authenticity of the content they see online and are likely to believe that recommended products are worth a purchase.
Benefits of influencer marketing
With influencers playing such an important role in purchasing decisions, this marketing strategy has become crucial in most sectors.
Here are some benefits of including an influencer campaign in your marketing efforts.
Your brand gains trust
We have discussed how digital influencers are trusted and how their recommendations are seen as friendly suggestions. When you associate your brand with a well-liked personality, you instantly gain more attention, positioning your product as trustworthy.
This is particularly useful when launching a product or when entering the market. Partnering with someone who has a considerable online following is often more effective than advertising in traditional media.
You can effectively reach your target audience
Online advertising has many advantages, and one of them is being able to reach a very specific audience, tailoring your message according to people’s tastes, interests and behaviour.
The same can be said about influencer marketing. Online personalities have a very specific audience, interested in what they have to say and what they usually share. As a result, you can more easily reach that target. Content creators and influencers will have already done the work of curating to cater to that group of people.
You will associate your brand with relevant content
Influencer marketing is more than just a celebrity endorsement. One of the advantages of working with people who are used to creating content catered to their audience is that you will have your brand associated with that content.
Digital influencers produce exciting videos or pictures that directly speak to their audience. Choosing the people who are masters at what they create is an integral part of your marketing strategy, so make sure your brand and your product will be the star of a relevant piece online.
You can also take advantage of content produced by influencers to direct customers to your social media pages or to enrich your own content.
Combining influencer and sample marketing
Now that you understand how powerful an influencer marketing campaign can be, you can identify opportunities to include your brand and products in conversations with digital personalities.
One of the most effective ways of establishing a relationship with influencers is through samples.
Sending your products to selected personalities is an opportunity to start a relationship between your brand and influencers. The strategy is not at all uncommon. You might have noticed how often online personalities share “gifted items” or mention products they received in interesting press kits. This is precisely what combining influencer and sample marketing look like.
When developing your own marketing strategy, creativity is essential. Whatever you decide to send influencers must stand out, encouraging them to share your product with their audience organically.
Send more than just a gift
Working with influencers is an opportunity to have your product seen by many people. Therefore, make sure your brand will pop up.
Most people with a significant number of followers receive packages every day. Many other brands will try to be seen by the influencer and encourage an organic post. Creating exciting packaging could make a huge difference. A personal letter will also showcase how your product was carefully picked and how the influencer’s opinion matters.
Send relevant and useful items
Your product might not be for every influencer, which is completely ok. There is no need to just send items to every relevant person without considering if the gift will be used or appreciated.
It would be best if you did some research to understand what influencers will enjoy and what will resonate with their audience. Otherwise, your sample will go to waste. The more connected your strategy is with the influencer’s style and content, the bigger the chances of success.
Sending something is not a guarantee of posts
Even though the aim of sending samples to influencers is to encourage them to post about your brand, don’t assume this will happen. Some big influencers will only post about what they are paid to do.
Carefully selecting the influencers you’ll send samples to, making your product seem unique and creative, and only sending relevant items will increase your chances of getting noticed and talked about. However, there is no guarantee that they will discuss your brand publicly.
Collaborate with influencers
Including influencers in your planning is a great way to ensure your marketing strategy will be successful. Ask them about their audience, interests and ideas on how they can best promote your brand.
There is a much higher chance that their audience will respond to your campaign when what you create is aligned with who the influencer is and what they love.
Doing the proper research and selecting the right influencers for your goals is crucial.
Successful influencer and sample marketing campaigns
Suppose you are unsure where to begin or how to create your own influencer and sample marketing strategy. In that case, a few examples of great initiatives will inspire you and get your creativity running.
However, remember that each campaign was catered according to the brand’s goals and purposes. What works for one product might not work for another. The important thing is to stand out and seek the best results.
Beauty brands are masters at combining influencer and sample marketing strategies. The category is among the most active on social media, with creators eager to share tips on products, recommendations and results.
Zitsticka has worked with smaller influencers, who are often happy to be noticed and do not hesitate to post about what they receive.
As we discussed, researching people who will be interested in your brand and have an audience that will engage with content about your product is essential. Zitsticka reached out to influencers who already mentioned face masks similar to what they sell. As a result, people have posted about their product offering honest reviews and making recommendations.
The launch of the new fragrance Prada Paradoxe went beyond just sending samples to influencers and included their followers in the marketing strategy. Odore developed a campaign in which influencers would provide a link and encourage their audience to try the perfume for themselves.
Creating engaging content and offering a gift to followers as well, the campaign resulted in nearly 1,000 people becoming customers and 85% of the audience claiming their own sample.
Distributing samples was a success in an industry that relies so heavily on senses that can’t be experienced through social media.
In another campaign created by Odore, Armani relaunched its Code Parfum fragrance in a close partnership with digital influencers.
The strategy also included distributing samples to followers and encouraging people to register on the brand’s website. Still, the selection of influencers and type of content stands out in this campaign.
Selected personalities were very much related to luxury, wholly connected to the brand. Their content also featured luxurious objects or locations, highlighting the exclusivity of Armani.
The sample packaging was also a perfect example of taking advantage of the brand’s luxury positioning and standing out among gifts received by influencers.
Combining different marketing strategies can be a recipe for success, and including influencers in your campaign is a great way to start.
As discussed, influencers can drive sales, increase exposure for your brand and engage potential customers with what you have to offer. Adding sample marketing to this strategy will allow your business to begin a relationship with these personalities and their followers while also taking advantage of the benefits of influencer marketing.
Sending samples requires creativity and research. Partnering with an experienced sample marketing agency can help you design a campaign that will fit your goals and needs. Alongside distributing your products to opinion leaders, our campaigns can build you a database of clients interested in what you have to offer, which is essential for future marketing efforts.
Sample marketing is an invaluable tool to get people interested in your brand, especially when combined with influencer marketing. Contact a professional product sampling agency today and let your creativity roam free.