5 Influencer Gifting Tips – By Stephanie Salomon

by Jenae Reid on August 2, 2018

As influencer marketing continues to be a cornerstone of any retailer’s digital marketing strategy, the concept of gifting products or services can be an effective way to activate these partners and inspire content around one’s offering.

Gifting gives influencers a chance to fall in love with a product and feel compelled to share it across their platform, which aids their ability to stay authentic. To better support your influencer strategy, here are five tips for brands looking to improve their gifting efforts.

Set Clear Expectations

Before sending free goods, decide internally what your end goal is and tailor your pitch accordingly. Ensure you’re reaching the goals you’re setting with what you’re sending and be clear with how you see this specific product fitting into the influencer’s strategy.

Make sure your expectations are realistic, so you don’t falsely deem efforts a failure. If you send out product looking for Instagram exposure to a group of contacts who don’t promote via Instagram, you will be disappointed and fall short of your goals.

Tailor Your Recruitment

You will best achieve your goal by hand-selecting influencers that align with your brand. Determine which bloggers will be most receptive to your products and target those individuals directly. Another underutilized recruitment source is your current customer base. Research those who are already talking about your merchandise and see if they have a social following or online presence. For those who do, send them product.

Make it Personal

Hand-selecting merchandise in line with an influencer’s personal brand is the best way to get a shot at engagement with your products. This is also a great way to demonstrate your commitment to the partnership because the gift was carefully curated for this individual.

Like sending a corporate email mailer, where the open rate is higher, and bounce rate is lower when the content is tailored for the recipient, this basic principle of customization also applies to influencer gifting. Avoid sending out batch copies of the same product or offer to multiple influencer contacts. When the benefit to the retailer is prioritized over the benefit to the partner, it works against the gesture of gifting.

Tell a Story

The gift alone may not sell your pitch or tell your story. It’s important to put it in context and make the connection for influencers. Does a target blogger consistently remark about the cost-effective aspect of their outfits? Package a narrative for them and send a ‘complete outfit’ retailing for under $100. Think like a content marketer and ask yourself, ‘Would this make a good story?’

Maintain the Momentum

Achieving successful “ROI” on your gifting efforts is half the battle. The other challenge is capitalizing on this new relationship and maintaining the momentum to ensure future promotions.

Partner with an affiliate network for performance visibility through influencer reporting. You could also follow up with another product or sample. Show your awareness of, and gratitude for their efforts and gifting will continue to “keep on giving.”


Stephanie Salomon is head of marketing for Awin and ShareASale.

 This article appeared in issue 43 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in July 2018.  https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-43

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