Gifting influencers is a great way to earn extra exposure for your brand and has the added benefit of potentially earning yourself a new fan!
Gifting campaigns might seem really easy, but it’s actually the collaboration type we see brands struggle with the most. Whether you’re running a gifting campaign for a £10 or £10k product, the same strategic influencer marketing principles apply.
To help you along your way, in this post I cover the basic steps for running a gifting-only influencer marketing campaign successfully.
1. Influencer Gifting Campaign Planning
The planning phase should be at the beginning of every single influencer marketing campaign - product or paid. During the planning phase, you should identify who your target audience is and what your campaign objectives are. Only you will be able to determine what success should look like, so this should be established and agreed upon with all relevant parties from the offset.
Sample Influencer Campaign Objectives:
Sample Influencer Campaign KPIs
Even though you won’t be paying influencers in cash, you should still put together a campaign budget. For a gifting campaign this means, the total value of stock you intend to gift and the cost of the stock. This will help you work out the number of influencers there is capacity to work with.
2. Campaign Guidelines & Influencer Agreement
Biggest fail in gifting collaboration? Thinking you don’t need to put together an influencer agreement.
Your influencer agreement should outline what you expect from the influencer in return for the gift. You should include: expected deliverables, time-frame, hashtags and handles required. Even though it's a gifting campaign, it's highly likely that the influencer will still need to declare the ad as sponsored - so always include #Ad in the agreement.
You may also wish to include some basic campaign guidelines - for example, the image style / mood or caption guidelines. As ever, we’d advise you to be as hands off as possible when it comes to creative styling so that the post remains authentic.
3. How to Find The Right Influencers
You’ve done your brainstorming, planning and have your influencer agreement ready and waiting - it's time to start finding influencers. Depending on the product value / coolness / desirability of your gift, you’ll need to think what is a suitable influencer size to approach i.e. gifting influencers diamonds has different value to a gifted lip balm.
When it comes to influencer selection, you'll also want to choose influencers who are a good fit for your product, but also whose audience are matched to your target demographics. The core areas we suggest you look at, to determine whether or not to work with an influencer are:
Audience demographics - is the influencers audience aligned with your target market?
Average engagement - this will indicate the engagement you can expect for your images
Monthly audience growth - negative growth can indicate an un-engaged audience
Previous brand associations - does the influencer already work with brands similar to yours? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing
Finding the right influencers to work with can be time consuming without a tool like ZINE. To make things easy - we have launched The Brand Catalogue. Simply create your profile and campaign, then specify your influencer requirements. You’ll then receive applications from influencers browsing the catalogue, and can review their ZINE media kit which will give you a detailed view of their audience demographics, engagement and growth - you’ll even see engagement across Instagram stories (influencers must have Reach Insights activated). You can sign up for the brand catalogue for free here.
4. Measuring Success of Your Gifting Campaign
Measuring the performance of your gifting campaign is really simple with a tool like ZINE. Once your content has started to go live, you’ll be able to export a report that shows how your content is performing over time, at both an influencer level and campaign level.
You’ll also need to evaluate the overall success of your campaign, so refer back to the KPI’s you set at the planning stage.
Top Gifting Campaign Tips:
- Allowing the influencer to tag other brands isn’t necessarily a bad thing! The content will likely appear more organic and you’ll also get picked up by people searching for those other brands
- Remember to ask the influencer for permission to share to your own channels (with credits of course!)
- For your campaign to be successful, you’ll need to commit. Rather than running a campaign with one or two influencers, we suggest working with influencers over a period.
I'm Marketing Director at ZINE where I am helping peers and customers who want to revolutionise their influencer marketing strategy. I love food, fitness and Min Pins.