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Illustration showing three different sized wrapped packages being held up by multi-colored balloons, surrounded by clouds, on a purple background. Influencer gifting blog post and guide.

How to do Influencer Gifting [+ Influencer Gifting Note Template]


TJ Kiely

Feb 16, 2023

Influencer gifts offer a way to sweeten the collaboration with your influencer partners. (Who doesn’t love a free gift?) The influencer gifting process gets your product into the hands of content creators as quickly as possible, ensuring they have ample time to test, use, and enjoy it before sharing it with their audience.

That said, brands should put some thought into how they go about choosing and sending influencer gifts. Chances are your influencers are working with other brands and receiving gifts from them as well. How you send gifts gives you an opportunity to stand out and solidify not only your partnership, but also your brand image.

What’s more, adding a personalized influencer gift note makes the gifting package — and the collaboration itself — feel more personalized and valuable. It’s fine details like these that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Let’s explore how you can elevate the influencer gifting process plus take advantage of our free influencer gifting note template.

Table of Contents:

Getting presents

What is Influencer Gifting?

Influencer gifting is the process of getting your products into the hands of influencers so they can share them with their audiences.

The idea is for influencers to have an authentic experience with your products so they can create high-value content on your behalf. It’s also a show of goodwill and appreciation for your collaboration.

You might also hear influencer gifting referred to as product seeding or product gifting. Whatever you call it, an influencer gifting campaign is a common practice in influencer marketing.

Why Do Brands Need to Know About Influencer Gifting?

It’s not uncommon for brands to woo celebrities and mega-influencers with free products. However, brand ambassadors, macro-influencers, micro-influencers, and nano-influencers appreciate and benefit from gifts, too. They can use those gifts to create better content for your brand.

It’s hard to create a product demo video for TikTok if they don’t have the product to showcase. Having to purchase the product themselves may add friction to your influencer campaigns and make the partnership feel less valuable to the content creator.

Just as there’s an art to choosing the right influencers to work with, there’s also an art to the gifting process.

The key takeaway brands need to understand is how the gift supports a strong campaign. Start with the end in mind and work backward to make your influencer gifting strategy work for you.

How Does Influencer Gifting Work?

As with any influencer marketing campaign, your first priority is to choose a select group of influencers to receive your gift. Your influencer partners should be able to showcase your product in a way that’s authentic to their brand and yours. It should look like real life, not a forced promotion.

You also want to take stock of the social media channels they use to reach their followers (Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc.). Consider whether your target audience uses those same channels and whether your influencer will be able to reach them.

Opening a gift.

From there, you can send free products to your influencers to use. Many influencer marketing managers send free gifts as part of a paid promotion. Others may send influencers a gift without a formal partnership in hopes of earning some free media attention.

Ideally, your influencers will use those products themselves and share them in social media images or videos. But keep in mind that influencer gifts are exactly that — gifts. Gifts come with no strings attached, so there may be times when your gifting campaign doesn’t generate an influencer marketing ROI.

It’s best practice to engage influencers prior to sending out free gifts. You can send an outreach email to confirm their shipping address, build familiarity with your brand, and start building the relationship. You can follow these steps:

1. Engage the Influencer

To maximize your chances of gaining positive influencer marketing ROI, it’s best to engage with influencers before sending gifts. Using Meltwater Influencer Marketing, marketers can connect with potential partners and verify their contact details (including shipping addresses) before sending out free products. This is a great way to build familiarity before the gift and start nurturing the relationship from day one.

2. Strike Up a Partnership

Once you have an influencer agreement in place, send the influencer the product(s) you want them to promote. If you have multiple products in your lineup, see which ones your influencer is most interested in. This allows them to create authentic content that won’t look like a forced promotion.

3. Send a Gift with High Hopes

In some cases, free products are part of a guaranteed paid promotion. But it can also pay off to send free gifts to potential partners without a pro forma partnership. The influencer may feel flattered by your generosity and promote you on their channels as a courtesy.

4.  Track Your Gift’s Impact

Keep tabs on your influencer partners’ social media content to see how they’re sharing their gift with others. Pay attention to the types of content they’re creating (e.g., unboxing videos, demonstrations) and how many times they’re promoting your gift.

Ideally, your influencer partners will keep and use the gifts for themselves and share them with their followers. But keep in mind that gifts should come with no strings attached. Whether you’re entering a paid promotion or hoping to earn some free media attention, keep in mind there may be times when your gifting campaign doesn’t result in an ROI.

Influencer Gifting Examples

Influencer gifting has worked well for many of the world’s leading brands, helping them to create profitable collabs in a cost-effective manner. Let’s look at some real-life influencer gifting examples.

Gymshark instagram post.

Gymshark

Activewear brand Gymshark grew its brand awareness through partnerships with brand ambassadors. They have a huge community of loyal followers on Instagram along with a unique style of photography for their posts.

As a small business with no capital, the brand needed a way to promote its products to relevant audiences. The company sent fitness influencers free apparel as part of its grassroots movement, which the influencers started wearing in their videos. The user-generated content sparked massive interest in the brand, helping the company to grow organically.

Glossier instagram post.

Glossier

Beauty brand Glossier proves that anyone can be an influencer, regardless of nano, micro, or mega status. Since its launch, Glossier’s philosophy has been to treat every customer like an influencer. They’ve built a brand ambassador army of more than 500 individuals.

These small-scale influencers are part of an invisible marketing strategy, a nod to the barely-there products Glossier is known for. The ambassadors post content for Glossier, which can also end up on the brand’s own social media pages. Customers can also purchase products directly through the ambassadors, helping them to earn gifted credits on future products. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Sarah Shaw

Sometimes, a “free” marketing campaign is the best idea for brand awareness. As a small business owner, Sarah Shaw didn’t have much to spend on a celebrity marketing campaign. But the fashion brand did have plenty of products, so it gifted products to big-name celebrities like Oprah and Jennifer Anniston.

Combined with the free press it earned from being seen in the hands of famous people, the company quickly grew to an eight-figure business.

Don’t Forget to Include an Influencer Gifting Note

As you’re planning your marketing checklist, make sure that a personalized hand-written note is part of the process. Adding an influencer gifting note is so much more than a formality. It also:

  • Allows you to show your appreciation.
    Show how much you value the partnership and how much you believe in the creator to help you grow your brand.
  • Helps your brand stand out.
    A free sample or product isn’t always enough on its own to wow influencers, especially as more brands start using influencers in marketing. A handwritten note goes the extra mile, showing you chose this product specifically for them.
  • It puts a smile on your influencer’s face.
    Happy influencers are usually willing to go the extra mile if they know brands truly care about them. They’re more likely to treat your collabs as a priority.

Tips for Writing an Influencer Gifting Note

Knowing what to include in an influencer gifting note can help you get more engagement and results from your influencer partners. Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your note.

1. Send an outreach email first

If possible, it’s helpful to connect with an influencer in the inbox first. This allows you to confirm their shipping details and the spelling of their name. It also helps you make a good first impression so they’ll know who you are when they receive your gift.

2. Use the influencers name

When sending a note with the influencer’s gift, include their name in your message. Using names establishes the human connection and makes your note feel less generic.

3. Say something specific about the influencers' content

Have they engaged with you in the past? Did you like an Instagram post they made? Let them know you know who they are and how much you enjoy their content. This shows you’ve done your research and want to work with them.

Writing a note.

4. Write the note by hand

Adding a handwritten note is simply a great way to do business. In fact, data shows that 81% of people believe a handwritten note is more meaningful than an outreach email or text message (or not including a note at all). These notes have almost become a lost art, and it’s a small gesture that can lead to long-term results.

Free Influencer Gifting Note Template

Think writing a personalized note to each influencer sounds too time consuming? It doesn’t have to be. Using a free influencer gifting note template saves you time by not having to think about what to write each time.

Take advantage of our free fill-in-the-blank influencer gifting note template to save you some time.

Hey [influencer first name]!

Our team here at [your company/brand] loved the content you created for [mention a specific brand, hashtag, social media channel, post, etc.]. Your style and our brand seem like a great fit, so we wanted to share some love. Enjoy this free gift from us — hope to see you on [Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, etc.] soon!

[your name and company/brand]

A simple yet impactful message can be a great way to get influencer engagement and boost your influencer marketing in new ways.

Improving Influencer Gifting With the Right Technology

The influencer gifting process is just one of many moving parts in influencer marketing. Ideally, brands can use an influencer marketing hub to manage all of those parts in a central place.

Platforms like Meltwater Influencer Marketing handle everything from finding and vetting influencers to product seeding to follow-up. House all of your UGC, deliverables, collateral, and influencer contract and agreement paperwork, track the engagement rate of each influencer, and calculate the ROI of each influencer partnership. Know which influencers have received your new product, which ones are still waiting on gifts, and which ones are making a real difference in your influencer marketing strategy.

With good management in place, you can spend more time growing stronger relationships and making influencer marketing one of your most powerful forms of business growth.

And, as with any type of marketing, the more you know, the better decisions you can make. You can empower your influencer marketing with Meltwater data to learn more about what your audience needs and wants from your brand. Find influencers who match your target audience, create content they’ll care about, and stay ahead of your competitors on an ever-growing battlefield.

Learn more when you schedule a demo!

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