The best swag to engage and strengthen influencers' emotional connection to your brand.
The Best Influencer Boxes
Studies show that 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key factor in their purchasing decisions. Jamie Turner, a leading authority on marketing who has worked with the likes of Coca-Cola, AT&T, CNN, Motorola, considers word of mouth the #1 way people make choices about brands.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider the tips to follow:
- The best influencer kits are designed to make it easy to understand and share your products.
- The best brand PR kits are obviously carefully curated and customized for the recipient.
- Do not skimp or cut corners on your PR kits for influencers. The payoff for your investment of effort and expense in crafting a successful brand package is huge when you consider the tremendous value of an influencer’s word of mouth advertising to a loyal and engaged audience.
1. First impressions
Let’s start with what your influencer will see first. The shipping box. Not sexy or fun, but very important. A branded carton stands out, but if you budget doesn’t allow for that, you can get branded packaging tape. Custom shipping labels with your branding are also a nice touch. Put your product(s) in a separate container within the shipping box for extra creative impact and also to add protection. Remember, you want everything to stay in place despite the shipping box being flipped, dropped and generally tossed around during transit.
2. Perfect Timing
Track your package(s) so you can let the influencer know when it will arrive. If you’re hoping for an “unboxing” reveal, keep in mind the timing of posts that get the most likes. See how this has changed a little with Covid-19. Allow plenty of transit time so your influencers have the time they need to prepare for how they will present your product or event to their audience.
3. Unboxing-worthy brand packaging
Custom promotional packaging is key. Before the influencer even knows what’s inside, if your brand package container is unique or eye-catching, you’ve got a better chance of them wanting to post it on their social media as an unboxing video—which will get you more air time and the added punch of enthusiasm and emotional involvement. A less stellar box might still rate a photo of it opened to show the contents; but a photo gets less viewing time and a lot less love. Even if your budget doesn’t include a custom product container you can use your creativity to make the kit wow-worthy. Pack beauty products in a colorful toiletry travel bag. Brand a gym bag or backpack for athletic gear.
4. Unpacking matters
Your package needs to look just as fab once it’s opened. Tissue should coordinate with the container, items must be neatly presented and carefully packed, printed material is crisp and contained. If you have breakables, a custom box might be your best option for both protection and presentation. The practice of sending Influencer Gift Boxes has created an entirely new niche in the packaging industry, so you will find lots of custom promotional packaging options to choose from. And remember, if your product isn’t breakable and your package doesn’t contain multiple small items, you can get creative with your container—like a beach bag for a summer theme or an Easter basket for spring.
5. Theme It
And, speaking of themes, having a theme for your package just makes it that much more fun and engaging for the influencer to share and it’s more fun for you to create as well. There’s always something you can use as a theme. Seasonal themes like “fresh and new for spring,” “winter cozy,” or “summer sun” are easy to adapt. Or you can theme your brand package to coincide with an upcoming event—the Oscars, the Coachella Valley music and arts festival, fashion week, or, say, spring break. Holidays are good; and don’t forget those made-up special days like International Women’s Day. Practically every day is a celebration now.
6. Devil’s in the details
The best influencer kits make it obvious that you know them and care about them—their preferences and their lifestyle. Clothing items need to be the right size for them and in a color they like. You need to follow their channel(s) and/or media pages so that you can show why your brand is something they and their audience will love. Any relevant little extras you include in your PR Package will add to the fun and engagement.
Even when you’re sending out the same basic product package to a number of influencers, each kit needs to be customized for the recipient. You could engrave or embroider their name on the packaging, product or some related extra. It’s a always a good idea to include thoughtful little extras for each influencer that are specific to their taste and also support your theme.
Be sure to include a handwritten personal note, addressed specifically to the influencer, with comments/details that show you’ve been paying attention to their channel(s) or social media pages. If you have any doubts about your spelling or grammar, type your message in a word-processing doc to check it before you pen your note. Personal notes (especially handwritten ones) are important relationship-builders that strengthen the emotional connection to you and your product. And, of course, it goes without saying that your notecard or stationery needs to coordinate with your overall package!
9. Make It Easy
Be sure to include a media kit, sometimes called a press kit, to provide information about your company and your products. Influencers are bombarded with products, so you can’t expect them to remember your details. Expecting them to dig through their emails for your info—well, you’re just making it harder for them to share. Be sure to include any brochures and instructions related to your event or product. The more information, the better! And remember, you need to customize your media kits to support the product and be relevant to the influencer— a blogger media kit will differ somewhat from a press kit for musicians or a press kit for artists.
10. Talking points
Provide talking points about your products and instructions for use, if needed, in your influencer press kit to make it super easy for influencers to share your product(s) correctly and with confidence. If this is the first campaign with an influencer, you will want to furnish an influencer brief that provides them an overview of your company, products, the current campaign particulars, and any do’s and don’ts you need to convey.
Spend a little time creating a fun and unique hashtag for your influencer kits and encourage your influencers to use it in their posts. Hashtags are essential to increasing brand awareness and getting discovered by relevant audiences. You can include more than one, but beware of too many—studies have actually shown that to suppress engagement.
12. Promo Code
Being able to share a Promo Code with their audience makes the influencer a bit of a hero. Who doesn’t love a special deal or discount? It gives customers a reason to act now, and it makes it easier for you to measure results (which will make you a hero with the boss). Using a different promo code for each influencer could help you measure which audience most resonates with your brand—or, at least, that promotional offer.
13. Measure the ROI
You won’t really know if your PR Packages for Influencers have been successful unless you measure the results. And because that could take inordinate amounts of time, if you don’t have one already, you might want to check out the options out there for social media monitoring tools. These tools not only help you with brand and reputation management, they allow you to keep tabs on the competition and spot emerging trends. Using one of these tools and investing time to evaluate the gathered intel will help you tweak future campaigns for maximum success.
When you have social media monitoring tools in place, it allows you to join discussions in real time, to answer questions, and to respond to positive (and negative) posts. Engaging with your audience this way ups that all-important emotional connection! It’s important that you engage with your influencers on a regular basis—not just when you want to send them something you hope they will share. You do this by liking their posts, commenting, responding to their comments on your posts, watching their stories, following them and visiting their swipe-ups.
15. Show Appreciation
Interacting frequently with your Influencers on social media is the foundation of a strong emotional bond. It’s especially important to follow up after a campaign with a thoughtful gift and, of course, a personal note of thanks. Soliciting an influencer’s feedback on the package and their audience’s response at this point can be invaluable to strengthening your relationship and showing how you can plan your next influencer PR package for maximum impact.
Successful collaborations with your influencers will require an investment of time and resources on your part, but when it comes to building your brand awareness, the value of their word of mouth advertising is, well, priceless.