One of the enduring appeals of influencer marketing is that it caters to brands of all marketing budgets. Bigger businesses find huge success in influencer marketing by paying thousands of dollars to famed mega-influencers with millions of followers. But there are also small businesses and start-ups that manage to drive sales, grow their brand, and build a customer base without needing significant investment. One of the tactics most commonly deployed by smaller brands is an influencer gifting campaign.
A gifting campaign is when brands don’t pay the influencers for a social media post with currency but instead with product from their company. Many influencers accept this as a form of payment for content, although typically, they are micro-influencers or nano-influencers, meaning they have fewer followers than some of their contemporaries.
There are many reasons why an influencer gifting campaign is a great idea. But there are also some reasons it isn’t the best decision for certain brands. Let’s explore some pros and cons of running an influencer gifting campaign and break down who it works best for.
Influencer gifting campaigns are a great solution for many businesses because they are flexible, affordable, and still can yield massive results. Many influencer marketing businesses are just launching new products or businesses and may not have the budget to pay influencers individually. Influencer gifting allows brands to exchange something they typically have a surplus of (their product) for something they need (publicity and sales).
Most social media creators brands will use for a gifting campaign will likely be micro-influencers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Micro-influencers have an authentic connection to consumers, as while they often have smaller follower counts, they will typically have a more engaged audience. They will also respond more to their followers, so they can still hugely impact consumers’ decisions.
Another pro of a gifting campaign is that it lets brands spread their campaign through more social accounts. If a brand is budgeting for a paid campaign, they’ll often spend most of the money on a select few influencers. With a gifting campaign, because brands have a large supply of products to give out, they can have many different influencers share posts revolving around their business.
While influencer gifting campaigns are a budget-friendly solution for many brands, there are also inherent downsides that will make some businesses think twice. One of the biggest issues with gifting is that it will often limit the reach of a brand’s campaign compared to a paid campaign. Paid campaigns with higher budgets can get posts from social media creators with hundreds of thousands of followers, people with huge audiences that also make for great brand ambassadors. Most of the time, this quality of influencer won’t be interested in gifting.
This brings us to the second problem with gifting. It is significantly harder to secure the cooperation of influencers for a campaign. Many influencers, even some micro-influencers and nano-influencers, won’t exchange posts for products. If you decide pre-campaign launch that you will only use products as your payment, many influencers will be uninterested because of this.
The last con of a gifting campaign is that brands need to worry about shipping and ensure that they have a large supply of products. So there likely still will be costs associated with a gifting campaign, although not as many. And some businesses may struggle to supply the large amount of product needed to run a large-scale gifting campaign.
Who is Influencer Gifting Best For?
Influencer gifting is a practical solution for the right businesses. It depends entirely on your budget and the unique needs of your business. If you are operating on a smaller budget, an influencer gifting campaign allows you to spread that budget through many influencers and can lead to a substantial reach.
Even though micro-influencers are brands’ primary creators for a gifting campaign, these can still reach a large audience. By using a huge number of micro-influencers and exchanging products for posts, businesses can save money while also reaching many engaged social media users.
Partnering with influencer marketing firms helps businesses hit the ground running with their social campaigns. Influence Hunter is a top influencer marketing agency with years of experience partnering with businesses ranging from global corporations to rising start-ups to develop high-performing customizable campaigns. Contact Us Today to find out how we can help grow your business.
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