Gifting is a great way to spread the word about your brand and create UGC (that's user-generated content for those who hate acronyms!) & word of mouth, and reach a range of new potential customers, without the use of a paid influencer campaign. You’ve probably previously been doing this through a PR agency, or manually reaching out to creators on IG or Tiktok asking if you could send them some products (and getting ghosted..!)
Gifting is a great way to spread the word about your brand and create UGC (that's user-generated content for those who hate acronyms!) & word of mouth, and reach a range of new potential customers, without the use of a paid influencer campaign. You’ve probably previously been doing this through a PR agency, or manually reaching out to creators on IG or TikTok asking if you could send them some products (and getting ghosted...!)
#gifted is here to make it fun and easy to run a contra gifting campaign by allowing creators who genuinely want to try your product or service to swipe on your gift, just like in a dating app!
To make your next collab easy, and make sure you get a great result we’ve put together this guide on how to maximise your influencer gifting collaboration.
So firstly, what is contra gifting?
In the simplest form, contra of gifting means sending products to creators, media, influencers, celebs, or other people with a profile/voice with the hope that they will promote your product/s on their own platforms or to their readers or friends.
Influencer gifting is a creative way of forging relationships through social media especially with nano or micro influencers.
Steps to succeeding with influencer gifting:
Remember, mid-tier and macro-influencers normally get given products plus payment to collaborate and promote brands. If you only have contra available and not monetary compensation, then make sure you’re making it worth their while!
If you’d like someone to post on their social media channels, make sure the gift you are giving them is enticing, well presented, and something they are going to want to share with their followers.
Here’s a good guide:
Item / service value: $150
Min number of followers to set your gift at: 3k
Request: 1 in feed post, or 3 stories
Item / service value: $250
Min number of followers to set your gift at: $5k
Request: 1 in feed post, or 3 stories
A good sense check is to ask yourself, "Would I do this collaboration myself? If someone gifted me this product/service, would I want to post about it, tell my friends about it, or write a review?"
If your answer is no, rethink your offer. 🙂
The influencers have an app that is just like a dating app, they swipe left and right on gifts they are interested in or want to pass on. So just like a dating app, the better your photos, the more matches you get! Attach clear photos of your product or service so they can see if it's a product or service they are interested in trying and if it's going to align with their audience. If you have more than 1 product for people to choose from, please add photos of all so they can easily select what they would like to be gifted. If you are sending a bundle, provide photos of all items in the bundle.
Don’t forget, contra gifting is so much more than just asking for an Instagram post! Perhaps instead of asking for a post on Instagram, which most influencers over 10k followers will charge a fee for, you can ask for a Google review, a Facebook review, a post on Facebook, or even on LinkedIn! You can ask for feedback, testimonials, and reviews which can help you better market your product.
Also, remember that Instagram stories are a great way to work with influencers as they can use swipe-up links that can drive traffic to your website.
Contra gifting is like social sampling – you can’t dictate what a person writes or posts, ask them to use discount codes, dictate what words they use and when they do the post, etc. This person has expressed an interest in collaborating with you, so if you provide them with a great product or service, they’ll share it in a way that best resonates with their audience in an authentic way and on a platform that works for them.
If you want full creative control, and to dictate the deliverables, then a paid influencer campaign is the way to go.
Go the extra mile and include a handwritten note or beautiful packaging for a 'WOW' moment from the moment they start interacting with your brand. You’re more likely to get great unboxing content, extra stories, if you go to the extra effort.
If you have an item you want to gift that is under the minimum $150 then you can make a great PR bundle send out. For example, if you’re gifting a shampoo and conditioner that are only valued at combined $60, you can gift a beautiful fluffy bathrobe (perhaps with your brand name on the chest! Or in your brand colours!) and slippers to make it up to the $150 mark. Or if you’re a tea brand, you could gift a beautiful tea set, teapot, and serving tray along with your tea, so it's over $150 in value.
What this means is the creators will be able to make amazing content for you because you’ve empowered them with a great bundle to open, be impressed by, and it also serves as the ‘props’ to create the content!
Remember, no one wants to receive 20 bottles of $10 shampoo, or 25 boxes of $5 tea! Be creative with how you win over the influencers so that they want to collab with you and have a great feeling about the exchange.
A lovely extra touch is to include a handwritten note to each influencer you are gifting about why you have chosen to work with them and a sentence or two about you/your brand. For example, if you’re giving a mummy blogger a new toy set for their children, you could write:
We really hope you and little Stella love playing with our Holiday Series Dolls House. We know school holidays in winter time can be dull, so I hope this brightens up your time together! Each set is designed and made in Australia, and supports local artists & craftsmen right here in Orange. In fact, Ben our lead craftsan made his first dolls house over 40 years ago, so you can say its truly his lifes passion to bring smiles to childrens faces!
It’s a pleasure collaborating with you.
Why a contra offer might be declined on an influencer gifting platform?
Never fear - you can edit it and resubmit, but here are some of the most common reasons include:
When it comes to contra gifting, both brands and influencers need to be clear about what they're offering and what they expect in return. Be upfront about your brand, product, and the value of what you're offering so that there is no confusion later down the line. If you can't provide a high-value item, don’t forget you just need to make a bundle that makes up for this.
And finally, always remember to say thank you! A little appreciation can go a long way when it comes to building long-term relationships with influencers.