Is Product Sampling With Influencers A Waste Of Time?

CREDIT: Getty Images/iStockphoto

CREDIT: Getty Images/iStockphoto

So you recently started your new business and you have a new, awesome product. You’ve seen other companies sampling their products on social media so of course, you’re thinking about sampling out YOUR product. Is it a good prospecting strategy to get people interested in what you’re selling?

Truth is, it depends.

If you have a very visual product that is mostly focused on females, such as essential oils, clothing, makeup or hair care, your product is perfect to have influencers sample on social media.

Where Do You Start?

First, I would look through your Facebook Business page and your personal contacts to see if anyone will be willing to post a video of themselves sampling your product if you send them FREE product.

Friends and family are a great way to get started because they are the lowest hanging fruit and tend to want to help in any way they can because they want to be successful. However, utilizing social media influencers, instead of your friends, in your campaigns are well worth it if you have the budget for it.

What’s a Social Media Influencer?

In short, a social media influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

CREDIT: Getty Images/iStockphoto

CREDIT: Getty Images/iStockphoto

How Do You Get In Contact With Influencers?

My agency and I tend to stick to 6 simple steps when reaching out to influencers for our campaigns. These steps tend to change depending on if we utilize a service that helps us find influencers for us. However, here are the 6 steps you can follow to stay on track:

  1. Establish a relationship with the influencers by following them on social media, sharing their content online, etc.

  2. Make initial contact with the influencer directly through their social media channels. If you aren’t finding success with this option, I would recommend sending a personalized email 2-3 days later. Typically, influencers have their emails in their bios or on their Instagram pages. Direct messaging is always a great initial option because it’s typically where influencers are most active. Be sure to include why you love their content and why you think they would be a good fit to represent your brand

  3. Determine an appropriate offer for the influencer once they have expressed interest in working with you. Do you own a gym? Offer a free one-year membership. Own a skincare line, offer a free monthly subscription of your products for a year. Are you a dentist, you could offer a quarterly teeth whitening service. The list goes on and on. Consider these key points when creating your offer:

    • How many fans or followers do they have?

    • What do you want in return?

    • How will the influencer use your offer?

    • How much time, product or services are you comfortable with investing in this influencer to yield you the return you’re looking for?

  4. Be clear on your ask while effectively communicating your needs. For example, if you own a makeup company, in exchange for $100 in product ask for something like one blog post, two Instagram posts, and one addition Facebook share all within a week. Make sure to have:

    • Proper tagging

    • Hashtags for the business

    • Any links that need to be included in the post

  5. Measure results to determine if your influencer campaign was successful. Be sure to properly set up the analytics to track the elements that determine a successful campaign.

  6. Follow up with your influencers once the collaboration is completed. This is a crucial part of facilitating ongoing relationships with influencers.

The most important thing you can do when a collaboration with a social media influencer goes well is following up and nurturing the relationship with that influencer for future work. Influencers opportunities are everywhere.

Have you had a successful social media influencer campaign before? Share your story with us in the comments below!

Brandon Poplstein