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Influencer Management

How to Send Shopify Products to Influencers Without Drowning in Details

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One of the most time-consuming parts of influencer marketing is prepping, sending, and keeping track of which products you send to influencers, creators, fans, and customers. And if you’re just getting started with influencer marketing, you’re likely doing it manually. 

Below we’ve outlined some ways you can streamline and automate how you send influencers products. Our goal is to save you time, track shipments, and streamline influencer communication.

Why Do Brands Send Products to Influencers?

Brands send products to influencers as a way to drive business growth. Sending products can be a great way to grow brand awareness, to build relationships with loyal customers, and of course, to launch new products to market.

Brands send products to influencers as a way to drive business growth. Sending products can be a great way to grow brand awareness, to build relationships with loyal customers, and of course, to launch new products to market.

That being said, when it comes to sending products, it is important to be clear on your goals and how you will measure ROI before you send anything.

Types of Influencer Gifting Campaigns:

  1. Paid Campaigns: Brands send influencers products and pay a fee for the influencers to promote the product on their social channels or blogs. 
  2. Product Seeding: Brands gift free products to influencers to test and ensure they like the product before inviting them to join a paid campaign OR if their budget is limited, brands send products to influencers (with their permission) without any expectation in the hopes that the influencer will love it and decide to share with their followers. 
  3. Product Gifting: Brands send products to loyal customers, ambassadors, and brand fans as an incentive to stay engaged with the brand

How to Send Products to Influencers

Sending out products to the right influencers is a major investment and a logistical nightmare if you’re trying to do it manually. But it doesn’t have to be if you follow these four best practices.

1. Standardize and Automate Communication

Crafting the right message to hook an influencer, proactively following up, and responding quickly can be time-consuming, and messages often get missed in the back and forth of emails. By creating and sharing templated messages across your team, you can eliminate communication chaos and avoid missed messages.

Save your team time down the road by creating templated messages. Draft messages for transactional messages such as outreach and follow-up emails.

Outreach messages you can templatize 

  • Reaching out cold to a new influencer who is not familiar with your brand
  • Contacting someone who is a brand follower, advocate, or customer
  • Restarting a conversation with an influencer you’ve worked with before and are hoping to work with again

Follow-up messages you can templatize

  • Selecting a product
  • Following up after no response
  • Verifying receipt of their free product

As we discussed in a recent article about getting influencers to respond  to you, leave room on your templated communication for personalization. Use their name or share the reason they're a great fit for your program. Little touches like that go a long way with affiliates and influencers.

2. Create A Compelling Commission Proposal

A comprehensive and enticing campaign proposal is important to set expectations with creators and get them excited about your brand, mission, and campaign. 

If you’re running a paid campaign, we recommend using a campaign proposal to confirm interest and set expectations. Once they agree to the terms, then you should send products. You can find free Shopify templates for this here. 

If you’re offering free products, you have less control over the outcome. A campaign proposal can be used to explain your goals, why you are sending the products, and what’s special about your brand. It should get influencers excited about the campaign, making it more likely to get their buy-in but you cannot expect influencers to create content for free products. There are some exceptions to this for instance if you have higher value product, see how Outer achieved success with product seeding.

Be clear, concise & upfront about: 

  • Campaign goals
  • Incentives 
  • What is needed from the influencers 
  • Information about your brand and why someone should want to work with you

Top Tip: Create a Compelling Application Page for Creators to Apply:

A creative way brands can send proposals is to create a dedicated campaign landing page. This central place for all campaign information allows content creators to easily check out the campaign and see if they are interested. It acts as a honey pot for influencers and helps them envision partnering with your brand.

On Aspire for example, brands can create an application page where influencers can see the products and compensation offers. Knowing the incentives ahead of time can help entice creators. Additionally, you can include examples from previous campaigns to showcase the type of content you like. 

3. Define Collaboration Terms Before you Get Started 

If you’re running a paid campaign, ensure you have documented and agreed on campaign terms before the creator gets started. Creating standard terms ensures both the creator and brand are aligned and nothing gets lost in translation.

We suggest creating a guide or document detailing your expectations and what you’re willing to offer a content creator. These standardized terms can be distributed to anyone you’re considering for your campaign. If you need help getting started, Aspire has free templated campaign terms  that you can adapt for your brand. 

Make sure to include:

  • The type of content you’re asking for
  • The number of posts you require
  • Any platform-specific requirements
  • Any necessary talking points
  • Deadlines
  • The value of any gifts or products
  • The commission terms
  • Any additional perks

For example, if you’re running a paid Instagram campaign, your terms might look something like this.

If you're using an influencer marketing platform, you can create a template of these terms and easily distribute them when you find an influencer. Aspire’s platform makes it easy to modify these based on your partnership's terms.

If you’re product seeding, hold off on sending explicit terms until you’ve confirmed interest from an influencer. Instead, we recommend sending your product and campaign proposal without any requirement to post. Monitor the creator’s profiles and be on the lookout for product reviews or mentions on social media. You can propose an upfront commission offer, so they are motivated to post. If they partner with you again, send your standardized collaboration terms.

4. Streamline Product Tracking

Manually tracking products and orders sent to influencers can get confusing and isn’t suitable for scaling your operation. Once you’re ready to expand to a certain size, it will be worth your while to onboard a platform with trackable delivery methods and real-time analytics that will help keep your campaign on track.

Shopify has plenty of apps, like Parcel Panel  and Order Status Tracker, that allow you to track shipments, see all your orders in one place, and gain insights on deliveries.

If you’re using an influencer marketing platform, look for a  Shopify integration. Then, it’s easy to choose products from your online store and send them to your newest influencers as soon as they agree to the partnership. Once Shopify is connected, you will be able to track orders and receive notifications right in the platform.

Pro tip: One way to eliminate guesswork and speed up sending products to influencers is to let them order their own products. Instead of assuming what an influencer wants, give them a gift card or promo code and invite them to shop your site. The products will go out with your regular orders with minimal effort from you.

Consider an Influencer Marketing Platform with Shopify Integration Features

As we have mentioned, many brands streamline their influencer gifting process by using an influencer marketing platform.

When searching for the best influencer marketing platform for your brand, choose one that has advanced  Shopify integrations, so products can easily be shipped and tracked. If you’ve connected your Shopify store to Aspire, you have access to analytics to see how your influencer marketing campaigns are performing. If you’re interested in streamlining your product seeding efforts, schedule a demo today!

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