The Lion's Den

What Is Influencer Seeding?

What is a KOL (Key Opinion Leader)
A male influencer holding a box and doing influencer seeding for a client

Influencer seeding is a term you may have seen more often lately, especially in conversations about digital marketing and influencer marketing. In this digital age, brands are increasingly partnering with social media influencers to promote their products, and influencer seeding plays a role. So, what is influencer seeding? And what is a KOL (Key Opinion Leader)? Are the two related?

In this article, we’ll go over all the details you need to know about influencer seeding. You may even implement this approach for your brand. 

What Is Seeding in Social Media?

Seeding on social media is an influencer marketing strategy where brands send free products to social media influencers to hopefully build a positive relationship with them. You may also see product seeding referred to as product gifting. As the name suggests, sending this gift is like planting the seed of your relationship with the influencers who receive your products. 

In q successful product seeding campaign, the influencers will love your products and be inclined to post positively about them, possibly becoming brand partners in the future. Posts like these appear on many social media apps every day, especially Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Even some neutral or negative reviews from influencers who get the freebies can help boost your brand’s profile in social media algorithms and direct more attention to your business. 

It’s important to understand that product seeding does not create any obligations for the influencers you send products to. These influencers don’t have to open the package, try out the product, or interact with your brand in any way. Product seeding is ultimately gift-giving, not an official business transaction with obligations from both parties. 

What Does Seeding Mean in Influencer Marketing?

Having answered the question, “What is influencer seeding?” it’s still worth exploring the benefits of an influencer seeding strategy for brands. Product seeding can play a significant role in influencer marketing, especially since it’s so low in cost compared to other influencer campaigns. Brands just starting out or with small budgets may gravitate toward this strategy to save money while still getting their name out there. It is an easy way to build brand awareness without spending too much upfront.

Brands can enjoy a variety of benefits from influencer marketing, including greater brand awareness, higher engagement on their social media account, and new leads, which can turn into rising sales. The flip side is that brands get no guarantees when using seeding as a marketing strategy. Influencers may not post about the products; even if they do, you don’t know what they’ll say. There’s some risk involved. 

How to Do Influencer Seeding

Though influencer seeding may sound simple, as an influencer marketing manager, you must consider several crucial factors to execute this strategy effectively. Keep the following things in mind if you try influencer seeding:

Identifying the Right Influencers

Product seeding will not offer a strong return on investment unless you send your products to the right influencers. You likely have a limited number of products you can afford to send out, so it’s crucial to get the most out of each gift by choosing ideal recipients. Choose influencers who post content related to your brand niche and have high engagement rates from their target audience. These influencers and their followers are more likely to be interested in your products. 

Working with an influencer seeding agency or an influencer gifting platform can help you identify the best influencers to send to.  Here’s more on how to collaborate with influencers.

Developing a Seeding Strategy

Product seeding isn’t as simple as just randomly sending influencers packages full of free products. You need to consider your goals for the campaign and decide on the best way to work toward those specific goals in your product seeding strategy. Ensure your product package is as distinct and engaging as possible to increase the odds the influencers will post about them. 

Utilization of Technology

A product seeding platform or influencer gifting platform can help facilitate these strategies. This technology helps partner you with suitable influencers to send products to and facilitates monitoring those partnerships. 

Legal Considerations and Transparent Practices

Product seeding is still marketing for your company, so you must adhere to all legal guidelines. A key requirement some brands and influencers overlook is disclosure. Make sure the influencers know they must be transparent about partnerships and disclose if they received the products as free gifts. 

What Is an Example of a Seeding Strategy?

One of the best product seeding examples you can use for inspiration is from LUSH. LUSH is a skincare and bath products brand that sends boxes full of free products from their new collections to influencers. Some of the influencers then post, showing off their LUSH products, making the seeding strategy a success. Compared to other marketing strategies, influencer seeding examples seem more authentic and, thus, are ultimately more effective. 

Seeding Programs and Collaboration Programs

Collaboration programs and seeding programs ideally benefit both brands and influencers. For example, the seeding program Temu uses lets influencers receive up to $1,000 every other month. The brands hopefully receive promotion and good press while the influencers enjoy free stuff. 

If running one of these programs sounds exhausting, that’s where a product seeding platform comes in. These platforms are designed to streamline the influencer seeding process for brands and agencies, allowing them to reap the benefits of this strategy while investing less time and effort. 

Partnering with an Influencer Seeding Agency

Another option is to partner with an influencer seeding agency. Working with one of these agencies allows your brand to tap into their expertise in this field. You’ll save time and get results without having to spend time building your own influencer product seeding campaign. You can also use an influencer marketing AI tool like Lionize, to cut costs while also saving time.

Start Your Influencer Seeding Program With Lionize AI

You don’t need a huge budget or influencer marketing expertise to launch your own successful influencer seeding campaign. An influencer marketing platform like Lionize will help you execute this strategy without all the usual headaches. Try the platform for free today to start your own influencer marketing program.