Why D2C brands are using Product seeding?

Why D2C brands are using Product seeding?

Julie Cauville

Julie Cauville

January 5, 2023

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Why D2C brands are using Product seeding

Product seeding helps brands connect with audiences on a new level. It makes it easy for businesses to offer a free product that surprises the consumers, gets them excited, and ultimately leads to influencer-generated and user-generated content.

Benefit Cosmetics is an excellent example of using product seeding to its advantage. The cosmetics company started a campaign for its new tint, Benetint, and it's certainly gone viral on TikTok. In this video, the user includes an image of the lip and cheek tint, including a caption that mentions wanting to try the tint because it's going viral. But there are also plenty of other videos on Benetint. If you use the search feature to look up the product on TikTok, you will see hundreds of videos with an accumulated 11.7M views!

Benefit Cosmetics isn't new to using product seeding and influencers to leave their mark. In a previous campaign for their Microfilling Pen, they sent products to an exclusive group of influencers which led to influencer-generated content that helped the brand get over 2M organic impressions.

Example of a TikTok video using #benetint with more than 2.3M views.

The benefits of using product seeding as a D2C brand are tremendous. When using product seeding, you can build better relationships with influencers who may look forward to discussing new products from your business as you release them. You can gain brand loyalty from influencers and consumers who trust their opinions and recommendations, which is a big deal. In addition, product seeding is a cost-effective way to advertise your brand and get the recognition you need to keep growing and expanding. If you're looking forward to reaching new audiences while coming off as an authentic and genuine brand that cares about its customers, product seeding is an excellent technique to use.

Influencer seeding: what is this marketing technique?

Now that you're aware of the benefits of product seeding and how companies like Benefit Cosmetics use this technique to their advantage, you may ask yourself, "What is influencer seeding?" The answer is quite simple.

With influencer seeding, you send specific products to a targeted group of people. But, of course, these people are influencers with plenty of followers who pay attention to them and trust their opinions. After sending the product to them, they unbox it, give it a try, and discuss the product with their followers in content uploaded to social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok.

By taking this approach, you're not necessarily worrying too much about building a deep relationship with one influencer. Instead, you're creating a partnership with dozens of influencers who can help spread the word about your brand and the products you offer. It's a fantastic way to get your brand noticed by various audiences instead of one single targeted audience.

Bloom Nutrition is an example of a company that uses influencer seeding to gain recognition from consumers. You can find nearly every influencer on TikTok using Bloom Nutrition's greens at some point or another. And if you search Bloom Greens on TikTok, you will come across hundreds of videos of people using the product. These videos have a combined 590.1M views, helping the company broaden its reach further than ever in no time.

Is it a good idea to use influencer seeding?

Using influencer seeding is an excellent idea if you want to experience growth and appear more credible to consumers.

When you can boost credibility, it's easier to make sales because the consumers will trust your brand. An influencer seeding technique helps you reach out to dozens of micro-influencers, some of whom have excellent engagement rates.

More brands are taking this approach to marketing their products to increase visibility in no time while spending less of their time handling influencer management-related tasks. Some have experienced such success with this seeding technique that several influencers are now working as brand ambassadors for them, often raving about the products the brand offers and building hype over new releases.

So, is it a good idea to use influencer seeding as a marketing strategy for your D2C brand? Absolutely. However, you have to know how to do it right, selecting the best influencers to work with based on different factors, including the types of content they share on social media. For example, if you have a beauty brand, you may look forward to reaching out to influencers who regularly review beauty products or appear to go shopping for items like yours more often than not.

Do I need to pay influencers for their content?

You're probably wondering if you will need to pay influencers to discuss your products and create content surrounding your brand. If you're a smaller brand, you may not have a large budget to work with, causing some concern if you're expected to pay influencers for their opinions. But the whole idea behind influencer seeding is to provide your product in exchange for their content. So, you don't necessarily need to pay an influencer, but there are a few things you need to know beforehand, such as:

  • Some influencers receive a lot of free gifts, especially incredibly popular ones with large followings, meaning they might not care as much about the free products you send
  • If you want to ensure the influencers will get excited about getting something for free, look for micro-influencers with relatively high engagement rates
  • Choose people with personalities that align with yours and the values you've built your brand upon to increase your chances of getting the high-quality influencer-generated content you desire
  • Actively pursue relationships with micro-influencers because they will feel more inclined to make content on your products when receiving the items for free

If you keep these details in mind, you can succeed with influencer seeding without paying out of pocket for it. Of course, if you want to work with mega influencers, it's still an option. However, you would need to determine how much that influencer would charge in addition to receiving free products and then decide if it's worth it.

In short, do you have to pay an influencer when using product seeding as a technique? No. But if you plan to reach out to mega influencers, they just might charge you!

ūüí° 47.3% of influencers are considered micro-influencers, with around 20,000 followers on their social media platform.

How popular brands are using product seeding to their advantage

Several popular, well-recognized brands are using product seeding to their advantage. They've discovered this is a valuable way to boost marketing efforts and are taking the initiative to work with dozens of different influencers to help increase the visibility of their brands and products.

Leading skincare brand Dermalogica, known for its wide selection of vegan and cruelty-free products for the face, uses influencer marketing and product seeding to strengthen its connection with consumers. The brand started this initiative before the pandemic hit but has since bolstered its efforts to broaden its reach. In one seeding campaign, the company reached out to 140 influencers, with 95% of these individuals posting about the brand on their social media platforms.

But how did they get such a great response rate without paying influencers to post about them? They communicated clearly, provided high-quality products, and gave influencers a two-month window to create their posts, which helped create a true recipe for success.

Impala Skates is another company benefiting from the power of social media. While roller skating is definitely back in, the love for this activity heightened during the pandemic when most were stuck at home, looking for something to do, and browsing through TikTok. It wouldn't take long for the brand to build a massive loyal social media following of people who buy from them and post content to social media of themselves using these roller skates, including influencers! By sending a pair of trusty skates to a few influencers, the brand has managed to connect with a younger generation of people who look forward to roller skating, some for the very first time in their lives.


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Dermalogica continues to connect with influencers by providing a PR haul. In these hauls, influencers are unboxing products and talking about them, detailing what they do or what they're used for, which helps increase engagement. It's easy to find Dermalogica PR hauls on nearly every social media platform, including TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube!

Sezane prides itself on providing luxury clothing at the fairest prices. It's also a company that has built a name for itself by leveraging the power of influencer marketing. As a digital brand from the start, creating a sense of exclusivity while offering vintage-inspired pieces helped Sezane amass a sizable organic following, with over a million followers on Instagram alone. The love for this brand spread like wildfire from the minute influencers started posting about it. Now, every influencer and their mothers (quite literally) are wearing the brand and tagging it in their photos, which only helps increase visibility even further.