Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most effective ways to reach a targeted audience. And while it's not always easy, there are a series of actionable steps you can take to use this marketing method and benefit from it. Companies that have experienced tremendous success with influencer marketing have typically taken an approach known as "product seeding."
Fashion Nova has used product seeding to their advantage, essentially building its brand around some of the most prominent influencers, each of whom has a massive following.
The company has currently enlisted the help of around 5K mega influencers who will post Fashion Nova content here and there that appears more like a casual conversation between friends than it does an advertisement.
This marketing method has worked in favour of the fast fashion brand. The company's founder, Richard Saghian, is believed to be worth roughly $1.4 billion, selling around $500 million worth of merchandise in 2021 alone.
The influencer marketing industry is expected to reach a staggering $16.4B by the end of 2022.
Dozens of companies are starting to follow Fashion Nova's lead, using product seeding to connect with their audience on a deeper, more personal level.
1. SUGAR Cosmetics, founded in 2015 with only TWO products to its name at the time, is now worth $30 billion. Despite the company's humble beginnings, the founder's decision to utilise influencer marketing paid off, with social media marketing and viral videos helping the brand flourish!
2. Gymshark became a billion-dollar DTC fitness brand by utilising the power of influencer campaigns.
3. Another company exceeding initial expectations because of influencer marketing, PrettyLittleThing has experienced astronomical growth. Working with celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj, to name a few, the brand has become the fastest-growing e-commerce fashion company.
If you want to increase your brand's visibility and make more sales, ultimately leading to a significant profit earned each day, product seeding and influencer-generated content are necessary. There are endless possibilities for this type of content, including web content, product reviews, tutorials, and much more. Before you know it, you will begin noticing an increased interest in your brand and what you offer.
If you're ready to master marketing and resonate with your audience, consider taking two approaches – influencer-generated content and user-generated content, both of which can make a difference in your marketing strategy.
The Impact of Influencer Marketing on E-Commerce Conversion Rates and Sales
The global influencer marketing industry will reach $24.1 billion by 2025.
87% of e-commerce shoppers depend on social media reviews to help them decide where to make a purchase or not.
49% of customers rely on the recommendations of influencers before ordering online
With numbers like these, it's not hard to see why more companies rely on influencer marketing and user-generated content to sell their products and services to the masses. In fact, many leading brands in the industry have already taken the initiative to rely on this marketing method to increase brand awareness and boost sales.
What you will discover in this guide:
Most consumers will spend more than 5 hours per day watching user-generated content.
📱 70% of consumers will consider user-generated content reviews before spending money on something specific.
🙌 93% of customers agree that user-generated content is valuable in helping them decide whether to make a purchase.
Source: Everyone Social
The statistics speak for themselves, making understanding user-generated and influencer-generated content's overall value easier.
The influencer marketing market proliferated between 2016 and 2020, increasing from $1.7 billion to $9.7 billion four years later.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
The first step to getting started is understanding the differences between user-generated content and influencer content.
When relying on user-generated content, you depend on any customers, whether they have a following or not, to discuss your products in the content they've created.
Influencer-generated content is any content created by someone with a following of a minimum of 5K people, but usually much more than that.
In most cases, content produced by influencers is sponsored, but content created by everyday users isn't sponsored, meaning it's more honest and open to the public.
61% of consumers trust influencers' recommendations, giving your brand more credibility than ever.
With influencer-generated content, you essentially have influencers with thousands of followers producing content on your brand, which means they will talk positively about the products you provide.
It's an excellent way to get more people interested in your brand and the products you sell because those who follow these influencers will feel more inclined to make the purchases.
While this content is occasionally sponsored, it's not always sponsored, and sometimes influencers make the content themselves because they love what the product does for them. s someone with a following, most would consider the influencer a trusted and reliable source who wouldn't steer them in the wrong direction. As a result, consumers who follow that influencer are more likely to purchase the products that the individual mentions in photos and videos posted to social media.
Many big and small companies are using influencer marketing to gain credibility. While small businesses benefit the most from this, larger corporations, including Nike, Dunkin' Donuts, and Chipotle are taking advantage of the opportunity to reach new audiences and make more sales.
1. American Eagle
The brand has been around since 1977 but has had its fair share of highs and lows. Even as things may have been dying out for the brand within the last five years, the brand decided to partner with the famous social media influencer Addison Rae.
The partnership helped American Eagle advertise its new line of "Mom Jeans." Because of Addison Rae, the brand is making a name for itself again.
So, not only did the partnership enable them to gain more credibility, but it also made it possible for the brand to receive more user-generated content than it had before.
2. Sun Peaks Resort
An incredible ski resort situated in British Columbia, wanted to bring more attention to consumers and showcase what it had to offer.
With engaging content posted by influencers on different platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, consumers were getting what appeared to be a "sneak peek" at what Sun Peaks Resort is like, ultimately leading to more reservations!
Stunning images, daily Instagram stories, and short Facebook videos drove 200,000+ article views of three minutes or more, creating massive interest in Sun Peaks’ target market.
Influencer content allows brands to reduce advertising expenses, saving them more money in the long run. Not so sure?
Known for its two-piece machine washable rug system, spent 25% less on influencer marketing while receiving a 32% higher return on the investment.
The famous dog influencers Asher and Ashby have an Instagram account featuring the mischiefs of two corgis with about 30K followers.
Rugglable got more than 100 high-quality pieces of content from Asher and Ashby that they reused on their website, paid ads, emails and social media campaigns.
2. Aura Frames
Leverages influencer marketing and saves roughly 50% of its monthly content budget.
The company needed an efficient way to scale its content strategy without breaking the bank. According to Christine Zalocha, their VP of Marketing, the burn rate on digital marketing content falls from four to seven days.
20% of Aura Frames’ sales are attributed to Influencer Generated Content, or paid ads featuring influencer content
Influencer Generated Content allowed them to get over 650 pieces of content that they repurposed in over 13K custom videos to test and understand the content that truly works for the brand.
60% of marketers say influencer-generated content performs better and increases engagement over traditional branded posts.
Source: The social sheperd
1. Benefit Cosmetics
Increased awareness of its brand, with more consumers recognising its authenticity due to powerful influencer marketing strategies on social platforms such as TikTok.
By taking an omnichannel approach, the brand connected with a larger group of people, increasing organic impressions and gaining more sales.
The global beauty brand partnered with a diverse group of creators via Instagram and TikTok, to promote their new Brow Microfilling Pen. This approach achieved 2.3M organic impressions
Take a closer look at the results of Benefit’s campaign:
Doubled views on its products by working with popular TikTok influencers. The company has also enlisted the help of some of today's leading Gen Z influencers, including Jaden Smith, to help showcase the products they sell. This approach has helped the brand appear to be more authentic to the average consumer.
Levi’s digital business accounts for over 15% of its total revenue, a 2X increase in just 3 years.
Levis’s combined the power of their Future Finish 3D technology to customise denim products and influencer marketing to create authentic campaigns.
The number of global social media users continues to increase from 4.2 billion to 4.62 billion between January 2021 and January 2022.
Increasing social content is a fantastic way for brands to gain attention from millions of users daily because of the growing number of people who use social media daily.
The coffee brand has learned how to use the power of social media and influencer marketing to its advantage.
The platform has increased the amount of social content pushed out to its 35 million Facebook followers and 18 million Instagram followers, creating fun hashtags and other ways to interact with individuals that support the business.
A Grande Cloud Machiatto for Ari!
Starbucks partnered with Ariana Grande to launch her own drink, the Cloud Machiatto. A single post from the artist generated nearly 3M likes.
Is another major company with a massive following of over 150 million people on Instagram and 35 million on Facebook. The company uses this to its advantage, regularly posting engaging and relatable content to consumers that resonate with them instead of coming off as too salesy.
85% of business owners agree that branded communities have positively impacted business.
Source: Views for Change
It has built its brand around community members. Groups of people with a passion for LEGOs can connect, share insights, find collectable pieces, and so much more, which means more business for the company.
Popular cosmetics store Sephora has built a solid following with its Beauty INSIDER community. People of all ages can join the community for inspiration, helpful tips, product reviews, general beauty advice, and more. And what does this mean for Sephora? More sales!
Sephora’s Squad influencer campaign launched in 2019 with 70 influencers, including Iyana and yayayayoung.
The community has grown to over 5.7M members, who’ve created over 2.8M posts for Sephora.
Source: Fast Company
81% of retail shoppers will spend time researching a product online before they decide to buy it. Retail shoppers who do research beforehand are considered informed customers.
Studies show many of the best well-informed shoppers are buying store brand products instead of the name brand, higher priced items in the stores. So, what does this mean? It means brands of all sizes can get ahead, even relatively new, by offering lower prices on high-quality products.
Some companies are experiencing a drastic increase in conversion rates and gaining consumer loyalty after relying on influencer marketing.
1. Windsor saw a 29% increase in web conversions after relying heavily on social media marketing, highlighting user-generated content on their accounts.
2. DMC has relied on user-generated content and influencer marketing, helping them increase consumer engagement. The valuable content allows the needlework material company to breathe new life into its marketing strategy while connecting with more consumers than ever before and boosting conversion rates.
3. With its #TravelforReal campaign, Loews Hotels increased engagement rates, getting more people to make reservations for a stay at one of their many hotels!
How Unbottled used product seeding to inaugurate its flagship store in Paris
Unbottled gave away 100 solid-shampoo products to the first 100 visitors of their shop!
The plastic-free personal care company, recently opened its flagship store in Paris… accompanied by no other than former Miss France and influencer, Alexandra Rosenfeld.
People lined up for more than an hour to discover Unbottled’s products and take selfies with Alexandra and the company founders.
👉👉 Discover Unbottled’s success story with Bigblue
22% of shoppers will abandon their carts when purchasing items will take too long to get to them. Don’t miss out on making the sale because of SLOW shipping times.
If you want your business to succeed, the best way to get it to do so is to facilitate long-term relationships with the types of influencers with core values that align with your brand's values. In addition, it's best to give rather than ask these influencers to do something for you. This is a technique best known as product seeding.
So, what does this mean? Instead of asking an influencer to support your business, you send them free products without expecting anything from them. It doesn't guarantee that they will make a post about your business, but there is a relatively good chance they will. Most influencers will genuinely appreciate receiving the free merchandise and will likely post about it, whether in pictures or videos.
Dermalogica uses Bigblue for their product seeding strategy
Dermalogica uses Bigblue’s gift-App feature to offer free products to their client’s orders. How does it work? Dermalogica can either establish conditions to add gifts (promo codes, purchase amount) or launch seasonal marketing campaigns to automatically offer a gift to each order on a given period.
See how Dermalogica’s product seeding strategy makes influencers jump straight to TikTok to share their unboxing experience.
👉 Discover Dermalogica’s success story
80% of consumers prefer to see photos from real customers or UGC rather than stock images.
While influencer-generated content is a big deal because it can help brands of all sizes reach their targeted audience, boost engagement, and drastically increase conversion rates, it's not the only type of content working wonders. User-generated content is becoming an increasingly effective way for companies to increase visibility online, which leads to more web traffic and sales.
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by the average consumer. Rather than paying these individuals to make content about your brand, you're exceeding their expectations enough to make them want to create content independently. From the quality of the products to the unboxing experience you provide, these are the things that leave a lasting impression and get people to post pictures and videos of them using a product or talking about what they like most about it.
+48% of consumers agree that UGC helps them discover brands and products.
User-generated content greatly impacts CRO because most consumers conduct extensive research before buying products. In addition, the internet has become a valuable tool, making it easier for consumers to find reviews, tutorials, and so much more before they've even invested their funds into these products. With that in mind, the consumers searching for information on products may come across different types of user-generated content that encourages them to buy a product because of how good it works.
1. Calvin Kelin
Created the in #MyCalvins campaign, working with mega influencers and celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Kendrick Lamar. It's helped the brand gain visibility, increase sales, and connect with new audiences like never before.
The famous loungewear brand, started mastering the art of user-generated content as early as 2014 when it announced it would no longer retouch its models' bodies, providing authentic images of women in its clothing and accessories.
The hashtag #AerieReal went viral and helped the brand gain more attention than ever. The brand is now valued at over $5 billion.
Use your unboxing experience to generate more UGC
Cabaia’s unique unboxing, made possible by Bigblue has revealed 50 million views on TikTok!
To discover your brand’s unboxing virality potential go to TikTok Discover and look up your brand’s name + unboxing.
👉 Discover Bigblue’s unboxing experience
1. People like watching tutorials and product reviews created by random people because they provide a greater sense of authenticity.
2. Most consumers find UGC incredibly relatable because it's often created by people who look like them, act like them, or even have similar interests.
3. There are so many ways to find user-generated content across different platforms. The most common platforms used include Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.
FROM FUTURE teamed up with Bigblue to deliver the most extraordinary experience to customers with custom packaging provided.
As a result, buyer satisfaction increased by 89% within the short span of four months.
👉 Discover From Future’s success story
49% of TikTok users find products through videos created by brands, creators, and other social media users. Roughly 37% of those individuals bought the TikTok products after learning about them on the platform.
Source: TikTok’s Path to Purchase Report
You're probably asking yourself, "Which is better - user-generated or influencer-generated content?" The truth is that both are incredibly powerful, but it's all about knowing how to use them. It's also about working with what you can afford based on your budget for marketing-related expenses.
User-generated content is likely best for you if you're:
However, influencer-generated content may be the best option if you're:
But this doesn't mean you can't use a little bit of both. Some brands combine the two to supercharge their marketing efforts, and you can do the same. Check out this list of some of the pros and cons of each type of content.
61% of consumers prefer recommendations from influencers over branded social media content.
50.7% of brands that work with influencers for product seeding purposes own an e-commerce shop.
The influencer marketing industry has a value of over $13 billion.
Before using product seeding, it helps to know the many benefits you can expect to reap when you use it as a valuable marketing tool. With product seeding, you will have the opportunity to:
💜 Some companies you may know and love best use product seeding as a strategy, such as LUSH, Zaful, and Graze.
If these are the benefits you want to experience, follow the actionable steps below to get started.
If you send free products to influencers and customers, and some of them create content surrounding your brand and its products, include that content on your website! There are many ways to do this, such as:
Create an Influencer-Friendly Website
Add a sign-up page for brand ambassadors (influencers willing to represent your brand)
Always create landing pages for any promotional offer, special deal, or event taking place
Include different types of influencer content throughout your website to gain attention and build trust with the consumers
56% of online shoppers have bought a product after seeing a post from an influencer they trust.
Most marketers envision carefully curated social media posts when they think of influencer-generated content that gets consumers' attention. Although most of the different types of influencer-generated content are readily available on social media platforms, such as TikTok, marketers can add more value to this content by integrating some of the posts from influencers into their web content.
Product seeding is the way to go if you want how-to and FAQ content. Send influencers these products, and if you think they might struggle with using them, include a nice little note with instructions in the packaging. Once they see the magic unfold in front of them, they will want to share that with their followers, which means they're more likely to create how-to content.
Discover what type of influencers you should partner with
Kolsquare shared with us this useful table with the engagement rates you should look for nano, micro and macro influencers on each platform.
👉 Contact the Kolsquare team
Work on collecting how-to and FAQ content. Why? It shows consumers how to use the product AND answers many questions they might have before buying.
Need an example? KISS, the famous cosmetic brand, made waves on social media with Falscara, an at-home eyelash extension kit that uses segmented lashes instead of strip lashes or individual lashes. And what caused such a stir? Posts from consumers on social media.
Once consumers started creating short-form videos on how to apply the under-lash system, these lash kits began selling out in stores.
In addition, major beauty influencers decided to try them, including Mikayla Nogueria, the 24-year-old makeup guru with a massive TikTok following of 13.6 million.
Can you imagine how many people learned about Falscara and decided to buy it because of her post showing how to use it?
How to Get the Content You Need
After posting the first video to platforms like TikTok, consumers will likely have questions. The great thing about this is that the influencers can reply to these questions with video content, essentially answering FAQs for your brand so that you don't have to do it. It's an effective marketing strategy that saves you time and money!
See how Si Si La Paillette uses its FAQs to produce viral content on TikTok
👉 See how Eco-friendly beauty brands use Bigblue
Nearly 79% of consumers will trust reviews from influencers.
Source: Council Post: How Revenue Can Increase Through Reviews
Go above and beyond to exceed expectations, and you can increase your chances of having influencers create product reviews for the items you sell. How exactly can you go above and beyond? Follow these steps:
If you're providing an extraordinary experience, influencers will get excited about unboxing your products, making them want to pull out the phone to start recording. Once they've created content surrounding your brand, it's easier to reel in an entirely new audience.
Lashilé Beauty displays customer reviews on its website to boost sales
Lashilé Beauty trusts Bigblue to delight customers with a 5-star-worthy delivery experience.
⚙️ Recommended tool: Use Loox App to add video and photo reviews to your product pages like Lashilé.
👉 Discover Lashile’s case study
The adoption of Live Shopping events has increased by a staggering 78% in the last year
Don't underestimate the power of virtual events! Because of the pandemic, many companies had to get creative when launching new products to the masses, ultimately leading to virtual events that have become increasingly popular.
If you don't want to host in-person events, you can prepare for product launches by hyping them up and inviting a few select influencers to attend the launch. If you make it feel exclusive, you can garner more interest and get more people to attend.
Influencers will get excited about trying out these new products and sharing them with the rest of the world.
Hashtag challenges and contests generate a 21% increase in UGC video creation.
While 50% of Hashtag Challenges drive $5 dollars of return in Ads spend
Guest blogging is another way to share product details and get consumers excited about the upcoming release of anything you may plan to offer.
Reach out to bloggers within your niche and ask if you can create a guest post on their site.
While some may turn you down, others will agree to let you create a compelling post for their blog site, meaning more exposure for your brand!
Impala Skates partnered with roller skater and influencer Marawa to launch a collection of high-heeled skates.
Their giveaways gathered over 70K posts from excited skaters ready to roll!
47.3% of influencers are considered micro-influencers, with around 20,000 followers on their social media platform.
You don't have to reach out to mega influencers to succeed at product seeding. Did you know that micro-influencers tend to have better engagement rates, which means reaching out to everyday people with thousands of followers instead of millions to achieve your marketing goals.
This content created from your product seeding efforts will enable you to dramatically boost your CRO throughout the customer journey.
Getting organic posts from consumers is a fantastic way to gain awareness and build a positive reputation for your brand online. Try these steps to get more organic posts from consumers on your products:
Your effort in connecting with influencers and product seeding can lead to you receiving dozens of valuable user-generated content each month. Even if you’re not getting tons of content initially, have patience, keep reaching out, and allow the posts to come naturally!
Paid media is another option to consider. While organic posts can help you throughout your marketing journey, you can work with experts to help you redistribute your influencer content to other platforms, such as Facebook. It enables you to reproduce this content in multiple places to ensure that more people are finding the user-generated content created on your brand and the products you sell.
Did you know influencer whitelisting is a thing? With this process, the influencer allows brands to access their social media to post advertisements here and there. It's not the most user-friendly approach compared to influencer-generated and user-generated content because most can tell that these are advertisements.
However, there are ways to use this opportunity to your advantage. You can run paid ads on platforms like Facebook, but you will need permission from the influencer beforehand.
Bigblue client ROWSE uses Influencer Whitelisting on Facebook Ads to reduce their CAC by 30% and increase their ROAS by 5X!
👉 Contact Simon Robert and start using Influencer Whitelisting on your campaigns
Dark posting is yet another option that can help you increase visibility and get more people interested in what your brand offers. With dark posting, you're placing a social media advertisement in the news feeds of your targeted audience, but this content doesn't get displayed on your timeline.
If a random person visited your company's profile page on Facebook, they wouldn't see this advertisement. However, someone following your company could come across this advertisement when scrolling through their newsfeed.
❤️🔥Use dark posting as a way to repurpose some of the influencer-generated and user-generated content you’ve collected.