What is creative seeding? It is a common practice in influencer marketing and it consists of sending a selection of products to influencers, journalists, and bloggers, to increase media coverage for your brand. In these hard and unusual times, when IRL events are hard to plan and even banned in some areas, we have used this technique a lot, for our Smart Press Days, to reach the industry press representatives who are best placed to promote our customers’ products. This is what creative seeding is all about: you “seed” your products and watch social media posts, articles, and engagement “grow”. This allows you to build excellent relationships with media representatives, who never fail to appreciate a well-packaged gift. Today we would like to share with you the 4 key points of an effective creative seeding campaign.
1. Packaging matters
While the product should of course be the centrepiece of any campaign, the packaging is vital to good creative seeding. You should never send samples to the press or to influencers using the same packaging that will be on sale in stores. For our Smart Press Days, we design packaging specifically to enhance the product, as well as the spirit and key values of the company. A brand that presents itself as eco-friendly, for instance, should prefer packaging made of natural or recycled materials, with a graphic and chromatic identity that echoes these values. It is also worth doing some preventive research on the recipients of the creative seeding campaign, to identify and design the type of packaging that can arouse their interest and their desire to talk about the product.
2. Creative seeding should be a surprise for the recipient: don’t forget to include a special gift
When giving a gift to an influencer or a member of the press, especially if you don’t have the opportunity to do so during an event, it is important to turn it into an experience. For this reason, we never fail to include a special gift or a valuable gadget in our packaging. Going back to the idea of a sustainable brand, something you could do is attaching the campaign information materials as printed-out brochures, but as data, saved on branded USB flash drive (brownie points it the outer shell is made out of wood or recycled plastics). This not only demonstrates the brand’s environmental awareness but also offers the recipient a useful and beautiful object, which will certainly be used in everyday life.
3. Catering delivery: a “tasty” surprise
This is one of our favourite treats to include in gift-boxes to influencers because it is the one that most of all allows us to bring the experience of creative seeding closer to that of a “real” event. Based on our client’s style and requests, we include special snacks or beverages in each box. Everything, of course, is specially packaged and carefully selected to be safe to handle and to keep fresh, but also to reflect the brand’s identity. The influencer or journalist who receives the box can then associate the product with a richer and more complex multisensory experience than simply receiving a package.
4. Plan for a satisfying unboxing
Let’s stop and think for a moment: why does creative seeding focus on designing beautiful, elegant, and surprising packaging? The answer is obvious: because unboxing videos are a thing and because the public watches them greedily. It would be naive to think that all the care that goes into creating such special packaging had no other purpose than to allow the recipient to open them in the privacy of their own home and then throw them away. The opening of the packaging is designed to be a public moment, shared, filmed, and distributed on social media, with specific comments on every aspect of the packaging, from the materials to the design, from the smells and sounds to the tactile sensations that come with each individual element. Nothing should be left to chance. That’s why we select every little detail with extreme care when planning our Smart Press Days: what we are creating is not simply a gift-package. It is a collective experience.