HOW TO ACE THE CELEB GIFTING GAME
We’ve seen the word bandy around a lot by gushing celebrities and influencers, proudly showcasing on social media their fav brands. But what does that mean? Gifting is a time-honoured way of getting publicity for your brand or product. Gifting is also known as seeding, in the hope of gaining advertising, the process of submitting a product to a celebrity, newspaper or influencer, free of charge. In support of the product, the aim is often to secure a social media message, immediate gratification and worldwide promotion. A gifting campaign, however, may also help to increase brand awareness and broader advocacy for brands. Soliciting suggestions from word of mouth. Every brand knows there’s nothing like a celebrity endorsement to offer a major boost to public confidence, so it seems like a no brainer to raid the warehouse, right?
In principle, to main celebrity objectives, you mail out a bunch of items, chuck in a praise slip and sit back and wait for a sales spike. Sadly, it isn’t always that easy. In the gifting game, there is a significant element of chance involved. Gifting can be considered a relatively low-risk-high-yield investment for larger brands with looser purse strings, though. Although it’s not an exact science, there are some things that brands can do to give their best chance of success to their celeb gifting campaign.
A little gifting guide in the spirit of warning brands of any future pitfalls and help ensure that your charitable offerings are well received.
Choose the right person for your brand
First and foremost, make sure that you remember celebrities who have an organic bond with your brand, who have used your product of their own volition, or who you sincerely believe will appreciate your product. If you collapse at the first hurdle, none of this is going to reap rewards. Don’t go to celebrities already enrolled in endorsement agreements with rival brands as they will not be able to promote the brand because their hands are tied.
Do your analysis
This is something we hear a lot, but doing your homework will give you the edge. Every day, celebrities receive a lot of samples and gifted items and those that make a bond are the brands that stand out. Is he a fashion fanatic? Are they fond of chocolate? Are they popular for their accessories for rocking pets? Finding a way to appeal to them; what they do, what they want, will reinforce breakthrough.
Give a heads up before reaching out
Always check before sending a product to the celebrity. Blindly reaching out without agreement is a one-way ticket to the bottom of the bargain bin of a PR worker. Gifting goes through a talent agent nine times out of ten, who receives the initial pitch. To keep an eye out for your gift, it is best to be respectful and give their representative a heads up. They will also be able to give you a handle on whether their customer is likely to accept or discard the gift. Take a look at the manual on the distinctions between positions in talent management and find out whether you can contact an agent, manager or publicist.
Make a good impression
On that note, make sure that you are friends with their agents or publicists, take them out for breakfast, keep the conversation going, and also give them a gift. It’s a good idea to get started on the right foot, especially if there is a big client of potential targets with that specific agent. A black mark against your name could significantly harm the outreach of potential campaigns.
Make it special and exclusive
A faux-pas gift would be to send two similar emails about multiple talents they represent to the same organisation. It’s going to let them in on how wide you cast your net and make it seem like they’re not the first choice. It’s all right to send one email listing several customers in which you are involved.
Personalize the gift:
Instead of a normal send-out, a personalised gift that shows you have thought about that person will give your product that extra attention than other brands.
Invest in a courier
Don’t put an object in the message. Even though it will most likely get lost or redirected, if hand delivered, your gift will look even more impressive. Investing in a courier that normally charges by the hour is worth it. A bike is typically ideal for a single delivery, and several drops, a small van will do.
Don’t be too needy
Agents know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so they’re not obligated to do you any favours at the end of the day. It’s easier to approach the quid pro quo agreement with tact rather than demanding social coverage outright. ‘It would be awesome if you could use this hashtag to tweet,’ or ‘if they like the piece, we’d love to share them on Instagram and tag us’ will do the trick. It won’t get you anywhere and is likely to ruffle a few feathers. Don’t be too needy or assume a big coverage.
Invest in a Public Relations Agency
If you’re spread thin and time-starved, partner with a PR & Influencer Marketing agency that specialises in Celeb Gifting. It is a smart idea to get an external agency to do the heavy lifting since their fee would usually involve a gift reduction. Some agencies are more likely to have personal ties with agents, talents or celebrities that can be called upon over years of campaigns that have been cultivated. So, go and look for a PR and Influencer Marketing Agency
Try the indirect approach
In the expectation that they would pass it on, an alternative to talent representation will be to give gifts to their assistants or stylists. Stylists and make-up artists are an especially good idea if the product is fashion or beauty related; something that the professional might be tempted to use on their customer, which is a natural way of putting it in front of the talent. And if they happen to like it, your purpose is served.
Keep an eye on special occasions
Have a look at any related industry activities that suit your timetable for your campaign. Having the items included in gifting suites and goodie bags is another way to attract celebrities. This strategy can be associated with expense, but the potential rate of return can be high. Gifting suites and goodie bags are a sure-fire way of bringing the item directly into the hands of celebrities, but they also do not provide coverage assurances. Still, it is worth a shot, if you have done your homework.
Be sure to check in with the agents or assistants once your gifting campaign is in full swing and see if anything has been obtained to get their input. Track networks and don’t be scared to shout about your performance until coverage has been secured. On your official platforms, retweet any tweets and repost all mentions. And this is how you can master the skill of celeb gifting.