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Gifting to KOLs: How Do These Campaigns Boost Product Launches and Strengthen Social Proof?

Influencer gifting campaigns are positioning themselves as an effective marketing strategy for product launches, offering a privileged route to generating social proof, increasing awareness and boosting sales.

Gifting influencer
Gifting influencer

The act of providing free products to KOLs makes them happy, and if they're convinced, they'll highlight them with an authentic and sincere review. This initial gratuity already establishes 20% of the path towards a relationship of trust between the content creator and the brand. Using a specific KOL allows you to precisely target the right people and the audience that best resonates with the brand for optimal impact.

The concept of the gift encourages the KOL to create "spontaneous" content, imbued with passion and enthusiasm, much more so than in a paid collaboration where guidelines can be rigid and precise. Finally, the work cycle of a content creator concludes with the reach of their message, with a higher engagement rate among nano and micro KOLs, reaching an average of 2.53%, the highest among the different types of KOLs.

This engagement rate has a direct impact on the sales that this investment will generate. However, sending a gift to a KOL doesn't necessarily guarantee their conviction about the product, and this lack of conviction can result in a failed campaign and, consequently, a loss.

To avoid this, the alignment of interests between the brand and the KOL must be clear from the outset. You need to choose the right players and surround yourself with the right people to avoid any mishaps. Technological solutions like Kolsquare exist precisely to meet these needs and maximize the strategic and operational investment of any Influencer Marketing campaign, thanks to enriching insights and effective follow-up.

Success Story : L'Oréal Pro x Wellcom

In 2023, L'Oréal Pro in collaboration with the Wellcom agency ran a campaign to launch its new Steamppod 4 steam straighteners with Kolsquare. Identified beauty KOLs received the products and shared their opinions and experiences on social networks. In the end, the Steampod 4 launch enabled over 80 influencers - micros, macros and tops - to conduct reviews in the form of videos on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok simultaneously. The campaign generated a total of:

  • Over 1. impressions.
  • 5% engagement rate.
  • 20% increase in sales.

Charlotte Caron, Strategy Director in charge of influencer strategies at Wellcom, details the strategy implemented:

We have identified two types of end-consumer profiles:

* the prescribers = 'trend setters' who like to test niche/expert products, and if possible, before everyone else;

* the 'gifteurs' = people looking for the perfect gift for their loved ones (or even for themselves!), such as parents or families of teenagers, in particular.

In the next phase of our strategy, our selection focused on content creators with heterogeneous profiles, thus ensuring effective communication across all targeted segments. This diversity was particularly evident through the choice of personalities with varied hair characteristics, allowing for optimal identification of each individual within our audience through the disseminated content.

In the case of the L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod 4, we rolled out the campaign in three stages:

* 1 = we first targeted the trend setters to give them a sense of exclusivity/premiere;

* 2 = we expanded our target to reach a broader audience, with the goal of making our product a must-have for year-end gifts;

* 3 = media coverage of certain content to amplify the campaign.

Social Proof is established when we offer authentic content with (in our case) before/after results to show the product's effectiveness in real situations.

DO: provide influencers with as much information about the product as possible (and be available to answer questions from their communities once the content has been posted) so that they can fully embrace the product.

DON'T: impose a specific type of content (such as doing a particular hairstyle...) as this would detract from the authenticity of the content.

This type of varied content, rooted in the daily lives of content creators, will allow communities to project themselves and inspire them to want to try the product, either by seeking information in-store and/or by purchasing the product directly."

Responsible Gifting: Ethics in Influencer Marketing

Gifting campaigns with KOLs play a crucial role in product launches, creating effective social proof and boosting sales. These strategies, based on a relationship of trust between brands and influencers, foster authentic promotion, increasing brand visibility and credibility - indispensable assets in a competitive business environment.

However, beyond these immediate benefits, it is also essential to adopt a more conscious and sustainable approach. This is where the concept of responsible gifting comes into its own, marking an essential evolution in Influencer Marketing practices.

Engaging in responsible gifting practices, such as those promoted by the &Open company, underlines recognition of the associated environmental and social impacts. These responsible approaches include the selection of ethical gifts, eco-friendly shipping methods and support for positive initiatives, reflecting a deep commitment to sustainable values.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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