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Difference Between Influencer Gifting and Paid Partnership

Woman receiving a gift

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There is quite a similarity between influencer gifting and paid partnerships. This similarity has made some people believe that they are the same. If you have always thought the two are the same, you have been wrong. They are different! Read all the way to find out how influencer gifting differs from a paid partnership.

What is Influencer Gifting?

Through the years, influencer gifting has become a reliable method of getting content creators to endorse a product. It involves brands sending Content Creators their products to get a promotional post on social media.

The fact is brands can survive without working with influencers. However, due to the competition in the business world, many brands have discovered that working with influencers makes reaching their target market less demanding.

Now, there are various ways brands can collaborate with their partners. However, influencer gifting is perhaps the smoothest way to do this.

Why is this so?

Everyone enjoys getting gifts, and influencers are not any different. When a brand gives an influencer gifts, the collaboration between the brand and the influencer improves. With influencer gifting, brands ensure content creators know their products very early. Additionally, getting these products goes a long way in ensuring they have all the time in the world to use them and let their audience know what they think.

The fact remains that influencers are not the best judges of what a product offers. However, lots of people follow them. If they say a product is okay, you can be certain several people will be willing to get such a product.

What Are Paid Partnerships?

Paid partnerships are simple commercial relationships between a brand and an influencer. So, when you see a post on social media with paid partnerships, you can be confident that the brand paid the influencer to post it. It was not done for free. There was some form of compensation.

A couple of years ago, paid partnerships did not exist. However, in recent years, they have grown in popularity, as many firms rely on them to engage customers directly. That’s not all. Influencers also take advantage of it when looking to expand their customers.

Why Influencer Gifting?

On the surface, it might seem like giving free things to influencers is a waste of resources, as they are not bound by any contract to talk about your product. Now, the fact that influencers can choose to use your products without talking about them means only a few influencers will review the gifts they received from your brand. This is not very encouraging. However, there are lots of perks associated with influencer gifting.

Some benefits that brands stand to gain from gifting influencers to use their products are;

They Show Obvious Commitment to Influencers

If you have ever tried taking the influencer gifting route, then you know that there are several benefits for brands that offer gifts to influencers. Well, of these benefits, one stands out. This benefit might not seem to affect a brand’s existence positively. However, in the long run, it does. 

The partnership between a firm and an influencer is usually commercial; some influencers might feel that firms do not care about them. This might not seem like much until brands realize that there is a lot of competition, and the influencers they are looking to work with are also being wooed by other brands. In this situation, influencers might need more than just money to decide what brand to work with. Although nothing is set in stone, they are likelier to tilt toward a brand that seems to care about them. And one way to make influencers know you care about them is by giving them products.

Influencers Strive to be Perfect

When influencers get paid to work for a brand, they do not just go on and begin posting. They come up with strategies that they hope will produce the right results.

Sometimes, these strategies are perfect and bring about a massive increase in sales. However, things only sometimes work this way. There are times the sales do not roll in even after a campaign. When this happens, it is usually considered a waste of time and effort; no influencer wants this.

Influencers are careful about accepting brand offers, since there is no guarantee that a campaign will produce the sales that influencers expect. The reason is apparent. They want to avoid being involved in campaigns that they are not sure will yield positive results.

At this point, you might be wondering where this is going. Well, in paid partnerships, if a campaign does not go according to plan, it is up to the influencer to make it work. On the other hand, there is no pressure associated with drawing a campaign plan for a product that an influencer got as a gift.

They are Great for Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers might not seem as effective as the major influencers. However, they can also get the job done. In addition to getting the job done, they are less expensive than major influencers. Since they are not so expensive, pleasing them is easy. 

Micro-influencers make little demands. You may not need to sign contracts to get them to discuss your product. One could argue that they need to be qualified to be paid for adverts, since they do not have several followers. Well, this set of people knows that they are off the level where they should be paid, and they will be willing to do a great job if only they get gifts.

If you think of only working with major influencers, you should do more than take advantage of influencer giftings. On the other hand, if you are targeting a small audience, you can work with micro-influencers and depend on influencer giftings.

How to do?

Knowing what influencer gifting is and its benefits is excellent. However, that is only some of you should know about. To get the best out of influencer gifting, you must know exactly how it works. An influencer Marketing Manager will be able to help you with most of the work running this kind of campaign. 

Below are some influencer gifting practices you should know about before getting started with influencer gifting.

Get in Touch with the Right Influencer

Anyone can claim to be an influencer because several people are following them. However, not everyone can get your product out. So, before using influencer gifting, you must ensure you have the right influencer.

There are different types of influencers, and they can only meet some of the set of customers. If this is anything to go by, the type of customers you want to meet strongly determines the influencers you should work with. Also, you should select an influencer based on the influencer marketing campaign they are associated with.

Where to Look for Influencers?

Getting the right influencer might be difficult. However, there are ways to go about it. The easiest way to get the right influencer is through your customer profile. This will come in handy in helping you get the right influencer. That’s not all. You also have to be on the lookout for influencers already busy promoting services and products similar to what you are looking to promote.

There is more. Give ample attention to factors such as the platforms the influencer uses, the geographical location, and the influencer’s audience size.

As soon as you come up with a couple of influencers you want to work with, you have to reach out to each of them. This is because regardless of how reputable they appear, it is difficult to know who is good for your brand without reaching out to them. Furthermore, contacting several influencers will help you understand how they prefer working.

Some influencers have no form of interest in influencer gifting. So, as soon as you get to this point, it becomes apparent that you cannot work with them. That’s not all. Some others just might not have time on their hands to work with you. So, you will need to settle for an influencer who has time and is interested in influencer gifting.

With a conclusion on the influencers you want to work with. Ensure you have the correct address of each influencer you want to work with. Next, send the gift items to their addresses and ensure they confirm receipt.

Send Personalized Gifts

Humans are different. What works for one person might not necessarily work for another. The implication is that sending the same gift item to several influencers might not get you the desired result. To get the best results when working with influencers, you should personalize the gift items you send them. This process is simple. You need to take time to do your due diligence. This way, you can determine what appeals to each influencer you work with.

Beyond sending personalized gifts, getting more personal with influencers is excellent. It would be best if you noted the special days in their lives. So, it is expedient to know their birthdays, wedding anniversaries, children’s birthdays, etc. When armed with these details, pleasing the influencers you work with becomes easier. And when you are in their good books, your products will always be on their minds.

When sending a personalized gift, ensure it has a personalized note. That’s not all. Suggesting to influencers the best way to use your products is okay.

Track the Effectiveness of the Campaign

After sending personalized gifts, you have only just started. You must keep track of how effective the campaign is. This is relatively easy. The number of views on the post or video are vital performance indicators. Also, engagement rates are essential.

Follow Up is Important

We live in a fast and busy society, and you must follow up on influencers to get the right results.

Following up on influencers includes asking them about the reaction of their audience to the product. Additionally, you should find out how you can do things better.

When working with influencers, ensure you are delicate when approaching them. The best influencers in the game are usually very busy. So, avoid sending too many emails.


There are several ways influencer gifting can be of benefit to your products. These gifts can go a long way in making influencers know how much you value them. Also, they can help you achieve a lot by spending just a little.

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