Although social media and digital marketing is more powerful than ever, there’s still no real alternative to product sampling when it comes to showcasing your wares.
Prospective customers love to get all touchy-feely, and according to research, 96% of customers who had an interest in a product said they were more likely to purchase as a result of trying or experiencing it.
It definitely makes sense to add sampling to your marketing strategy, if it fits with your brand, but getting it right is vital to success. Here are some top tips to make sure you stay on track and reap the best results when you give away free samples:
1. Be targeted.
In traditional sampling campaigns the idea was to distribute your products out to the masses. But to get the best results you need to be targeted.
By properly defining your key market you’ll reach a larger number of quality consumers that are more likely to end up making a purchase. And don’t forget that when and where you offer sampling needs proper thought and planning.
2. Be reactive.
You’ll need to be pretty reactive so that you can cope with things like weather changes and unforeseen events.
Random heat waves, downpours and train strikes can actually play a great part in your experiential campaigns – so make your sampling relevant and get in on the action.
3. Show off your brand.
If you’re going to the effort of sampling then pay care and attention to how you’re giving stuff away. You need to showcase your brand by selecting the right kind of people to give your samples out – and the people you employ need to be trained up and enthusiastic about your brand values as well as your products.
Make sure what you’re actually offering is the best you’ve got – not a watered down version of the real thing. Drinks should be cold, sachets should be beautifully on-brand with informative leaflets if needs be.
4. Get social.
When you’re planning your sampling campaign, don’t forget to spread the word online.
Invite your existing social networks to come along and see you and get them to share any experiences they’ve had of your products and/or brand. You could also contact social groups/communities with a similar target audience and see if they’d mention you in return for a few freebies.
5. Get influencers on board.
Following on the social theme, make sure you’re targeting key influencers with your sampling campaign. Authentic individuals who are fantastic engagers on social media will spread the word for you.
After all, consumers love recommendations and are far more likely to purchase when someone they admire or follow is endorsing your product and brand.
6. Analyse activity and feedback
When you’re investing time and money into sampling, it’s important to encourage feedback from consumers so you can tweak and improve your offering where necessary.
And keep in touch with your sampling team throughout the campaign, so you can see what’s working and what’s not. If you’re giving away leaflets or packaging with your website details, make sure you’re sending customers to a specially designed landing page, so you can monitor traffic and conversions as a result of the sampling campaign.
When all the above is in place and you’ve got your campaign perfected, sampling is extremely effective and has the ability to generate huge sales and invaluable brand loyalty. What are you waiting for?
Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.