We’re pleased to open this article with some good news for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands, along with ideas for leveraging digital product sampling to engage and delight consumers in the absence of traditional product sampling.
Ongoing Opportunities for FMCG Brands to Grow
Since the start of the pandemic, half of consumers are cooking more, and one in seven are watching more television as a form of self-care and snacking while they do it. New or increased consumer behaviors, such as cleaning and cooking more often, have contributed to a 14% increase in household grocery spending. It’s always nice to read some good news, and for consumer-packaged goods, these expanded purchasing rates are expected to continue.
Altered Shopping Experiences
There are many ways in which our shopping experiences are no longer as enjoyable post-pandemic. One change we might not have thought about was the small joy of getting free samples. Our local grocery store gave out cookies most days, and I had to remind my children not to sprint past the produce to see if any were available.
But free samples, like handshakes, are largely a relic of the past. Consumers miss out on the fun, free food, and opportunity to sample something new before committing to a purchase. FMCG brands also miss out on the opportunity to share their new offerings with their target audience and win over new customers.
When Traditional Offline Sampling Is Not an Option
People most often buy new products or special editions after hearing or seeing something about them in a very direct way, or having the opportunity to try them. That is one of the main reasons why sampling is so effective in successfully promoting new FMCG products. (Yes, on impulse, I grabbed the Lady Gaga Chromatica Oreos. The shimmery, hot pink package was quite eye-catching!)
Unfortunately, FMCG brands have also lost many other promotional opportunities such as festivals and bars. In some cases, these promotional events were great fun, such as Red Bull’s sponsored and created events and publicity stunts. Even when traditional sampling is possible, there are still disadvantages, such as the expense, lack of wide reach, and inability to accurately target your audiences.
But FMCG brands need to keep innovating, both developing and sharing novelties. People expect new tastes, variations, and flavors on a regular basis. Fun new products, and even limited-edition offerings, drive impulse purchases and revenue growth.
The Need to Find New Ways to Launch Products
Brands that fail to inspire curiosity, pique interest, and delight consumers will lose to those that do. But launching new products or product variations is not enough. There is a long way to go between launch and success. Without the right approach, there is a high likelihood that your product innovation could be a commercial failure, no matter how exceptional the product itself is and how much it meets consumer tastes. This puts companies in front of a challenge.
So, with these very important marketing tactics currently unavailable to brands, what can they do to close the gap? Spending a fortune on traditional advertising is one option, although the effectiveness of this method has been dropping, especially for advertising-averse Generation Z. There are better, more cost-effective options, however.
Get Your Product Noticed with Digital Sampling
Digital product sampling involves shipping your (new or improved) product to selected influencers, providing them the opportunity to try it and share their experience with their community. This not only puts it on the radar of people whose opinions often guide others, but also leverage the influencers’ networks.
Digital product sampling is a cost effective, inexpensive way to promote new products. When you can’t go to bars and supermarkets, it’s a particularly important tactic to include in your marketing mix. Digital sampling enables you to get your product noticed without spending as much money as hiring Lady Gaga, along with the following benefits:
Influencers provide reach and scale up product awareness. One sample can generate awareness towards thousands of consumers, both online and offline through word of mouth.
Influencers are trusted by their communities. Their product endorsements make people view the product favorably and can generate direct sales.
You can target audiences more precisely as well as reach communities that are otherwise hard or even impossible to reach.
Influencer-based sampling campaigns are not limited to a narrow scope of physical locations and lack expensive operations and set up costs.
When trustworthy influencers like and promote your product, they can inspire and engage others to try it too. According to an FMCG study by Bazaarvoice, 57% of consumers say they bought certain products only because they first heard about them on social media.
6 Tips for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods to Get Digital Product Sampling Right
Digital product sampling is effective, but not necessarily simple. The most common challenges to a successful product sampling campaign are:
- Finding the right influencers
- Creating a great and inspiring briefing
- Finding the influencers‘ information to send the products
- Logistics (shipping out products, keeping track, etc.)
- Follow up with influencers to maximise uptake (yes it helps to have a relationship with them already)
- Tracking results
It takes a coordinated effort to overcome those challenges and succeed. Kingfluencers has written more on selecting the right influencers to connect with your target market. Consider micro-influencers, who may have a smaller quantity of followers, but a more engaged community. You can also achieve a good reach by leveraging a higher quantity of micro-influencers in your budget, and zooming in on your target audiences, delivering an excellent cost-benefit ratio.
Kingfluencers’ Hassle-Free Digital Product Sampling Service
You can engage Kingfluencers to manage your campaign so you can stay focused on creating and marketing products that delight your customers. Our full-service approach makes the entire process effortless for your organization, while assuring the best results.
Kingfluencers has an extensive network of influencers, empowering us to help find perfect matches for your brand. Based on our ongoing relationships, influencers are interested in hearing our proposals for new opportunities. Next, we can work with your team to define the sampling package content, create influencer communications, and manage logistics. Kingfluencers also responses to Qs from influencers and presents you with reports on campaign outcomes.
Kingfluencers can get your campaign up and running in a matter of days. Contact us to see if we can help give your brand a quick boost, or check out our Digital Sampling page for more info on the service.
Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing