Influencer marketing is at an all-time high right now and does not appear to be stopping. According to an influencerDB report, influencer marketing spend is set to top 8 billion dollars by 2020. But this doesn't mean brands are just throwing money at influencers and expecting a post in return. Maybe some are just throwing money at influencers, but others have come up with ingenuitive ways to make their products more “Shareable”. This has created a drive to design what has been deemed “influencer packaging”, which has caused some shifts in design norms in order to make packaging more strategic for influencer marketing. The hope is that an influencer shares their experiences with the product/packaging, and more importantly what is causing influencers to post about products for free without monetary incentives.

At the core of influencer marketing is a relationship. If the relationship is poor and the alignment is poor the cost of participating in influencer marketing will be much higher than if the relationship is well aligned. There are a few tricks to get influencers to post for free to understand them a company must try and understand what motivates influencers to post. Brands that understand these motivations will benefit from plentiful UGC (user-generated content) posts and exposure without having to provide monetary compensation to influencers and micro influencers. The first question companies should ask themselves is “why would people want to post about our product” and “who would want to post about my product”. Depending on your product and your level of brand recognition you might be targeting different types of influencers. Influencers want to share something that gives them credibility within their own space, and a product that doesn't align will often cost more for a sponsored post. The product doesn’t have to be the only factor that motivates someone to post. Luckily for brands packaging can have a huge impact through influencer marketing, even for brands that fall short in brand recognition and quality.

In order to create great influencer packaging, companies and brands must think about what makes one want to share a product or this case packaging? It’s the small things that will help you stand out, and the overarching goal is to make the sharing process as easy and as seamless as possible for the influencer.

Step One: Do it for them

Don’t make the influencers guess what hashtags to use or what your brands IG handle is. All of that information should be carefully placed on the packaging multiple times so it is blatant. Do not make the influencer guess especially if you aren't explicitly paying them, as that will create roadblocks from the influencer and decrease the likelihood someone will post. If your packaging lacks these items an influencer might tag your brand incorrectly. Showing your social media handle on the packaging also increases the likelihood that consumers can recognize the IG handle from an influencer's post.

Step Two: Personalize

Tailored packaging is a huge driver of influencer shares. Above all else, influencers want to be unique and are constantly validated by their fans and brands. Adding an influencers name to packaging is the ultimate validation for an influencer and makes the experience seem special and stand out among other promotional products It can be as extravagant as putting personalization on the physical product, all the way to just adding a handwritten note to the packaging. Personalizing the packaging can be cheap, and it doesn't require that much effort and it can be applied after the manufacturing is done in some cases.

Step Three: Focus on the unboxing

Unboxing's have become an increasing reason why items are shared over other items through social media, especially through influencers marketing. Influencers are constantly searching for more content and for ways to essentially drag out the experience into a desirable length to share with their fans. Think of a good unboxing experience like unwrapping presents, it wouldn't be as much fun without the wrapping paper. These unboxings have slowly morphed into a bit of an art, each industry with its own tweaks on the unboxing but the concept remains relatively the same throughout; increase brand perception through packaging.

Step Four: Invest in your influencers

The last consideration brands should make in regards to influencer marketing is the way it looks like as an overall presentation. Do the products sit nicely in the box in a way that is photographable even for a novice? Is the packaging opened in a way that doesn’t completely destroy the packaging?

Even though this article is specifically focused on influencer marketing, the real takeaway is to think about how influencers and consumers are going to interact with your brand and packaging. The ultimate goal is a box that everyone would love to share, not just influencers.