Sampling campaigns are hardly a new invention. In fact, they have been around almost as long as marketing itself. A well-crafted sampling campaign gives audiences the power to make an informed buying decision. Furthermore, they get to make that decision without spending their money first. There are several steps involved in planning a sampling campaign. We have covered some of the most important ones in the list below.
Use a Methodical Approach
In order to get the most from your sampling campaign, you should begin with a plan. Begin your plan by estimating the costs involved. You will also need to track your campaign's results. Track the recipients of the product and monitor mentions on social media. You may also want to include discount codes as an additional tool for measuring ROI.
Understand the Goal
One major step in running a successful product sampling campaign is to identify the purpose behind it. In most cases, this boils down to giving prospective customers an initial experience of the product. If you are selling a food product, you may want them to know how it tastes. Figure out what they need to know to choose your product over the competition's product. The options include providing samples in person or sending them in the mail.
Are you using samples to generate reviews on a website? Try offering a few samples of many products or many samples of a few products. Offering a few samples each of a large number of products can help to increase the number of your items that get reviews. Moving from no reviews to even just one review can dramatically improve conversion rates. Offering a high volume of one or two product samples can result in more reviews of those products. The result is twofold: increased confidence on the part of first-time buyers and feedback that can help to improve quality.
Find Your Target Audience
Another early step in an online product sampling campaign is to research and identify the target demographic. People who encounter a grocery store food sample are prospects simply because they are shopping for food. Obviously, an online sampling campaign will not be able to target customers like this. You will need to maximize your ROI with refining your audience into precise groups. Tools for this include sending surveys to sample recipients. In addition, social media is a great tool for reaching the people most likely to have interest in a product. Once you have identified your audience, you can use that data to determine the best places to distribute your samples. This means that you will have to know where your target audience lives and where they shop. You will use this information for planning in-person sample offers.
Decide Which Product to Sample
The most common sample categories are new products, best-selling products, and little-known products. The little-known products should have the potential to become best-sellers. Keep in mind that not all products are suitable for sampling. For example, some products are too costly to sample. The expense involved in offering a sample will help to determine the campaign's scope.
Choose the Right Time For Your Sampling Campaign
Once you have a handle on where to reach your target audience, you can book sampling events in stores that have your product in stock. If you are working with a marketing agency that provides event staffing, they can help with store bookings. In a retail setting, weekends are busiest so you may want to schedule your promotional event in the Thursday to Saturday period, if possible.
Choose the Right Packaging
Make sure that your packaging places your brand in the best possible light. The packaging that you use for your samples matters just as much as it does with the products that you are selling. In other words, you want to appeal to the potential customer and ensure that it does a good job of representing your brand.
Staff Your Sampling Campaign
Once you have all the other elements in order, you will need to work on staffing your sampling campaign. You will need cheerful and personable staff to help your target audience connect with your product. A marketing agency that provides staffing services for events will help you to find the right people to promote your product.
When implemented properly, product sampling can be a valuable way to increase brand awareness and sales. It is a perfect complement for social media marketing as well. Contact us to learn how we can promote your brand through product sampling campaigns.