Learn how to do an influencer drop – like MSCHF did for the big red boots – for your brand.
Influencer drops might be played out, but the tactics used are BEST IN CLASS. You should use them.
Here’s a masterclass in coordinated influencer drops…
Catch my Twitter thread on how to do an influencer drop below, or scroll to keep reading the expanded version now:
Doing a coordinated influencer content drop like this requires both time and money, but luckily this is RELATIVE money to the size and scale you are at.
How To Do An Influencer Drop
Don’t try to do this for free… use your resources and do it right.
Step 1: Finding Your Anchor Influencer
First, you’ll need an anchor influencer. This person is paid, and is the focus of the initial campaign. MSCHF did this with Sara Snyder.
Your goal here is to:
- pay for access to someone your target customer knows visually that helps propel virality.
- contract them to post drops on their own social media accounts, as well .
Hit above your weight class with this. If you nail the anchor, the likelihood your other influencers post is significantly higher (more on this later).
Step 2: Allocating Your Product
Here’s what you need on a product allocation level:
- 50 units for your influencer list ( estimate 30% seed-to-post ratio when planning typically).
- 20-30 units held back for inquires (more on this later).
Step 3: Putting Your Seeding List Together
Next, you need a BIG seeding list that you or your team have actual relationships with of some kind.
This list should have no fewer than 40-60 people that are within 10-150k followers difference of your brand, with people on it that you:
- have phone numbers for.
- or actively DM.
Go establish this seeding list first, and then return here. People often ignore this… it’s the same process you would follow with a personal brand.
With this seeding list, be sure to get a physical address for everyone. This is easy because most people really love getting free stuff of any size sent to them. Just ask.
I’ve got a 70k following on TikTok as at today’s posting. I have 50+ relationships with people from 20k-1.5m on there.
I’ve even taken to text. I’m happy to help promote them and they will happily help promote me. Just remember that audience isn’t just about consumer reach…
You can also pay for this access with management companies and PR firms etc. It just won’t be as effective sending random things to random people you don’t know. This tactic rarely works.
Cold DM-ing and asking about campaigns can be effective though, especially with sub-50k followers. Get your script right so it doesn’t read like a copy/paste job, and customize it for each and every message.
Step 4: Scripting Your Brief
You also need a brief. This is how you’ll be prompted to go over key points in your ‘ask’ so you don’t forget what needs to be discussed or mentioned:
- what you are launching.
- when your launch date is.
- who is involved (PRO TIP: mention your anchor influencer and their background).
- your ask, the reason for your call.
Tell them you’re sending something and doing a launch campaign. Tell them you’d love for them to post about your brand, even if its just stories.
PRO TIP: Do not try a hard sell… totally get it if they don’t want to post. Being a human about it is way more useful than demanding or being impersonal.
Here re some basic options to consider in your ask. This is the structure I use:
- Trade – help post this, and I’ll do the same for you from my personal page or my brand page when you need it (most likely approach).
- Paid – best approach, even a few hundred dollars helps for people with modest follows.
- Ask – the least effective strategy.
Set a schedule in your brief:
- We go live with campaign X on ____.
- Would be sick if you posted on ____.
- We’re trying to get content that does ____.
If you have the right anchor influencer, a lot of other things fall into place quite naturally.
You can seed as many people as you like with free product, but many won’t prioritize posting. BUT… If they feel like they’re part of a moment or associated with something big, that’s easier.
Step 5: Following Up
Communication here is vital:
- Make sure everyone got the pack – and likes it.
- Share teaser images or content with your anchor influencer the day before – include a reminder.
There’s a lot of communication involved here, but the more organic and excited you can be, the more likely people will actually want to post your content.
PRO TIP: Use a CRM or checklist app to track it all.
Step 6: Launching Your Product
These are my top tips for launching your product:
- Kick off with your anchor content.
- Make your content easily downloadable in high res on your site, etc. so people can aggregate it, comment on it, and make commentary videos about it.
- Actively repost what people get done for you, and drop them a thanks if they do post.
Here’s where things get critical:
- You’ll notice if you’re actually getting attention, a bunch of people you seeded who didn’t post yet will start to post or hit you up to tell you they will still post.
- Stoke the fire on this, and send some of the hot content or data around to your seeded contacts.
Now, if this does well, people are going to crawl out of the woodwork. There is a ‘cottage industry’ of influencers and managers that hop on trends with asks once things start happening so they can look like they’re in the mix.
PRO TIP: Evaluate these and NEXT DAY ship your reserve units.
You can get a whole second wave out of the response videos and notes from your initial campaign, and rapidly seeding a bunch of your inquiries. This is most likely how the MSCHF campaign seemed to last for a few weeks.
If inquiries don’t eat up your reserves, get your units to stylists and managers… You’ll be surprised what they can do with just one free product.
Also, if you’ve got attention, you’ll be surprised how many emails or sms signups a quick giveaway can do.
Lastly… even if it just goes okay for the day… Save every post and all your stats, etc. to include in your deck/brief for the next time, and for future brand retail collabs, etc. You’ll be amazed at how far this goes and how much work it cuts out next time round.
QUICK ANECOTE: We did a massive cold campaign in tandem to the above when launching a unique beverage a few years back. We sent out almost 1,000 cases of the stuff. While it was a big investment, it also had a 50%+ post rate that was totally insane to watch!
Our product looked viral, was hip, and everyone saw everyone else posting it so they hopped on the proverbial bandwagon just to seem trending and ‘in the know’.
This is how organized influencer drops can actually be done, and done right.
No matter how big you or your brand are, you can hit this. It works in any niche… The key is to actually make something that’s visually interesting or exciting so people can make their own content around it.
Catch the Builders.Build podcast with my best friends, Colin and James, to discover more about our individual TikTok perspectives and entrepreneurial journeys across brands, products, websites, and more.
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