Unboxing 101 - How savvy influencer engagement can build a brand

Gali Arnon

  • Chief marketing officer, Fiverr
Gali has served as the chief marketing officer of Fiverr since October 2017. Prior to this, Gali served as chief executive officer of Brightcom Group, a digital marketing and publicly traded company in India, from 2015 to 2017. Between 2014 and 2015, she was senior vice-president of marketing and operations at SimilarWeb, a Web analytics company. Other roles on her resume include VP at 888 Holdings, an online gaming platform and publicly traded company in London. Gali holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

The humble unboxing video is a powerful tool. Correctly executed, it harnesses consumer fandom, viral authenticity and brand design magic to deliver a high-impact message to a tightly targeted cohort of consumers.   

If you had told a marketer 20 years ago that ordinary, un-famous people would be filming themselves taking your product out of the packaging in their own homes and sharing it with strangers on the Internet, they would have been baffled. Bafflement would escalate to alarmed confusion when you described this unusual behaviour as a powerful marketing tool.   

But the Internet is a strange beast. The cumulative watch time on YouTube of unboxing videos is the equivalent of 20 million full-length feature films. Many of these videos are seeded in some way or another by the brands themselves, either through the provision of sample products or freelance production by social media professionals, who can be accessed affordably on marketplaces like Fiverr. Often, once a brand has established itself, fans will begin to produce their own unboxing video organically, acting as a powerful carrier wave for your products.   

There are a number of elements a marketer should consider incorporating unboxing videos into their digital strategy.  

Despite the relative novelty of the unboxing video, you still have to remember the consumer marketing fundamentals of reaching the right customer with the right message in the right place, at the right time. You must choose your influencers and their platforms carefully to ensure that you reach your target audience.   

Thoroughly research the digital media consumption habits of your target market if you do not already have a clear picture of this. Certainly, there are truisms about broad demographic groups - Facebook is for boomers, Instagram for millennials, TikTok and Snapchat for younger groups - but these are only rules of thumb. The more thorough and specific you can be in your consumer profiling, the more effectively you can choose both your platform and influencer.   

You should also identify where on the customer journey you are meeting your consumers. If you are looking to create breakthrough awareness among younger consumers, for instance, TikTok is a good choice. The intelligent algorithm and endless feed can get your product in front of millions of the right eyeballs for up to a minute at a time.  

However, TikTok is a walled garden and does not easily allow for off-platform purchases in many markets. It is an excellent tool for awareness among hard-to-reach Gen Z consumers, but there is high friction for conversions directly from the unboxing.   

If your efforts are focused further down the marketing funnel, it may be better to use Instagram stories, which currently has greater ecommerce functionality that allows in-app purchasing. If your product is relatively unknown, you may want to consider a two-stage process where you engage one platform for awareness and another for conversions.  

Initially, you may want to use an online marketplace to commission influencers to produce unboxing videos. This early work can lay the foundation for organic fan engagement with your products.   

From here, you can progress to a contra arrangement. While influencers with extremely large followings may charge hefty fees, you can take a more cost-effective approach by identifying a larger number of up-and-comers with smaller audiences and offering them free products in return for unboxing videos. Influencers who are rising rather than peaking often have a greater aura of authenticity than those who are already established, who may be seen by on-trend consumers as already being marketing mouthpieces.   

You should also ensure your chosen influencers, whether paid or partnered, have the tools and skills to show your product in its best light. Of course, this means paying attention to packaging and product design. It also means making sure you have the right editing, post-production and graphic design elements in your unboxing videos to make your product sparkle. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression with customers.   

Finally, make sure to send a thank-you note to those who take your brand to their followers. Including a personal touch like this is a small gesture that can deepen your relationships with brand fans.   

I've no doubt a savvy and tightly targeted digital marketing strategy using unboxing videos across social platforms is one of the best investments an SME marketer can make. The cost of each of the elements - whether it’s influencer engagement, post-production, graphic design, or even the SEO that supports it all - is falling rapidly. Marketers who cannot compete with wall-to-wall ad spends must be nimble, resourceful and ready to take advantage of the healthy market for freelancers to get their product into the phones and hearts of potential customers across the world. 


Tags: digital marketing, digital advertising, influencer marketing, social media marketing, marketing campaigns

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