Marketing involves a lot of different strategies and techniques to help a brand make itself and its products/services known. You must have heard of things like Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and other popular buzzwords in the world of marketing; seeding marketing is another great (but not very commonly known) technique of marketing.
Often, seeding marketing is the go-to strategy for brands while in the awareness stages of business, where they need to show their existence to as many consumers as possible. The technique involves releasing brand-related content on various channels and destinations online and offline such that there is widespread visibility for it across every relevant consumer pool possible.
Seeding marketing involves working closely with various partners – sometimes, these could be influencers, popular bloggers, or even media houses. It depends on the kind of content you wish to put out in the market for your target consumers and the voice, ethos, and tone of your brand. In essence, the channel you take up for seeding marketing should be suitable for your brand. Let’s look at seeding marketing in more detail through the following topics:
- What is Seeding Marketing?
- Aim and Virality of Seeding Marketing
- 8 Steps for Creating Seeding Marketing Content
- Popular Places for Seeding Marketing
- Popular Seeding Marketing Examples
What is Seeding Marketing?
Consider the analogy where a farmer scatters seeds in his field in different places strategically, in hopes for the crop to grow healthy and for the yield to be high. The same concept applies to seeding marketing as well: brands “seed” their content in various places – social media, blogs, magazines, flyers, etc. – strategically in hopes for the marketing to bring back a good consumer base that they can sell to.
Seeding marketing, thus, is basically the method where brands strategically place relevant content in the form of media, blogs, infographics, offers or deals, etc., in digital and physical places so as to attract consumers and get them interested in their brand. Much like any other form of marketing, the primary aim is to gain brand awareness and boost consumer contact through the seeded content.
Seeding marketing sometimes takes the assistance of other “Agents” to help spread brand content further. The best example is influencer seeding, where a brand takes the help of an influencer to scatter its content into the influencer network, thus gaining more consumers and garnering trust along the way. Seeding marketing, when done smartly, has a lot to pay off to a brand that knows how to utilize the available channels and resources for content.
Let’s discuss the aims of seeding marketing more clearly.
Aim and Virality of Seeding Marketing
While most marketing campaigns aim to engage consumers and capture their attention directly, seeding marketing adopts a more roundabout way of doing the same. The principal factor that makes seeding marketing effective is that the “spreaders”, or the partners/influencers/agents that spread brand content, are convinced that it is worth it. Things being so, the primary aim of seeding marketing is convincing the marketing partners to help a brand reach a broader audience base while riding on their borrowed networks.
Consumer engagement and trust follow later when, through the partners’ endorsement or acknowledgment, the brand appeals more to the target audience.
Let’s understand this with an example. Say a fashion apparel brand X is just starting out and needs to gain wider brand awareness. They tie up with an Instagram lifestyle influencer with a majority of followers in the region that the brand is targeting, getting the influencer to create sponsored ads on his or her reels. You would often see it as “Paid Partnership” on Instagram. The influencer’s page would then showcase brand X’s content in strategic, non-intrusive ways, increasing brand awareness among his or her followers. Sometimes such posts may even go viral.
Now, imagine the same happening on popular blogs, magazines, and other digital channels. This is how seeding marketing works.
8 Steps to Create Seeding Marketing Campaigns
In order for a seeding marketing campaign to work optimally, there are certain steps a brand must follow. The content released into the internet (or any other channel) needs to be spot on, and it must check a few boxes before it can qualify as fit for a seeding marketing campaign. There are 8 distinct steps to do that. Let’s see what they are.
The primary requirement for seeding marketing is a place to seed it. Existing online merely on one website and offline in a retail store isn’t going to help. Ensure that your seeding marketing team knows its job: create a strong presence across all the channels your propose to seed your content in. Seeding marketing needs places to be – ensure that your brand has a social media handle (multiple would be great – one each on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whatnot), a solid network of dedicated bloggers who would republish your content, people in media houses who would help you spread your content, etc. Create a network before seeding.
Underlining Targets and Objective
It is of utmost importance to understand the kind of audience your brand caters to. Chances are that for other marketing campaigns, your marketing team has already done a demographic sweep. Seeding marketing is all about planting the right content in the places where the right kind of audience is to be found. For example, Instagram is the best place to market lifestyle products as the target audience there is most suitable for seeking out such products and services. Aligning the seeding marketing channel with goals and target audience agglomeration helps get maximum impact from a seeding marketing campaign.
Creating it Right
Once the channel and target audience are defined, your brand needs to move on to creating actual content aligned with business goals. It is imperative to classify each piece of content created based on the information it delivers, in order to post it to suitable channels. For example, visual content is received well on Instagram, whereas humor, social causes, or snarky comebacks create more buzz on platforms like Twitter. Each piece of content you create must be tagged under separate heads to be sent to a suitable platform for publishing in order to garner the most engagement.
Finding The Right Partners
If you are thinking of onboarding seeding marketing partners, this is the time to look for the right people based on the content you have created. For the text-based content, search for republishing platforms, bloggers, or influencers on platforms like Reddit; for videos, seek out YouTubers in the niche you operate in; for mixed-media posts, look for the right people in your Facebook network. When people know how to handle and market your content for you, the downstream going becomes easier. Think of it like this: a YouTuber would have no clue how to best seed your blog into his videos – however, a Redditor could do that in seconds.
Having a Clear Approach
After pinpointing your seeding marketing partners comes the hardest part: contact. First impressions are the best impressions, and your brand needs to come off on the best foot for an influencer or a blogger to take interest in furthering your marketing through their follower base. If you realize that a follower base is the single most important thing for an influencer, you would be able to drive your point home by creating an approach that clearly delineates why, how, and for how long you are planning to work with your potential partners, and what’s in it for them. It should be targeted enough for them to see that nothing of theirs is at risk by working with you.
Creating a Win-Win
Your seeding marketing partners aren’t a charitable outfit. Unless you have favors you can pull from them (which, in any case, shouldn’t be dragged into marketing), always create a sound strategy that brings back a win for both of you. Talking in terms of influencers or bloggers, you could create a built-in strategy for follower boost through a partnership, or sharing and creating something meaningful together, or launching an exclusive reel series. The ideas are endless. Seeding marketing is highly likely to work for you: try to showcase a value proposition to the seeding marketing partner that would get them onboard most enthusiastically.
Monitoring, Analysing, Reporting
Keeping a hawk-eye on your campaign will help you steer it in the right direction at the right time. Decide on a few key performance indicators of your seeding marketing campaign, and ensure that the assigned teams on your panel are constantly tracking the numbers. Are your influencers generating an acceptable ROI? Did your website get the desired footfall? Were there enough new subscribers on your YouTube channel? Setting realistic expectations helps; however, it is important to highlight the red flags as and when they rise to be truly able to successfully run a seeding marketing campaign.
Machinery is only as good as its handler. The network that you worked so hard to create needs to be looked after and kept well-oiled for future seeding marketing campaigns, should the need arise. Ensure your marketing team has its reminders in place for regular communications with your newly acquired contacts, with your influencers who did well by your brand. Nurturing is also a great way of creating a positive brand image, not only in front of the consumers but also backstage. It works to display the integrity and brand values in full color to your partners.
Popular Places for Seeding Marketing Content
The internet is so vast, and it is impossible to trace the shares and reposts of your content once published. It makes sense to do thorough research first, identifying the right places for it to go. Below is a list of the most popular and effective destinations where your brand can reap the results of seeding marketing.
One of the platforms where short-form videos are exceedingly popular, TikTok is a social media platform where influencers leverage popularity and virality to gain visibility. This platform is a great place for seeding marketing content through viral users using trending challenges or content.
There is a YouTube video out there for just about everything – and this is the beauty of this video-sharing platform. By creating your own channel, or by leveraging the popularity of a viral YouTuber (PewDiePie for gaming products, for example), you can create a seeding marketing strategy that regularly uploads brand videos or content on the platform. YouTube also happens to have a wide viewership which works for everyone’s benefit.
A social media platform focused on short-blogging, Twitter has helped many a brand create a great image through seeding marketing strategies. A top example is Wendy’s – their Twitter handle embodies the brand voice through being sarcastically humorous, leveraging popular news to post marketing content. The reposting feature allows for the content to be spread virally, making this social media a highly effective and terse way for seeding marketing content.
Instagram is perhaps the most popular social media for visually pleasing content. If your brand has any products that can be presented to the viewers aesthetically, Instagram is the place you should be targeting. With that said, the demographic here is mostly Millennials and up, so a brand targeting Baby Boomers perhaps needs to look elsewhere for seeding content.
One of the most popular social media platforms that brands like to leverage for seeding marketing is Facebook. It caters to a wide audience, provides features that enable richer engagement with consumers, contact, and even e-commerce, has functionality for visibility boost, and a lot many other features that simply make seeding marketing easier for brands.
Seeding Marketing Needs a Plan (Conclusion)
Just as it is important to plan your SEO strategies in detail, it is important to understand the nitty-gritty of seeding marketing as well. This technique is a great tool to boost visibility and awareness of a brand; however, the haphazard implementation only incurs more cost for little return.
Seeding marketing is a slow strategy to build a brand’s image and customer engagement voice one post at a time – and it proves to be highly effective in the long run.
- Much like it takes a farmer the effort to scatter seeds into his field and nurture them into a healthy crop, seeding marketing, too, needs time and effort to slowly help a brand grow its network and consumer base
- There is a lot of planning involved in order to create the right content and to know which platforms to post it to, in order to gain the best results
- Seeding marketing sometimes takes help from the established networks of popular names - influencers, mostly - to help spread their content
- This involves a detailed study of the kind of content needed, selecting influencers, creating a good contract, and many other factors
- The most popular platforms where seeding marketing can be optimally done are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok
- Seeding marketing is a great image-builder for the brands that take it seriously for the long haul