PR boxes are a popular way for Shopify stores to gain “free” exposure to social media influencers. A PR box is a package of your items you send to a list of chosen influencers in the hopes that they will share the products with their audiences. These boxes are most commonly used in the beauty community, but many other industries can make use of them.
Creating an effective PR box can assist with improving brand awareness, launching new products, and if done correctly with measurable goals, can result in an increase in overall sales. Some specific results you might set for the boxes are:
- Sparking a chosen amount of (positive) product review videos on Youtube
- Generating a specific amount of unboxing photos on Instagram
- Driving a particular amount of revenue via the associated promo code(s)
There are three key P’s to consider: packaging, personalization, and promotion.
Packaging can easily become one of the most important things to consider when building an effective PR box. The two main things to focus on in this area are durability and design.
This aspect of a PR box is important because the product needs to arrive to the recipient intact. Ideally, the box should be tailor made to hold products stable during transit. Below is an example of a box tailored to fit products by Fourth Ray:
As the image shows, each bottle has its own compartment that will keep it steady and prevent it from being damaged. Whether you are sending one product or multiple products, the core concept remains the same. You want to make sure the box can be flipped, thrown, stacked, etc. while in transit so that when it arrives, it remains in pristine condition.
A PR box’s design is a core element because the box needs to be camera and/or video ready. After all, generally one of the hopes is that people will receive your box and take an unboxing photo or video to share on their social media channels.
A good PR box is visually appealing, using on-brand colors, fonts, and materials, as well as an on-brand color scheme. HAIRtamin provides stellar example:
As this box shows, the brand name and/or logo is clear, the branding is cohesive, and all the verbiage is easy to read.
The design of PR boxes doesn’t necessarily have to be fancy, just thoughtful. There was a trend in the beauty industry for a while for companies to continually design more and more elaborate boxes, but many consumers and influencers spoke up about the immense waste that was causing.
Personalization is a simple point that can make a huge difference between your PR box being succeeding or flopping. There are a number of ways to personalize boxes:
- Build a list of influencers that aligns with your set goals, as well as with the interests of each recipient. For example, it’s probably not going to be effective to send a beauty box to an influencer in the mechanic community.
- Customize the products you send to the influencer’s preferences. For example, makeup brands will often send influencers a small selection of foundations in their shade range, rather than every foundation color they have. Tailoring the products shows influencers you thought about them specifically and will also increase your chances at a positive review.
- Directly address the recipient to increase the connection between the brand and the consumer. Handwritten notes are the best way to achieve that personal touch as they convey a great deal of effort on your part. Check out this example:
Even if you are sending out a PR box to a long list of influencers, it is important to keep the element of personalization apparent. Directly address the influencer and ensure the products will be beneficial to them, and your PR box should receive a great response.
The whole idea of a PR box is to promote a brand or new products that are being launched, so it is important to not neglect promotional materials.
The promotional aspects of the box need to be used to highlight the talking points you hope the influencers will share, as well as any other tools you can give the influencers to help sell your products. Here are a few examples to include:
- Physical marketing content like a brochure that delves into the story behind the products.
- A promo code for the influencer’s followers to use at purchase. Promo codes are extra handy because you can also use them to measure which influencers are providing the most value for your campaign.
- Instructions on how to use or style the product.
Wrap it up
PR boxes are a powerful marketing tool when put together to encourage and empower influencers to share your products knowledgeably.
Ericka McCoy is on the operations team here at ShopPad. She has a degree in Public Relations, an MBA, and an impeccable taste for minimalist chic clothing.