The influencer marketing playbook that took Graza to $100K+ in revenue in the first week of launch

Graza's influencer strategy ignited sales through seeding and persistence.

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

August 17, 2023

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Graza, is a company with a passion for authentic, quality olive oil, and… influencer marketing.

That's why they chose to launch by partnering with influencers and not by dumping tons of money into PR or expensive Facebook ads

The results speak for themselves — they sold out during their first week in business, bringing in $100K in revenue. In 3 months, they passed the $500K in revenue milestone.

Let's take a deeper dive into Graza's influencer marketing magic.

How did they pull this off? What made their approach stand out? And most importantly, what can we learn from a brand that turned olive oil into the talk of the town or TikTok?

🎁 Seeding products in pre-launch phase

Product seeding is a marketing strategy where brands send their products for free to influencers who have the same target audience as the brand. The hope is that they will like the product and then share their positive opinions about it on social media, blogs, or other platforms.

There's no obligation for them to do so; the brand is simply providing the product in the hope that it will be mentioned or endorsed. This can increase brand awareness and sales if enough buzz is created.

And that's exactly what Graza did for their launch. They reached out to influencers, sent them free products & got a successful launch.

👨‍💻 Here's how they executed their product seeding strategy —

Identified the right influencers

Graza knew who they were after: Food enthusiasts who loved pizzas, BBQs, salads, and more. These were influencers who would genuinely appreciate high-quality olive oil.

If you're looking to find the perfect influencers for your brand, check out SARAL — an all-in-one influencer marketing platform.

You can find and save 100s of best-fit influencers. You never run out of influencers to reach out to.

It comes with a FREE chrome extension that allows you to see influencer’s stats, predict a fair fee to pay, and save them directly to your list without any copy-pasting.

Slide into their DMs

A few weeks before the launch, Kendall Dickieson, Graza's Social Media Marketing manager, began sliding into influencers' DMs. The messages were light-hearted and engaging, like: "How much easier would life be if olive oil came in a squeezy bottle?"

No strings attached offer

If the influencer was interested, Graza would send them a bottle of their finest olive oil.

If they demanded payment, the response was respectful and clear: "We'll talk later; right now, we're focusing on sharing free products."

Added a personal touch

A handwritten note was included with each package, making the gift even more special.

Ship a good product, see the magic!

Packages were sent out, and Graza crossed their fingers, hoping that their quality product would speak for itself.

Influencers loved the product, and because it was a genuine fit with their interests, they couldn't help but share it on social media.

People were engaging in the comments, & asking questions.

The result was that Graza's olive oil became a sensation even before its official launch.

Infact,  as more and more were getting packages, the more and more inbound requests for products came in.

👉 Takeaways for you:

  • The seeding approach might sound risky, but it's part of the nature of product seeding. It's about taking a chance on the quality and appeal of your product and the integrity of those you're sharing it with.
  • Graza's strategy was in the works even before the official launch. Building buzz before a product is available can create anticipation and demand, leading to a successful launch.
  • Whether it is through short, casual DMs or handwritten notes included in the packages, the personal connections can make the influencers feel special, and not just like a marketing tool.

If you're wondering…

"Shipping gifts to creators? Sounds like a logistical nightmare! I mean, who has time to juggle dozens of tabs, manually send out products, and keep track of every single package?"

SARAL is the solution for exactly this problem.

You don’t have to juggle tabs and ship products separately. Just connect your store and ship free products to creators, in bulk, all at once.

Example here, shipping to 3 creators at once! No more tedious order creation

Not just that, it will automatically follow up with creators once they receive the products to urge them to post. No boring work!

SARAL has automated follow-up campaigns built-in once the product is delivered.

So, if you're tired of the shipping hustle and want a more streamlined, efficient way to work with creators, give SARAL a try.

🗨️ Turning a 'seen' message into a fruitful collaboration

Weeks before the launch of Graza's olive oil, their team had a mission: connect with ex-Bon Appetit recipe developer & cookbook author Molly Baz, an influencer who could make a real impact.

They sent a direct message, and it got read.

But then, silence. The message was left on "seen."

Instead of feeling "she's too big to talk to us or she's not interested", the team decided to follow up on that initial message.

Three days before the launch, they finally received a response & Molly sent them her address.

Enthusiastically, the Graza founders wrote a handwritten note and sent it to Molly, along with a bottle of their olive oil.

Once the launch happened, sales went through the roof, and Molly's post about the olive oil on her social media acted like fuel to the fire.

And it didn't stop there. Whole Foods buyers, recognizing the buzz, approached Graza and asked if they would like to launch their product in their stores.

👉 Takeaway for you:

The key takeaway from this experience is the power of following up.

While it may have seemed like a lost cause after that initial unread message, Graza's persistence paid off. They managed to connect with a major influencer, boost their sales, and even attract the attention of a major retailer—all because they were willing to reach out again.

SARAL offers a seamless solution to manage, track, and optimize your influencer outreach efforts. It works once you have the email address of the creator you want to connect with.

You can create automated drip & let it follow up  while you can concentrate on relationship-building.

🤳 Using pre-launch seeding for organic brand building

One of Graza's standout strategies in their influencer marketing campaign was their use of content generated through product seeding before the official launch.

They used the content that influencers created to show people some use-cases of the product, or comparing it with other brands and how they're better.

They re-shared the content on their social media account and tagged the original creators.

What's remarkable about this approach is how Graza managed to extend the life and reach of a single piece of content.

By reimagining and reshaping influencer content, they engaged with different segments of their audience, reinforced their brand message, and built anticipation leading up to their launch.

On Instagram, here's a reel created by a customer showcasing a baby enjoying a snack drizzled with Graza olive oil.

👉 Takeaways for you:

  • Through this strategic use of content, Graza built up anticipation before their launch. They used content to tell a story and create excitement. For DTC brands, the gradual buildup of a narrative can lead to a more impactful launch.
  • Everything Graza did with the influencer content was in line with their brand's message and values. This consistency is essential and can serve as a reminder for other brands to ensure that all marketing efforts, including influencer partnerships, align with their core values and messages.

🥙 Who did they trust to manage their launch?

When Graza was looking to launch their olive oil into the world, they turned to someone who understood both — the world of food and influencer marketing.

By hiring Kendall Dickieson, someone who lived and breathed the foodie lifestyle, Graza ensured that their launch was successful.

Who could understand influencers better than an influencer herself? Who could communicate the authenticity and quality of Graza's olive oil better than someone who genuinely appreciates good food?

Kendall's influence wasn't confined to her own profile. She reached out to fellow food enthusiasts, chefs, and creators who shared her passion. Her personalized approach made every package feel like a special gift, and her understanding of what makes content truly engaging meant she knew exactly what kind of posts would make Graza's olive oil shine.

They basically chose a foodie influencer who could speak the same language as their target audience.

👉 Takeaways for you:

  • If you're in a niche market, consider hiring someone who is genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about that niche.
  • It's not always just about getting an influencer to promote your product. You can also involve them in the planning process. Their unique perspective, and understanding of your audience can help shape your influencer marketing strategy.

🔖 Final Thoughts

Graza's success story stands as a testament to the power of product seeding.Other renowned brands like  Obvi, and Magic Spoon  have also turned to product seeding to generate revenue.

What do these stories tell us?For growing DTC brands seeking to expand profitably, product seeding could be a great strategy. It helps you build authentic relationships with influencers who genuinely align with your brand. It's about turning those connections into word-of-mouth marketing and

So, if you're a DTC brand on the ascent, don't just watch from the sidelines, try product seeding.

And if you're scratching your head over the tools to get it done, we've got you covered.

With SARAL, you can seamlessly manage multiple types of campaigns – from gifting and seeding to affiliate and ambassador programs – irrespective of your budget.

Claim your 7-day free trial here.

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