At first glance, pairing social media and premium packaging might seem the product of an odd matchmaking session. Packaging is usually characterized more by its functionality than by its marketing capabilities. Yet this is precisely where many eCommerce companies fail to get a decent bang for their buck! If you only treat your packaging as a container, you will never see a great return on this essential investment. But if you also use it as a vehicle to showcase your brand, you will make this cost infinitely more valuable. 

The reason? Social media and packaging perfectly complement each other's efforts. Let's imagine that you are delivering a premium-wrapped product to a customer. Instead of it going directly to their house where only they will see it, you instead deliver it to your customer in a town square packed with their friends. Your customer then shows it off to all the surrounding people, leaving them thinking, "I'd love to get a parcel like that!"

In other words, this is the effect of social media. It amplifies who will see your packaging efforts far beyond your initial customer!

But why exactly does it have this effect? Because we live in a culture of sharing.

Perhaps the biggest change that social media has bought is a new level of self-awareness. Today, there is a potential audience to everything that we do. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, going to a concert or our latest online purchase arriving, we can share these moments with our followers in an instant. Once only the domain of reality TV stars, the daily lives of ordinary people are now on show to the masses. Studies show that even the smallest aspects of our lives are no longer too small to share. Dotcom distribution estimates that nearly 4 in 10 consumers would share an image of an eCommerce delivery if it arrived in premium packaging.

This means that on some level, every one of your customers is an influencer. If you treat them as such through how you interact with them, you will see some great results. This is where the role of packaging comes in. It expresses to your customers how much they matter to your brand, and that the customer experience matters as much as the product. Touches like this are what will make you memorable to an online audience, and being memorable is what will make your brand worth sharing!

This makes packaging a great fuel source for your organic marketing efforts.

A custom packaging experience that lends itself well to visual content creates a valuable opportunity. Consumers can share something that’s genuine to a receptive social media audience. We cannot forget that the online sphere is almost entirely image-based. Investing in a curated brand narrative means the consumer effectively does your marketing for you!

This is something that our savvy customers here at noissue are well aware of. Social media plays a central role in how many discover our tissue through its use by followed brands. It’s not unusual for our customers to hire professional photographers to get insta-worthy shots for their feeds. This might sound extreme to some, but social media has quickly become one of the most lucrative marketing channels. Why? Because it's the modern incarnation of word of mouth. Let's be honest: We trust the opinions of people we know far more than what an ad tells us! This makes social media a channel where many traditional advertising rules simply don’t apply. 

Conventional wisdom tells us that to spread the word about your brand, you need to get the word out to as many places as possible. There is truth to this in a social media setting – but only up to a point. Privileging the QUANTITY of your advertising (putting out as many paid ads as possible) over QUALITY (who is actually seeing your ads) is a classic misstep.

The truth is, we dislike paid social media ads constantly interrupting our feeds. It’s irritating and takes space away from viewing content from people or brands that we follow! A survey found that nearly three-quarters of users think social media has too many ads, whilst 44% say that ads don’t show them anything that they actually want. That isn’t to say that conventional advertising on these platforms has no return. Rather, it simply isn’t as efficient as organic marketing techniques because it’s hard to target the right audience.

If you focus your efforts at cultivating a product that your customers want to share, you have a recipe for a more successful, long-term strategy. Simply put, the more well-presented the product, the higher the likelihood that the customer will positively post or share it. When you motivate customers to discuss a brand with others, it’s far more effective. The conversations are genuine, rather than unconvincing and forced as is the case with paid product placements.

If you harness these conversations, you have a virtual goldmine of user-generated content.

Custom packaging provides some unique opportunities for fostering customer engagement online. The personal interactions we have with packaging are more intimate than we might realize initially. The anticipation of unwrapping a parcel is one that we all experience and understand, regardless of culture. The growing popularity of “unboxing” videos supports this. There is a shared visceral pleasure to unboxing which can be easily leveraged in your social media marketing.

An example would be your brand creating a specific hashtag for your customers to use to share their unboxing experiences. It's an excellent way of extending the branding experience far beyond the product itself. It brings your customers a sense of validation when you share their content, which fosters greater loyalty towards your brand.

The main takeaway here is that packaging your product well leads to customer satisfaction, and translates easily into an aesthetically pleasing experience that they can share online. This is all feeds into fostering a positive perception of your brand which will last into the long-term.