How to Start a PR Box Strategy For Your Shopify Store

01/10/2020, Marketing, Guest Blogger

Today on the blog, Vitor Botega, Head of Partnerships at product packaging company Arka, walks through how to successfully plan and implement an effective PR box strategy for your Shopify store.

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Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important since social media transformed into a global market. Today, some Shopify brands are securing influencers’ services to promote their business beyond the physical market. But the fact is, the biggest personalities are inaccessible to most brands because of the costs involved.


There are, however, strategies you could use to save money and still generate good results. A PR box strategy is one of the few marketing strategies accessible to every Shopify store.


In this article, we’ll be taking you through how to start this brilliant strategy. 


Image source: Michel Janse on YouTube


What is a PR box strategy?


A PR box is a package containing carefully selected items to be sent to a list of influencers. They are sent with the hope that the recipient will share the product with their audience. This could be done through a product review, sharing unboxing videos, or even giveaways.


This strategy is a very effective way for Shopify stores to get exposure to social media celebrities who can sway fans to become regular customers. You can send them free products instead of paying them to market your products.


The aim is for influencers to create genuine, personalised reviews for their audiences, driving brand awareness and sales to your store. These strategies are also cost-effective and involve minimal risk compared to other influencer marketing strategies.


However, it’s important to understand that using this strategy involves more than just giving out free products!


How to get started


PR boxes are becoming a trendy choice among ecommerce businesses – you could be missing out if you haven’t tried this upcoming strategy yet! But that can change today with this guide, which walks through how to plan and execute the right steps from start to finish.


#1 Define what you want


There are many marketing strategies out there, but it’s important to realise that not all of them will be right for your brand. Defining your objectives and the best market strategies to achieve them is paramount in business.


PR boxes are very effective when they soothe your brand’s objective, but risk being ineffective if not. If your goal is to engage a niche community, build customer trust, or launch scalable campaigns, PR boxes work perfectly. For instance, this strategy is recommended for small businesses seeking brand awareness (although big brands are using it as a cost-effective alternative!).


Ensuring that this strategy is exactly what your brand needs for a campaign is the best way to start.


#2 Select an audience


For every marketing campaign, what comes to mind first is the target audience. With PR boxes, you’re not just giving products to influencers for mere consumption. Instead, it’s expected that they’ll advertise the products to their audience in any way they wish to.


Without a defined audience, this strategy may not work well. Every product has its target market. This doesn’t mean others outside the group cannot buy the product, the truth is, they can. However, they cannot be classified as major consumers of the product.


There are two things to keep in mind when selecting your audience. Firstly, your audience is determined by the product, the niche, and how many are on social media.


Secondly, your audience is determined by the brand’s objective. If the objective is essentially to drive brand awareness, the audience may be selected from diverse backgrounds. In this case, the social media personality is free to post their content to as many people as possible.


#3 Find the right influencers


Consumers are likely going to buy from you when someone they trust motivates them to do so. Influencers are the major drivers in a PR box strategy. Since they control what gets to your target audience, you need to find the right personalities for your business


There are many influencers on social media today, but not everyone is your lucky pick. When searching and selecting them, there are three things you should have at the back of your mind.


  • Relevance: First, select influencers based on their relevance to your brand’s objective. This means that they must be respected individuals in the product’s niche you want to promote. Moreso, they should be people that soothe the brand’s public image.


  • How large is their network? Before making your choice, it’s essential to look at the number of followers your potential influencers have. This is very important for those that specialise in driving a brand’s awareness and conversion.


  • Average content engagement: It’s important to consider if their content generates enough comments and likes from their audience. Before you make a decision, be sure their content is engaging enough. Many brands have actually switched to using micro-influencers because they engage their audience more than others.




#4 Bring them on board


When you’re done searching, the next thing is to contact your chosen influencers. This can be done via email or personal message inside a social platform. In either case, you have the challenge of making them pay attention to your idea.


Discuss transparently what you intend to achieve and how they can contribute towards it. If you’re trying to build a lasting relationship with them, it’s important to be honest about what you want.


Influencers are people with different personalities, which is something you need to consider before prospecting them. You can decide which products the box will contain by asking about their preferences. This way, you’ll be making sure each recipient is happy, which will improve the chances of having high-quality content and better results.


#5 Create the box


Having selected the products each influencer prefers, the next thing is to put them into a box. Creating a great package is one of the ways to make sure they are on your side.


a) Arrange the products


Since the box may contain more than one product at a time, making sure they are nicely arranged is essential. Arranging your product helps you maximise space while keeping them safe. In addition to this, people will be able to return it easily without stress, when necessary.


b) Custom packaging


Custom packaging is essential, and there are a few things to consider.


Durability is one of the most important things in packaging. If your box cannot keep the products safe, no one will remember how fancy they look. Make sure your products are well packaged to prevent damage on the way.


Image source: Laura Lee on YouTube


Secondly, don’t use stock packaging. You can’t create a great PR box without custom packaging. It’s what sets your brand apart from the others. With custom packaging, you’ll ensure that your box is video-ready and visually appealing. Let your packaging create that unboxing experience that will keep your influencers for as long as you want and help in your brand awareness and recognition.


c) Handwritten note


You should also send products to influencers individually with a personal note or card addressed to them. You’ll get bonus points if it’s a handwritten note! The more effort you put into it, the more likely they are to engage. Let them know you appreciate them and that you are grateful for this partnership.


#6 Monitor the delivery


Making sure your products get to the right recipient is super-important for this strategy. You can keep a tab on your boxes by using a trackable delivery method. Alternatively, for bigger campaigns, you can save time and eliminate common delivery worries by getting products delivered through third parties companies like Sendoso.


#7 Monitor the campaign


Having met all your influencers’ requirements, you can now monitor the success of the campaign. You want to micro evaluate your influencers to gain a macro view of the whole campaign. It’s also important to understand general consumer behaviour.


When monitoring a marketing campaign, brands should determine whether the campaign reflects the original intention. Campaigns that are no longer in line with the brand’s objective should be stopped as soon as possible.


To understand whether you’ve achieved your goal, the performance metrics you use could include:

  • Number of impressions
  • Clicks
  • Brand mentions
  • Follower growth
  • Increase in brand engagement
  • Increase in user-generated content
  • Sales




There are many advantages to using influencer marketing as a tactic to grow your business. Implementing a PR box strategy is one of the easiest ways to begin. Decide on your target audience, choose the right social media personalities, get creative with packaging, set up campaign monitoring, and off you go!


This is one of the cheapest strategies out there, yet it effectively increases brand awareness and sales. No wonder it’s become so popular. What are you waiting for?



Looking for more tactics to boost brand awareness and supercharge your sales? Check out our blog post on how to start affiliate marketing and why it’s a smart idea for your ecommerce store.


Looking to update and grow your ecommerce store?

Swanky is an end-to-end Shopify Plus partner agency, with offices in the UK and Australia. As a leading ecommerce agency for design, development and growth services, we have spent years delivering innovative digital solutions that elevate our clients to the forefront of their industries. We’re committed to accelerating the growth of ambitious brands through the delivery of creative digital solutions and outstanding customer experiences.


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About the author

Vitor Botega

Vitor Botega is the Head of Partnerships of Arka, with over a decade’s experience in digital marketing. Vitor has gathered expertise in multiple industries, working with SaaS, ecommerce, agencies, and several digital media platforms.

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