How an organic skincare brand’s authentic approach to influencer marketing boosted sales by 60%
The beauty and skincare industry is a competitive one. COOLA, a high-end sun protection skincare brand with a mission to create products that help customers live a happy, healthy lifestyle, needed to adopt a targeted strategy to reach their audience — women between the ages of 24 and 35. Mykella Gannon, COOLA’s Marketing Director, found that influencer marketing was an effective way to foster community, boost brand awareness, and improve customer retention.
Influencers, both large and small, act as tastemakers in the beauty space. Their recommendations provide social proof that today’s consumers require when making purchase decisions. Mykella’s goal is to build a community of COOLA fans who can not only promote products, but produce authentic content that can draw in new customers and build a cohesive brand identity across all marketing channels
Without the proper tools, the influencer marketing process proved to be overwhelming. Mykella struggled to keep track of conversations and review content to ensure it met brand standards. And it was difficult to hold influencers accountable to contractual obligations because the brand prefers to do unpaid campaigns in an effort to keep relationships more organic. All of these moving parts made it nearly impossible to foster real relationships with influencers and see tangible returns.
Prior to working with AspireIQ, Mykella worked with another influencer marketing software and collaborated with a PR agency to assist with vetting influencers. However, the quality of the content she received wasn’t meeting COOLA’s standards. She needed a solution that streamlined the process of identifying and managing influencers in-house, to ensure that content was on-brand every time.
Influencer marketing through AspireIQ has allowed the COOLA team to scale their program by 10x. They went from working with around 150 influencers every two to three months to over 500 influencers per month, all of whom align with the brand’s values. These brand champions have generated more than 9,000 pieces of authentic content in exchange for products that they love. Repurposing this content across various channels has saved COOLA more than $75,000 each quarter because they no longer have to organize quarterly photoshoots.
Not only has the size of COOLA’s community increased, but so has the quality. Influencer recommendations have helped boost its online presence and sales. Since scaling its program, the brand has acquired and retained more than 37,500 loyal followers on Instagram. These followers become valuable community members with high purchase intent. In fact, after its “Drop It Like It’s Hot” campaign, sales for the Sun Silk Drops were up 60% from one year prior and 27% from one month prior.
But influencer content isn’t just performing on social – the content that influencers create has consistently outperformed brand-directed content across paid social, website headers, product pages, retailers’ websites, and even in-store signage. The COOLA team has significantly decreased the content they create in-house, because Mykella feels confident knowing she has an always-on community of influencers who can produce the quality of content she needs every time. Isabella works with diverse influencers who can talk about how Phyto has helped them on their journey to healthy, beautiful hair. For example, the team partners with young moms going through postpartum hair thinning, or women with dry, curly hair talk to share how Phyto has brought their hair back to life. Unlike content shot in a studio, influencer content provides consumers with social proof because it comes from real people and resonates with those who share similar experiences.