Effective use of social media can assist in selling products to the right audiences, encouraging users to post about a brand, and connecting with “influencers” who persuade their army of followers to buy products.
Glossier, a New York-based direct-to-consumer beauty brand, has established itself as one of the top skincare brands in the United States.
Emily Weiss founded the company in 2014, and it has developed many popular skincare and make-up products as well as used a novel approach with influencers to get people to talk about its brand. The company has flipped the traditional influencer marketing script by sending products to 500 “ambassadors” who are either highly engaged with Glossier online or have purchased the most products. By having a flashy new product first, those fans help spread the word about new products and have become influencers in their own right.
Weiss has publicly discussed the company’s strategy of treating regular customers like influencers, and it frequently reposts customer photos on its Instagram account, which has over 2.5 million followers. To date, the company has raised $186 million in venture capital and is worth more than $1 billion. Glossier is collaborating with YouTube sensation Peter McKinnon right now.
Banza is an innovative food company whose first product was chickpea pasta. It had more protein and fewer carbohydrates than wheat pasta. Brian Rudolph, the founder and CEO, bet that if he could get the product into the hands of influencers, they’d spread the word about how good his pasta was. Rudolph sent emails to journalists and big names in the social media world, asking if they wanted free samples. This strategy eventually gained traction, and the majority of influencers who tried the product recommended it to their followers. Banza is now available in grocery stores across the United States, and in addition to chickpea pasta, they also sell chickpea rice and chickpea mac and cheese.
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Society 6 is an e-commerce store and online community where artists can sell their work on a variety of products ranging from mugs and bags to posters, bed sheets, and carpets.
When they were ready to promote their brand, they decided to focus on a single demographic profile and work with influential female women in college who are interested in fashion.
The selected influencers created videos highlighting the one-of-a-kind products available at Society6 that college-bound girls can use to decorate their dorm rooms. The company wanted to create the impression that these products could help people personalize their living space.
“Every corner of your home and daily life should feel authentically you, so come discover something from us that goes far beyond the “box store blah.” “We give you the opportunity to personalize your life with one-of-a-kind products and designs that speak to you,” says the brand’s website.
In 2013, Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante dropped out of college to launch the direct-to-consumer fashion brand MVMT. Their goal was to disrupt the watch industry with stylish, less expensive watches. The Los Angeles-based company began with a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $200,000, and then used influencer marketing to reach new customers. The pair took a two-pronged approach:
1) Paying well-known Instagram influencers to promote its fashionable watches.
2) Disseminating user-generated content with the hashtag #jointhemvmt, which has been used over 150,000 times.
MVMT now sells sunglasses and accessories in addition to watches, and it has over one million Instagram followers.
Off The Beaten Track (OTBT) creates and sells women’s casual and travel shoes. Despite its recent launch, it is a young, vibrant brand that has quickly grown in popularity. Their influencers and influencer marketing strategy have contributed significantly to their success.
OTBT’s Instagram account was launched in January 2015, but its influencer program did not begin until 2017. The team decided to focus on micro-influencers with 5,000 or fewer followers. Since launching the program, they have grown their influencer community from a handful to over 400, with 200 of them committing to participate in 2020.
“With influencers providing an estimated annual reach of 750,000 potential customers, social media accounts for approximately 44% of our gross e-commerce revenue.” They produce the majority of our lifestyle and content while also increasing brand awareness across the country, particularly in the southeastern US states.”