Shopify brand SmartyPants manufactures all-in-one gummy vitamins for kids, adults, and pets. It is currently the #1 selling gummy vitamin at Amazon and Whole Food as well as the best-selling kid’s vitamin at Target.
Since its founding, SmartyPants has always valued authenticity, transparency, and the overall well-being of its customers. The company’s founders, husband, and wife Gordon Gould & Courtney Nichols Gould, started the company because they couldn’t find a multivitamin on the market that they felt comfortable giving their children.
Most consumers shopping for vitamins look at similar-minded people for genuine reviews and recommendations. Tori Herman, Associate Manager of Marketing Communications, knew influencer-generated content was one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to boost brand awareness and educate consumers about SmartyPants products because it is targeted, it’s easily scalable, and most importantly, it comes from real people.
SmartyPants manufactures more than 20 products that tailor to a variety of people ranging from children, expecting mothers, adults, and pet owners. The in-house production team couldn’t create enough content that iterated on every use case and benefit of each product. However, unlike studio-shot content, the content influencers create is authentic because it demonstrates how products impact real people’s lives. And because influencers come from all walks of life, it is diverse, making it the perfect tool to fuel the brand’s various marketing channels.
In an effort to scale the brand’s influencer community, Tori manually searched for on-brand influencers using Instagram – a process that was extremely time-consuming and inefficient. She worked with a different influencer marketing platform but struggled to find the high-quality influencers the brand was looking for. The team needed a better solution to effectively identify on-brand influencers and scale content creation.
Identifying brand champions
With Aspire, Tori can quickly filter through millions of content creators by keyword and demographics to identify influencers that align with brand aesthetic. Alternatively, influencers can apply to SmartyPants campaigns through the marketplace. This not only saves Tori hours each week, but it ensures that the influencers they work with are genuinely interested in SmartyPants products. Tori has found that bought-in influencers are more likely to continue to post about Smartypants after their campaign is over. This additional exposure from brand champions fosters community and builds brand affinity with influencers’ audience.
Educating the community
Advertising supplements comes with many nuances that are in place to avoid promoting misleading claims. Building campaigns in Aspire allows Tori to easily lay out the guidelines of what can and can’t be said about the products. Because content guidelines are completely customizable, she can still give influencers creative control, which results in more genuine content. Aspire also allows Tori to communicate product releases, campaign updates, and more with hundreds of people in one organized place. For example, when the brand launched its SmartyPaws product line, Tori sent samples to pet-owning influencers she had an existing relationship with. Their genuine support made the process of entering a new market seamless.
Scaling authentic content to use for ads
Relevancy and authenticity are the keys to paid ads success. Because SmartyPants influencers are customers, boosting influencer posts has continued to be a successful way to increase engagement online. Aspire’s content library acts as a repository of all of the content the team receives from influencers, allowing Tori to quickly download and distribute images to different members of her team. Plus, the Brand Access Manager feature makes the process of boosting influencer posts stress-free because Tori can request ads manager access in just a few clicks.
Leveraging influencers helps SmartyPants bridge the gap between the product and consumer. Because the brand message is coming from real customers, influencer posts provide an important layer of social proof and trust that the company was not able to achieve through brand-produced content. SmartyPants currently features influencer content on their website, social channels, paid media, and even in a parent-focused publication.
Since using Aspire, the SmartyPants team has scaled its influencer community by 300%. They went from working with an average of four influencers per month to working with an average of 20 per month. At this scale, the team was able to lower spend by about 80% while increasing content creation by 7x, which has allowed them to continuously grow and diversify their community.
The quality of influencers it has worked with has improved as well. Last year, the team reached a little over 500,000 consumers through influencers they found outside of Aspire. Influencer content tells a brand story and resonates with consumers in a way that cannot be duplicated with studio-shot creative. Since working on the platform, SmartyPants has reached more than 20 million consumers and boosted its engagement rate by 3x through influencers found on the platform.