Sponsored By GRIN
At Velour, an eyelash extension brand passionate about natural-looking and environmentally-responsible products, partnering with social media creators isn’t just a way to grow a business; they are building a community of people who share a love for “effortless lashes.”
Mable Lee, the company’s founder and CEO, decided she had enough of the cumbersome look and feel of false eyelashes. She designed her first pair by hand, and today, Velour is the top lash brand based in Canada.
Crystal Wang, Social Media Manager at Velour manages influencer relationships and attributes much of the brand’s growth to its creators, “I think we really struggled with brand awareness at one point because there were so many new lash brands popping up. We wanted a constant flow of content coming in while being able to build community around that.”
For the creator program, Velour focused its marketing goals around nurturing genuine brand love among fans. The brand recognized that true influencer marketing must be credible and that it must elevate those voices that have a deep knowledge of the product. And while this strategy has resulted in high sales, the bigger goal has been online word-of-mouth and a thriving, growing community of authentic social media influencers.
Maintaining deep relationships with each creator partner is essential to achieving those goals, according to Wang. She’s found that influencers with smaller audiences are far more excited to be a part of a brand community. “What worked best for us is the nano and micro creators. I think they really value that communication and the community part a lot more than like the [macro and celebrity creators] because those creators already at their peak of success.”
In the beauty industry, consumers are responding more positively to organic posts over traditional paid ads. That said, Velour has done such a good job collecting lo-fi, relatable content that they’ve reused in multiple ways, including paid ads that generate high click and conversion rates.
To do this well, the brand needed a tool that could help them find and work directly with the right creator partners. Partnering with the wrong influencers could prove problematic for a brand that prioritizes quality, community, and social responsibility.
And that’s when Velour found GRIN, a creator management suite that defied the opt-in, influencer network model to provide transparent creator performance metrics and customized tools to help the brand nurture one-on-one relationships with ideal influencers.
“I think we really struggled with brand awareness at one point because there were so many new lash brands popping up. We wanted a constant flow of content coming in while being able to build community around that.”
By Crystal Wang, Social Media Manager, Velour
To find the right influencers for the Velour, Wang leverages GRIN’s creator search engine of over 37 million creators and consults audience insights reports, credibility scores, GRIN’s influencer look-alike feature (a tool that finds creators who are nearly identical to high performers) and influential customers feature within ecommerce integration with Shopify. She also manages campaign content within the platform’s content library and can leverage contract templates to carefully include full usage rights.
When it comes to getting the most out of their campaigns, Wang encourages “inclusive posting” wherein creators feature their lashes alongside other fashion and cosmetics brands. This approach doesn’t just create a more collaborative team atmosphere and organic posts, but it also demonstrates the versatility of Velour’s products.
When asked about the future of creator partnerships at Velour, Wang was excited to announce, “In 2022, it is 100% going to be scaling. I love where our program is today. And then it's, how can we get more people into this? And how can we maintain the traction that we're having now?” She also shared that Twitch is an up-and-coming channel for beauty brands, “In terms of Twitch, this is actually something that I'm working on for 2022. I love the whole Twitch industry, and I think that there is a whole new prospect of audiences that we have not tapped into yet.”
For brands like Velour who value sustainable, cruelty-free products, building online communities with like-minded consumers is key. Because of this community mindset, the brand has burst through what many consider to be a congested market and have surged ahead to one of the top eyelash brands in e-commerce.