To increase brand awareness, Mike Majlak built Lovesac’s partnerships and influencer program from the ground up about two years ago. He initially partnered with a small group of macro-influencers, including Logan Paul and Shawn Mendes, who have a combined Instagram reach of over 36M followers.
Content featuring Lovesac’s unique and aesthetically pleasing products naturally received high engagement on social media. However, because Mike was manually managing collaborations through email and spreadsheets, he did not have the resources he needed to scale his influencer network in order to see tangible results.
Although managing multiple collaborations with influencers without the proper tools is very time-consuming, outsourcing influencer relationships to an agency was not an option. Lovesac values authenticity and organic partnerships. Therefore, maintaining personal relationships with their influencer network has always been a top priority. According to a recent study, 63% of consumers buy from “authentic” brands over competitors.
Like many marketers, Mike was not aware that there was a way to scale up an in-house influencer program without compromising long-term, organic relationships until the Aspire team reached out to him.
When it comes to influencer marketing, building organic relationships with the content creators they work with is most important to the Lovesac team. Mike sees a substantial drop in the engagement rate when influencers post content with inorganic brand messaging or content that blatantly comes across as an ad. In an effort to avoid this and to create high-quality, engaging content, the team makes it a point to ensure that every influencer they work with genuinely loves the Lovesac brand. Their goal is to spread brand awareness by integrating products into influencers’ content as seamlessly and organically as possible.
Before working with Aspire, Lovesac relied on spreadsheets and other time-consuming manual tactics to organize their influencer program. Mike found that maintaining relationships and sourcing the right influencers required dozens of hours per week, including research, creating contracts, and negotiating agreements.
When they decided to scale up their program, Mike’s team was hoping that their partnership with big-time YouTubers Logan Paul and Shawn Mendes would attract other content creators interested in working with Lovesac. Yet Mike still found it difficult to source and manage more than eight influencer relationships per month considering his existing workflow.
Contrary to many marketers’ beliefs, there is a way to scale up an influencer marketing program without compromising strong, long-term relationships.
Connecting With Influencers
As the influencer marketing industry continues its meteoric growth, the abundance of content creators makes it difficult for marketers to keep up. Utilizing Aspire has allowed Lovesac to find more influencers than ever who match the brand’s aesthetic and have the performance metrics that help the brand determine beforehand if they are worth investing in. Mike’s team looks for influencers with a high engagement rate and high-quality photography. Using Aspire’s highly filterable database, Mike is able to search through the 2,000,000 + influencers that meet their requirements in a fraction of the time it would take to search Google or Instagram directly.
Aspire gives brands a quick snapshot of an influencer’s performance data such as average engagement, audience demographics, and follower count, as well as an overview of their content so that brands can assess their potential fit at a glance.
Whether it is agreeing to contract terms, choosing products, or reviewing content, each influencer needs individual attention in order to push them through the collaboration process as smoothly and quickly as possible. Aspire gives brands the tools they need to manage lar ge numbers of influencers without sacrificing the personal touch. Brands can visually see which stage of the collaboration process each influencer is in so that they can communicate accordingly.
When thinking about dozens or even hundreds of influencer relationships, it’s easy to forget that every influencer is an individual with their own personality and goals. When managing more than a handful of relationships via email and spreadsheets, it is natural to miss out on quick, personal communication. Mike loves using Aspire to communicate with influencers via chat to build rapport and treat them like friends.
Aspire allows brands to message influencers directly, send contracts, provide campaign objectives, and track product choices, shipments, and everything in between. Without these tools in place, it would be nearly impossible to maintain dozens of relationships at the scale the Lovesac team is currently working at.
Before Aspire, Mike manually calculated influencer collaboration analytics after each campaign. Each influencer’s performance metrics such as engagement, sales, media value, and clicks generated had to be manually captured, calculated, and updated via a spreadsheet. This solution tends to be an inaccurate and time-consuming way to track influencer ROI.
Lovesac then turned to a PR agency to report campaign metrics. However, because of the high cost associated with many agencies, this solution proved neither cost-effective nor scalable.
Aspire gives Mike the data that matters and helps him to better understand how his campaigns are performing at any given point in time. Aspire’s easy-to-read dashboard highlights valuable data such as total impressions, media value, sales, clicks, follower growth, etc. These real-time metrics give brands additional insight that they can apply to their future e-campaigns.
If an influencer’s content receives low engagement on their feed, the Lovesac team knows they should not invest in that content creator again, whereas if an influencer gets great results, Mike knows he should source more influencers with similar content and audiences.
Before Aspire, Lovesac was managing 5-8 influencers per month. Now, with Aspire, Mike manages 30-40 influencer relationships per month.
Aspire has given Lovesac the ability to find and connect with influencers that Mike’s team was not able to find with any other tool, to increase the scale of their influencer program, and to maintain their valued organic relationships without spending any additional time. Since partnering with Aspire, Mike has seen a 3-4x return on his time investment.
Since utilizing Aspire to scale its influencer program, Lovesac now has an abundance of high-quality, authentic content that it repurposes across its owned marketing channels. Influencer content has been redistributed across every marketing channel: social media, blog posts, their website, catalogs, and direct mail.