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TULA is a skincare brand made using probiotic skincare technology. We're happy to be interviewing TULA's Influencer and Social Media Marketing Manager, Erica Livoti on the blog to discuss how they grew using long-term influencer partnerships, create consistency within their brand voice, maintain a content calendar, and more. Read on to discover more!
Hi Erica! Please tell us about yourself and give us a breakdown of your digital background.
Hi! I'm the Influencer and Social Media Marketing Manager at TULA, a Probiotic Skincare brand based in NYC. I previously worked as a freelance photographer which helped propel me into the digital space. I was collaborating with a bunch of different brands mainly within the fitness and lifestyle space to help create compelling, cohesive content for their Instagram. From there, I went on to work directly for beauty influencer and now founder of TINTED, Deepica Mutyala. I was in charge of helping create and manage her Instagram content, assist with filming and editing her YouTube videos, and more!
How did you find yourself at TULA? Describe your role and what a typical day looks like for you.
Working with Deepica definitely made me skincare and beauty obsessed, but it also gave me incredible insight to what influencer marketing was like from the creator side. Since influencer marketing was still fairly new at the time, we would sometimes encounter some obstacles when working with new brands. When I saw that TULA was looking for someone to help build their influencer program, I felt like I had solid knowledge of what influencers wanted when working with or trying out a new brand. I started working at TULA almost two years ago when our team was only seven people, and now we're close to 20! I have to say since I've been here there has never been a day that has been exactly the same. Since we're still a small team, my days are always varied and filled with anything from producing and planning our social content, collaborating with influencers, designing our campaign collateral, and coming up with innovative ways to connect and engage with our community!
TULA has seen a lot of growth thanks to influencer marketing. What are the main components you look for when deciding whether or not to work with an influencer? What makes for a good influencer marketing campaign?
There are a few key things that we consider when working with a new influencer. The most important thing we focus on is making sure they're genuine fans of our products first, so they can speak organically and truthfully about the products and how they use them in their routines. We also make sure that they are a good brand fit and are representative of our mission and values of promoting healthy skin from the inside out. We're also very mindful of making sure that their followers are real, authentic and engaged. We're somewhat different from other beauty brands in the sense that we don't really work with influencers on a campaign basis, it's more of an "always on" approach where we encourage them to talk about TULA and their favorite products in any way that they prefer. We don't have strict guidelines for the way that their content should look and don't give specific scripts to them - we just want influencers to be themselves and talk about why they love TULA! We find that this resonates very well and keeps it casual and authentic - especially on Instagram Stories.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of long-term influencer partnerships vs. short-term ones?
Influencer marketing has been an integral part of our brand strategy since our inception and is one of the reasons we've been able to grow and scale so quickly. A lot of the influencer collaborations we do are long-term partnerships for several reasons - the most important being that the influencers we work with love our products so much that they truly use them every day. This makes long-term partnerships a no-brainer for us because they genuinely want to share the products with their audience since we've become such a staple in their routine. Long-term partnerships are also great because their audience can see that they're using the products consistently, and trust not only the influencer but also our brand. We also love working with our influencers long term because we consider them part of the TULA team, they're so important to us, and we love getting their feedback on products and collaborating with them on many different levels. When we're creating new products we love to send samples to our influencers before we finalize them to get their thoughts - they know their audience best, and what their audience is looking for, so they bring amazing insight for us when we're creating new products or kits!
Your Instagram is #goals. What are your top 3 tips when it comes to creating and posting content and sharing regrams from your community on IG?
- Know your audience! Create and curate meaningful content that represents your brand but also compels your audience to engage with you and share with their friends and on their own feeds.
- Create a conversation. Your Instagram is the easiest way to speak to your customer directly so we really take advantage of that by posting photos and captions that ask our audience to share their TULA experience, or their favorite products, etc. so we can continue to chat with them about the products, answer any questions they might have, and find out what they want to see next from us.
- Build your community. We love regramming photos from our customers because they are our biggest fans and the most important part of TULA. You seriously have to love a brand to post a no-makeup selfie on your Instagram feed and share how much the product has done for your skin! We love how passionate our customers are about our brand and products, and we love to celebrate them by asking them to share #TULAobsessed to be reposted on our Instagram! We also encourage them to submit video reviews that we showcase on our website as part of our customer love project!
How has PLANOLY assisted you when it comes to digital planning?
I've been using PLANOLY since I started working at TULA! It has been a lifesaver. I'm a very visual person, so I love being able to use drafts to plan out what our feed will look like. It's especially helpful for new launches where we have a ton of new content to upload! The Analyze section has helped our social media strategy because I can dig into the analytics and see what content is resonating best with our audience and take those learnings to create content that will be the most impactful.
What are your tips for planning and maintaining a content calendar across several social platforms?
Organization is definitely key! We have a company-wide meeting where we all review the marketing calendar for the upcoming month and then based on those themes, promotions, or new launches; I begin to plan out our social content and calendars. Planoly has made it so easy for us to draft content, create placeholders for any promotions that we have to plug in, and to make sure everything looks cohesive.
TULA has done a fabulous job at creating consistency within your brand voice and content. What advice do you have for budding companies trying to hone in on their voice and style?
The most important part of creating a consistent brand voice is first understanding who you're talking to and who your consumer is. We have a younger customer, and we like to talk to them as if they're our friends, we don't want skincare to be scary or overwhelming to them (as it can be!) so we like to keep it casual and comfortable. We also like to be relatable so we keep up with what 24-30-year-olds are talking about and are interested in so we can be a part of those conversations with them. We also love to utilize things like our Skin Quiz or even polls on Instagram Stories to continue to learn about our customer and what they like, what their hobbies are etc. so we can continue to relate to them!