Influencer Marketing Case Study: A Video Lighting Company Scaled their Influencer Program from 50 to 450 Influencer Ambassadors
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Who is Lume Cube?
“We’re a company that helps creators achieve their visions through lighting.” – Trevor Farrow, Marketing Manager at Lume Cube
The founders of Lume Cube noticed that the camera industry was constantly producing smaller, high-quality devices like the GoPro and smartphones with 4K video–but that lighting wasn’t following that trend. There was a gap in the market for small, portable, user-friendly lights at an affordable price. In 2014, with funding through a successful Kickstarter campaign, the San Diego brand Lume Cube was born.
Lume Cube’s mission is to produce compact, portable and durable lighting for video, photography, and video conferences. Their products are now sold in 35 countries–and on the shelves of every Apple Store in the world. Today, they’ve sold hundreds of thousands of products to creatives, influencers, and business professionals worldwide.
About Lume Cube’s influencer marketing program
Influencer marketing has always been a foundation of Lume Cube’s success. Understanding the importance of influencer partnerships from day one, the company was catapulted toward success due to a few early, strategic partnerships. After launching, the brand joined forces with personalities like professional skater Ryan Sheckler and surfer Jamie O’Brien who were known for creating dynamic content that showed off their action-packed lifestyles. Their organic content made them the perfect ambassadors to promote Lume Cube’s versatility. From there, the program took off.
The nature of the product made it very attractive to content creators. Many creators needed a versatile, budget-friendly lighting alternative, so the team received many inbound requests for partnerships. But, the Lume Cube marketing team decided to shift to a more proactive strategy by actively seeking out valuable partnerships with the perfect influencers.
Influencer marketing was an obvious early win for Lume Cube. And the key to the success of their influencer marketing strategy was relationship building. The Lume Cube team worked hard to create a community between its marketers and their influencers. But when seeking to nurture new relationships at scale, it soon became clear that their current tools weren’t good enough.
They attempted to use Google sheets to organize their influencer efforts, but attempting to manage a dynamic and growing influencer marketing program with spreadsheets became “a total nightmare”. And as the program grew, it became increasingly difficult to manage communications, product seeding, and other aspects of the influencer marketing program without a tool built for automation.
“Attempting to manage a dynamic and growing influencer marketing program with spreadsheets became a total nightmare.” – Trevor Farrow, Marketing Manager at Lume Cube
Because of the number of inbound requests Lume Cube was receiving from potential ambassadors, it was also crucial that they were able to properly vet each influencer. Was this influencer looking for an ongoing partnership or a one-off campaign? Was this person creating content out of genuine passion? Were they truly in alignment with the Lume Cube lifestyle?
It was also clear that when pursuing relationships with big influencers, some form of automation was needed to keep the program sustainable.
“We were actually having conversations with some big influencers, and it was almost like, we need some form of automation. Because we’re putting in all this work upfront having these conversations, sending them gear, and then maybe never talking to them again just because we’re on to the next thing. We’re on to the next launch or campaign. We need a system that is checking for deliverables in the background as we’re growing the campaign upfront…It became too valuable a program to not have automation working in our favor.” – Trevor Farrow, Marketing Manager at Lume Cube
The Lume Cube team knew that they needed a powerful influencer marketing software tool that would allow them to easily automate their influencer program. They needed a solution that could help them:
After a major, detailed search for the right solution, the Lume Cube team discovered GRIN. When carefully comparing each of the products on the market, it was clear that GRIN’s robust software solution offered the powerful automation capacity they needed to scale their influencer marketing program.
Lume Cube operates with a relatively small influencer marketing team–meaning that every minute of their time needs to be productive. Tasks like tracking down influencer addresses to send out products would monopolize the team’s precious time. But GRIN’s automation capabilities and Shopify integration made this formerly tedious task quick and easy.
GRIN also helped Lume Cube get maximum creativity from their partners. For instance, if the Lume Cube team sent out a large scale email blast to their list of influencers seeking participation in an upcoming campaign, they could communicate back and forth to brainstorm how a creator may use the product in their content. This sort of room for creative freedom allows the brand’s ambassadors to create engaging, authentic content.
The numbers speak for themselves–after GRIN, Lume Cube’s influencer marketing program grew from just fifty influencers to an impressive 450 brand ambassadors. And the remarkable part was that this impressive growth occurred in just over one year.
One of the most useful aspects of the GRIN platform was the email finder plugin that allowed them to leverage email communications.
“GRIN helps us start new relationships through email. The Google Chrome plugin that allows you to find email addresses is a great starting point.” Trevor Farrow, Marketing Manager at Lume Cube
GRIN also provided the Lume Cube team with the data and analytics to track the results of campaigns on different platforms. They can now get an aerial view of which products and partnerships are performing best on each platform. For example, Lume Cube’s drone lighting products perform well on YouTube; while photography lighting items do best on Instagram.
When Lume Cube began working with ambassadors, simply getting any influencer to post about their product was a success.
Because GRIN carefully tracks influencer engagement, it’s easy to see which influencers and which types of content perform best.
Why choose GRIN?
For Lume Cube, freeing up time to devote to building genuine relationships with their influencers made GRIN a no brainer.
“Before it was a full-time job to even make sure orders got sent out. Now, it’s all integrated and automated which saves a ton of time and allows relationship building with that time.” – Audrey Van Vark, Influencer Marketing & Event Manager at Lume Cube
The level of automation options, integrations to platforms like Shopify and PayPal and the user-friendly interface were also reasons Lume Cube chose GRIN. The pricing structure also made it an easy sell to the c-suite.
Another pro was that all email communications from within the GRIN platform are branded as normal emails from Lume Cube, which helps them to centralize the relationship-building aspect of the influencer marketing program.
“Relationships are so important. And any relationship takes time. You’ll need to call that person for no reason just to check in… keeping those relationships alive takes up a lot more time than you would think. We are truly friends with a lot of our ambassadors and that takes effort, energy, and time.” – Trevor Farrow, Marketing Manager at Lume Cube
Hear the full story
Audrey Van Vark and Trevor Farrow joined GRIN [remotely] for the first fireside chat in our GRIN Brands Working Remote Talking Influencers series and discussed how they were able to ramp up their influencer program, triple their ambassador partnerships and more. Check out the replay!
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