The sustainable beauty brand, trestique is one of the leaders in this space in part due to its success at creator partnerships.
Their focus on authentic partnerships with various creators has helped them stand out in a very competitive market and that’s why we wanted to learn more about how they were able to achieve this.
In hopes of helping brands with their own creator partnerships, we had a chat with Dayna Lawrence, Head of Social Media and Brand Partnerships at trestique.
The Role of Creators And Their Importance at trestique
Q: In your position as Head of Social Media and Brand Partnerships, what role do creators (ie: ambassadors, influencers, and affiliates) play in helping trestique stand out in what some would say is a “crowded space”?
A: “What our partners are really doing for us is helping us find our niche. Because the beauty space is so big, and indie beauty especially is really taking off, they help us connect with people who tap into different values of our brand.
Whether that be the sustainability piece which encompasses our refillable packaging and the recycling program, or the beauty piece which emphasizes the formulas and how long they wear.
Finding the communities that value our products for all of their different benefits has helped us communicate our defining features in a multitude of ways to different audiences.”
Q: trestique is known for its Zero Waste Make-Up System and recently launched its Refillable Makeup Routine. How has trestique leveraged its creators in growing awareness and building brand power with consumers?
A: “I think that goes back to finding your community. When it came to our sustainable relaunch in September 2021, we were speaking to a group of people we never had before.
What is so amazing about what we’ve done as a brand is that every single product in our range is refillable. A lot of creators in the sustainable beauty space won’t work with brands who are only doing sustainability half-way (meaning only a few sustainable pieces, or only one refillable product), and when we relaunched with all new packaging it felt like the right time to appeal to this group.
We found an amazing network of creators that support us online who also happen to be activists outside of social media. Collaborating on sponsored content is one thing, but hearing their honest feedback and thoughts on your brand is another. It empowers us as a brand to know that our partners, authorities in their own right, support us fully in our mission.
In the way of organic social, we’re seeding product to micro-influencers within the sustainability niche to get our latest launches in the hands of people who can help us with education. Whether that be breaking down the percentage of recycled materials that are in the packaging, creating videos on how to refill our products, or spreading word that we launched our collection program with Pact Collective.”
The Impact of Creators on Increasing Brand Growth
Q: Can you give an example of a community the creators have helped you reach and how that positively impacted the brand’s growth?
A: “One creator that we worked with on multiple occasions now, is an activist and really amazing in terms of communicating with us about her thoughts on our product and sustainability initiatives.
We took a risk on this creator, as she makes it known that she almost never wears makeup. When considering this partnership I felt strongly that our values aligned enough to where it makes sense to speak to her audience, regardless of their lack of affinity with the industry.
At the end of the day we saw amazing results because people can tell when someone genuinely endorses a brand. We reached a community that is hyper-focused on sustainability and generally does not purchase beauty, but we found that this was simply because they haven’t been compelled by any other brand on the market.
Beyond that, this creator has a small brand of her own. It’s a business that she runs from her home, making zero-waste skincare, all in glass packaging. We’ve been able to take our relationship to the next level by hosting a giveaway with her brand’s page. Now not only have her followers seen sponsored posts, but they can tell that we support her on another level because we’re supporting her business. This sort of symbiotic relationship is one that confirms we have formed a strong tie.”
Q: How do Testique’s creators help optimize and expand the brand’s messaging and reach? Can you give an example of a “big win” that has come from this channel?
A: “We worked with an influencer once who had been gifted a product and organically posted about one of our lipsticks on her Instagram feed. After looking at how her audience naturally engaged with the content, we moved forward with contracting this partner for a sponsored reel.
A second successful piece of content confirmed what we had always believed, that she was the perfect person to show how trestique products work well on more mature skin. While we know the products work great on that skin type, we needed to represent more women of all ages in our content to really tell that story.
Before this partnership, we were getting feedback from our customers saying that they wanted to see more people who looked like them. Our customers wanted more age-positive messaging and that is what this creator’s account is all about. Fast forward and we saw a nice increase in web traffic as well as sales, and we continue to see her perform as she posts organically using the exclusive promo code we’ve provided her.
We’re building relationships now, making sure that everything that we provide our influencers with, the products, the promo codes, etc. are still accessible beyond our partnership whether or not we move forward with another one after that. Partnerships are not just a one and done deal anymore.”
How trestique Manages Creators
Q: Discovering, vetting, and recruiting the right creators possesses certain challenges. What obstacles have you faced concerning this? How did you overcome those obstacles?
A: “That’s a really good question because as much as you look at the data, as much as you run reports, working with a creator is a risk. I definitely had times where everything looked amazing on paper but their audience just didn’t take. That happens, and we need to prepare for that in our budget and set our expectations accordingly.
What I have been doing to minimize risk is creating look-alike reports for some of our most successful influencers. From there I can reach out to people with brand affinity, so that way we’re building a community of creators that have like-minded audiences. That way, we can better project whether or not they’ll respond to us.”
Q: What are the best practices you’ve learned from managing and scaling trestique’s creator program?
A: “I would say relationship-building with our influencers has been a number one point of pride for our program, especially with the rebrand. We launched in September 2021, so it’s about 7 months now and we’ve really kind of worked from the ground up with our relationships.
I’ve seen success working with partners on an ongoing basis, making sure that their audience engages with them regularly. I’ve also made a habit of memorizing, does this person have midterms coming up? Is there some major life event that we should be celebrating with them? Engaging with our partners in other parts of their lives as well to make sure that they’re thinking of trestique—yes, as a brand they work with—but also a friend to go to. That has really helped us.”
Q: How do you use data and analytics to measure the success of creators in marketing campaigns? What are the KPIs that are most important to you in your role?
A: “I use an influencer media value metric, ROI per campaign, and sales attributed to unique influencer discount codes. Those are the main pieces that I look for when I close a campaign and I want to know, am I getting our money’s worth? I place a lot of importance on the content we have acquired in these transactions, because the content has its own value.
Even if you’re very sales focused, which of course, as a new brand, we are, it makes more sense to also assess incoming assets as well to make sure that we’re building a quality content library that will keep our audiences engaged”.
The Value of a Creator Management Platform for trestique
Q: The creator economy is booming. The rise in popularity of social community platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have empowered thousands of consumers to show their authentic passion for brands to their peers. What do you see as the primary challenges and obstacles to maintaining and optimizing creator management? What value does a creator management platform bring in solving these challenges? Which features would you like to see in a creator management platform for streamlining tasks and enhancing the creator experience?
A: “There are so many social platforms, so many ways to communicate, so many documents that have to go back and forth before a partnership is finalized. To have all of that streamlined so you’re not missing a beat is vital. A lot of times people will message on one platform and not another and things get lost, and it’s important to respond promptly so creators don’t lose interest.
For me, with my creator management platform, the main things that I’m looking for are being able to track fulfillment of products, pull contracts, view submitted posts and see in real-time purchases made using affiliate codes. I also value something that we can communicate through, whether that be messaging and platform or a thread that exists within the platform that tracks our email contacts. I just want to be able to pull up 1 page and see everything from our influencer history in one place.
There are also some creators who prefer to communicate through DMs, so having a portal for that has been really helpful. We want to be sure that messages are going directly to the person who’s going to be managing a relationship, versus going through 3 people before me.”
Q: Do you find any value in SMS text messaging when working with creators?
A: “I’ve had 3 top-tier partners who preferred to communicate through text. When they’re filming content sometimes they’ll send me a selfie and ask if the lighting’s okay, so that way, on the spot, I can approve something instead of them losing daylight waiting for an email response.
Or if someone is setting up a livestream for us, they can text me so we make sure that we’re hitting that mark for the event. Beyond that, our partners are really good about using DMs and email, but there are definitely moments in content creation where you don’t have a lot of time so texting just makes sense.”
Trestique’s influencer and ambassador partnerships goals for 2022
Q: What are your main goals in 2022 for Tresique’s creator program?
A: “Our number one goal for 2022 is to expand on TikTok. That’s something that has been on the back burner for us just for a moment while we were building up our Instagram to show our new brand voice, message, and visual appearance. Now that I feel like we have a good footing there, we’re expanding.
Another exciting initiative is officially launching our ambassador program. We’ve been working with a lot of micro-influencers on a campaign basis, but we want to have one long-running program. We put a lot of work into setting down the footing for that and are excited to launch.”
Thanks for chatting with us Dayna!