- 35 influencers recruited over 3 months
- 79 video posts across YouTube & TikTok
- 1,700 unique website visits, directly referred* by influencers
- Over $10,000 in referral sales
*Tracked via unique clicks on influencers' referral links.
Tooth of the Arrow’s story
Tooth of the Arrow started as a pet project while Luke was doing real estate full-time.
“It was just one of those things you did at nights, during weekends, kinda like a lot of founder stories, and then as it continued to grow, it became a full-time thing, and then several years ago, took the dive and started running full time.”
For those unfamiliar with archery technicalities, Tooth of the Arrow is a hunting equipment company based in Minnesota. They focus on manufacturing some of the sharpest and most durable broadheads in the market— the sharp part of the arrow that you hunt with. And according to Luke, it’s a very niche and small marketplace.
Driven by passion, Luke and his team at Tooth of the Arrow wanted to create a product that was well-affordable for archery enthusiasts and beginners alike. The problem they had to solve was that there were too many big players in the industry, and for a typical 3-pack, customers could pay up to a hundred dollars.
The brand initially focused on brick-and-mortar pre-COVID, but just like many other businesses, it had to switch to an online ecommerce platform, Shopify.
Luke shares that starting in a highly dominated and competitive field was an uphill battle—dominated by large parent companies with dozens of more subsidiary players under them.
“It’s challenging when you're a newer company because a lot of the companies in the industry are very well established and have been around for a long time.” Yet at the same time, he saw the potential from a marketing perspective as he noticed strong brand loyalty even though the product was considered a commodity item.
The brand's marketing team recognized the need to build brand awareness and increase customer acquisition but was looking for a marketing approach that would resonate with their unique audience. Most traditional advertising channels were not producing the desired results, leading the company to explore influencer marketing.
“All of our marketing efforts are done through our Shopify site. Our biggest ones, you know, in terms of marketing, Google ads, and email. Emails by far, have the highest return ad spend. Influencer Candy referrals, that's quite high up there too.”
Collaborating with InfluencerCandy
Tooth of the Arrow has been a long-time ReferralCandy user and that’s how Luke also came across InfluencerCandy.
InfluencerCandy's model of working with micro-influencers made for an appealing choice. The platform's comprehensive features, intuitive reporting, and fair pricing model were critical factors in their decision. Also, InfluencerCandy's ability to help brands navigate niche markets resonated with the company’s needs.
Building Trust with Authenticity
One of the most significant factors in the company's successful influencer marketing strategy was the authenticity of the content. The micro-influencers they collaborated with were passionate about hunting, which resonated in their content, creating a highly impactful connection with the audience.
According to Luke, “When it comes to broadheads, people want to see peer-to-peer recommendations. They want to trust your brand and trust what you can deliver. And Influencer Candy engages micro-influencers who already have a great understanding of what their target audience wants and understands. They've already had trust built with their audience.”
Working with those micro-influencers, Luke shares that the brand has been able to develop trust with those new customers very quickly. That's been one of the biggest reasons why they've seen success with the influence of the market, especially on the micro side.
Creating Evergreen Content
Tooth of the Arrow initially experimented with various platforms including Instagram and Pinterest, which didn’t work out too nicely because of their niche target user base, but eventually found success with YouTube. Recognizing the seasonality of hunting and the preference for evergreen content, the company utilized YouTube's platform to collaborate with micro-influencers throughout the year, keeping the content relevant even during off-seasons.
“A company like ours will do two-thirds of our revenue in Q3 with most of it being in late August to mid-September. So it's a very long sales cycle, just given how hunting is,” shares Luke. “Evergreen content on YouTube is fantastic. Because we can still work with micro-influencers in early spring, and that content stays relevant for a long time. Almost 90 percent of our spend for influencers is on YouTube.”
Luke found that micro-influencer marketing via YouTube delivered high returns on investment, outperforming other marketing channels especially when it comes to brands with a tight budget.
“Given a thousand dollars, you want influencers with decent following but that may only get you one person, and if doesn’t work out, that gets you nowhere. But with InfluencerCandy or micro-influencers, that might get you up to 20 videos or even 30 videos. The reach is just as good when you add them up and you look at engagement and all the different metrics.”
InfluencerCandy played a crucial role throughout the company's journey, providing invaluable assistance during the initial exploration phase and beyond. As a beta tester for InfluencerCandy, the company was able to experiment with various platforms before settling on YouTube as the most effective channel for its brand.
“It's easy for us as a plug-and-play. Their reporting's good. Their pricing model is very fair. They've been good at responding, and the micro influencing, it is so niche, you know, for a business like us. Going after big influencers that want big checks just doesn't make sense. So InfluencerCandy works out well for us.”
Emergence of Micro-influencers
When asked for any final advice to other ecommerce brands, here’s what Luke said.
“Don't be afraid to try stuff. Don't be afraid that if something's working a little bit, you have to stick with it. Something else might work even better. Don't be afraid to pivot, change your modeling up a little bit, you know, and keep testing. Because as you scale and grow, the smallest changes really can reap big benefits in terms of bottom line, when you optimize.”
“So, yeah, just keep at it. That's it. You gotta love what you do. If you don't love what you do, you're gonna get burnt out, and it's gonna become very frustrating sometimes. But, yeah, just have fun with it and keep experimenting.” - Luke Allison, Founder
- Identify the right platform for your audience: Different platforms resonate with different demographics. Experimenting and identifying where your target audience is most engaged is important.
- Micro-influencers can outperform their larger counterparts: Micro-influencers generate up to 60% more engagement than macro influencers. They are also less expensive to work with, making them a cost-effective choice for marketing campaigns.
- Influencer marketing is a trusted marketing strategy: With 92% of marketers believing in its effectiveness and more than half investing in micro-influencer marketing, the approach has seen rapid growth. Furthermore, it's worth noting that 50% of Millennials trust product recommendations from influencers more than those from celebrities
- Trust and authenticity are critical: Influencers work hard to gain their audience's trust, making their recommendations more persuasive than other forms of advertising.
The success of Tooth of the Arrow underscores the power of authenticity, the importance of choosing the right platform, and the effectiveness of micro-influencers. As brands seek to connect with their audience on a deeper level, micro-influencer marketing is proving to be an increasingly viable strategy.
Remember, every brand and every market is unique. However, the underlying principles remain the same.
Whether you're just starting your journey into influencer marketing or looking to optimize your current efforts, InfluencerCandy can be a trusted partner to help you navigate the process. With its comprehensive features, intuitive reporting, and fair pricing model, InfluencerCandy is poised to support brands in their quest to harness the power of influencer marketing.