Galderma is getting on board with influencer marketing.
When Galderma received FDA approval for its lip filler Restylane Kysse in May 2020, it entered the market in the midst of Covid-19’s social and economic upheaval. Galderma explored alternative advertising and marketing options, versus its traditional approach of magazine ads, static digital ads and national TV spots. Drew Fine, Galderma vp of marketing for U.S. aesthetics., said that the motivation was based on a need to create a personal connection with consumers. It tapped 21 micro-influencers with follower counts of 50,000-100,000 on Instagram during the second half of 2020. That strategy for Restylane Kysse has since expanded to a pilot for its brand Dysport, a neuromodulator brand and competitor to Botox, which launched in January. Dysport has a 20%, market share over the neuromodulator category, according to a 2019 Dermatology Times story.
“We’re seeing a real growth across the category, a shift toward younger patient demographics. Everything you’re reading and hearing about the Zoom effect feels very real to us, and it matches what we’re seeing in our data,” said Fine.
The backbone of the paid influencer strategy was about directing followers to Galderma’s rewards program for its injectable brands, called Aspire Galderma Rewards. The 6-year-old program has over 2.2 million members and is adding 50,000-80,000 new members a month, said Fine. The free rewards program offers coupons for first-time treatments and a points system redeemable for future treatment discounts. Galderma found with Restylane Kysse that the most impactful influencers were former Miss U.S.A. 2014 winner Nia Sanchez (@realniasanchez; 210,000 Instagram followers) and 60-something influencer Sheree Frede (@shesheshow; 104,000 Instagram followers). Outside of the paid partnership, influencers do not earn a commission or other forms of payment for referrals, but Fine said that was potentially something worth exploring.
Overall, the strategy garnered over 15 million impressions for Restylane Kysse and, on average, there was an engagement rate of over 18%, compared to a goal of 4.9%, as measured by likes and comments. With Dysport, Galderma adjusted its strategy by working with five macro-influencers. The program has seen more than 1 million impressions so far, which is 34% higher than its target. Other goals included a boost of 25,000 new Aspire members and an additional 2,000 treatments. Fine said there have been over 4,000 new customer treatments so far.
“What we’ve learned over time with our traditional advertising is that if we can get people to join Aspire, our advertising is more effective,” said Fine. “Our key takeaway [from influencer marketing] goes back to some basic branding and marketing principles. You have to start off with what your brand stands for and stay true to what your brand is about.”
Tribe Dynamics data shows that several emerging brands significantly expanded their earned media footprints over the past year, thanks to robust micro-influencer programs, including Kosas and CeraVe. The injectables industry, meanwhile, spent 2020 refreshing their market approaches, including adopting “clean” messaging and new approaches to pricing.
“We’ve found that the brands that outperform in the micro-influencer segment tend to outperform in the market in the future,” said Conor Begley, Tribe Dynamics co-founder and president. “The reasons for this [are that] it is easier to work with someone earlier in their career than someone who is well-established. [And] micro-influencers tend to have more engaged audiences because they know their audience more intimately.”
Because Galderma’s products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, the company takes precautions with influencer advertising. The company informs influencer partners that they should talk about their personal experiences and use the full product name when speaking about the product. Meanwhile, they’re told they cannot use filters that significantly alter their appearance or make medical claims outside those of the product they are treated with. Galderma is still evaluating the long-term results from the Dysport pilot, though there are expectations that it will grow the program further and expand the influencer strategy to its Sculptra injectable brand, said Fine. Galderma’s portfolio also includes skin-care brands Proactiv and Cetaphil. Galderma was formerly a subsidiary of L’Oréal and Nestlé, but has been held by a consortium of private institutional investors since 2019. Fine declined to share investments in the influencer program, but said Galderma has not pulled back from its traditional advertising and marketing strategies.
“[What] we’re seeing [with these influencer programs] is that we have a big opportunity to grow this aesthetic market even bigger. [Traditional] advertising, influencers and our new product innovation are three key levers to do that,” said Fine.