Building a long-term community with Pedro Deneno, founder of Simple in Brazil

Supplements and vitamins are long-term products that don't show immediate results. This is why Simple needs to build a long-term community. This is how they do it →

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Mayank Sehgal

A few weeks ago our South American team had the opportunity to chat with Pedro Deneno, founder of Simple, a Brazilian vitamin brand that uses Ubu to engage their community, which started in March 2021, less than a year ago.

The brand was founded by Pedro Deneno and Vitor Wenk Castilho towards the end of 2020 with 3 products, following up with 2 more products soon after they were tested and validated. They are solely focused on e-commerce and social-commerce.

Gabriella, Palloma and Melissa spoke with Pedro about how they built and grew their community on Instagram, how they work with ambassadors and influencers, and what their content strategy looks like.

What was your process of building your community of 30K followers?

We believe that we should educate our audience and post content that they are interested in, so they remain engaged, and so we create content about yoga, meditation, physical activities. Selling our product, then, is just a consequence of our content.

Supplements show results in the long-term, and not in the short term. That’s why we believe in educating our customers about them — since in Brazil most people don’t really know exactly what they consume.

As an example, losing weight is a process. We don’t want our customers thinking that they are buying weight-loss pills that will make them lose weight just by taking them. Our products are supplements, and they are a part of a longer journey.

We always try to be absolutely real in who we are, and we know that’s what our customers expect out of us as well.

Being part of the daily routine of our community is what brings us value in the long term, through our products as well as our content. We also have plan to build an app in the future so that we can stay even closer to our community.

Do you work with influencers or ambassadors?

In line with our products, we believe in long-term relationships over short-term ones.

Some of the influencers we work with discovered us either through ads or through other influencers, and then became customers. We eventually discovered them and they became our ambassadors as well.

We pretty much have the same ambassadors since the beginning, and since we’re new, they are the ones really representing our brand and our values.

How do you choose these ambassadors?

Our products aren’t really for a specific category of people, but in the beginning we decided to work with ambassadors creating content focused on beauty and well-being.

When we recruit an ambassador, we try to understand the quality of the content that this person creates, and we avoid working with people that have multiple partnerships at the same time.

We were also analysing everything manually, before we started using Ubu, which helped a lot with keeping track of our results. I’ve even myself compared the metrics provided by the ambassadors themselves with the metrics on Ubu, and they match, which gives me the confidence that Ubu’s metrics are quite accurate.

Have you seen better results with large influencers or smaller ones?

We had an experience with an influencer with 20M followers, and they didn’t really bring us any results. They did simple content, but couldn’t truly identify with our brand, which was a big problem.

Large influencers talk about more than 20 products a week — and in our case, we didn’t even get a single referral.

On the other hand, ambassadors smaller, but more engaged accounts brought us actual, real results. But a lot of times while we get visitors and followers, we don’t necessarily get sales.

And so we need both — our strategy is to get the attention of smaller ambassadors through the big influencers, and this is something that I’ve seen naturally happening.

Are you close to your community?

Our community is truly the heart of our business.

Direct contact with the community is very significant for us. We create products that are based on our clients’ needs, wants and desires, and our community is our source of knowledge for what our customers are searching for in terms of products as well as ingredients that they appreciate.

My WhatsApp is completely filled with conversations with customers and ambassadors, and many of them have even become friends!

I believe that we wouldn’t have grown as fast as we did if we were in retail directly. Having close contact with customers through social media and even the phone has been crucial to our success.

Let’s switch over to your content strategy. How do you create content for Instagram?

We have a blog, and we normally create around 4 or 5 posts a week, educating readers about a variety of topics related to our brand. Our Instagram content is based on our blog.

We post about well-being, the ingredients that we produce, recipes, and even content that fulfils the curiosity of products that we don’t even work with. We just want to bring value to our followers.

Where does the blog content come from?

We’re very careful about the facts we put out, and so we make sure to get content from reliable sources. To create the content for the blog, we work with nutritionists that work with us, or we take references from scientific articles, or universities in the United States.

Some times even members of our community prove to be very helpful. For example, one of our ambassadors is a yoga teacher, and so we take her help to pick references as well.

Do you use user-generated content in your strategy?

In the beginning, we were regular with reposting content that we were tagged in — but it quickly became difficult to keep up with everything, and then we decided to only repost content from our ambassadors.

Now that we’ve started using Ubu, however, we plan to look at all the posts and stories that we get tagged in, and then repost all of them over the weekend.

Wrapping Up

For a long-term product, you have to build a long-term community. There’s no other way around it. Thanks Pedro for all your sharing!

See you guys next week!