If ever there was a time for relaxing scents to become really popular, it was in May 2020 – in the midst of a global pandemic. Thankfully, that’s when Daniel Hoftun took the plunge and founded Volant Aroma – an aromatherapy Ecommerce business – from his Norway apartment.
Daniel grew up surrounded by a natural lifestyle in Norway’s countryside, and that experience followed him to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and beyond.
“My deep interest for optimising everyday life through aroma, combined with my chemistry and computer science background, led to volant – the company I had to start.”-Daniel Hoftun
In fact, he built the first collection of Volant products from that apartment we mentioned, as well as packed every order and hand-delivered them on a bike.
Now, just a short year later, Volant Aroma is based out of headquarters in Oslo, armed with a team, a warehouse, and a mission to “create products that bring people together across borders and origins.”
Building the Volant Aroma Marketing Strategy
One thing the Volant team identified early on was that the essential oil market was not nearly as saturated in Norway as it is in the United States. Without a huge presence in the country, that meant that one really important marketing opportunity was education.
In order to begin educating customers on the benefits and uses of aromatherapy, Daniel and the team identified the platforms where educational content would thrive. These were the blog, the email newsletter, and social media – specifically, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
“As a Direct-to-Customer company a lot of our ‘product’ is the story we tell [about our products], and that story is definitely being told through Instagram. It’s Instagram and email that are the drivers of that.” – Tobias Nervik
The team at Volant set out to build educational resources on their site and share tips, tricks, how-tos, and recipes on their social media channels. In spring 2021, Volant brought on a social media manager to begin developing those channels in earnest.
A common thread was developing as the team spoke to freelance social media managers, looking for the right fit. More than a few of those freelancers recommended Tailwind – including their eventual hire!
Growing the Volant Aroma Instagram Account (With Tailwind!)
In April 2021, Volant signed up for Tailwind with both an Instagram and a Pinterest account, looking to grow their organic social channels. With a lot of ground to cover, they created a packed schedule of content, including 50-70 Pins a week on Pinterest and 14 Facebook and Instagram posts a week (2 per day).
Things happened quickly. From April to mid-July (time of this interview), their 2,000 organic Instagram followers tripled to 6,800 and are still growing.
How did they do it?
Posting Regularly – As we mentioned before, the social team at Volant posts at least twice a day on Instagram, with a healthy content mix of Reels, feed posts, and Stories. This steady stream of fresh content on their feed means that they’re constantly top of mind (and top of feed) for their followers, and always offering a new piece to engage with.
For example, not only does this caption contain oil diffuser-related hashtags, but it also contains design inspiration and decor-related hashtags relating to the context of the photo!
User-Generated Content – Not only does Volant’s feed contain quotes, Reels, and how-to graphics, but it’s also peppered with curated content from influencers and customers featuring the product.
This definitely makes content curation and planning much easier, but it also creates trust and authority. When customers see real people using your products (and liking them!) they’re more inclined to make a purchase themselves.
Easily Digestible Education – Volant shares recipes for oil blends in simple graphics, as well as other useful tidbits that can help customers (or essential oil enthusiasts!) learn something new.
In fact, this content is one of the things shouted out positively to the team all the time in web reviews!
Influencers – Volant works with a lot of influencers in a brilliant way, if you ask us. Rather than partnering with essential oil educators or gurus, Volant uses influencers to tell a broader story about environments and restful homes.
If you look at Volant’s feed, you’ll notice a ton of influencer content from interior decorators and designers who incorporate Volan’ts sleek diffusers into the room scapes they create.
Engaging Directly – Volant avoids the hard sell on their Instagram page. Instead, they focus on a lot of Stories and feed posts with questions and conversation starters.
If potential customers want to learn more, they’re directed to the link in their bio! Instead, Volant prizes community building.
“Building a community around our existing user base is definitely something we’re trying to do. And that’s something we’re trying to do through organic social media and email -and Tailwind runs the organic social media for us.”-Tobias Nervik
The community-building aspects of the business are what Volant Aroma credits as the most profitable.
“In percentage, it is very profitable to grow organically or get sales through email… having that in the backend is what gonna help us succeed in the long run.
It’s building that lifetime customer value and keep getting those repeat purchases.”-Tobias Nervik
But we know what you might be thinking – followers don’t necessarily translate to sales, especially on Instagram!
Well, remember that link in their Instagram bio? In June 2021, Volant saw $20,000 in sales from that link alone!
Increasing Volant’s Revenue 80% From Instagram
Although Volant also has a presence on Pinterest and Facebook and even runs Paid ads on Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest, they see more returns from their organic Instagram profile link than any other platform.
In fact, a lot of sales come specifically from their Instagram profile link!
June’s $20,000 numbers were an 80% increase month over month from Mays ($5,500). And it’s important to note that those link in bio visits were not from Instagram ads – those were from visits to the Instagram profile itself!
Clearly, Volant’s Instagram marketing strategy is paying off – especially in a time where the Instagram algorithm can make it difficult for sustained growth.
What Can You Learn from Volant’s Strategy?
Volant Aroma has only been in business for a year, which makes their success on Instagram – in spite of the algorithm – pretty impressive. There are tons of tips, tricks, and tactics you can learn from their journey to growth on the platform, like:
- Posting regularly on Instagram Stories, the Instagram feed and Instagram Reels with Tailwinds SmartSchedule
- Using Tailwind’s Hashtag Finder to find relevant hashtags for all their posts
- Curating User-Generated content to help tell their brand and product story
- Creating easily digestible education on their Instagram Feed and Stories
- Finding influencers in a space that helps your product shine naturally
- Avoiding salesy tactics and instead focusing on community building
But perhaps the most important and most interesting is how they’ve positioned their product on Instagram.
Instead of filling their feed with one-off shots of their product, Volant has embraced identifying a core desire of their audience – to have a restful, tasteful living environment. Their content doesn’t focus on only their diffusers, but rather their diffusers positioned in environments that their audience love and want to recreate themselves.
That’s what it means to know and speak to your audience’s lifestyle, and when done correctly, you will see a big payoff.
And just like Volant, you can take care of managing your community and content on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook with Tailwind while you dream up new ways to inspire your audiences! Try out a free trial of Tailwind, no credit card required!