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Sakara Life's Kate McCabe: How Wellness Brands Shape Social Strategy

Alison Chan
July 23, 2020
Last Updated On

#Selfcare has been trending on social media over the last couple months, and rightfully so. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically should be at the forefront of this quarantine lifestyle. 🧖‍♀️ Here’s how #selfcare experts at Sakara Life successfully connect with their audience during this time:

  • Get inside the mind of your audience and share content that will be the most meaningful to them
  • Be agile and adapt to your surroundings in the macroenvironment
  • Ensure you facilitate important conversations on your social media to create a healthy feedback loop with your community

The shift to a stay-at-home lifestyle has pushed brands to rethink their social strategies to cater to their community’s new needs and routines. We chatted with the wellness experts at Sakara Life, who specialize in #selfcare to learn how to maintain a healthy, everyday lifestyle. Sakara Life provides fresh, organic meals delivered to your door (the best way to skip the grocery store!) that will get you back to feeling your best again.

Sit back, relax, and keep reading to learn how Sakara Life’s Social Marketing and Influencer Marketing Manager, Kate McCabe is navigating today’s changing social landscape and for her expert opinion on #selfcare tips and tricks that you can practice at home. 🏠

1) Tell us a little about yourself and your journey to Sakara Life.

I've been working in social and digital marketing over the last six years. I joined Sakara Life almost three years ago on their social team, and was super focused on building out our influencer marketing program when I first joined. As the Social Marketing and Influencer Marketing Manager, I oversee everything social and influencer related from in-person events, to experiential elements, and all things digital and content related.

2) Tell us a little bit about Sakara Life.

We launched close to ten years ago, which is incredible because we've grown exponentially. Especially within the last three years I've been with the team, we've doubled in size. It's been really exciting.

We don't like to call ourselves a meal delivery company because we are so much more than that. Everything we do is rooted in this idea of food as medicine. So making sure that what we're putting into our bodies is healing and helping you to ultimately live your best life—which sounds really esoteric, but we create nutrition programs and products that help fuel your body so that you can function at your best.

3) As a wellness brand, how has your social marketing strategy shifted this year?

When COVID first hit, we really had to slow down and pause on anything marketing focused. I have a background in psychology, so the way I approach marketing is very psychology based. Getting inside the mind of our audience, our consumers, and trying to figure out what they were going through and what would be most meaningful to them.

We really doubled down on educational and topical content. So we pivoted our entire content and marketing strategy for almost a month. We still had to market ourselves, but in a very different way—we took a very human approach. Being very mindful of our language and tone, we wanted people to know that there are humans on the other side of our brand. We also had the chance to participate in a lot of charitable work. We donated meals to people that didn't have the resources to stock their fridges. We worked with a lot of hospitals in New York to make sure those teams were well fed, and communicating out those updates through social media was crucial.

Our content strategy really pivoted away from things like, “everything you need to know about shopping for a probiotic”  to “what’s it like working from home?” We brought in a feng shui expert, and did a segment on how you can maximize your space. Sharing a lot of recipes that don’t involve a lot of crazy ingredients, things that you can make with stuff already in your cabinet. Through this, we saw tremendous success. Our engagement was the highest it’s been on social in over two years, site traffic almost doubled to our editorial site. It was really cool to see the response from our community. If you really take the time to think about your consumer, their experiences, and the overall macroenvironment, you can drive results back to the business.

4) Biggest lessons learned? Any notable wins or losses?

I think a key takeaway and big win was making sure our content strategy is not set in stone at the beginning of the year. Leaving room to respond to the macro environment is more important than ever right now and moving forward. We want to leave room in our marketing and content calendar to listen, work quickly and make sure we're always responding to what is happening in the world. That was a big learning and it definitely takes a little bit more hustle to get things done and a shorter time frame. But the results just in terms of the engagement on the site traffic really speak for themselves.

5) Can you take me through your creative process and how you ensured your social posts aligned with your brand voice and identity?

We launched two campaigns and one product, completely remote! I am so beyond impressed with our creative team. We have some fantastic photographers, designers, and creatives on our team.

It definitely has been taking a more authentic feel. Shooting on phones and filming fun B-roll style content and then compiling all of that together to announce a new launch or campaign.

For us it’s not about leaning on UGC—although that is always part of our content strategy—it’s about being inspired by UGC, and creating our own content. We all know that lifestyle content typically performs better than super editorialized and manicured campaign content. So this has been a huge win. It feels very social first.

6) How has Dash Hudson helped you navigate during this time?

I mean, I live on Dash Hudson! I'm on the platform all day. I’m always diving into LikeShop analytics to understand what content is driving the most traffic to the site, or tracking which posts are the top performers on our feed. Engagement is certainly important, but in my mind, site traffic is the number one metric I look at for success. If we can engage people to click through to our site and convert, that is the biggest win. LikeShop is incredible for tracking those metrics.

Since COVID, we almost doubled the amount of content that we were sharing each month. The ability to have everything very cleanly planned out and scheduled in Dash Hudson has created beautiful peace of mind for me.

We ramped up influencer marketing when COVID first hit. We didn’t feel as comfortable heavily marketing ourselves and pushing products so we relied on influencers to do the selling for us in a really organic way. As always, we play close attention to measure our influencers ROI to monitor who is working really well for us and making sure we continue to work with those individuals.

I present back to our CEO and leadership team on a monthly basis to summarize our performance. The monthly recaps Dash Hudson sends have been tremendously helpful in really detailing all of the changes and fluctuations over performance over the last few months.

7) We always have to ask…What is your favorite Dash Hudson Tool?

Definitely LikeShop and the influencer and creator ROI measurement tool. I find those tools so helpful and it’s where I spend most of my time on the platform, digging into those areas. It’s hard to track the performance of influencer marketing without tracked links and codes. With Dash Hudson, it's so valuable to see the metrics in the Influencer management tool to judge performance and success for our organic partnerships.

Using LikeShop is so helpful and smart. It’s played a huge role in doubling our site traffic over the last couple months. It was almost entirely social driven which was an exciting win for us, specifically our editorial side. Once we started ramping up our content, we quickly saw that it was engaging and people were excited to click through and read.

8) How do you think social media has evolved in 2020? Do you think the social landscape will change moving forward?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the changing landscape of social media. As much as it’s treated as a primary marketing channel to drive traffic and sales, now, more than ever, it's a platform to facilitate conversation. With the Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights movements, social is where these conversations are taking place. I think you're doing a disservice to your brand to shy away from that and keep business as usual. I think business as usual on social media needs to change and there has to be room to facilitate these important conversations and to have a healthy feedback loop with your community.

It can be scary knowing that you’re going to get an immediate response on what you put out there, but we've had so many people reach out and provide really constructive, amazing feedback about what we're sharing. As a result, we’ve developed a lot of beautiful relationships that have come out of that in the last month, and I hope that’s something that continues.

9) What you are most looking forward to for the second half of 2020?

We will never forget 2020 and the events that have transpired. I’m curious to know what the next half will look like but, I'm really proud of our team and the way that we have been able to pivot. We have been really nimble and very thoughtful in the way that we've navigated the challenges of the year. I look forward to doing more of the same.

The year has also been an incredible growth period for myself and my career, my team, and the whole brand. I'm excited to see our content strategy continue to evolve and make sure we're always being thoughtful about everything we do.

10) Ok, now what self-care tips and tricks do you have up your sleeve?

Sleep is number one! I think sleep is the best form of self care. Personally if I don't get enough sleep, nothing else I do matters.

Also ensuring that you are paying attention to what you eat. Before I worked at Sakara, I studied nutrition and psychology. So my background works very well in the wellness world. It’s really a “practice what you preach” mentality. It’s crazy how your brain works differently, and how you are a better version of yourself when you eat clean.

Lastly, I always recommend a probiotic. We have a great one but there's so many amazing probiotics out there. Microbiome largely affects our mental health, mood, and cognitive function.

Especially now, a time where it's really easy to not feel your best emotionally with everything going on in the world. We're all isolated and everything is in limbo. I think any levers you can pull to help set yourself up to feel your best is really important right now.

Be sure to show some love and follow @sakaralife on Instagram. Oh, and don’t forget to check out their amazing online magazine for all things related to recipes, well-being, and staying in the loop with all things Sakara 101. 🌸

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