Sakara – an organic, vegan, and plant-based pre-portioned meal delivery service – didn't initially start as a business. It was a solution to the founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise's own health issues. And as a result, the entrepreneurs have remained at the forefront of the brand, which Kate McCabe, Sakara's Social Marketing Manager notes, is among their best-performing social content.With her keen focus on education, McCabe believes science and beauty should coexist. For Sakara, social media has to strike a balance between marketing-driven content and more personal moments, which is why the ability to leverage Tingle and DuBoise and their stories brings the brand to life.
Here, McCabe shares how she measures success for Sakara's Instagram, why PLANOLY is instrumental in the organization of their social calendar, and the importance of user-generated content (UGC).
When it comes to Instagram, what is most important to Sakara?
We measure success on Instagram from a few different angles, but the overarching question always remains: "Did this content engage our community?" Engagement can look like a lot of different things, but site click-thru's, likes and comments, views, and shares and saves help us determine what's resonating with our audience. It's incredibly important to our team that our community feels seen and heard and that the content we're outputting speaks to what our clients are experiencing.
How are you addressing social media in the light of COVID-19?
Marketing, selling, and many of our previous performance and sales objectives are no longer a top priority for my team and I. What is an objective is providing meaningful, insightful, and uplifting content for our audience. We're spending a lot of time engaging with our social community, learning about what's now top of mind for them, putting ourselves in their shoes, and then allowing our content plan to ladder up to that.What that looks like is sharing topical, timely, and sensitive content, such as simple, healthy recipes using ingredients commonly found at home, stress-relief practices like guided meditations and breathwork exercises, and tips for at-home self-care practices. All of these content angles ladder up to our brand mission and, in many ways, indirectly market our products, but it's done in a way that also provides value to the reader. Lastly, we're leveraging our Instagram as a channel to share communications and updates with our clients. As the climate continues to change, we want our community to have full visibility into the measures we're taking as a company to keep both our team and our clients safe, and Instagram is a great platform to do so.
What are your best social photography or editing tips for beauty bloggers and brands?
I always suggest leveraging a mix of professionally-shot brand imagery with UGC-style iPhone shots when compiling an Instagram feed, as I think both are important to a brand's storytelling strategy.When it comes to shooting content with a phone, the post-production editing process for me is pretty minimal to showcase what a real-life moment looks like and feels like when living the "Sakara life." My one non-negotiable when shooting is great natural light.
Do you have a Pinterest strategy? What does that look like for Sakara?
Pinterest is a big focus for us in 2020. Historically, we have heavily utilized the platform internally (creating mood and inspiration boards for photoshoots and campaigns). But this year, we're dedicating more time and energy towards creating a Pinterest marketing strategy with a focus on driving more traffic to our site and editorial platform.
What are the biggest challenges for Sakara's Instagram?
I think most every social marketing professional can agree that the constant in-flux nature of the Instagram algorithm poses a significant challenge. It's frustrating when thoughtfully-created content underperforms, and you're left wondering why. But at the same time, it pushes our team to stay on our toes, never to get complacent, and output best-in-class content every single day.
PLANOLY is about making the lives easier for social media managers to organize their content. How do you strategize your feed and stories?
PLANOLY is instrumental in the organization of our social content, particularly for our Instagram feed. This is where the visual components of our channel come together, corresponding with an editorial-style content marketing calendar.The build-out of our content plan can be best described as a layering process. Key marketing initiatives create the framework and from there, I begin to layer in content that's a bit more playful, aspirational, and/or educational.
What is your average engagement and how did you initially grow on Instagram?
At present, our average Instagram engagement hovers around .6%, but I encourage my team to look beyond the engagement rate when it comes to measuring success on organic social. Site traffic is a super important success metric for us, as are effectiveness rate, static post shares, post saves, and story views.I attribute Sakara's initial (and continued) growth and success on Instagram to our strong and unique Sakara aesthetic and message. Our brand ethos is rooted in finding balance in your life — eat clean, treat your body well, but also make sure you create space to have fun and (as we like to call it) "play dirty." This messaging and ethos is woven into everything we do, and I think it really resonates with people. Our approach to wellness is backed by science, but it's also very playful and accessible, and I believe people are looking for that type of feel-good content.
What is your strategy for bringing Sakara's newly launched podcast into the mix on Instagram?
Creating educational and inspirational content has always been a pillar of the brand, so integrating our new podcast into our social marketing plan has been seamless. Similarly to our Instagram and editorial space, the Sakara Life Podcast is yet another avenue for our community to engage and learn with us. We are leveraging our social channels as a way to share sneak peeks into episodes, spark conversations around the topics the podcast addresses, and get to know our podcast guests in a deeper way.One of the most effective ways we've done this thus far is hosting IG Lives or IGTVs with podcast guests to tease and/or promote their episodes, while simultaneously providing additional content and takeaways for our audience.