While holistic well-being has been a burgeoning topic in online conversations for several years, it took on newfound importance following the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Tribe Dynamics’ data, searches including the words “healthy,” “workout,” and “wellness” surged in popularity in March 2020, and have remained elevated since then. So have searches for “mental health,” “self-care,” and “meditation,” indicating people’s shifting priorities in the stay-at-home economy.
This wave of enthusiasm for wellness has spelled success on social media for an expanding cohort of brands that cater to physical and mental health, from fitness devices to supplements and CBD products. But timing isn’t everything: many of the moment’s most prominent wellness brands have accelerated their growth in Earned Media Value, or EMV (Tribe Dynamics’ proprietary metric for quantifying the estimated value of digital earned media) with strategic influencer marketing, inspiring loyal and passionate families of content creators. Here’s how the buzziest names in wellness leveraged a growing movement—and social media savvy—to attain cult status.
Fitness brands excel thanks to tight-knit communities
Gyms may be closed in many parts of the world, but on Instagram, fitness is a bigger priority than ever for influencers and their audiences. Top EMV-driving brands in the space have thrived by re-creating the sense of belonging that workout enthusiasts used to get from a gym membership or sharing a studio. For activewear brands, shared values are key: Girlfriend Collective, for example, which expanded its influencer network by 124 per cent year-over-year to 1.2k content creators from January to October 2020, has built a passionate and diverse community of supporters who champion its commitment to sustainability. Meanwhile, bonafide pop culture phenomenon Peloton owes its rapid rise (the brand’s $45.6M EMV from January to October represented a 288 per cent YoY improvement) largely to the strong ties between its influencer-instructors, who treat fellow brand partners and followers like family.
Food, supplement, and CBD brands celebrate health on-the-go
Fitness isn’t possible without fuel, and the home workout trend has come hand-in-hand with increased excitement around brands offering nutritious meal kits, dietary supplements, and CBD products. Many consumables brands have achieved a strong presence on social media by appealing to influencers’ desire for healthy, sustainable offerings that fit seamlessly into their busy and active lives. From January to October 2020, meal kit delivery service Daily Harvest boasted 1.5k influencer fans, more than triple the size of its community during the same time period the previous year. The brand owed this growth partly to partnerships with prominent YouTubers like Rowena Tsai, who highlighted the ease and efficiency of prepping Daily Harvest’s eco-friendly smoothies and bowls.
Similarly, vegan-friendly multivitamin subscription brand Ritual assembled its devoted #RitualPartner family by providing influencers with products that cater specifically to their own lifestyles, and their followers’ lifestyles, too. And as awareness around CBD’s stress-relieving benefits—both mental and physical—grows, athletes including UFC fighter Dustin Poirier are touting Pure Kana products as go-tos for an efficient recovery.
Mind and body care brands champion social missions
The wellness movement doesn’t stop at physical fitness and healthy eating. Especially at an uncertain moment, influencers are emphasizing the importance of making time for self-care through mindfulness exercises and other soothing rituals. Overwhelmingly, high-growth mind and body care brands have galvanized content creators with values-driven messaging. Meditation app Headspace, for example, has won high-profile fans like Kevin Love and Steve Aoki who endorse its mission to make mental health tools readily accessible and stigma-free. The brand’s good intentions have paid off: Headspace accrued $7.1M EMV from January to October 2020, a 231 per cent year-over-year increase. Similarly, sustainable skincare brand Nécessaire more than tripled its EMV and expanded its community by nearly five times during the same period, thanks to endorsements from eco-conscious self-care enthusiasts who praised its products’ high quality and clean formulation.
As the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, people around the world are continuing to seek comfort, and stay healthy, in the safety of their homes. Thankfully, wellness brands are rising to the occasion by offering community, vitality, and much-needed tools for relaxation. The annual January surge in resolution-driven self-improvement content is sure to amplify conversation about the already booming space. To make the most of this opportunity and outperform their competitors, fitness, consumables, and mind and body care brands can incorporate the following key takeaways into their 2021 strategy plans.
Foster a close-knit community
- The stay-at-home economy can be isolating, and now more than ever, influencers and consumers are turning to social media—and their favorite brands—for a sense of belonging. Community is particularly important in the wellness space, where enthusiasts rely on one another for inspiration and motivation to overcome old habits and lead healthy, positive lives. By working with influencers who know and vibe with one another and uniting both content creators and their audiences with campaigns and virtual activities, brands can reinforce their fans’ connections among themselves and with the brand, and organically inspire new advocates through the unparalleled passion of a close family.
Respond to influencers’ unique lifestyle needs
- Influencers and their audiences approach the shared goal of wellness from a wide range of backgrounds, bringing not only different fitness levels and dietary restrictions but also varying priorities. Brands can demonstrate respect for content creators’ diverse needs and perspectives by familiarizing themselves with their existing posts, and tailoring communication and product sends to each influencer’s individual aims and values. Thoughtful, personalised outreach is key to making an impact on content creators, and paving the way for lasting partnerships.
Make your mission stand out
- It’s now without question that values play a key role in influencers’ decisions to work with brands. With countless brands championing causes such as inclusivity and sustainability, it’s imperative for every brand to isolate and articulate its core mission in a way that resonates authentically with influencers and differentiates it from the pack. From Nécessaire’s eco-conscious backbone to Peloton’s tireless commitment to personal bests, top wellness brands defend their distinct stories by working with content creators who stand for the same ideals and continuing to celebrate shared goals with campaigns rooted in their primary purposes.