Today, cooking seems harder than ever. More and more people in America are too intimidated to cook dinner at home, because cooking is never just cooking. It's shopping, planning, with work days as long as lines at the grocery store and the pressure to nourish the family and wow social media all on one plate. At HelloFresh, we want to save home cooking. We deliver delicious recipes you'll love to cook and all the ingredients that go with it to your door. We also want to bring the fun of cooking back into the kitchen and encourage people to cook at home more. We launched a bi-monthly cook-along series on Facebook Live with five main objectives:
- Create the first interactive LIVE cooking show where you can chop, smell, and taste along with the host as well as get all your questions answered live.
- Create a unique experience where you are not just watching somebody cook. You are being energized to get from the couch into the kitchen.
- Increase engagement with customers to establish a strong, direct connection with the brand and its values.
- Increase brand loyalty by delivering confidence in the kitchen.
- Introduce the concept of cooking with HelloFresh to non-customers.
After researching the reasons why people tend not to cook, we discovered that people often think they lack the time. In fact, what they really they lack is the energy. We needed to showcase the fun of cooking to fight this inertia by reaching our audience where it spends on average 50 minutes of their day: social media. As a result, we created engaging content to bring the joy of cooking back to life through a series of energizing live videos hosted by our Registered Dietitian, Rebecca.
Our strategy included:
- Frequency. Because cooking is an ongoing activity, we decided to host our live "cooking parties" twice a month to create a rendez-vous with our community.
- Timing. In order to encourage people to tune in and cook along, we scheduled all our videos around dinnertime, allowing a 2-3-hour window for optimization testing.
- Originality. We created the first cooking show aiming to get people to cook live from the comfort of their home, with dozens of other members of the community.
- Variety. In order to break all pre-conceived ideas about the difficulty of cooking, we brought in several guests to be part of the cooking, including influencers, current customers, men, women, millennials, parents, and even kids.
- Content. We needed to make sure our content entertains, empowers, and adds value for our customers. We made sure each video included smart tips and shortcuts to make cooking easier. Customers even started to share their own kitchen tips with each other in the comments.
- Engagement. Because these videos are live, they offer the unique possibility for our brand to interact directly with our customers. In each video, Rebecca Lewis cheers on the community for their achievements and answers questions live, whether it is about the type of olive oil you should use, or how to swap an ingredient for a specific diet.
- Seasonality. People's taste evolves with the season and so does our menu. We made sure we focused on content that would be appealing to our audience at that time of the year, creating special videos for Halloween, the end of year holidays, Cinco de Mayo, summertime, or #MeatlessMonday.
- Technical Production. None of the team members had experience filming live videos when we launched the series, and we had no budget available. We researched and learned from scratch. We gradually upgraded our equipment from mobile devices to a professional set up including a light kit, two cameras, and a microphone linked to a live streaming broadcasting software. Over the course of a year, we spent less than $1,500 on this project, and 100% of the budget was dedicated to film equipment.
Video for THE HAPPY COOKS COOK-ALONG SERIES
After ten months of filming and 21 live videos shot, we successfully achieved our goal of demystifying cooking and energizing our audience in the kitchen. We saw:
- 2.2 M people reached
- 346,000 video views total
- 400 average engagements on each video
- 219 tips and techniques shared on screen and in the comments
- 100 unique ingredients used
- 740 positive recipe testimonials posted in the comments
- 60 customers mentioned their kids or husbands are now involved in the cooking
- 32 customers thanked HelloFresh for empowering them to cook
- 30 glasses of wine enjoyed while cooking & filming
- 250 new customers
- Customers who watched purchase on average 30% more on our website
- 0 meals burnt on camera
The live cook-along series created direct connections between our brand and
our customers around a theme everyone relates to: delicious, simple,
homemade food. We moved customers out of
their comfort zone by introducing new techniques and ingredients they can
use for a lifetime. We also created
bonds within the community, as people answered, helped, and congratulated
each other in the comments. Our audience proudly shared their meals with the
community, advocating for the HelloFresh
experience among non-customers. As a result, a significant number of loyal
new-customers joined the #FreshFam after watching. The success of this
initiative for over a year is definitely driving the team to continue the series
– for an indefinite period of time.