By Makayla Wallace-Tidd
Celebrating a new beginning with its 2.0 version, founder of Sauce Zeenat Wilkinson, takes us through the new slow and deliberate way they are bringing content to consumers.
Sauce was created by Zeenat Wilkinson and now has a second team member, Liam Sharma. The duo works together as co-editors to produce and market a curated selection of written content, focusing on beauty, fashion, and topical subjects from around the world.
Wilkinson says, “Our target audience is creative, intelligent, working professionals, around 20-45, but it’s also a mindset.”
The team said that their approach is to keep Sauce authentic and curated. They never want to be a part of the over-saturated media where everyone is writing the same thing.
Sauce is known for thought-provoking pieces that enhance the voice of the writer. Sharma says they aim to produce authentic work, and this results in a more relaxed schedule of articles. He added that the slower pace is where a lot of media platforms are moving towards to ensure authentic, thought out content.
“We are trying to put out lots of different messages, ones we believe deserve attention.
“Whenever Zee and I talk about how we want to do stuff, it always comes back to being authentically creative. We want to talk about stuff that impacts our lives and the people around us,” says Sharma.
With a background in editorial fashion writing, Wilkinson says that she always wants Sauce to be a trustworthy platform that gives honest thoughts on products.
“If I was reviewing a moisturiser, I would make sure I put it on my face and test it for months, then Liam and I would have a conversation about it.”
The platform is filled with a mix of in-house and freelance work. Sharma expressed how important it was for non-writers to submit ideas to them.
“We also encourage lots of contributors. We offer our platform to our readers to produce something, and being a contributor is open to everyone. We like there to be a certain level of quality, what we like to call ‘saucy’.”
Sauce offers a mentorship opportunity when writing for their platform. If you are new to writing, they want to help re-work your content and learn techniques, so it flourishes on the site. Sharma pointed out that this is something most media sites don’t offer.
Over lockdown, the team said they saw a jump in readership, and with this came a re-design called Sauce 2.0. White launching the new home for Sauce, another opportunity appeared to explore digital billboards as a way of marketing the platform.
Sharma says, “We worked with a company called Lumo and we created a series of five billboards that reflected our brand. It was about heartfelt messages about what was going on in the world at the time. At that time the main topic was Covid-19. They were just short little sentences that had a lot of meaning to them.”
The billboards received an overwhelmingly positive response. Readers would be sending photos in with messages saying how much they loved them.
Wilkinson says that their other main marketing strategy is building a community online. With 14.7k followers on Instagram, their readers often honestly promote the platform.
“We haven’t done much marketing as such, but our key ingredient is our followers. If they enjoy the content or they’ve read something they love, they often share it on their platform,” says Wilkinson.
Sharma says they know a lot about marketing as they also run Sauce Studio, a marketing agency that “takes care of everything besides the product” for businesses. Sauce Studio offers full production services and has worked with clients like Shiseido, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown, and Ruby.
The future remains positive for Sauce, to grow more and collaborate with trustworthy brands. Sharma says, “In a year I see the same thing, but for that community to be getting bigger every day, and also working with conscious brands, that relate to us. We are also thinking of producing something tangible whether than be makeup, or a book, we’re not sure yet.”