Whether you love humble bread or not, we could all agree that bakeries are a force in the community since time immemorial. With the accessible knowledge of baking science (thanks, YouTube!) thrown upon aspiring bakers, a new wave of mom and pop businesses and serious players have become ubiquitous, offering a wider and wilder variety of confections and exciting gluten selections.
Regardless if you are still cooking-up a business or keeping your established bakery up-to-date, a robust digital marketing strategy is necessary to adapt to your customers’ needs and keep up with the tight competition.
From browsing, inquiring, purchasing, and even leaving a product review, you could take advantage of digital marketing to make the smell of your baked goods reach a bigger audience and make them come back for more.
Read more: Social Media Marketing for Bakery
How to Effectively Market your Bakery Online this 2021
1. Do a Market Research
The success of any business starts with the foundation of good market research. Understanding your consumers’ demographics and psychographics will give you insight into their behavior, like where and how they shop and the factors that affect their decisions towards purchasing a product.
Related: Best Things to Sell in a Bakery
Market research will introduce you to the top trends in the baking business, and you’ll be able to assess the market size and your competition so you could conclude your business value.
Who is your target market, and how do you reach out to them?
This may be quite a question to answer, but defining your audience starts with understanding your buyers’ personas. You’ll be able to reach out to your customers more effectively once you have answers to questions like, “what is their age range?”, “what are their jobs?”, “where do they live?” and “what are their hobbies?”. The more specific your questions are, the better data and results you will get.
Find your “why” and tell your story through your “About Us” page.
Purpose steers a business in the direction where you want to bring it. Being able to articulate how your products or services exist and add value to people’s lives is essential to your marketing plan. It doesn’t take long to arrive at a company “mission” that you would want your customers to know. You can do this by digging deeper and answering questions like “what inspired your idea?”, “what problem is your company trying to solve?’, and “what’s unique about your business?”.
Find your competitors and assess them.
Identifying your competitors will give you an idea of how you can deliver differently.
First, you can turn to Google and social media channels like Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, and even LinkedIn to search for bakeries and related niches. Remember, the more specific your niche is, the better you spot your competition.
Let’s say you’re looking to sell Keto-friendly confections or Halal pastries. You can take advantage of hashtags and keywords to filter down your search. Take note of their unique selling points, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to download their market reports.
The second is the ever-reliable SWOT analysis—plot down your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Address their pricing, products, and services and determine how you can turn yours into a more competitive one.
Be specific about what makes you unique. Why your target should choose you vs. competitors
The results of your research and analyses will illuminate the unique selling-points of your business. This should be anchored to your business purpose and how it, ultimately, will be of value to your target customers. While it is good to offer products to a broad customer base, you wouldn’t want to be tagged as just a bakery selling delicious baked goods. You would want to be known for something special, and only you could offer it.
Let’s say, among your competition, there are limited offerings for lifestyle-related products like vegan or keto-friendly baked goods. Or, in your competition, no one has addressed the need for custom-made cakes that can express deliver in 2 days. Go back to your strength and make a compelling and straightforward statement out of it.
Finalize your business plan and include a strategic action plan to meet your goals
Market Research is a part of the business plan. Pull your data together into a formal report. From this report, layout your specific goals and action plans for your digital marketing strategy.
2. Set-up a Full Business Profile for your Website
Establishing your business website will allow your customers to find you easily. Modern businesses (including long-established ones that have adapted to this) understood the benefits of having a web presence. Websites are a more sophisticated approach to showcase your brand, products and perform customer-service efficiently.
There are several blog-hosting sites, marketing tools, and web maintenance tools that you can learn or discuss with your web developer for an optimal website experience.
- Wix, WordPress – These are some of the beginner-friendly web hosts that you can jump right in for free. These two reliable brands host most bakery websites you will come across.
- WP Page Builder – WordPress created this drag-and-drop plug-in for your front and back end website building.
- Woocommerce – eCommerce for your WordPress website so you can sell products with more customized features and functionality
- Yoast SEO – Plug-in to get more website visitors and direct your social media audience to your webpage.
- Akismet – Maintaining your website from unnecessary spam, comments, and malicious information is crucial. Everyone can view your website, and you would want to eliminate these unnecessary digital noises on your site.
- Google Analytics – Track your website’s performance from visitors who are most likely to purchase, successful purchase from the website, the success of every blog or promotional post, and others. You can determine your visitors’ behavior through Google Analytics which you can include in your digital marketing strategy.
- Optinmonster – Building and growing your mail list will help you establish a more substantial following. This will also help you connect more to your customers by allowing them to subscribe to your website and be notified of your new blog posts or items on sale. Most successful websites have an established and growing email list that converts into profits very well.
- Just Writing – Your website can be more than just a display shelf for your products. Optimize your website by creating blog posts, and adding Just Writing to your WordPress hosted Website will help you make more impactful narratives. Create more meaningful engagements with your customers through quality blog posts.
- Floating social media icon – You see this everywhere. From coffee cups, coasters, cookie bags, and other novelty products. So why not on your website? Let your customers connect through your social media accounts to diversify your customer reach. Place it on your website strategically so it wouldn’t get in the way of your customers’ shopping.
3. Increase Brand Awareness Through Social Media
Photos and videos are now a powerful tool in getting through to your customers. You only have a few minutes and even seconds to catch their attention and keep them from reading what you offer. While not everybody has time to Google-up your website, social media comes in handy. Believe it or not, more people now search for products on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even on Youtube.
Take advantage of these by creating promotional infographics, great product photos, short videos, freebies, discounts, and direct them to your website. Facebook also has features that allow recommendations and reviews, messaging options, business hours, and you can also upload your menu. Increase your followers to generate improved revenue and your reputation as a brand. Take note of these helpful tips to get your social media accounts shooting-up.
Create a Content Calendar
- Regularly create and post materials that bring value to your customers.
An active social media account sends a signal that your business is thriving. Share a simple recipe, some baking hacks, storing tips, and even sharing your business’s core values are some of the ideas you can play around with. Keep in mind how your customers could benefit from your posts.
- Plot the dates of high seasons.
Schedule special occasions, national holidays, community activities, and create a campaign in advance. You may also run a competition like asking your customers to share a photo of your product and share them using your official hashtag.
- Run monthly competitions.
Ask your customers on social media to guess which cake flavors are in the picture, Easter cupcake hunt, and other fun ideas to drive engagement.
- Schedule times and dates for responding to your customers’ comments or reviews online.
Addressing their concerns and acknowledging their product experience will improve engagement and continued business. Be consistent in your schedule for content posting, promotional campaigns, and customer retention processes.
Strategize your time of posting
Google Analytics will help you determine the time and days where there is more search traffic on your website. The data you will gather will also give you an idea of the high-time for you to post your social media materials.
According to a Buffer study, the best time to post to Facebook is between 1 pm – 3 pm during the week and Saturdays. It also found that engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.
The best time to post to Facebook is between 1 pm – 3 pm during the weekdays and Saturdays. As for Instagram, since it focuses on great visuals with ideally shorter descriptions, aim to post at least once or twice daily.
Post Great Visuals
Needless to say, everyone loves a great visual. While there are several tutorials online on capturing a stunning mango pavlova photo, your branding must always surface. Keep in mind your target audience and how they would perceive and digest your content.
Post a variety of image and videos for every posting schedule to keep you followers’ interest. You would swear by the convenience of infographics and image editing tools like Canva, Crello, and Animoto.
4. Put your Business on the Map
Now that you have a website and social media accounts, another powerful tool is Google My Business. This will help improve your Google Search ranking since most people reach out to Google for, well, virtually everything.
With Google My Business, you can pin down your business on Google Maps, permit photographs to be labeled through GPS information, and most of all, it enables Google Reviews. Wouldn’t it be extra sweet to get a 5.5 stars rating?
Another beneficial strategy is through registering your business to online directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Mapquest, and TripAdvisor. You can effectively build a brand reputation when your bakery is highly visible. TripAdvisor rates businesses annually and grants certificates of excellence to distinguished brands in their respective industries.
Most people rely on previous customer reviews and experiences published online. This may be crucial, but positive reviews can significantly drive your business’ sales.
5. Optimize your site through paid ads
When carried out effectively, pay-per-click ads will not only put your products in the front-row but will target those who are more likely to convert into customers. If you have extra marketing funds, running a PPC or paid web ads can be very profitable.
Google Shopping Ads is one of the most popular PPC on the market, where it will show your products for sale to people searching for the related keywords on Google. It will link you to your website, social media page, or Google My Business account. Keywords are crucial here. But remember that Google is more concerned about your ad’s quality score as it will appear on top of the search results.
Get a higher quality score by providing accurate product descriptions, and it is advisable to have separate ads for each type of product. Social Media ads are more economical, and you will reach out to more dedicated customers.
Facebook ads and Instagram ads will let your advertisement appear on your followers’ feed strategically and even those non-followers who searched for related keywords. You can also filter through these social media ads the target clients you want to reach according to their demographics.
6. Track your progress
With all the efforts to put up your digital marketing strategies, remember that these are investments too. It is easier to size up your profit when you focus on the store’s production vs. demand; sales are going strong.
Your marketing analytics mustn’t go unchecked to measure the efforts and success of your marketing actions.
- On Google and Social Media Analytics, determine how your digital platforms generate leads.
- Know which demographics are most likely to buy from your bakery
- Determine if your web host has an analytics feature
- Compare the targeted demographics and take time to investigate your campaign’s success in different profiles to get a better insight into what appeals to certain age brackets, gender, etc. You can strategize your product offerings, new baked creations, and campaigns better with the data you have gathered.
- Collect, consolidate and measure the data to get an insight about which strategy is working and least profitable.
When calculated and interpreted correctly, you will understand what motivates the traffic to your site and which particular post, ads, or promotions stimulates your target customers. When creating new marketing campaigns, you can identify which factors, elements, or visual material you will incorporate to keep your customers excited.
Set a weekly and monthly review of your marketing results to track which engagement and performance and discover ideas about current business trends.
Compare the monthly and quarterly results to determine whether you are gaining your marketing ROI and gauge developing trends and adjustments. It is important to see what your competitors are doing too. Mirror your progress and product offerings and determine which of their selling strategies you could improve and apply to yours.
Modern businesses like bakeries need current marketing plans. Investing in a strong and robust digital platform is one of the most effective ways to promote your bakery business to contemporary and ever-changing customer tastes and purchasing trends.
By following the proven methods we have compiled especially for budding bakerpreneurs and established bakeries who are new to digital marketing, you can quickly start conducting your marketing research, lay-out your plan, and combine them with effective digital marketing tools to achieve your business goals.
If you would want to learn more about social media marketing ideas and strengthen your website’s visitor-to-customer conversions, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.