In the bakery business, we all know it’s important to make your products sell like hotcakes.
However, this is also the tricky aspect of running a successful bakery: timing. Knowing when to waft the smell of freshly baked pastel de natas down the street at just the right time during the morning commute is an art in itself. The right timing necessitates a steady flow of sales, to keep wastage low and customer satisfaction high.
However, if you’re thinking about starting out but you still need to work out those all important baking timings, marketing can be one of your most powerful tools in getting people through the door. Thankfully, most of the resources you need for this are also available online. In this article, we’ll sketch out the marketing methods with the highest potential to help a bakery business carve out a market niche and thrive.
Getting your business setup right
As any expert will tell you, marketing is as much about perfecting your products, pricing, processes and premises as it is about promotion.
Your goal should be to offer products that appeal to people in your target audience, via an attractive and appropriate ‘shopfront’, at prices customers consider fair. Furthermore, you’ll need to put the right employees and processes in place to deliver an excellent service that will keep your audience coming back. Be thorough, and ask yourself questions along the lines of the following:
- Is our kitchen up to scratch?
- Have we identified the right recipes to suit our customer-base?
- Do we have the required standard of food photography?
These are basic questions, but once you’re happy with the way you’ve set up your bakery, you can turn your attention to promotional marketing activities.
All the key social media platforms – including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – provide distinct marketing opportunities for bakeries.
Building up and maintaining a social media account for a business can be time-consuming, and for that reason, we’d recommend focusing on the one or two platforms you consider to have the highest potential.
Owing to the visual appeal of bakery products, Instagram is decidedly the best channel for bakers to target. Strategising a social media upload plan will help you to keep your posts and your page consistent, which can ultimately boost the professional image of your business and increase your audience. Alongside Instagram, building up a good following on Facebook will allow your audience to share, review and recommend your bakes to their friends — which will only boost your market awareness.
A good tip is to consider promoting a day when you bake something just a little bit special. For example, let’s say you bake a particularly delicious red velvet cake. Create a hashtag and bake only a certain amount, on a certain day at a certain time. #VelvetFridays could be your lunchtime marketing scheme that gets people excited about a limited supply of cake.
Google My Business
Getting your bakery listed on Google My Business is crucially important to your online presence, above all, because it will enable your business to show up on Google Maps. This means that when someone asks their smartphone to find “a bakery near me”, you can be in there amongst the results.
Signing up is simple, but can be time-consuming. Find out how here.
Local media are always on the lookout for vibrant stories to fill their pages – and bakers are often well placed to help.
Have you created an innovative twist on a traditional product? Have you won an award for making the best sausage rolls in the region? Or perhaps, most relevantly, are you just about to launch your bakery?
Whatever’s most interesting about your business, you should be telling local newspapers, radio stations and other media all about it. A good place to start would be to go to a local paper’s website and look for their newsdesk phone number on the Contact page. Follow PR requests on Twitter, write your own press release, and get outreaching!
A website may not be the top priority on a bakery’s marketing checklist, but setting up a good website could be the key to expanding your business. While most of your business will generate from walk-in customers, a company website could be useful for taking big orders, such as multiple bakes and occasion cakes for weddings and birthday parties. On top of this, your site will need to contain the essential information of your business, like opening hours details and location, as this can ultimately help with Google business listing and your SEO.
Marketing can be an exciting part of launching your business, but it’s important to have the right measures in place before you can get there. We offer a range of formation packages designed to help you get your company on its feet and give you the time to focus on how you want to market it. For business advice like this, you can head across to our dedicated knowledge centre here.