It might seem like the most difficult of getting a rocketship into space is the take-off. But once it’s in the air, it still has to worry about gravity and how it needs to keep going up.
Despite the possibly questionable analogy, you can liken this to running a bakery business. Once you’ve started one and opened up shop, you might think that the worst of it is behind you.
But now your business has to worry about beating out other bakeries and grocery stores, getting customers, and making a profit. After all, to become successful, or to at least keep your business afloat, you have to make sales.
This is why it’s important for bakeries, or any business for the matter, to have a marketing plan. No matter how good your baked goods are, it’s not going to do much if you can’t get people to go to your shop and buy them. Make a bakery marketing plan, attract customers, and watch those products fly off the shelves.
10 Online Marketing Ideas to Get Customers to Your Store
There are a lot of promotion ideas you can resort to for your bakery business. Offering free samples, or opening your bakery to host events are some of the few you can do.
The world of digital marketing, however, can be a different thing altogether.
Here are a few bakery marketing ideas you can do to help increase foot traffic to your business:
- Post a product of the day
- Coffee-pastry bundles
- Baker’s dozen discounts
- Seasonal products & promotions
- Loyalty programs
- Day-old deals
- Photo contests
- Funny and relevant content
- Helpful and engaging material
- Custom merchandise
1. Post a product of the day
Pick one of your goodies, be it cinnamon buns, gluten-free goods, or garlic bread, to be your product of the day. This allows you to cycle through your baked goods and give each a spotlight, diversifying your content.
It’s also an opportunity for a bakery promotion. You could offer those baked goods at a discount, pleasing your regulars and likely attracting more people to try out your bakery, potentially becoming regular customers.
2. Coffee and baked goods bundles
Coffee is the perfect beverage to go with bread, so having a promotion for some of it to go with your baked goods can be ideal for customers. For one thing, they have the opportunity to spend less on something that they were already looking to buy. For another, they no longer have to go to a coffee shop to get something to pair with their delights.
3. Baker’s dozen discounts
The baker’s dozen is 12 + 1, and offering an extra piece for an order of a dozen baked goods is a good promotion to offer. You can decide whether it’s to be an extra piece of a dozen bread of a single type, or for assorted bakery items. Everybody loves free stuff, and it becomes an incentive to buy more.
4. Seasonal products & promotions
As a small business, your bakery might not be able to keep up with big bakeries and other businesses and the large-scale marketing of their seasonal items. However, it’s still effective for you to do it even on a relatively smaller scale.
Take advantage of holidays, seasons, and local events. Seasonal treats can boost sales, as something being rare gives consumers the compulsion to take advantage of it while it’s still available. You can market these on social media as content relevant to the season, too.
A good marketing plan is to also have promotions during said seasons. One example is offering an extra treat for customers who bring their partners to the store during Valentine’s Day. Other than that, there are more ways you can make creative events out of holidays and seasons.
5. Loyalty programs
Another good business plan is to reward the regular customer for their continued patronage. As a business owner, this helps encourage further business–making customers feel appreciated and getting a treat for continuing to frequent your bakery.
There are many ways you can do this. One of the more common ones is giving customers a card that gets punched, ticked, or stickered for each purchase they make at the shop. Once they complete the required amount of transactions on the punch card, they can get a discount or an item on the house.
This can also be done online. There are many ways to integrate a loyalty program into an online store, which can keep count of transactions of a particular registered account and add discounts accordingly.
6. Day-old deals
You’d be surprised at how much bakeries can make on day-old products alone! While most businesses opt to throw out or reuse unsold items, bakery owners still have the option to sell day-old pastries at a discount.
It’s a good way to gain something from a potential loss, which is a big benefit to your bakery business.
7. Photo contests
Increasing your online marketing efforts means you should dive into social media. One of the marketing campaigns you can implement is to have people take photos of your products.
If Instagram and Facebook have taught us anything, it’s that people love taking photos and that no one can resist making models out of visually appealing products of the bakery industry. So if people are going to take photos anyway, why not take the extra step and use it to your advantage?
Have your customers be creative with their photos, and have them sent to you. The winning customer can get a prize of your choosing, be it being featured on your page to receiving coupons. This not only gives you a natural testimonial for the item featured in the photo, but it can also boost engagement with your audience and followers.
8. Funny and relevant content
In this new age of internet culture, one of the best ways for businesses to market their products and services is simply by being funny and relatable. People, especially the youth, respond to businesses that take on more relatable personas, who can easily engage with the regular customer.
Consider appealing to your audience by using memes and other humorous content on Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms. Relating current events and news to your products can also help. All of these help build engagement as well as provide you with ideas for regular content, which contributes to your bakery being more visible to people on different platforms.
9. Helpful and engaging material
Another way to attract more customers to your business is by creating content that potential customers can engage with.
One way to do this is through article writing. People are often online to look for information regarding certain topics, and providing articles with consistent, relevant, and helpful news or information can help people find your business website, potentially becoming customers at your bakery. These marketing articles also benefit your website’s SEO.
For social media, creating material that your audience can engage with can add to your marketing efforts. Consider making posts that catch the eye, like videos, infographics, and the like, as well as content that encourages people to comment, like a trivia question, or simply asking them for their opinions.
10. Custom merchandise
People are more inclined to support bakeries and other businesses in their area. You can give them a chance to do just that with custom-branded merchandise. You’ve got varied options as a bakery, like different cooking apparatus, such as branded aprons and oven mitts.
Sales aren’t the only thing merchandise can contribute to bakeries. Customers sporting your merch also counts as marketing, potentially attracting business toward your bakery.
Bonus tip: Take surveys
Finally, it’s not a bad idea to consult your customers about what they want to see. They are your customers after all. Chances are, they could give you some really good ones, or at least provide you with useful data.
You can encourage them to take the survey by providing discounts and freebies.
Tips to Increase Online Presence
Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms serve as good avenues for marketing as they require minimal capital, if at all. Many companies these days have pages on multiple channels to supplement their physical stores.
Social media platforms present the opportunity for you to directly interact with the potential customer, where you can encourage engagement through unique, visually appealing content, and get to know your regulars by being responsive to messages, being open to reviews, and the like.
This also has the added benefit of serving as an avenue for press releases and news about your bakery business to inform the people in your area.
One of your business goals should be focused on maintaining good relations with your customer base, and social media is an ideal tool for that.
Read more: Social Media Marketing for Bakery Businesses
Every business should have a website, and your bakery should be no different. Where social platforms serve as spaces for customer interaction, a website serves as the professional face of your bakery. Consider investing in the services of a web designer for the best results, otherwise, make use of easy-to-use website builders.
Lastly, because business cards are no longer as relevant, your website can contain your contact information, while also providing a means of directly interacting with your customers by having them sign up for your newsletter.
Search Engine Optimization
All of your profiles and accounts should be optimized for search engines.
Your website will benefit from optimization to make it more visible on search results pages. Do thorough keyword research on your niche and find high-performing search terms with low competition, and use them in your content and metadata. Aside from appropriate keywords, you must also write value-rich articles.
You should also make sure to claim or create a Google My Business profile with your correct contact information so Google can recommend you for local searches. Finally, encourage customers to submit reviews, as with five of them you can get your bakery to appear on Google Maps.
If you want a sure-fire way to make your website more visible, employing the services of Google Adwords can ensure that your business is seen.
The Bottom Line
Running a bakery takes commitment. You need to have the skill to work an oven, and have to compete with other bakeries and other retail stores. So you have to make sure you can stand out from the rest by focusing on marketing efforts where possible–and in the modern world, the internet is one of the best places to do it.
If you need more tips about running a bakery and how to market it, sign up for our newsletter. We at Mint Chip Challenge regularly post helpful content for pastry professionals, from ideal products to managing your website!