Consumers today have hundreds of options for virtually every need in their lives, including food. You know your baked goods are palate pleasers, but how can you convince people who have never been to your bakery of that?
The best way is to start advertising where they already are: the Internet. The possibilities for digital advertising are virtually endless, but this page has a few online marketing strategies for bakeries to help you start using your site, social media, and paid options to their full potential.
What makes your website shine? It’s how you lay it out and show off your baked goods. Think about this from a potential consumer’s prospective. They’re either coming to your site because they’ve already been to your bakery and want to see if you’re offering anything new, they heard about you from a friend, or they’re searching the web for bakeries in the area.
Regardless of how they find your site, your goal should be to convince them to come to your bakery and make a purchase. Here’s how:
Most visitors come to your site for basic information like your location, hours, and offerings, so make it as easy as possible for them to find those things. The best way is to include them at the bottom of every page, as well as creating a very basic navigation system for everything else.
Delicious-looking photos can sometimes be all it takes to make someone come to your bakery, and are much more compelling than text. Because of this, be sure to include some images photos of your bread, pastries, and other baked goods.
The most important thing to remember when choosing photos is that they need to be real examples of your food. It should go without saying, but never use stock photos. You may think you’re saving time, but if the photos on your site look nothing like what you sell, customers will feel misled. Even a few quick photos shot on a smartphone are better than photos that aren’t authentic.
In addition to photos, add descriptions of your baked goods to your site. This is important on the off-chance that your photos don’t load well for certain users, and will also help search engines understand your site.
Even the most advanced search engines, like Google, can’t process images like human eyes. So even if you include a hundred photos of specialty cupcakes, Google won’t be able to figure out that your site is a great result for someone who searches for “cupcakes.”
Be sure to include information on where and how people can buy your baked goods. Do they have to visit your physical store? Can they order online? Can they place an order in advance for an event?
Make the purchasing process as clear as possible, and always include a map and phone number in case of confusion.
As unique as your bakery may be, the fact is that there are many other bakeries out there with similar options. When your potential customers are browsing their choices online, you need to show them what sets you apart.
What specialties do you offer? Are your recipes part of a family tradition? Do you have an interesting backstory? You don’t have to write a novel-length explanation, but you should make an effort to show visitors exactly why they should choose you over your competitors.
Of course, when writing your copy and including your images, you should be sure to do search engine optimization, or SEO. This will help Google and other major search engines find your site rapidly, and will assist in moving your page rankings up.
If you aren’t sure which keywords are best suited for your business, think about how you would search for a bakery. What keywords would you input in the search engine? Are there any long-tail keywords (those that include phrases or geographic locations) that might be worth optimizing on a page or two? Do some research first, then include those keywords for the best chances of ranking well.
After you have a well-put-together website, you should look at other ways to get the word out about your bakery. Social media is one of the fastest-growing methods of introducing new buyers to your baked goods, and as an added bonus, it’s absolutely free.
But what should you post to engage with current customers and attract new ones? Here are a few ideas for some of the more popular platforms:
Much like on your website, food images are some of the best ways to attract attention. But unlike your site, these images don’t always necessarily have to be your own.
Although you should never take credit for someone else’s work, sharing photos of unique designs and ideas can be a great way to get people talking. For example, if you come across a particularly interesting wedding cake and share it with a caption like, “Would you want this cake for your wedding?” you could easily generate conversation, and possibly even inspire a purchase.
With Pinterest, you can create as many different boards as you like with photos in different categories. To start, you can make boards that showcase your own creations, and sort them by category.
From there, you can create “inspiration” boards and Pin photos of interesting and unique ideas from other bakers. If you use tags relevant to the category or event that the food was made for, you may even gain followers who are looking for inspiration for similar events.
Who doesn’t love to see a baker in action? Upload videos regularly of the processes you use to decorate wedding cakes, or bake pastries to a golden crisp. The videos don’t have to be long, but should be enough to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business.
When someone leaves a comment on your wall or photo, be sure to respond! Regardless of whether the comment is positive or negative, you should acknowledge what you appreciate their input.
While positive comments are easy to respond to, the negative ones are what can really set you apart on social media. By responding politely and professionally, you show that you are dedicated to customer service and want to make your customers happy. When other followers see this, they’ll likely be impressed.
It’s worth mentioning that bakeries can boost their online presences through paid advertising, such as Google Adwords or advertisements on Facebook. These are tried-and-true methods of getting noticed, especially if you have a tremendous amount of competition in your region or want to make a sudden and impactful splash in the market.
If you haven’t explored paid online advertising before, it’s worth your investment to work with a web development company that can guide you through the process. You’ll get returns faster that way, since there will be less of a learning curve.
We hope you found these marketing strategies for bakeries useful, but if you’re still not sure how to get started, feel free to contact us! Our talented team of Internet marketing professionals is more than happy to help you develop a strategy for growing your business.
Find out how WebpageFX can create an effective Internet marketing strategy for your website. Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today for a free evaluation.