When you want to start marketing a storefront business you need to complete some foundation steps first. That is, a priority checklist to set up your digital footing. In this post, we will cover these marketing bases below so you can knock it out of the park.
These tasks are for every bakery owner with a storefront. Don’t worry about building email lists, Google AdWords, or Facebook advertising. Every location-based business, like a bakery, has to first get their marketing foundation in order. We will will get into the dough of local SEO, because sprinkles don't make a cake.
The Ad Local team made a list of just 5 tasks a bakery needs to check off when they first set out to do online marketing. These preliminary steps are cost-free and will enable bakery owners the best chance at reaching their digital potential.
The 5 Tasks A Bakery Needs to Do First
1) Build A Beautiful Website
Build an aesthetically pleasing website that's easy to use and understand.
2) Claim and Update Your Public Business Listings
Claim your business listings online, i.e. Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages.
3) Set Up Your Social Media Accounts
Social Media account set up, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
4) Take Quality Photos of Your Store
Take great photos of the outside and inside of your store, as well as your products and services.
5) Ask Your Customers to Write Reviews
Encourage your customers to submit reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and Yellow Pages.
The reason these tasks are important for your storefront business is because you are fixed to your geographic location. It's more than likely, you only have a 5 to 20-mile radius of potential customers. Plus, with storefronts comes many overhead expenses, taxes, and increasing vendor costs. That's why the 5 steps outlined above and discussed below are the most cost-effective approach to marketing you business online. Especially for a bakery, they will need to check off each task to ensure they solidify an authoritative presence in their local area. Let's dive in a bit more!
Build A Beautiful Website
There is so much hype around Google AdWords and Social Media Marketing these days. It’s no wonder that many of our clients want to jump straight to these popular marketing tools. However, no matter how many leads we bring to your site they will not convert if the website looks dopey, has bad content, images, and overall does not properly communicate who you are and why you matter.
This is why Ad Local first works on developing an effective website to represent your business across all devices online. This includes, but not limited to, market research, keyword research, graphic design, photography.
Claim and Update Your Public Business Listings
If your business has been around for a bit, there’s a good chance that Google automatically generated a business listing for you. If that’s the case, Google’s self-driving car will have already taken a picture of your storefront too. Auto-generated business listings happen all the time. Regardless, you will still need to create an account with the specific listing provider to create a new one or claim a previously generated one.
For instructions on how to claim your Google My Business listing click here.
For instructions on how to claim your Yellow Pages listing click here.
For instructions on how to claim your Yelp listing click here.
Once you have successfully claimed all your business listings on the most popular providers, review and edit as needed so your information is displayed accurately. Google will pull information from each listing if they are relevant and provide value to for new search inquires.
Set Up Your Social Media Accounts
Customers often visit a business's social media profiles to research them, see photos, read reviews and possible even direct message them. As consumer’s attention has evolved on the internet, businesses have learned to adapt and be present wherever their customers are hanging out. In 2018, the people who cakes for their wedding, donuts for their office, and or bread for their family are all spending multiple hours each day on their social media.
Think of these platforms as gateways to your website. A bakery in 2018 will need to make sure they set up their Facebook page as a business page, have up to date contact information, and photos that showoff their expertise. Every digital touch point matters and your social media accounts are the most important after your website.
For instructions on how to set up your Facebook Business page click here.
For instructions on how to setup your Instagram Business profile click here.
For instructions on how to set up a Twitter account click here.
Take Quality Photos of Your Store
No one can taste your product without buying it first. So the next best thing is to entice them with great imagery. These should be high-quality photos that showcase your expertise, products, and services. Google gives preferential treatment to businesses that post multiple photos. These can also come from your customers. So give away some donuts to your photographer friend if they will be willing to upload a few of images on your behalf. Great photos lead more people to websites. If people are checking you out online, interacting, and visiting your website, there's a good chance they will eventually end up stopping by your bakery.
In short, better photos equals better engagement by users which can lead to new customers. But, keep in mind, those delicious-looking photos you see on social media actually take time and planning. See the three links I have included below for tips on taking great photos.
Click here to watch a 4-minute video on taking quality photos for your business.
For tips from Detroit-based blogger behind Broma Bakery, click here.
For tips on food, photography click here.
Ask Your Customers to Write Reviews
Customer reviews help you get ranked higher in Google searches. Google will factor in customer reviews from across the web, so the more customer engagement via reviews, likes, shares, and photo submissions to listings will significantly increase your ranking on Google. Especially by a food (bakery) business, it's possible to get as many as 100 reviews. To get an idea of how many reviews you should aim for, look at your competitors and see how many they have.
Keep in mind, the folks already in your area will likely choose to stop in your bakery since it's convenient and part of the local experience. These convenient customers can help promote your business in the short-term and long-term if you focus on it.
Great customer reviews also creates trust, authority, and attention by customers finding you for the first time online. Try to get 2-3 new reviews every week. Implement a customer service strategy that includes asking for customers’ to submit reviews if they had a good experience with your bakery.
If you check off each of these 5 tasks for your bakery, you will quickly start to see results within a few weeks. People in your local area will start to discover you, they will visit your website, and ultimately your bakery.
To end off, there are a multitude of factors involved when Google determines whether to show your business before or after a competitors. But for no money down, these 5 tasks will give you a great start. Afterwards, you can determine if paid advertising approach is needed to compete in your local market.
Ad Local, LLC is a boutique marketing firm proudly located in the start-up hub of Pontiac, Michigan. Our team can work on everything from beginning to end and everything in between. We offer on-demand, and affordable, digital marketing services for small to mid-sized businesses. We specialize in website design and development, interactive marketing, social media marketing, and demand generation consulting. Also, we service our clients with promotional advertising, commercial printing, indoor and outdoor signage, and direct mail marketing. For more information please email us at Support@GoAdLocal.biz