This post is all about how you can Make Your Marketing Budget Work For Your Bakery Business.
Paid advertising can make or break you. I have paid to advertise in local papers that boasted of having 20,000 readers. It sounded great, but out of that 20,000 how many matched my perfect customer template? I can tell you it was not many! One time, I spent £200-300 on a paid advert in a local publication only to get 1 enquiry. It doesn’t always work for niche products like mine and it may not work for yours either.
We have always found that a newsworthy newspaper article will always bring more attention than a paid newspaper advert. This may not be the case for your business and so you may have to experiment like we did. However, when you find the way that works best for you, keep in investing in it!
If you can get your local newspaper to write about you for free, then you will get lots of free traffic to your website or enquiries and visitors to your business. There is no financial risk involved, so if it doesn’t work, all you have lost is a little time.
But what about advertising with a niche magazine or newspaper? Now, this could work if you can stand out from the other niche advertisers in the magazine and or provide a better product or service for a good price.
I’ve advertised in wedding magazines and they definitely bring more enquiries although I have never been overwhelmed or blown away by the results. By the time I’d converted the sales, I wasn’t really that much better off. Sure I had bought a customer for life, but was the cost too high?
Just like newspapers, when I have been featured as an editorial I have seen better results and again, it was free.
I got to the point – after much experimentation – where I found I could spend £20 advertising a particular product on Facebook and get £200 back. Now that’s a good ratio! Problem was, I didn’t have enough money or the correct infrastructure to really push it, so I had to build it up slowly. After a year, this method had made it possible to transform my business.
Advertising on Facebook also helped to grow my Facebook fans who I could then market to for free. Using Facebook advertising, you can be super specific and tailor an offer or advert to a precise customer demographics such as location, age, interests, income, and so much more. I go in depth on Facebook and especially Facebook advertising here.
Swap or Trade
Most advertising we have done has been free. If I wanted to go in a magazine I would only do it if they let me advertise for free. I would offer to make a cake or a giveaway of perhaps 50-100 cupcakes, but I made sure I didn’t lose out.
Some other things we did included school visits, getting a Mr Bun mascot costume made, attending fetes and fairs, and working worth other businesses. These methods did not cost us much at all but brought us much in return. We still benefited from these some 5 years later. Using guerrilla marketing techniques can often cost you little but bring you much in the way of reward.
You don’t have to spend money advertising your business. When you start out, it will be tempting to spend and you will receive many invites to do so. Resist the urge and instead, try and think of unique ways that you can promote your business and attract more customers without paying out on untested marketing methods.
Test Before You Invest
If you do decide to pay to advertise somewhere, start with a small investment. If you want to advertise in a national newspaper, for example, first advertise in your local one. You will often find that results will scale up, so if it doesn’t work on a small scale, it probably won’t work on a large one either. Alternatively, if it does work small then go big!
Facebook is great for this. You can use Facebook ads to target a specific group and only pay £5. If you get a good enough % return on your investment, then the odds are that % will be the same for larger investments. Repeat the small test a few times, even gradually build up the amounts and then you won’t be wasting your hard earned money.
Make Your Marketing Budget Work For Your Bakery Business
Getting your advertising right comes down to many other factors such as the copy, timing, positioning, and audience. A good marketing plan will ensure you have put measures in place to minimise your risks and will make sure you are marketing to the right people. However, you can never eliminate all the risks and it will often be a case of having to try it to find out if it works for your business and your specific product or service.
There is an old saying attributed to John Wanamaker that ‘half the money I spend on marketing is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half.’ Testing small and especially using tools like Facebook and google, you can now have a better idea where your marketing budget is working for you and where it isn’t.