Breaking through digital noise with consumers

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As many have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, bakeries need to have an active and authentic online presence to stay top of mind with customers. With the emergence of new platforms like TikTok, there have never been more opportunities to reach a customer base.

As part of the IBIE 2022 educational platform, Alexis Gilbert, Senior Director, Global Brand and Communications at Dawn Foods, explained how bakers can leverage these tools and platforms to drive traffic and sales on Saturday 17 September during a session titled “Breaking Through the Digital Noise: Strategies, Tactics and Tools to Get Your Bakery Noticed Online.”

Gilbert recently discussed how bakers can advance their business in the digital age.

How have consumers changed the way they find and interact with businesses?

Alexis Gilbert: Throughout the pandemic, we have seen an increase in consumers leaning more into online channels, interacting with businesses digitally through social media, and visiting websites to learn more, while emphasizing efficiency and convenience. In a recent Salesforce survey, 85% of consumers do research before making an online purchase, and among the most used search channels are websites (74%) and social media (38%).

For this reason, bakeries have had to turn to these online tools to better reach and engage customers. Many bakers have made significant progress throughout the pandemic, adapting to a more digitized experience and integrating services such as online ordering, curbside pickup and delivery to better serve their customers, while maintaining and promoting a desirable in-store experience.

We’ve also seen a growing consumer appetite to understand what a company stands for – what their values ​​are, what sets them apart from other companies, and even how they source their ingredients. Having a clear understanding of this as a business and communicating each of these across your channels is becoming increasingly important.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic driven bakeries to have an active online presence?

We anticipate that many consumption habits created during the pandemic will continue. For example, customers still prefer the convenience offered by options such as online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup.

As more customers rely on online channels, bakeries will need to adapt to stay ahead. Starting with the basics means maintaining a website so customers can easily find the bakery online and ensuring digital tools are in place, such as online ordering, to provide convenience for customers.

Which platforms work best to reach today’s consumers?

Your business website is your own space online and to which you direct consumers from any social media channel you activate on. Making sure everything your customer needs to know about your business and information on how to buy your products is up to date is key. Your website is your digital storefront and should be updated regularly.

Once your website is in the right place, claiming your Google Business listing, using Google My Business to update your listings and images regularly, and claiming and updating your Yelp profile are also ways customers can shop. engage and buy more easily. of you.

For social media, different channels can provide better business performance over others. The good thing is that everything can be contained – cooking the day’s baking, sharing limited time offers, showcasing your amazing staff – can be used across all channels. To avoid being overwhelmed with options, set goals and benchmarks for the results you want to achieve from each channel, and test the content options for each. If you don’t have a dedicated marketing or social media team, having an up-to-date profile and account on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok is great from a search perspective. Ensuring your website and contact details are accurate is a minimum requirement. From there, it’s all about testing what content produces the results you’re looking for, like driving traffic to your store and website, loyalty program signups, or redeeming coupons.

How can bakeries use these platforms to drive traffic and increase sales?

The purpose of any social media tool or account is to make it easier for the customer to find and order from a business. Making sure your location, hours, and menus are up to date are the most important things to keep up to date on a regular basis. If you use third-party delivery tools or partners, maintaining the accuracy of your profile for those tools ensures that customers get the information they need to make an informed purchase. For social media, it is essential to link to where customers can get more information and learn more about your products. Sites to create unique links or QR codes are useful for measuring actions against your efforts. On your Facebook business page, for example, customizing your call-to-action button to be “buy now” or “learn more” are easy ways to drive traffic to the point of sale.

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