“Because food is self care!”
By: Mandy Cai
Instagram, being a picture-focused platform, is a great place to show off your creations and attract more followers to one’s page, but it’s also very tricky as it tends to generate more cheap traffic than actual followers sometimes. In order to avoid that and get the best out of the platform, we developed a digital marketing strategy to help this baking page Baking Thrills achieve its goals and grow its online business.
Increase in baking due to lockdown:
COVID-19 has changed the way individuals live their lives, maybe forcing people to try new things to cure their boredom. Whilst many are sitting at home scrolling social media, some like to experiment in the kitchen to try something new.
It was found that there has been a worldwide increase in Google searches for baking terms. Additionally, there was a rise in Instagram posts using the hashtag #homebake.
Study shows that the reason for this increase is psychology based. Whilst people are panic buying, baking goods has also been a growing purchase.
It allows for individuals to get together and participate in a fun activity. When we feel down, sometimes we develop a sugar craving. Consuming sugar increases serotonin which regulates mood, appetite, and social behavior. Therefore, your body continues to crave sugar as it makes us temporarily happier.
Researchers have also found that carrying out repetitive behaviors can help ease stress and anxiety.
“Doing things that evoke almost immediate positive emotions can help to calm stress pathways… Those activities when we move our hands definitely have a link to positive emotions and stress,” she says. “We believe when people engage in cooking, there’s an activation of the sensory system, and that activation brings in our working memory,” – Nicole Farmer
Additionally, whether we are baking with others or not, research shows that it can bring about “an increased feeling of social interaction and a positive social role” – which can make you feel good. Part of these positive feelings may come from the people you are feeding. Researchers highlight that altruism can contribute positively to our well-being.
With the growth of baking on the rise from the beginning of the pandemic, a study carried out with 4,359 individuals aged 18+ by the National Association of British and Irish Millers found that this hobby is expected to continue even after the pandemic.
33% of respondents indicate that they will continue to pursue baking in the future with 59% of them planning to bake bread. In addition, many want to hone their pastry skills, putting chocolate cake (59%) and cookies (58%) on their baking lists.
In a market as big and wide as Instagram, knowing your audience is always crucial. For this business, the content is meant for all English-speaking foodies out there. Hence, the target here has a wider range than usual – that is why a SWOT analysis is needed. We need to be able to find the opportunities, dodge the threats, use whatever strengths we have, and work on the weaknesses.
Strengths: Unique content, delicious feed pictures, variety to suit all taste preferences, the ability to post the recipes in a few languages other than English, if the owner seeks to expand later
Weaknesses: Few posts, not very active, consistency
Opportunities: A huge amount of foodies on Instagram, anyone can be attracted with the right picture, a high amount of traffic in the platform, global
Threats: A lot of competition, other pages with great visuals and bigger teams, users have so many options it’s easy to get lost in the crowd
Short and long-term goals:
Goals are essential in any strategy plan, and they should be specific and achievable. SMART goals are very important for small businesses and startups. Sometimes, business owners can easily be overwhelmed by the bigger goals and long-term objectives. Therefore, SMART goals are considered effective in keeping the priorities well centered and insight.
An example of a SMART goal that can be implemented for Baking Thrills could include:
Specific – Increase the amount of followers 1000
Measurable – This can be measured on the Instagram app, showing how many followers the page has
Achievable – With 59 followers currently, an increase of 941 followers within 8 months sounds like an adequate amount of time
Relevant – Once 1000 followers is reached, the Instagram Insights feature will help to analyze the demographics of the audience, allowing content to be modified to align with her audience
Time-bound – Within 8 months, the goal will be achieved
- Within 3 months, I want to have uploaded 36 posts
- Within 8 months, I want to reach 1000 followers. Then I can use Instagram Insights to analyze the demographics of my audience
The long-term goal is to keep increasing the number of followers and eventually reach 10,000. Once the 10,000 followers are reached and without any kind of trigger, growth is usually much slower. So, ideally, the yearly goal will be to keep the existing followers and try to increase followers by at least 500 a year.
The aim of this baking page is not to sell any products or recipes, but to do collaborations, sponsorship, and maybe offer mentorship.
Mediums to use:
Currently, the Baking Thrills page is seen on Instagram. This is suitable as Instagram is a photo-based platform, and baking pages on Instagram are growing as a trend. Using relevant hashtags is also a great way for people to search specific topics and find your page.
If different platforms were to be used, a suggestion could be to publish these posts via a blog. This is a very common approach with a significant amount of reach and response from audiences. Just take a look at the top followed baking bloggers of 2021 here.
Sally from sallysbakingaddiction has a few tips on how to successfully write blog posts for baking:
- Gathering inspiration: Sometimes you may feel a bit uninspired or unsure of what content to produce. Looking at other work may help, or thinking about what you know that others do not know
- Keeping it concise but relevant: Usually blogs are lengthy and many people skim-read first to see if they are interested or not. It is important to first determine the message you are trying to convey, then how you will communicate that message
- Wording choice is important: Make sure your posts are engaging, as if you are having a conversation with your audience. Using personal pronouns such as “you” can have an effective response from a reader. It allows for it to feel more personal and comfortable when reading
- Hashtags: It’s easy for your posts to get lost in the midst of thousands of other pictures. A great and effective way to make your content show is to use hashtags. Using trending hashtags is key. You will need to use a mix of hashtags relevant to your page and trending hashtags. This website gives some guidance on how to use hashtags for food pages and bloggers.
- Stories and spontaneous content: Stories and lives are also essential when it comes to instagram businesses. They give you more credibility and are a great way to communicate and interact with your audience. (We have a whole blog on this here)