If you run a local cooking class business and want to learn how you can book out every session through online marketing efforts, then you’ve come to the right place!
According to a major e-commerce study published in 2018, 88% of people do online research before booking a session — that is to say, if you aren’t actively and continuously utilizing digital marketing to reach new customers, you’re missing out in a huge way. This guide is meant to give you some idea of the best channels to tackle as well as to provide a blueprint for marketing strategies to get your cooking class program up and running.
If you’re just getting started in marketing your cooking class, we suggest trying one channel at a time so as to not spread yourself too thin and overstretch your resources.
Once the first channel is performing well, you can add another. And then another, and then another – as many (or as few) as you want to help define the various types of classes you’re promoting. This not only enables diversification in terms of SEO but also brand diversification as well.
If you are operating at scale, you should consider working with an agency. We recommend our team here at Upgrow, although we might be just a wee bit biased. (Just a little bit.)
Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube are all amazing platforms to reach qualified and targeted potential customers. And while having a profile and regularly posting content is important, we want to dig more into the social media ads side of this platform.
We, as advertisers, can build and target audience profiles so that our budget is well spent by only reaching people who are most likely to convert. It’s also important to recognize which platforms would work best for your particular type of cooking classes – some platforms may well work better for your brand than others, so it’s important to determine this early in the strategy process.
Start by placing the tracking pixel for the social media channels you’d like to begin with. We typically recommend Facebook as a good channel to begin with as it has the largest user base, the most robust targeting features, and the lowest cost-per-click rates. Instagram could also be a great channel to go with, especially if you’re actively taking a lot of pictures. YouTube is a good option if you regularly record and post videos for cooking demos or recipes.
If you do begin with Facebook Ads, you’ll want to set some initial goals by asking yourself:
- How many bookings do you need to fill per week?
- How much can you afford to pay in marketing while still being profitable?
- Who is your target audience? (Demographics, geography, interests, etc)
- Who are your competitors?
- How is your cooking class different and better than others? That is to say: why do customers choose your class over others?
With these details fleshed out, you can begin crafting your audience lists for targeting purposes, as well as create specialized creative and ad messages to connect with them in a way that resonates.
Here’s an example of what your answers might look like:
- Location: Your cooking class is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Age: Most of your customers are between 24-35 years old.
- Relationship status: Most of your customers are young couples.
- Interests: Most of your customers are and are looking for a unique dating experience.
Your audience can target that date range, dating relationship status, interest in cooking, and whether or not they’re also fans of cooking shows, cooking pages, and other such related content. You can even target their specific level of income. If you want to fine tune things, even more, you could target only areas that are within a mile (or whatever distance parameters you wish) of the class location.
Here’s another quick tip for your Facebook Advertising efforts: your ad message and creativity should show couples in the image or video, promote the dating experience in the copy, and have a call-to-action offer with a unique promotion or package for couples.
Blogging, creating YouTube videos, and other types of content are effective strategies to fill your local cooking class for a number of reasons:
- If your content meets your users’ needs, it’ll have a high SEO value to Google as well as to users who are searching for quality content in that niche.
- It helps establish yourself and your company as an expert with valuable knowledge to share about cooking.
- Posting this kind of content can inspire users who enjoy your service.
It can take quite a bit of time to create high-quality content such as recipes, instructional cooking videos, blog articles, online courses, or email marketing newsletters about cooking, but these efforts pay off in the long run. You’ll definitely want your content strategy to stay within the parameters of your niche so as to not get lost in the vast seas of cooking and recipe content on the internet. You also want to try to reach local users and provide them with reasons for why they should take your particular cooking class over another option.
Some great content topics might include:
- Los Angeles Unique Date Ideas (insert your city of course, if it’s not Los Angeles)
- Corporate Team Building Cooking Classes
- A Foodie’s Guide to Los Angeles
- Classes for Home Cooks
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Organic search traffic accounts for 51% of website traffic alone!
Making sure your cooking class website ranks for searches related to your class offerings is critical to booking out consistently.
There are a lot of things you can do to lift your rank on Google, but here are the main tactics that you should absolutely not neglect by any means whatsoever.
Keyword Research – The foundation of your SEO program starts with keyword research. There is a lot that goes into this so we recommend starting with this step-by-step guide if you’re brand new to the subject. For SEO relating to cooking classes, you’ll want to utilize niche keywords that include your cooking class specialty and city name to hit the most relevant users.
For example, a keyword like “cooking class” is likely too broad unless you’re a national brand.