Over the past few years, our relationship with food has changed dramatically. Think about it: did you ever imagine that cooking recipes would become some of the most shared content on Facebook and Instagram? Or that TV shows like “MasterChef” and “The Great British Bake Off” could reach the top of the ratings charts? One thing is for sure: everything culinary is trending right now. In particular, the cooking class market is experiencing a tremendous surge in popularity. According to the latest statistics, the industry is growing at a compound annual rate of 18.9% and will be worth more than 2,300 million USD worldwide by the end of 2029. This growth is also reflected in the fact that more and more people are looking for these kinds of activities on the Internet. The screenshot below shows how often the query “cooking class” has been searched on Google from April 2020 to August 2023. As you can see, the trend is clearly upward.
In this article, we’ve gathered a series of proven best practices to increase the success of your cooking classes using a few convenient online tools and leveraging social media channels. Read on to find the approach that works best for your business!
Customer feedback is a goldmine of insights that, when used effectively, can lead to greater visibility, improved customer experience, and valuable changes to your business model.
The power of online reviews: Invite your customers to write reviews about their experiences on popular platforms such as Google, TripAdvisor, and your social media pages. The benefits are twofold:
- Customer reviews are an important ranking factor on most OTAs and travel portals, so the more you have, the higher you will be listed for relevant searches.
- Positive reviews can increase your conversion rates! In fact, 93% of customers say that reading feedback written by other users influences their purchase decisions.
Put testimonials on your site: For the same reason as above, display glowing reviews and testimonials on your website to reassure potential customers about the quality of your classes. After all, nearly half of consumers place as much trust in online reviews as they do in personal recommendations from friends and family.
User-generated content: Another way to increase visibility is to ask customers to share their cooking class experiences on their social media channels and tag your business.
Actionable feedback: In addition to encouraging your clients to write an online review, ask them to provide specific feedback after each class. What did they enjoy the most? Is there anything they didn’t like? More importantly, use these insights to improve your offerings. For example, if several students suggest a new recipe or a different teaching technique, consider incorporating those changes.
Product development: Similarly, use feedback to identify gaps in your current offerings and create new classes. This means that, if customers express interest in vegan cooking, you could launch a class specifically for them.
Strategic decisions: Over time, patterns in feedback can inform larger strategic decisions. Suppose customers consistently praise a particular instructor for his or her teaching style; you might then consider a train-the-trainer program to replicate that style across your team.
Looking for ways to market your cooking class? Social media can be a game changer. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are stellar tools for putting your brand on the map and drawing in potential customers to your classes. In case you didn’t know, 71% of people say that their purchasing decisions are influenced by social media, and the percentage is even higher among younger generations (85%).
Consider the food trends mentioned above and create engaging content around them. We suggest starting with short tutorial videos on how to prepare certain recipes – they’re a breeze to make, and guaranteed to spark interest! After all, who isn’t hooked on food-related content?
Keep in mind, though, that social media isn’t so much a sales platform as it is a stage to spotlight your brand and what it stands for. They are perfect for fostering long-term relationships with your audience and showcasing the unique experience you offer. Bonus points for content like behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your classes in action – especially those that show your students getting hands-on in the kitchen.
Sure, we just discussed social media, but to truly crack the code on how to market your cooking class in 2023, we need to dig deeper into Instagram and TikTok. Instagram has cemented its status as the go-to platform for photo enthusiasts of all ages, while TikTok has become a sensation among younger folks with its bite-sized, lively videos.
Leveraging influencers on these platforms can be a game changer for your sales, assuming your advertising budget is up to par. Take into account that a significant 61% of consumers have confidence in the suggestions made by influencers, compared to just 38% who place an equivalent trust in content crafted by the brands themselves.
You could have an influencer post an invitation to their followers to attend one of your classes, perhaps even dangling a sweet deal as an incentive. Another option is to partner with them to run a contest where the prize is a free seat in an upcoming cooking class.
Insider tip: You may want to consider working with a micro-influencer, an individual with a smaller but highly loyal following, often centered around a niche interest. According to Hubspot, these micro-influencers can drive up to 60% more engagement than their macro-influencer counterparts.
Promote your classes on Pinterest
A hotbed for those with an eye for aesthetics, Pinterest serves as a digital bulletin board where images can be shared and grouped into themed collections. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true when it comes to food. It’s undeniable that when we see a delicious recipe, we’re tempted to try it right away. Uploading a photo is a great way to showcase your cooking class and emphasize that your students can learn to recreate the tempting dishes they see on their screens. Remember to include a link to your website and a promo code to encourage potential customers.
Insider tip: If your marketing campaigns primarily target women, Pinterest is the perfect platform for you, as they make up 76% of its user base.
You’ve probably heard of Groupon, a bustling marketplace where businesses of all kinds post group deals and coupons. As you might guess, it’s a great way to promote your cooking classes through incentives like discounts and even free classes, for example, a two-week trial before signing up for a full course. Use this marketplace to increase your business’s visibility and boost sales! Groupon can serve as a phenomenal revenue stream, especially for smaller businesses. Try posting a few deals to find the approach that works best for your business.
Every online business should live by this mantra: your website must be flawless! Don’t underestimate its importance: your website is often the first point of contact for your customers. Essentially, it’s the digital representation of your company to the world; it would be a shame not to give it the attention it deserves. That’s why it’s critical that your website makes a positive impression on visitors. Start by making sure it offers a mobile-friendly interface – nearly 57% of all website traffic comes from people using smartphones! – and fast, seamless page loads. Next, consider incentivizing repeat visits by offering class discounts to those on your mailing list or free resources such as guides and eBooks.
If your goal is to sell cooking classes through your website, incorporating an easy-to-use online booking system is paramount. Not only will this provide a smooth experience for your customers, but it will also help you efficiently manage your availability, taking into account any offline sales or transactions through external channels such as OTAs and resellers. Speaking of which…
In the dynamic world of cooking classes, an efficient booking system is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. Take a look at the benefits you can experience by implementing Regiondo, the leading booking solution in Europe.
First impressions are crucial. If potential customers find it difficult to book your classes, they may be turned off before they even set foot in your kitchen. Remember, today’s customers don’t want to deal with long phone calls or endless email exchanges: they prefer the convenience of buying online (as stated by 57% of respondents to a Raydiant survey). Regiondo offers an intuitive interface that simplifies the booking experience, making it fast and enjoyable. This results in higher conversion rates and increased customer satisfaction.
Keeping track of your availabilities across multiple platforms can be a daunting task without an efficient channel manager. Regiondo synchronizes with over 200 OTAs and resellers, giving you the ability to monitor all bookings from a single dashboard. This eliminates the risk of overbooking and the hassle of manual updates, providing a streamlined, real-time solution that runs smoothly.
Knowledge is power. Regiondo’s reporting tools give you insight into your booking trends, customer behavior and financial metrics. These reports can guide your marketing strategies and help you make informed decisions to grow your business.
Regiondo doesn’t just handle bookings – it’s a tool for growth. With built-in marketing features such as coupon codes, gift vouchers and upsell options, you can expand your reach and increase your revenue.
Pasta Laboratory, based out of Bath, UK, is a vibrant and growing enterprise that’s all about delivering quality food experiences to its patrons. Starting off with a handful of pasta-making classes on weekends, they’ve since broadened their horizons to include ‘open kitchen’ experiences, supper clubs, themed events, and even a rotating roster of guest chefs specializing in various types of cuisine. As the business started to expand, Federico – the owner of Pasta Laboratory – realized the need for a sleek, user-friendly website, and a straightforward yet efficient booking platform. This is where Regiondo steps in.
Unleash the power of Google Ads
When it comes to maximizing your website’s potential, Google Ads is an essential tool. As the world’s most advanced and widely used search engine, securing a top position in Google’s search results is a highly effective way to market your cooking classes and, in turn, increase your profits. Through text-based ad campaigns, you can instantly catapult yourself to the top of Google’s search rankings for specific keywords related to your cooking classes, such as “cooking classes in [insert your city/province]”.
Similarly, you can create image and video ads to appear on Google’s Display Network and YouTube, which are viewed by 80% of Internet users every day! Why not create a short clip that highlights the unique features of your courses? Trust me, the results will come faster than you think.
Having a blog on your website is a fantastic way to highlight your cooking classes while sharing engaging content that resonates with your potential students. Believe it or not, businesses that blog regularly can get up to 55% more traffic than their competitors.
Consider writing dedicated posts for each of the cooking classes you offer to appeal to different niche markets. A quick tip: Use catchy titles to really draw readers in! Instead of a generic “traditional carbonara recipe,” how about something with a twist, like “Outdoing Rome: Uncover the secrets to cooking up the perfect carbonara”.
Another strategy for your blog is to partner with local chefs and restaurant owners. Consider interviewing them and sharing their expert advice with your audience. You could even invite them to guest teach in your cooking class – having a recognizable name adds some serious weight to your promotions.
Strategic partnerships with other food-related companies can lead to exciting opportunities to increase your brand awareness and reach more customers. Here are some ideas for you to explore:
Food festivals and events: Hosting a cooking class or demonstration at a food festival can help you reach the right audience. To further entice them, you can offer a special discount to those who attend.
Joint promotions: Partner with other local businesses that complement your cooking classes, such as restaurants, kitchenware stores, or even bookstores with a great cookbook section. As you can imagine, cross-promotions are beneficial to both parties. For example, if you decide to partner with a winery, you could offer a special cooking class that includes wine tasting, or they could host a cooking demonstration as part of their wine tours.
Chef partnerships: Partner with local chefs or food experts for special classes. They can share unique recipes, professional tips and tricks, and their culinary journey with your students.
Local Suppliers: Developing partnerships with nearby farms or suppliers can enhance the authenticity of your cooking classes. By using fresh, high-quality ingredients, you not only enrich your recipes, but also demonstrate a genuine commitment to the local community and environmental sustainability. You can even organize farm-to-table classes or supplier visits to educate participants about the origins of their food.
As we close this guide, remember that promotion is all about being where your audience is and speaking their language. Whether it’s creating compelling social media posts, collaborating with influencers, blogging about delicious recipes, offering enticing discounts on Groupon, or optimizing your website for easy booking, each strategy is a stepping stone to your ultimate goal – getting more people excited about your cooking classes.
Regiondo is here to be your partner on this journey, making it easy for you to manage bookings, reach new customers and grow your business. With just a few clicks, you can turn your cooking class from a hidden gem to a hot ticket item.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out there, spark some buzz, and let your passion for cooking shine. After all, the secret ingredient to your success is you. Happy cooking and promoting!