Who wants ice cream? We all scream for ice cream! Even though ice cream brings in customers from all demographics, leveraging your marketing strategies can generate new customers from surrounding areas next to your neighbourhood where your brick-and-mortar ice cream shop is located.
An ideal marketing plan involves getting your regular customers to come in often, turn new customers into loyal ones, and having plenty of high-quality ice cream in stock that is kept fresh and cold in a novelty freezer.
So, how can you market your ice cream shop to gain more customers? Let us take a look at 5 marketing strategies that will help you to operate a successful ice cream shop.
1. Garner Publicity
The first step in garnering publicity is by building brand recognition of your ice cream shop. The following are 2 public relation tips that are sure to boost your public image and garner good relations in your community.
Get a press release. Make a list of all the local newspapers and magazines where your ice cream shop is located. Send a one-page business letter to each publication where you introduce yourself, and give them a short summary of your business and why your ice cream shop is so special.
You want to pique the interest of the reporter to write a press release about your ice cream shop. For instance, round up the top 5 best-selling ice cream flavours and tell them why they are so popular. The reporter can use that information and place it in a press release, and then have it published in print and on their online publication.
Get on a local news spot. Along with local newspapers and magazines, reaching out to your local news stations by sending out the one-page business letter can create a buzz about your ice cream shop. When the camera crew and reporter pass by your establishment, you can present them with all of your ice cream flavours and offer the reporter free ice cream.
This kind of news spot will garner major publicity for your business. Viewers who catch the telecast are then more likely to try your ice cream due to the positive feelings created during the news spot. Don’t forget to smile at the camera!
2. Create Unique Ice Cream Flavours
Generic ice cream flavours such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry are always top-sellers, but you need to mix it up. Another cool marketing strategy to implement is to create new flavours such as vegan ice cream.
By coming up with unique ice cream flavours, loyal customers are sure to try them. It also guarantees their brand loyalty because they won’t stray away if you keep releasing brand new flavours. At the same time, potential customers might be enticed to try something completely different that they have never heard of before.
3. Host a Contest or Giveaway
Contests and giveaways are great marketing initiatives that naturally draw the attention of customers. Since ice cream is closely associated with kids, organizing fun games that families can get involved in can draw big business. Contest winners can receive prizes such as free ice cream vouchers along with ice cream stuffed animals for the kids. Don’t forget to give prizes for the runner-ups. Always reward kids with a free ice cream cone who participate in your event.
4. Use Promotional Strategies
Utilize your social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for engaging with your target audience. By posting at least once a day on all social media channels, you keep your content fresh and your followers are more likely to tune in to your announcements. For special promotions, invest in sponsored ads on social media.
A small investment of at least $10 a day can get new followers to your social media channels and increase your customer base. Also, get a verified Yelp account to tell the public that you have a brick-and-mortar location.
A great addition to your brick-and-mortar location is to have a large ice cream cone placed outside of your store for customers to pose for pictures and post on their social media. Don’t forget to include your social media handles on the ice cream cone for easy following.
5. Offer Discounts and Deals
By offering discounts and deals, you can guarantee you’ll get repeat business and very satisfied customers. The best thing about marketing ice cream is that there is something for everyone, so you have a lot of flexibility when creating coupons.
For instance, to entice new customers on social media, offer buy-one-get-one-free options or buy one sundae and get the second one with 50% off. You can also introduce happy hour during the weekdays for the after-dinner crowd to come out for dessert. For families, offer group discounts.
The final touch for promoting discounts and deals is to place banners and signs outside of your store to attract the attention of potential customers who are driving or walking by.
Marketing your ice cream shop is the key to maintaining brand loyalty, while gaining new customers. By following these 5 effective marketing strategies to market your ice cream shop, expect to expand your customer base without overspending.