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If you’re on social media for longer than 5 minutes, I’m sure you’re already familiar with the Hot Cocoa Bomb craze. These are coffee mug sized balls of chocolate filled with hot cocoa powder and other mix-ins that basically are an interactive way for your customers to make a single serving of hot chocolate.
As popular as Hot Cocoa Bombs are right now, you may have some questions about how you can make money in your business or cake side hustle when it comes to these little balls of chocolatey goodness. So to help you out, I’m sharing five business tips to help you with marketing and selling your hot cocoa bombs online.
Marketing Tips for Selling Hot Cocoa Bombs Online
- Partner with other Local Businesses
- Focus on the Visuals
- Make the Buying Process Easy
- Nail Your Pricing
- Stand out with Unique Flavors
#1. Partner with other Local Businesses
One of the easiest ways to get the word out in your community is to cross-promote with other vendors in your area. Think about the coffee shops and other local businesses that are also trying to bring in money during the holidays.
Cocoa bombs are very marketable as stocking stuffers or as part of a gift set. Reach out to other businesses that share your same audience and brainstorm of ways to cross-promote your complimenting products to each others followers.
Surely there are other coffee mug designers, coffee shops or mommy bloggers in your area who’d love to get their hands on your hot cocoa bombs. Use that to your advantage.
If you read the recent Holiday Blogging Ideas article, this tip is really similar to the Support Local Gift Guide idea that I shared on that post. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the full list of Holiday content ideas, you should definitely read it here when you have a moment.
#2 Focus on the Visuals
Hot Coca Bombs are the most "Instagramable" products any of us could have asked for this Holiday Season. They are chocolate which everyone loves, and the explosion of marshmallows and other fun surprises are perfect for videos, reels and stories.
So, when it comes to marketing your cocoa bombs, you should definitely post more than a flyer with prices. Yes, that might get the word out a little, but what will really sell these little suckers is a video that illustrates exactly how they work.
To really sell these bombs, I recommend that you (1) create a video, (2) share it as a reel, in your stories and in your feed, and finally (3) share this video with your customers via email.
Why email you ask? Well since social media has become a serious pay to play game, companies such as Instagram and Facebook have decreased the number of your followers who actually see your post. In other words, they have decreased your reach.
So, if you really want to get the word out to your customers & followers, the most effective method is to send them an email.
In fact, according to statistics less than 1% of your social media followers will even see your posts online. Where as 85% of your email subscribers will receive the emails you send them…now getting them to OPEN the email is an entirely different conversation.
#3 Make the Buying Process Easy
Take some time to really think through how your customers are going to actually make a purchase. You want to make the buying process as easy and simple as possible. I cringe every time I see sweet peeps saying "Email me your order, and I’ll send you an invoice."
First of all, since folks have proven that they don’t know how to follow instructions, I can assure you that the less steps you have to your order process the better.
Secondly, they should be able to click a link, select from a list of products, and then submit payment all in one place. Not to mention, creating a streamlined order process is going to create less admin work for you. You don’t need to bother with sending out invoices when you should be in the kitchen fulfilling orders.
If you already have an eCommerce website, you can simply add the Cocoa Bombs as a new Product on your website. However, if you’re still in the “website under construction” phase or your website isn’t set up as an online store, you have a few options.
- You can create an order form,
- Create a FREE online store using Square, or
- Share a product link using PayPal or Square.
If you’re not sure how to do any of this tech stuff, click the links I've included above and you'll discover more information about the various options.
#4 Nail Down Your Pricing
I can’t in good conscious tell you how much to charge for your cocoa bombs because I don’t know your cost. However, here are a few things to consider when setting up the pricing for your cocoa bombs.
- How much do they cost in ingredients to make? To find this number, I recommend collecting the receipts for all of your ingredients or researching the cost online for each ingredient, and then figuring out how many cocoa bombs you can make using those ingredients. For example, if the chocolate, cocoa powder, marshmallows etc all cost you $10 and you can make 8 bombs, your ingredient cost for 1 cocoa bomb is $1.25 each which comes form dividing $10 by 8 cocoa bombs.
- How much do they cost in labor to make? Since I don’t want you to work for free. We need to calculate your labor. We'll need to know how long it takes you to make those 8 bombs. For this example, let’s say it takes you 45 min from start to finish including packaging the bombs. If you paid yourself $15/hr and 45 min is the same as 0.75 hours then $15 times 0.75 equals $11.25. Since you can make 8 bombs in that 45 min that means you should divide that $11.25 by 8, and you’ll find that it cost you $1.41 in labor to make one cocoa bomb.
So pulling it all together using this example, at a minimum you should charge $2.66 per cocoa bomb if you want to make any profit at all. The $2.66 comes from combining the $1.25 ingredient cost with the $1.41 labor cost. Don’t forget…the foundation of your price is your cost. So…make sure you get to the bottom of your cost before you set a price.
#5 Stand out with Unique Flavors
Just like with everything else in the cake and sweets world, the market is going to get saturated pretty quickly when it comes to this cocoa bomb trend. Therefore, I recommend that you stay ahead of the curve and think outside of the box. Think of ways to spark interest with your customers.
Create holiday themed bombs. I’ve seen Unicorn, Grinch, S'mores and even Alcohol bombs. I mean the possibilities are endless. It takes very little effort to dye your chocolate pink, add glittery sprinkles and start selling princess bombs that every little girl in town will want. I’m just saying.