The Great British Bake-off, content and Twitter: the perfect digital marketing recipe

The Great British Bake-Off (GBBO), now in its fifth series, has taken its content marketing and social media strategy to …

Published by 

Alexis Pratsides


The Great British Bake-Off (GBBO), now in its fifth series, has taken its content marketing and social media strategy to the next level this year.

We know that many people watch more than one screen while watching TV and Twitter has positioned itself as the “live medium”. GBBO take advantage of this by creating content from the show, repurposed for Twitter and releasing it at the right time. This is winning them followers and delighting audiences. (They also have an excellent Facebook feed.)

The new post-show programme, An Extra Slice, encourages the audience to share baking successes and disasters. By posting them on Twitter and tagging them as #extraslice, this creates an instant stream of content.

All the content produced fuels conversation about the programme and gives companies an opportunity to promote their goods and services using #GBBO as a hook.

So how are they doing it and what can you learn from it?

Putting the content icing on the cake

GBBO keep their feed full of pictures from the main programme and An Extra Slice. Selected sayings from the programme are repurposed into “Quote of the night” and “Innuendo of the Week”. Special moments such as Star Baker are also highlighted.

The content hits the nail on the head as the audience at home is usually thinking “Did Mary just say that?!”.

BBC1 also use the programme to generate quotes, keeping the same fun tone to their tweets:

The winner for both of these feeds is the light-hearted tone they use. The programme is promoted but what they are looking for is interaction with the audience, which both get.

Creating off-the-cuff and funny content resonates with the audience, driving shares and conversations. The images could be more technical about baking or recipe driven but there are already feeds that cater for this. Taking this approach is not without risk – the BBC have already received complaints about the innuendos – but it is well received by its audience.

The cheeky tone of the feed does not detract from the effort of the contestants. Bake-off viewers know how tough it gets in the tent because they’ve been there themselves in the kitchen, sweating over pastry and icing cakes. The Princess Torte is not to be taken lightly.

User-baked content

Where the GBBO really wins is in the user-generated content. Viewers have already connected with the contestants over baking woes (soggy bottoms happen to us all). #extraslice means they can connect with other viewers in a shared baking experience.

The post-show programme encourages viewers to send in their baking work, which is then featured on the show and/or retweeted by the GBBO feed. Sometimes GBBO repurpose this content too:

Sharing baking disasters and successes give viewers the opportunity to feel better and proud of their work, which really embraces the spirit of the show. It also engenders a genuine connection with their target audience that so few TV shows can generate.

Branded bake-off

GBBO’s success attracts brands to take part when the show is on, using the different themed weeks to promote different products.

Amazon UK, Mason Cash, Waitrose, Green & Blacks and many others use the programme content to drive followers to recipes, products and competitions using the #GBBO and #extraslice tags.

The biggest brand winners are when Mary wears a jacket. In 2012 Zara sold out of a flower bomber jacket when she wore it on the show. This year Marks & Spencer sold out of a pink bomber jacket within an hour after the show started.

This type of publicity is rare and unplanned, but demonstrates the power that TV can have online.

Using GBBO to create the right mix

You don’t have to be a major brand to attract attention via TV shows. GBBO’s content and Twitter activity shows what can be done with planning, using social media best practice and a desire to engage:

  • Get the right tone – don’t be too formal or promotional
  • Plan – create appropriate templates based on themes, e.g. star baker
  • Be spontaneous – having the templates on hand will help you create content as the moment happens
  • Interact with similar content – this will gain you followers and encourage sharing of your content
  • Be consistent – if you are using a TV event to promote content, make sure you are active every time it is on as this is when the bulk of the audience is also watching and on Twitter
  • Use hashtags – your content will not be found if you don’t

We love nothing better at MintTwist than cooking up successful website designs and digital marketing strategies. Why not give us a call on 020 3597 3777 and pop in for a slice of cake?

Created by

Alexis Pratsides

Published at 

More insights from the team