So, you’ve assessed that your coffee shop needs to stand out from the crowd. Like any small business, customers will not flock to your shop unless you have solid marketing and the correct strategies behind the marketing to make it efficient.
In this article, your answers will be addressed on how to create effective marketing strategies for your coffee shop, which will undoubtedly bring in customers. A good coffee shop starts with high quality standout coffee. But good turns to great when the coffee shop uses targeted marketing strategies.
Coffee Shop Marketing
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty about everything relating to coffee shop marketing.
What exactly is marketing? And how does it relate to your coffee shop?
Marketing is all about promoting products, services and brands and pushing them out to the correct audience. The American Marketing Association changes its exact definition approximately every three years, but its main goal always centers around selling products or services to a specific group of people.
Marketing helps your coffee shop stand out from the other coffee shops that, well, also sell what you’re selling. Marketing has expanded well past the “word-of-mouth” trend. Sure, people know the Starbucks name by now, and talk freely about its coffee, bakery items and other products.
They are indirectly marketing Starbucks to their peers, but the actual brand has pushed out a fair number of campaigns to make themselves a household name. Marketing brings people to your coffee shop, ultimately allowing it to stay in business and make you money.
Strategies to Market Your Coffee Shop
You need to get people to switch from the Starbucks chains to your local coffee shop, and the following list of coffee shop marketing strategies will ensure your success.
Put a large WiFi sign in your window. Free WiFi attracts customers because it says two things about your coffee shop: You encourage people to stay for extended periods of time to work, and you have enough space for people to put something more than a cup of coffee and a muffin on a table. Coffee shops are even more important as people are permanently working from home and need an alternate work environment.
Promote yourself on social media
Nearly 79% of the U.S. population uses social media, so in order to make a name for your coffee shop, you need to prioritize social media marketing for your coffee shop. Your coffee shop has its own vibe and personality, so you need to voice it across the varying social platforms to your customers.
One of the best marketing strategies for your coffee shop is to pair a specialty coffee with other subjects that are of general interest to your audience on social – movies, music, dessert, etc. You get the point. When you associate something that your audience is unfamiliar with (i.e. your non-Starbucks Rwanda seasonal coffee blend) with chocolate cake, people can relate to it better because they love chocolate cake and indirectly associate this love also with your coffee.
The following is a list of the top social media platforms to market your coffee shop on.
Best platform when trying to reach a large audience. Facebook has approximately 2.7 billion users. Because of this, Facebook ads have the power to target many people in little time, bringing in local customers and beyond.
Best platform for showing visuals of coffee and other products. Instagram is the most creative platform for your store to highlight the details of its coffee, mugs, bakery goods and, really, anything else you’re selling. Using Instagram is a great marketing strategy for your coffee shop because your brand can develop a style and tone. Also, you’re selling a beverage – Don’t you want people to see it and instantly start wanting one of your mouth watering espressos?
Best for a younger crowd. Yes, coffee is drank by anyone from ages 9 (shockingly, even younger in some cases) to 109 (this is when the decaf starts to become super popular). You have to figure out the specific audience you want to sell your coffee too – and then dictate the social media coffee shop marketing strategy behind it. Snapchat is primarily popular with 18-24 year olds. If you choose to use this platform, make the rest of your coffee shop catered to the people in this demographic.
Best when your coffee shop is trying to share its thoughts with a big audience. Twitter is hashtag and tagging central. Give your coffee shop a cause to stand behind; follow other brands that build up your own coffee shop’s brand identity; engage with larger conversations. Your customers will see your shop’s commitment to them, and how you are identifying with larger causes.
You have personality over other franchise coffee brands, which are bound to specific standards. So get personal with your customers. They can get behind a coffee shop marketing strategy that centers around personalization because it is more relatable.
Tell the stories behind the beans and coffee roasters. People are driven by emotion. Emotional brand and personalization go hand-in-hand because your personal touch creates a relationship between the customer and product. You can build in this emotional appeal on social, with the store decor, in the menu, etc.
Introduce yourself and your coffee shop
Yes, personalization even extends to how you introduce yourself and your shop. As the owner of a new business, you want to be front and center from the get-go. This makes the customers feel special, and they know you genuinely care about their interests.
Also, you can better network (hello coffee shop marketing strategy that can be said about all businesses). You never know how others will be connected to your brand unless you take the time to learn their backgrounds, which can also lead your shop to greater opportunities.
Know your audience
This point can probably go without saying, but it needs to be factored in the coffee shop marketing strategies mix. Ask yourself who you want to appeal to the most? Who drinks the most coffee? – And, like, really drinks coffee. People over the age of 70 drink 2.18 cups per day each, while 25-29 year olds drink approximately 2.15 cups.
Yes, your parents and grandparents comprise the largest coffee-drinking population, but you also have to factor in if they’re going to be out spending more money and trying to exotic new blends and vegan muffins you make. Chances are, this appeals to more of the young adults who are still working and need that caffeine boost to get them through their days. Know this audience and market to them.
Leverage video marketing
Every business should have a video marketing strategy these days. Video content includes commercials, gifs, streams on social media, really anything that isn’t just a picture. Text content is oversaturated, and in an era where people have short attention spans and love to watch TV, video marketing will become your best friend. People search “how to make coffee” all the time. Show them how to make it using your coffee.
Redefine word-of-mouth marketing
Gone are the days of just encouraging customers to say “hey, I really liked this coffee shop and think you should try it.” Yes, people will brag about your coffee, but you need to make new people want to come in. The answer to this dilemma: redefine word-of-mouth marketing.
Offer a free/discounted referral drink, reach out to food bloggers and internalize customer feedback.
Use community outreach
Coffee shops support coffee culture. Coffee drinkers love to socialize, and they’re always on the run. Create an environment that caters to this. Not a morning person? These people certainly need a caffeine boost before they get on the train to work. Create a coffee community in your neighborhood by appealing to these needs. This will get people talking.
Invest in your shop
This coffee shop marketing strategy may seem pretty self-explanatory, but people walk by your shop all the time. If it isn’t inviting, forget it. Install signage, focus on your décor, maybe hand out free samples. Try to get your customers in the door from the moment they walk by your shop. Investing in your shop should be a part of your long term business model.
Coffee Shop Marketing Ideas
The coffee shop marketing strategies list has been exhausted. Now, let’s get into some unique coffee shop marketing ideas. Some have already been mentioned under the marketing strategies list, but they will be reiterated for transparency.
Create a loyalty scheme
You don’t have to own a franchise in order to create a loyalty scheme. Give customers a card that can be stamped every time they purchase coffee from you. The tenth cup can be free. Boom. As easy as that, and it ensures repeat customers.
Join a networking group
Your coffee shop can be a place to network. As discussed with the previous coffee shop marketing strategy points, you want personalization and community outreach. Offer your cafe at a networking venue. Leverage social media to show it to the world. (Don’t forget to use more than one platform to reach a larger audience.)
Influencers offer social proof about your business. Identify your loyal customers and who they follow on social and how these people work in tandem with your business.
Get on the delivery bandwagon
There are plenty of delivery apps, which are also well-advertised on social media. Leverage networking and social coffee shop marketing strategies to get on the delivery apps and make your audience know that they can receive your coffee more conveniently.
Email marketing is not dead, believe it or not. These are the emails that are sent directly from your shop to your customers, usually through a subscription. You must know your audience (previously discussed coffee shop marketing strategy pro-tip) and understand how you can get them to open up the emails and get them in your door (incentives incentives incentives). Send a coupon or free drink referral. Build loyalty.
Make vegan, healthy and allergen-free your focus
Your audience is more health-conscious. Don’t only sell these products. Show your customers that you do through your shop’s aesthetic – per the coffee shop marketing strategy that calls to invest in your shop. Catch their eye. Make your customers believe you offer real ingredients that charge their days by how your shop is configured, its color palette, furniture, etc.
Sell Coffee Online
You’ve determined your coffee shop marketing strategies, followed by specific ideas behind the strategies. Now, it’s time to finally sell your coffee – but online, instead of just in your shop.
Before you start an online coffee business, you need to decide whether you want to use an ecommerce platform or set up your online store on your website. Paying an ecommerce platform only makes sense if your online business model is national. Either way, coffee subscription boxes is a no brainer.
The following points outline how you can be successful at selling coffee online:
Before you begin selling online, you need to have your branding down to a T. This goes for the store, its products and everything in between.
Figure out your platform
As previously discussed, there are a number of digital platforms to use. Figure out which one your coffee shop needs in order to reach its audience the best and sell the most coffee. Facebook appeals to a wider audience and is great for small shops that are just starting out, but it is not as visually driven as Instagram.
Use digital analytics
Your physical coffee shop caters to a local market, but selling coffee online covers the world. Therefore, sales are wildly unpredictable. You need to better predict this demand by using digital analytics to analyze website traffic, sales and marketing trends.
Your online coffee shop needs to have internal and external sustainability. Internal sustainability refers to practices within your shop that allow it to be successful and save money, i.e. reducing single-use items or using hermetic storage.
External sustainability is the effort you make outside of your shop and across the supply chain to improve the store’s efficiency. Strong relationships with producers and importers are important with external sustainability.
In this context everything means literally everything that goes into making your online coffee shop sales successful- storage, transportation and those dreaded complaints. You need to understand your local carrier option and their charges, and ship within a reasonable time frame.
Loyal customers will wait a couple extra days. When the complaints do come to your shop’s email and, maybe, circulating on online reviews, investigate the issue and address properly. Be professional because other potential customers pick up on negative review trends if issues aren’t addressed.
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