Where would America be without its beloved coffee shops? Local coffee shops are a staple in almost every community.
Whether we need a quick pick-me-up or simply want to slow down and enjoy a quiet moment, these local businesses can help meet those needs. This is precisely why marketing for coffee shops is so important.
If you are a coffee shop owner who wants to have more customers walking through your door, creating a solid marketing strategy is key.
Why Marketing for Coffee Shops is a Unique Challenge
We’re assuming you already offer free wifi to your customers and have the best cup of coffee in town. You need to build on these perks and get more loyal customers to walk through your door.
Marketing for coffee shops has a unique challenge that other businesses might not face. For starters, coffee has been around since the beginning of time.
Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the point is that we’ve been enjoying coffee and tea for many years. Consumers have high expectations, which means your messaging has to be on point to reach as many coffee lovers as possible.
Then there is the challenge of budgeting. Independent coffee shops have to reach a large variety of people who are going through an equally wide range of motions throughout the day.
As a result, one general marketing strategy won’t be as effective as targeting the right audience while still keeping your budget in check.
We want to help our independent baristas out, so we’ve compiled a list of several marketing strategies for coffee shops, ranging from tried and tested strategies to contemporary marketing ideas.
Marketing for Coffee Shops
There are some excellent ideas you can use as you start thinking about marketing for your coffee shop. Keep these concepts in mind as you develop your plan.
Create Your Own Story
As you are focusing on your marketing efforts, it’s time to create the story of your coffee shop.
Sure, you probably have a love for java or tea. Or, maybe you just enjoy selling baked goods in a relaxing environment. But what is the story behind all of this? Why is your coffee shop an important addition to the community?
Take time to think about your coffee shop’s story. Once you determine this, you can build on it.
There will be ways for you to tie your personal story into marketing, such as in a logo or imagery you can use in social media posts.
Use Consistent Branding
Once you have your story, you should think about branding. This part can get overwhelming, but the key is to start small and eventually weave your branding and themes into all of your marketing.
What does branding look like? It’s using the same color palette and messaging in all of your advertising, social media posts, business cards, website design, email newsletters, and virtually anything else. This color palette and messaging should complement your coffee shop’s story.
Your branding should also focus on what sets your coffee shop apart from others, especially the big chains. You’ll want to make sure your story is getting across in your marketing, and consistent branding is the key to this.
Focus on Reviews
Asking for reviews is one of the easiest ways to spread the word about your coffee shop. With more people on their smartphones than ever before, reviews are a quick, simple way for potential customers to search and see how great your shop is.
Reviews on sites such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp are the go-to now when people are looking for more information.
You can ask for your customer’s help while they’re in your store, but you can also run campaigns focusing exclusively on this.
For example, you can have a monthly giveaway by entering names into a drawing for anyone who gives you a review on one of the sites. You could also treat someone to a cup of coffee for simply leaving a review.
Social Media and Social Proof
You’re likely already on social media, but the key is to be on the platforms where your customers are.
If your target audience is the younger generation, then Snapchat and TikTok may be appropriate. If you’re trying to draw in parents, then Instagram and Facebook may be better fits.
These are blanket statements, but the point is that you should go where your audience is.
The key with social media is to post consistently. You never know when you may remind someone to stop by your shop because they saw your latest photo of the beautiful cappuccino you just created or the picture of a couple enjoying a cup of coffee together.
Take the time to plan out your social media posts, including live stories, and it’ll help you stay more connected to your audience.
Social proof is when you encourage people to write reviews, take selfies, re-post your social media posts, use hashtags, or do anything to get your patrons to talk about your shop on their own social media accounts.
This is a winning strategy for coffee shops because it involves real people. The heart of your business revolves around serving people on a daily basis.
Subscription programs for coffee seem to be increasingly popular these days. These programs offer unlimited coffee for a month for a flat fee. Typically it’s a smaller amount of money, so the coffee drinker hardly notices the charge coming out of their account each month.
For coffee shop owners, it’s a great way to keep consistent revenue coming in.
Once your program is established, advertising this service is a no-brainer. You can do this via your social media platforms and with social media advertising.
This may be the service that sets your shop apart from others in the area.
If you’re new here to Laptop Empires, then you might not know how Mike and I have worked with multiple small businesses to create effective Facebook ad campaigns.
We believe Facebook ads are one of the best marketing tools a small business owner can invest in because — when done correctly — it can get local traffic to your shop.
Facebook ads have the ability to target potential local customers by allowing you to select the audience based on zip code, age, gender, and interests. When you can target your ads on this level, your message is more likely to resonate with the right people.
The cost of Facebook ads is easy to keep track of, and you can set a budget based on how much you can spend.
Facebook ads are also an effective strategy for conveying the ambience and menu of your coffee shop. You can use high-quality images and videos to entice people to come to your store.
How to Create Effective Marketing for Coffee Shops
The list above includes a handful of ideas for marketing strategies, but here are a few other tips for getting your marketing going on the right track.
Know Your Target Audience
You might be wondering how to put the right plan together to reach the right people. After all, coffee shops serve so many different people, from teenagers to grandparents and every age in between.
While this may seem like a challenge, it’s one of the reasons coffee shops are essential to every town.
Honing in on the right target audience is still possible. Once you know who your audience is, you can develop a cohesive message for your marketing strategy.
Spend time analyzing your customer. Who is walking through your door? Is it families, people on the way to work, or teens hanging out after school?
Then take note of the times of day it is the busiest. Use these timeframes to schedule your Facebook ads or create your live stories on Facebook and Instagram.
Alternately, perhaps there’s a time of day you need to be busier. If so, you can build your campaigns around this.
Use a Marketing Calendar
In the same fashion you schedule your deliveries and plan out your employee work schedules, you should also use a marketing calendar.
At first, it may not be anything too technical. However, as your business grows, you will need to stay more organized and have something for your employees to reference.
Your marketing calendar should include social media advertising, social media posts, when you distribute email newsletters, updates to your website, and any other messaging.
Each month you can focus on a particular theme, such as customer appreciation, the holiday season, a special promotion, or whatever is best for your local audience.
The Final Word on Marketing for Coffee Shops
The sooner you put your marketing plans in place, the more successful your efforts will be. Marketing for coffee shops may feel overwhelming, but with the right strategies, you’ll be able to establish relationships with new customers in no time.
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