Looking to open your very own coffee shop, but unsure of how to set yourself up for success? One of the best things you can do for your business is sit down and brainstorm some marketing strategies that are guaranteed to draw in new customers.
A coffee shop marketing strategy is designed to intrigue customers about your products and services. It spreads the word about your business while simultaneously encouraging people to keep on visiting. Whether it is reaching out to the local community through in-person marketing, or the greater area through social media platforms, a well-thought-out coffee shop marketing strategy can determine your business's level of success.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is a business's plan for how they will reach out to prospective consumers. The intent of a strategy is to convert these consumers into regular customers of their products and services.
Cafe marketing ideas should always consider the fundamental ideas and goals of your business, such as:
- The benefits your products or services will offer to customers
- Brand messaging
- Data on your target customer demographic
- The best means of reaching your intended demographic
With this information, you can create a series of tactics that will promote the public to become your customers. While these strategies may differ based on your coffee shop's location, resources, or target demographic, most typically combine social media, email marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), and reputation management.
Why Do I Need a Marketing Strategy for a Cafe?
A good cafe marketing strategy is what helps independent cafes and other local businesses to stand out and compete against big-name chain businesses. If you intend your business to become a successful coffee shop, you will need to plan out your own strategy to maximise your influence over potential customers.
Without a coffee shop marketing strategy of your own, it will be harder to attract new customers and retain their patronage. This lack of cash flow can affect the success of your business and make it harder to compete with local businesses in the area, including other coffee shops.
How Much Should I Spend on a Cafe Marketing Strategy?
The amount you should spend on your coffee shop marketing strategies depends entirely on what strategies you have decided to use. For example, while printed advertisements or direct mail generally only require costs for materials and delivery, advertisements through search engines usually require varied ongoing costs. Choosing a centralised means of marketing can help you save money on your strategies.
The distribution of your cafe's funds should always be one of the first things you consider when opening a new hospitality venue. Amongst your efforts of budgeting for equipment and ingredients, it is best to also set aside a fund for your coffee shop marketing strategies. This amount can help you determine which route is within your budget while remaining the most effective.
Effective Marketing Strategies for Cafe
When creating an effective marketing strategy for your cafe, it is crucial to consider what separates your business from competitors. This does not just refer to your products or services, but also the experience your cafe offers. It is the unique aspects of your business that will become the best selling points in your marketing strategies.
Try asking yourself what makes your cafe stand out amongst local businesses:
- Does your cafe provide free wifi and computers for customers to use?
- Is your establishment pet-friendly?
- Are there live performances and music?
- Are your coffee grounds imported from exotic areas of the world?
- Do you only offer a particular pastry or food of choice?
Once you know what your selling point is, the values you wish to express to customers, and what demographic you want to target, you can choose a strategy that best expresses these ideas.
The popularity of social media makes it the perfect tool to reach a wider customer base through your marketing strategies. Regularly posting information about your coffee shop, ongoing deals or events, and photos of your products can generate interest in your business.
Other aspects of your business you can demonstrate through digital marketing include:
- The appearance of your venue, both inside and outside
- Your employees build a rapport with customers
- Your most popular dishes and/or drinks
- Educating customers on matters such as how your coffee is made, where the beans come from, and even stories behind your interior decorations
Your efforts should not be solely focused on one particular platform, however, as different demographics tend to use specific types of social media. While Instagram is a great means of sharing images of your business with younger generations, FaceBook is better suited for creating events and sharing them with the greater public.
DishCult is a hospitality-focused app that links to both your business's website and social media, allowing customers online to get a look into what your cafe has to offer. Incorporating your marketing efforts into culinary media like this will ensure you are reaching your intended demographic.
Also, try your best to post on various social media platforms and be sure to interact with commenters where possible. Indicating that you care about their interest in the business will create an engaging and thoughtful public persona, encouraging potential customers to enjoy this attitude in person.
Interested members of the public can sign up for your coffee shop's email list and keep up to date on your business's newest updates. Email marketing campaigns are regularly used by businesses in various industries, letting customers know when new products have come in, or if there are discounts available for them as loyal customers.
This method of sending out mass emails on a regular schedule is a cost-effective yet efficient means of advertising your business. Email marketing is known to:
- Build relationships with new cafe customers
- Generate a space for customer feedback
- Make customers aware of opening hour changes or potential closing days
- Remind them of upcoming promotions or discounts
- Update them about new or limited-edition products
It is also beneficial to attach any social media or website links for your business in the emails. This way, you can generate more online interactions and allow customers to connect with you across multiple platforms.
Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile is vital for any business's success in today's technologically-focused society. Most people choose to head to Google in order to find out where they should get their next cup of coffee or bite to eat. Having a complete Google Business Profile will allow you to convert curious individuals who found your business through Google Maps or Search into new customers.
People do not even need to search for your coffee shop's name in order to discover your venue. Having a profile means that your business will show up when people search queries like "coffee shops near me" on Google. Additionally, updates to your services will be updated on your profile, generating higher levels of traffic to your website and increasing sales in turn.
This free service makes it easy for you to:
- Send and receive messages from the public, especially in responding to online reviews
- Create posts, events, and offers
- Answer pressing queries
Search Engine Optimisation sounds like a complex strategy that might be beyond the expertise of a new business owner. However, the reality of SEO is that it is a much simpler strategy to use than it sounds.
The main focus of SEO is to ensure that your website appears first when certain queries or keywords are typed into a search engine. It mainly focuses on using Google as a marketing tool and means of researching customer engagement.
The easiest term to rank highly for when it comes to search terms or keywords is the name of your business. However, properly maintained SEO can allow your coffee shop to appear on the front page of a Google search for various terms e.g. "coffee shop [location]", "delicious coffee", "where can I get coffee at 4 pm", etc.
You can effectively use SEO for your business by:
- Targeting location-specific phrases
- Ensuring information about your business is consistent across all platforms
- Using unique or less frequently searched keywords
Writing blog posts or service pages for your business's website is the best means of inserting multiple keywords and generating online traffic.
Digital marketing may be the strategy of choice in modern society, but old-school methods of marketing are still just as effective for a coffee business.
Signage is necessary to help pedestrians walking by your brick-and-mortar coffee shop notice it. Not only do you have to have distinctive signage above your shop to showcase your business's name, you should also direct pedestrians to your shop through street signage.
Street signage typically comes in the form of A-frame or chalkboards with your cafe's name, location, and products displayed on it. While these are often located directly out the front of a shop, having them scattered along the street or city can help attract more customers. You will be required to check with local regulations to determine how your signage can be displayed.
Physically advertising your business can go beyond signage. Displaying your brand on umbrellas or outdoor seating can let pedestrians know you are a cafe. It can also effectively demonstrate what kind of business you are.
Marketing Ideas for Cafe
Cafe marketing ideas are the plans that a business has decided are the best means of fulfilling its strategy of choice. It is not uncommon for coffee shops to utilise multiple coffee shop marketing ideas at once for a more effective means of attracting customers.
1. Promotions/Exclusive Offers
Offering exclusive deals and promotions is a great way to generate interest in your coffee shop and generate more patronage. Promotions are often an effective idea for increasing sales revenue and creating a local audience in your area.
Some coffee shops choose to utilise the 'Business of the Day' concept for their marketing, especially when first starting out. This promotion is fairly simple, but is an excellent way of attracting customers from the local area:
- Choose a local small business
- Introduce yourself and your business, then offer a day of unlimited free coffee for their employees.
- Hand over a business card with details of your business and tell them to use it as verification for their free coffee.
- Be sure to wow the other businesses so they will be inclined to continue patronage, setting you up with an entire business of customers.
- Repeat with other businesses as necessary.
2. Loyalty Programs
Rewarding your customers for their patronage will encourage them to return, creating repeat or regular customers. For a cafe business, it is common for loyalty programs to involve patrons having a business card that notes down how many coffees they have bought at your business. They are incited to return so they can get their fifth or tenth drink free as a reward for their loyalty.
The best loyalty program for your coffee shop is what works best with your business model and customer base. Try experimenting with different programs to see what works well with your most loyal customers.
3. Customer Competitions
Everyone loves winning. Capitalising on this love through competition can generate greater interest in your business and possibly raise sales.
Advertise through social media marketing, fliers around the community, or in-store promotions depending on how your competition is to be run.
For example, a social media competition should focus on getting reshares for a post or tagging your cafe. This will increase social media engagement and raise public awareness of your business.
In contrast, in-store competitions can focus on how many coffees someone buys, or whether they are the 20th customer of the day. By rewarding customers for their patronage, you can incentivise more people to visit and buy your products.
4. Ask and Respond to Reviews
Getting customer feedback is vital to determine current satisfaction levels for your products and services. You can use surveys or encourage customers to leave reviews online in order to calculate current interest in your cafe. These methods allow you to know where your customers' preferences are when it comes to your products, letting you adjust your menu accordingly for greater success.
Responding to customer reviews also demonstrates to the public that you care what they think. This level of empathy can lead to more reviews, improve your ratings on Google, and even assert your cafe as a trusted figure in the community.
5. Create Headlines
Local coffee shops are available on every street corner, so succeeding in such a saturated market involves making your business stand out amongst competitors.
People are unlikely to recommend a coffee shop just based on decent drinks and a nice environment. However, they are likely to spread the word when your cafe offers something wholly unique and newsworthy.
This particular cafe marketing idea can come in various forms, but some newsworthy methods include:
- Offering niche or exotic products
- Providing live entertainment
- Get involved with local events
- Strengthen your social media presence
- Create press releases
6. Local Partnership
Partnering with other businesses in your area is a cafe marketing idea that not only promotes your business but may also secure you with future suppliers or partners. Every shop owner is looking to impress their customers, so working together towards this goal can heighten your chances of success.
One of the simplest ways of utilising a partnership involves advertising your business in each other's venues. This can then extend to offering exclusive deals when customers use both services e.g. your shop can offer a free coffee when a customer spends a certain amount at your partner's shop.
You can also partner with a local business to create limited-edition products for each other's stores. For example, your signature hot chocolate can be remade into a limited-time product with another business's ingredients.
Be sure to check out the businesses in your area and determine whether or not there are potential partners to discover.
7. Brand Your Products
Traditional marketing techniques can be just as effective as complex online plans when done right. The simple act of branding your products, such as takeaway coffee cups and napkins, can effectively advertise your cafe beyond the limitations of your store.
It is important to have a distinct logo for your cafe for your branding efforts to be successful.
Implementing Your Cafe Marketing Strategy
Once you have determined your cafe marketing strategy, the next step is implementing it to begin attracting more customers. With a well-researched strategy that considers your target demographic, your business's values, and what benefits you want to provide, success is just around the corner.
ResDiary supports your marketing ideas by providing management software that makes running your business that much easier. Manage your promotional events in-store and email marketing, among other marketing ideas, with our services.
Book a demo to learn more about how ResDiary can help you implement your cafe's newest marketing strategy.