A coffee shop is a special type of business – a cross between a retail store and a regular pub. On the one hand, its main purpose is selling coffee and related products, but on the other – coffee shops rely on loyal customers who want to spend their time there. This makes promoting such businesses a bit tricky compared to other retail stores.
Coffee is the most popular drink in the world (besides water), so that’s not an issue; however, you need an effective marketing strategy to make people choose your coffee shop over the vast competition, especially established coffee franchises and huge brands like Starbucks. That being said, you need to walk the extra mile to reach, gain, and keep customers.
There are certain standard methods of promoting a coffee shop business, such as setting up social media pages, developing a website, and advertising in the local media. To make your place stand out, though, you can also take a few extra steps – and if you want to know what they are, read the article below!
Engage the Local Community
One of the more efficient ways to promote your coffee shop is to engage the local community. To illustrate the point, if you have opened an establishment in a college town, it’s a good idea to offer special deals to students and lecturers, or create some joint events with the campus student union. Caffeine has been long known for its memory-boosting capabilities, making it a natural supplement of choice for those in academic circles. Moreover, you should get involved in local events, such as festivals and fairs, and offer your services at a discount.
You can also sponsor a local sports team or any other community-oriented organization, host an exciting event, or make custom coffee sleeves for giveaway promotion to generate loyal customers and get the word out about your business. Though this method does not immediately generate greater financial gains, it will help you establish a positive reputation, build a loyal customer base, and increase your prosperity in the long run.
Enhance Your Website
Even as a brick-and-mortar business with no plans to move any sales online, you need a proper website. Research has shown that up to 80% of customers research the company online before purchasing anything. To capitalize on that, create a proper website that allows you to reach a wider audience and helps people learn more about what you have to offer.
Although you can get a website for free, it is not recommended if you are serious about making your coffee shop a successful business. Hiring a professional web designer doesn’t have to be particularly expensive, and it will bring you a lot of benefits – unless you have some WordPress experience or enough time on your hands to perfect your skills, it is the preferable choice.
There are many ways in which a well-developed web page can help you promote your business, the prime example being posting your menu and special offers. It’s a good idea to add a section that contains information about your place and its history, as well as links to social media pages. Your website should also feature contact information and the opening hours.
In addition to that, you can add some more useful content, such as a blog with tips on how to brew the perfect cup of coffee, or write about the story behind your coffee shop – it’s a well-known fact that customers love if their favourite businesses are passionate about their line of work.
Also, don’t forget to include some photos of your coffee shop and show off your specialties. If you want to promote your business further, consider investing in SEO or internet marketing services.
Get a Logo and Branding Right
A coffee shop logo is more than just a picture of a cup of coffee. It’s a symbol of your brand, so you need it to reflect the essence of your coffee shop. Your logo should be unique and recognizable and evoke some kind of emotion in potential customers
A logo doesn’t need to be complicated; it can be as simple as a drawing of a coffee cup or a leaf, but it should be easily recognizable and catchy, especially if you plan on printing it on your business cards and promotional materials. If you choose to have a complex design, make sure that your graphic designer knows exactly what you want to convey. Moreover, bear in mind that the shape of your logo can have an influence on how your company is perceived.
As for the color scheme, you should consider using colours that work together, like black and white, red and blue, green and yellow – these are the most popular colour combinations. However, if you have a particular colour scheme in mind, feel free to go ahead and use it – but remember to stay consistent.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to market your coffee shop business. It has a wide reach, so if you know how to use it well, you can reach an audience you probably never could with any other marketing tool. Moreover, social media is a two-way communication channel that allows you to interact with potential and current customers, respond to their questions and complaints, and build a community of loyal fans.
If you want to get the most out of social media marketing, though, you should be prepared to put in some effort. You need to create a Facebook page, Twitter profile, and Instagram account, and update them regularly with new content. You can post photos of your specialties or anything else related to your business, but try not to spam with ads – focus on quality content instead. If possible, try to engage people in conversation and respond to their comments – this will help you establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Moreover, have your brand secure a partnership with influencers present on your social media platforms. The reasoning here is that such content creators have an immense sway over their followers, as according to some, almost half of consumers rely on the influencer’s advice when it comes to choosing products or services.
Use the Local Media
You should always take advantage of local media and try to get some publicity from it. The local newspaper, online magazine, and the town bulletin board are all good places to start with – just make sure that you follow the correct procedures when you want to advertise your business. You can also contact the press if you want to promote a specific event or special offer. You can hire a PR firm for that purpose or do it in-house if you or your employees have the necessary skill set.
The best thing about working with the local press is that ads there usually aren’t incredibly expensive; however, the results will be noticeable only if you target the right audience. Make sure not to overdo it and don’t try to promote your coffee shop in every single place you can find – instead of spending thousands on ads, you should focus on one specific medium you consider most up to the task.
To Sum Up
It’s not enough to just open a coffee shop and wait for the customers to show up – you need to promote your business if you want it to prosper. But to truly achieve such success, what you need is professional tools and strategies. The most important thing is to know where to invest your money, so be wise about the decisions you make.
Implementing the methods above should give you a good starting point, so feel free to experiment with them and combine their individual benefits into something greater. We hope that our tips will help you achieve your goals and make your coffee shop a place where people love to spend their time!