More than 49% of coffee consumers would rather skip a shower in the morning than skip their coffee.
Grabbing that first cup of coffee in the morning, especially at your favorite coffee shop is a must for most coffee lovers. So it should come as no surprise that, on average, a coffee shop sells more than 230 cups of coffee per day.
Even with these stats as a coffee shop owner, showing your “open” sign isn’t enough to drive coffee lovers to your store. With new coffee shops and franchised brands popping up on each block, the competition to drive foot traffic and sales is fierce.
It’s time to market your coffee shop or get left behind.
Today I’ll show you 16 surprising coffee shop marketing ideas you can use to increase customers.
1. Master Your Coffee Store’s Branding
You’re probably reading that headline and thinking “wait, isn’t this a marketing article on how to increase clients, why would my branding be important.”
Before you start running Facebook ads or uploading images on Instagram, you need to understand that your coffee shop isn’t just a store or a company name. It’s a brand. And defining your brand is setting the tone of who you market to, what features of your store are your most significant and best asset to showcase, lastly, how you market.
If you don’t know what your brand is, neither will the will you market to, and when customers don’t see what you are or what you stand for, they won’t gravitate towards you.
So ask yourself, “My coffee store’s brand is…?”
Is it luxury, homey, family-oriented, a local hotspot, coffee experimenting, or just a place for entrepreneurs to get work down. You can’t be all of these, but you can be some. Once you have your branding down pat, then you have a clear idea of what tribe or ideal customer you plan to market towards effectively.
After all, if you market to everybody that takes up a lot of time, energy, and money. But if you know who you’re explicitly marketing to, people who fit your brand, then you’re marketing efforts are more focused and effective in the short and long run.
Check out Slight Glass Coffee’s story on their website. It’s geared more towards coffee than an actual coffee shop, but you get the idea.
Check out Mention’s guide on “Branding 101: The Importance of Building a Brand”
2. Offer Free Sampling to Encourage Purchases
Starbucks does this all the time. You’re busy sitting, typing away, or scrolling on your phone; you look up to see an employee offers you a sample of a new chocolate frappuccino. The next thing you know you’re purchasing it in a venti sized cup without thinking.
Free samples are one of the oldest marketing tricks around; that’s because it works. Free samples are like discounts; they attract customers and encourage them to make purchases.
Offer free samples on and offline; these can be new treats and coffee flavors.
Great turnout for the first of three Carmel Caffeine Trail programs tonight on Main Street. Come and learn about coffee and chocolate with the Carmel Cafe and South Bend Chocolate Company! Next shows at 7 pm and 8 pm. Free. And free samples! pic.twitter.com/5x4uqJUAy6
— City of Carmel, IN (@CITYOFCARMELIN) January 11, 2020
You can also offer free samples of products that are currently your best seller. Offer them outside of your coffee shop, during events or peak hours in your store.
3. Host a Giveaway or Coffee Lovers Contest
Hosting giveaways can increase your brand awareness by up to 30% when compared to previous marketing tactics.
Here are three ways giveaways and contest can grow your coffee shop:
- Increase brand awareness: Contest and giveaways allow you to increase your visibility online. You’ll be able to be found by persons looking for giveaways. Fans can also share your contest with friends, families, and followers as an entry.
- Increase social media followers: Brands have grown a steady following by hosting giveaways. For example, Instagram accounts that hold contests grow their followers 70% faster on average than accounts that don’t.
- Increase product purchases When you host a giveaway on your website or social media pages, people are more enticed to view what you have to offer. This intern helps to market your other services or products.
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We are SUPER excited to celebrate National Coffee Day with you guys. In fact, we are so excited we are going to give 5 lucky winners a ONE YEAR subscription for Purity Coffee. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity!! ? ? How to participate? Click the link in our bio to enter and tag 3 coffee loving friends. You can also post this to your stories for an extra entry!? .? Don’t forget the winner must be following @puritycoffee – some other terms and conditions apply.? .? The winner will be announced on Monday, October 14th!? .? .? #coffee #organic #usdaorganic #usdaorganiccertified #puritycoffee #cleancoffee #toxinfree #moldfree #labtested #doctorrecommended #nutritionist #nutritionistapproved #fresh #specialtycoffee #morning #morningcoffee #goodmorning #coffeeday #coffeegiveaway #nationalcoffeeday #freesubscription #puritysubscription
Hosting a giveaway isn’t as hard as it looks, so to help here are three giveaway and contest guides to get you started:
- The 21 Best Social Media Contests of All Time
- 9 Steps to Run a Winning Instagram Contest
- The Complete Instagram Giveaway Rules Guide (With Examples)
Need help with your next contest ?
Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create a high converting Facebook contest today.
4. Join Food Delivery Apps to Increase Your Reach
Gloria Food’s ordering statistics reports that 86% of US adults get food delivered to their front door at least once a month. Let’s be honest as much as you love coffee, and you don’t always want to walk to your local coffee shop for their favorite “pick me up.”
Expand your reach by joining food delivery apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and more. People now expect food brands to offer delivery or be listed on food delivery apps. Offering delivery opens your business to not only locals nearby but those around the community who may not be willing to make the journey to your coffee shop each day.
5. Use Social Media to Attract New Customers
What would a marketing article be without social media?
We’re in the year 2020, and beyond, social media marketing and social selling are now the norms. Not investing in social media is a mistake you’d want to avoid.
Social media has the power to reach millions of people, not just in your community but across the globe, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s think locally. First, you’ll need to create a social media marketing plan. Luckily, we’ve created this easy to use social media marketing plan with an eleven step template for business owners like yourself.
Secondly, you’ll need to pick which social media platforms you’d like to invest in and the type of content ideas.
Here are the top three social media platforms for coffee shops:
Facebook may have cut down brands’ organic reach by 30% (and growing). However, it’s still one of the best platforms to convert followers into shoppers with ads, not to mention it’s seen as one of the most comprehensive online directories for local businesses. Next to Google, customers will check your coffee shops Facebook’s page for opening hours, a menu, reviews, and check-ins when they visit in person.
With over 60 million images and videos uploaded daily, Instagram is a haven for foodies and influencers alike looking for new and exciting brands to try. Giving your coffee shop the perfect space to showcase your best cafe looks, food, and coffee nooks.
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@samanthahaze from Illinois #PurityPowered with her Coffee Bar full of Purity Coffee! Every morning she wakes up to her house smelling of a wonderful cup of clean coffee! Don’t forget to tag us or send us your Purity Powered photos for a chance to win some awesome prizes!? .? .? #coffee #organic #usdaorganic #puritycoffee #cleancoffee #toxinfree #moldfree #labtested #doctorrecommended #nutritionist #specialtycoffee #puritypowered
Twitter is still alive despite it’s up and down 2019 was the year Twitter too back it’s placed as the fastest place to find, read, and share news updates across all industries. This platform fits you perfectly if you’d like to reach a more mature audience.
our lunch is just as legendary as our breakfast. ???? #HarrysCoffeeShop #LaJolla #SanDiego #EatAtHarrys #SanDiegoFood #LaJollaFood #EatSanDiego #EdibleSD #SanDiegoHistory #SanDiegoFoodie #PacificBeachSanDiego #sandiegomom #sandiego_ca #UCSD #lajollalife #lajollahomes pic.twitter.com/7eP37ocxdF
— Harry’s Coffee Shop (@HarrysCoffeeLJ) November 15, 2018
6. Host Food or Coffee Events
Who says you have to stay in your store to market it!
Join food events, parties, or host one yourself. The food traffic is excellent for attracting new customers to your store and getting people hooked on your amazing coffee selections.
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What a wonderful experience! Coffee people are the best. I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing industry and I was honored to represent our Colombian Coffee producers at #specialtycoffeeexpo2019 ? So many good coffees in one big room. Thank you all for stopping by and saying hi. I can’t wait to reconnect with all of the wonderful people I met! #coffeexpo2019 #specialtycoffee #coffeeimport #singleorigin #singleorigincoffee #colombiancoffee #coffeecomunity #coffeefriends #ilovecoffee #coffeeshow #goodcoffeedoesnotjusthappen
Don’t go at it alone, events are for networking, so reach out to brands in your local community and support one another. Hosting a food event could be a combined effort in co-marketing, sponsorship, or planning.
7. Share UGC & Reviews on Social Media
Earlier, we spoke about investing in social media; one of the best ways to make the most out of it is to post user-generated content (UGC) and reviews.
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by individuals outside of the organization or business. It’s authentic and created by your fans.
It also helps to fill your social media content calendar without having to rake your brain around new ideas.
Still not convinced?
Here are some facts to show authoritative reviews can be for your online presence:
- 72% of customers don’t take action until they have read reviews.
- Displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%.
- 60% of people read online reviews for a local restaurant or cafe.
Brands like GymShark, Glossier, Converse, and Nike have grown their multi-billion dollar empire with the help of online reviews and UGC, and so can you.
Here’s an example of a happy customer sharing pictures from their visit at Crema Bloom Roastery & Coffee
Here are three powerful guides on UGC and reviews you can use to help boost your coffee shops online presence:
- 6 Best Brands That Dominate User-Generated Content on Instagram
- How to use User-Generated Content Effectively (and Why it Works)
- How to Leverage User-Generated Content: Examples & Best Practices
8. Master Google Business
It’s one of the most underrated online marketing tools that has proven to benefit your business (regardless of your business size or niche) is Google My Business. It’s worth adding to your digital marketing arsenal for 2020 and beyond.
Google My Business is free to use, and it’s the future of online marketing. It allows you to gain online visibility, host customer reviews, improves your SEO, and not to mention completes your holy trinity of Google accounts (ad words and analytics).
Bonus! You can create a free website with your Google Business account!
9. Create an Amazing Website for Your Brand
Create a website for your coffee shop to solidify your online presence. There are four types of websites you can consider using:
- An eCommerce website
- A Blogs
- A Portfolio website
- A Landing page
You can also select a combination of the four or two features listed above. You won’t always be able to share your story, answer FAQs about your coffee shop, and not everyone will come to your store to check your opening hours. You work 8 hours a day, but your website works 24/7 and gives people access to be informed and updated regardless of the time.
The West Brooklyn Coffee Shop
In the past, you had to get a website developer to design your site, now in 2020 and beyond, we have endless templates and platforms to create and host our websites effortlessly.
If you don’t have a website, you might be wondering what the best website builder is? Here are the 10 best website builders ranked by our very own Wishpond team.
10. Bring in Live Entertainment & Popular Artist
Live entertainment at a coffee shop can help to liven up the place and attract new customers. Reach out to local favorites in your area and do a co-promotion for your event; this could be seasonally or weekly.
With the help of co-promotion, you can combine your followers and audience online to increase your coffee shop exposure. Feel free to hand out a few samples to get people interested in making a purchase.
11. Host a Coffee Making Class
You don’t have to give out your coffee shop’s secret recipe, but you can share your coffee-making experience with true coffee lovers. Host a coffee-making class at your store or community center and invite locals to join.
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Tomorrow morning at 10am, Rise & Grind: Creating a morning coffee ritual. If you’ve ever been curious on how to slow down your mornings, brew an intentional cup that isn’t so automatic, and experiment with a new method…this is for you. We MAY even have a complimentary spot or two available. DM to claim ??
If you can’t fit a monthly class into your schedule, host an online course instead! You can pre-record each class and host them on your website and market it on your social media platforms. Here are 55 ways to market your online course & increase sales in 2019
At the end of the class, encourage your students to become buyers by giving them a one-time discount or coffee + pastry bundle on their next visit.
12. Use Creative Marketing Displays (sign and billboards)
How you creatively display your coffee shop interior and exterior can attract your ideal customer. Looks matter!
Long are the days when a counter and a set of chairs and tables were enough to attract customers. Popular coffee shops are investing in decor and interior design to make their stores more appealing to increase foot traffic and customers who need a space to stay for prolonged periods.
Remember, the more welcoming your coffee shop is, the more people will spend time in your store, the more coffee they’ll need to fill up on during their stay.
Here are 5 proven tips for the perfect coffee shop design, inside and out!
13. Create a Loyalty or Rewards Program
Make loyal customers happy and encourage new customers to make more purchases with a rewards or loyalty program. People are always more likely to make a purchase when an incentive is in the mix. People want to be rewarded for spending.
Starbucks is renowned for its rewards program. Their rewards program membership increased more than 25% over the past two years, climbing to 16 million active members as of December 2018, a 14% increase over the prior year.
Your rewards program could be a simple “punch card” method or a mobile app to make online ordering and payment easy. You want to ensure that your reward program is as simple and easy to follow as possible. Anything that requires jumping throw hoops will leave customers discouraged.
Remember that even with a customer loyalty program you’ll still have to maximize your customer loyalty strategy by keeping your rewards program on track.
14. Invite Influencers and Food Bloggers
Never underestimate the power of influencer marketing, especially when it comes to coffee. Instead of creating an influencer campaign, host an exclusive coffee event where only food bloggers and influencers of your choosing are invited to try a new product or a special menu.
You can also ask influencers to post pictures with their honest review in exchange for an invite or a free coffee.
You can also use apps like Node to find influencers and agencies to work with your coffee shop.
Still not sure where to start with influencer marketing. Check out our essential guide to getting started with influencer marketing.
15. Use Google Adwords to Increase Foot Traffic
During peak coffee drinking hours, use Goodgle geo-targeted ads to drive foot traffic to your store. Geo-targeting is the practice of delivering content or advertisements to customers based on their geographic location. Also known as PPC, but we won’t get too technical with this one.
One of the best tools for geo-targeting is Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords). This tool allows you to set specific locations you want your ads to show.
You can hire a Google Adword expert to manage your campaigns, or you can do it yourself. If you decide to be your own ads manager, here are some helpful guides to help you get started:
- How to Create a Google AdWords Plan in 10 Easy Steps
- Advice for the Lone Marketer Who’s Never Touched Google Adwords Before
- Google AdWords: 25 Glossary Terms You Need to Know
16. Host a Customer Appreciation Events or Deals
Host a customer appreciation the day at your coffee store use it as an opportunity to attract new customers. Invest in your customers, and you’ll build long-life loyalty for your brand.
@Starbucks when you spend a fortune at Starbucks they send you this!! Thank you Starbucks for showing your appreciation to your loyal customers !#ilovestarbucks #starbucks #StarbucksCupGiveaway pic.twitter.com/UyM3Y12yhw
— lori castro (@lorijc714) November 7, 2019
The Advisor Coach states it best “A client who feels appreciated is more likely to stick with you. You might feel like you’re holding onto clients with a periodic phone call, but it will eventually come back to haunt you.
If there’s a down market, you want the client who continues to consolidate accounts and invest more assets. You won’t get that from someone who doesn’t know you or trust you. An impersonal phone call or birthday card won’t cut it.”
Learning how to market your coffee shop is just the beginning, now you’ll have to learn to maintain it. Once you start consistently implementing these marketing ideas, you’ll begin to see a change in the way customers see, interact, and purchase from your coffee shop.
One way to keep the wall rolling is to start automating your marketing. Marketing automation allows you to put your marketing campaigns and efforts on auto-pilot. Giving you more time to focus on running your shop.
Here’s a quick recap of these surprising coffee shop marketing ideas you can use to increase customers today:
- Master Your Coffee Stores Branding
- Offer Free Sampling to Encourage Purchases
- Host a Giveaway or Coffee Lovers Contest
- Join Food Delivery Apps to Increase Your Reach
- Use Social Media to Attract New Customers
- Host Food or Coffee Events
- Share UGC & Reviews on Social Media
- Master Google Business
- Create an Amazing Website for Your Brand
- Bring in Live Entertainment & Popular Artist
- Host a Coffee Making Class
- Use Creative Marketing Displays (sign and billboards)
- Create a Loyalty or Rewards Program
- Invite Influencers and Food Bloggers
- Use Google Adwords to Increase Foot Traffic
- Host a Customer Appreciation Events or Deals
Check out our complete guide to local marketing for more local marketing strategies.
- The Complete Guide to Social Media Marketing for Coffee Shops
- 15 Mouth-Wateringly Good Restaurant Marketing Ideas
- 20 Creative Restaurant Contest Ideas
- 33 Instagram Story Hacks You Wish You Knew Sooner