Running a cafe business is one of the most competitive industries to market effectively online. Gone are the days where it’s all about proper placement of location and feasibility studies. The evolution of technology made the internet a promotional beast. Even if your cafe is already well known in your area, it will always have a chance to become an industry icon if your cafe marketing is on point.
Before we start looking for an effective cafe marketing strategy, you must be confident that every cup of your coffee is sensational. It’s your job to keep your customers by providing them a memorable experience at your cafe. The goal for this cafe marketing plan is not by giving you tips just to gather customers, but it is a strategy to collect customers and let them stay loyal to you.
So how will you market your cafe online? Here’s how.
1. Acquire for a website
Your coffee shop marketing strategy should start by obtaining a website.
We understand that you are not a tech wizard, but you are a coffee wizard. But if you want to market your cafe online, then you should consider getting a website. Getting a professionally done website shouldn’t be expensive as you expect it to be.
With companies like Meegle, your cafe can have a smart business website that’s customized specifically for your business. It will also cover all of the on-page SEO necessities to ensure your website can be found easily by search engine crawlers. A website will actually give you a competitive edge against your rivals as it will be quite difficult for them to outrank you organically in the search results.
Take a few considerations in choosing a website domain name for your business. The recommended domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Example: Cafe Crema House – www.cafecrema.com
For your website to stand out, make sure you provide all the accurate information such as your business name, location, phone number, and operating hours. If social media is all about good content, same goes for your website.
Add some high-quality photos of your products and update your menu list from time-to-time. If you have the budget, you can also hire a content writer to make articles for you. Setting up a blog into your website will help you rank better in search engines as Google prefers fresh and informative websites.
2. Manage your directory listings
Once your website is ready, it is now the best time for you to claim and set up your cafe business listing. If your concern is your busy schedule, don’t worry as there are tools to help you keep on track of all your business listings.
Directory listings can actually help you get organic traffic and rank you higher in search engines. Website such as Yelp, Yellowpages, and TripAdvisor will continue to be very influential for local business. So it is best if you manage your listings properly.
You can start by creating a Google My Business account as it will help you be found locally in your community. There are things you must consider when setting up for Google my business:
- Make sure you only use your registered business name.
- For the address, make sure it is complete that includes the city and street.
- Invest in a professional photographer to take photos for your products and interior exterior of your coffee shop.
- Ensure the listing is available online and share it with your customers so they can leave a review.
Flooding every single search result about your business will give you the credibility and authority of the entire results page. No matter which links the user clicks, they will still end up on a page featuring your cafe. 3rd party sites can be one of the most powerful marketing strategies for your cafe because it will not cost you much. Most of these sites are free, and while some will only take a small fee for online bookings which you can actually measure the return on investment.
3. Be active on social media
Whether you like it or not, social media is still part of the top cafe marketing strategy. In this era, people are more into social media. You just have to choose which social media platform works for your business. Never forget that content is still king, and posting regularly holds people’s attention.
Post Ideas for you:
- Run contests to give away coupons and discounts.
- Post your product photos taken by a professional photographer.
- Share your customer’s positive testimonials and reviews.
- Reshare your customer’s photos taken inside the coffee shop.
- Random videos that focus only on your business. You can also do a live video and story.
- Show off your employees in action and top employees of the month.
- Post updates of your cafe such as your special store hours and new menus.
If you don’t have the time to manage social media, hire one of your staff or a social media manager to do it for you. Even if you’re a regular on just one platform such as Instagram, it’s enough.
If you think your social media marketing effort is not enough yet, you might consider investing in social media ads. This will help you gain more visibility and attract more coffee lovers in your city. Being active in social media will not just help you obtain more followers, but also improve your customer service, and build customer relationship.
4. Send out newsletters and text messages
Newsletters are one of the most effective cafe marketing tips you can try to get more customers. Start by asking your customers to sign up for a monthly email and when they check-in at your cafe. Newsletters don’t have to be sent weekly. But it is ideal to send one every month. Use this as your way to promote your new menu releases and updates in your cafe.
Text message marketing is also an excellent cafe marketing strategy to get the attention of your customers. Posting a banner inside your cafe or in the tables stating “Get a free coffee by texting “free coffee” and send it to 2626” is one of the most inventive ways for you to collect customer numbers so you can reach out to them for future offers. It’s a win-win situation, they’ll get their free coffee, you gain a loyal customer.
A loyalty program is also an easy way for you to get your customer’s information. What the loyalty program offers and how is it done is up to you. The important thing here is to get your customer’s information, send them updates through email and text, and encourage them to earn more points by visiting your cafe because of the loyalty program.
5. Collaborate with Influencers
Influencers have the potential to really increase your online presence quickly, especially when you get the right one. If the influencers are expecting to get paid to promote your product, you will have to do your market research first and measure the long term value of being in their feed. The best recommendation is to find medium-sized influencers with 10,000-40,000 followers within your target niche so the fee would be reasonable.
Make a press release and invite local food bloggers and journalists to enjoy a meal and drink at your cafe in exchange for a blog feature or social media post. If you’re generous enough, you can also give an exclusive offer to influencers such as asking their followers to use their code to get a freebie every time they will buy at your cafe. In exchange, the influencer will get a commission for every purchase.
To sum it up. . .
Technology has greatly influenced people’s behavior in discovering new businesses. New generations rely more on what they have seen online before they step a foot in a store. That is why it is very important for every cafe business owner to upgrade and make recommendations on what should be done in order to properly market their cafe online.
Hopefully these cafe marketing ideas have given you some thoughts on how to market your coffee shop business. If you think we missed out an idea or two, feel free to share us your thoughts.
Angela is a Marketing Staff at Meegle. She writes words about stuff in the Meegle blog and Oh, she’s a social media addict that made her become a social media strategist and specialist.