You’re a coffee connoisseur – and you want to share your love of great coffee with the world. So, you’ve taken the plunge.You’ve dreamed up a brand name, decided which kinds of coffees you wanted to offer, and checked out business licensing requirements in your state.
You can almost smell the heady aroma of freshly roasted beans as your first customers open their bags. But how do you get your coffee into your customers’ hands in the first place?
Unfortunately, “If you build it, they will come” only works in the movies. To sell your coffee brand to customers, you first need to promote it.
That requires a targeted marketing strategy.Here are some ideas to help you get your coffee brand off to the right start.
First, Identify Your Target Customers
Back in the day, startup businesses advertised in the local newspapers, sent out flyers to practically every address in their surrounding community, and bought a listing in their local Yellow Pages.
But with the advent of digital marketing, such a scattershot approach doesn’t work. There’s just too much noise out there on the internet to catch the attention of people who might be a great fit for their products.
So, put the power of targeting to work for your coffee brand. What types of people will likely buy your coffee?
There’s an old saying in the sales and marketing world: People buy from people like themselves. So, take a look at your brand culture.
Are you a brand that donates a portion of your proceeds to a cause – like veterans’ concerns, animal rescues, or environmental non-profits? Or, do you align with a specific customer segment – foodies, book lovers, or world travelers?
If you’ve already started selling some of your coffee, what demographics, interests, and locality define your customers? And, if you have a social media presence, what types of people follow your brand?Using these commonalities can help you fine-tune your marketing approach.
Fortunately, many social media platforms allow businesses to target posts to people within a certain region, those who share common interests and beliefs, or those who have common demographic characteristics, such as age, cultural background, or economic status. So, your next step is to get – or fine-tune – your social media presence.
Next, Get Social
If you haven’t created a social media page for your coffee brand, now’s the time to start.It takes only a few minutes on most platforms – so take advantage of the opportunity for free exposure.
- Facebook is a must for most brands: As the most popular social media platform in the world with 2.74 billion active users worldwide and robust audience targeting, Facebook is a must for businesses. And, since it’s where many people go to chat with their friends, it’s a perfect fit for coffee brands. Call it a virtual coffee house, if you will. If you’re not familiar with using Facebook as a business, use our Facebook posting resources to get you off to a great start.
- Use a video platform to capture your audience’s auditory and visual senses: The more senses you engage, the better you’ll connect with your audience. Since we don’t yet have the technology to capture the aroma that wafts from a fresh cup of coffee, do the next best thing – video. Showing a customer as they savor a steamy cup or hearing the roasted beans dropping into their grinder will go a long way toward building desire. YouTube is always a good bet for coffee brands, while TikTok and Instagram are great choices if you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, like Gen Z and millennials.
- Use visual media to feed the crave: With 65 percent of the population being visual learners, images tell your brand story better than text-only posts. And, since research shows that people remember 80 percent of what they see as opposed to 20 percent of what they read, adding visuals to social media and other posts is a great way to entice your audience to buy. After all, what coffee lover can resist a photo of fresh-roasted coffee beans?
- Discover other social channels your target audience frequents: Niche social media sites cater to people with a common interest. For instance, if your research shows that many of your audience members love books, getting active on a site like Goodreads would be a great way to network with prospects. But if, on the other hand, a significant portion of your audience are avid DIYers, a social site like Houzz is a great place to network.
- Don’t forget local social media: If you have a local presence in your community, get active on social media groups with a local focus. The more you position yourself as an authority on all things coffee-related, the more likely locals will be to flock to your store or coffee shop. But don’t brag. Instead, help people solve problems – like which coffee pairs best with a steaming-hot donut or a thick slice of apple pie.
- Use quotes from well-known authors and celebrities: Sprinkle famous quotes about coffee, combined with eye-catching visuals, among your social media posts. Whether they’re humorous or reflective, they’ll get your audience thinking about coffee.
Find Influencers to Spread the Word
The first thing that pops into most people’s minds when they hear the word “influencers” is a parade of YouTube stars,Hollywood glitterati, and Grammy winners. As a small business owner or startup, though, you don’t need to attract the attention of a major newsmaker to take advantage of influencer marketing.
Local community leaders and other well-known people around your neighborhood can also help you build your reputation as a purveyor of fine coffees. Testimonies from your town’s first responders, local chefs and politicos, and your community high school’s coaching staff can boost your brand with their vote of confidence.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, invite your local “celebrities” in for a private tasting session – on the house. Afterward, ask them for reviews and publish the best ones on your social media platforms.
Or, if you only sell online, take local influencers some samples. After they’ve tried your coffee, ask them for feedback to incorporate into your marketing materials. Allow them to provide reviews in whatever format makes them most comfortable, whether video, written, or spoken testimonials.
Get Your Own Website
Over time, social media platforms come and go.For example, in the early days of social media, MySpace was the undisputed king of the internet.Today, hardly anyone even remembers it.
Add the major social network’s penchant for censorship (Facebook jail, anyone?), and you realize that you need a place where you call the shots. And, with your own website, your content can live practically forever – even if Facebook and its peers lapse into MySpace obscurity – as long as you pay your bills.
If you’re not tech-savvy, you might gasp in surprise at how easy – and cheap – it is to build a website. With ado-it-yourself WordPress website, annual costs only range between $80 and $240. WordPress provides you with easy-to-understand setup instructions and allows you to see what your site looks like before going live online. It’s practically foolproof – and it should pay for itself in no time.
Promote Your Website
Even if you have a brick-and-mortar location, you’re likely to lose business if people can’t find you online. So, it’s not enough to just have a website. You need to make it easy to find your coffee online. Here are some easy, low-cost ways to boost your online visibility:
- Start a blog: If you have a passion for great coffee, you probably have amassed quite a bit of knowledge on the topic. Showcase your expertise by teaching your audience what you know. Rather than making your posts overly promotional, educate your audience. Help them solve problems and gather information, and you’ll build trust in your brand.
- Link all your social media posts back to your website: Post only a teaser (a catchy intro or your first paragraph) on your social media posts. Include a clickable link to your entire blog post or another webpage so that your audience must go to your website to read the entire article.
- Use search engine optimization (SEO) best practices: You don’t need an SEO professional during your first few years in business. Instead, learn SEO basics from the wide variety of informative articles available for free online. Google has an excellent article for first-time website owners, as does the Marketing Insider Group and Bluehost.
- Put your website address (URL) on all your printed materials and emails: If you use printed materials, such as business cards or brochures, make sure to include your web address. Similarly, include your URL in your signature at the end of every email you send. The more clicks through to your website you get, the more likely it is that Google and other search engines will move your website to the top of the search results for your products.
- Post often: On social media, aim for one to two posts per day. If you can, try to post at least two blog posts per week. If you’re not a writer, find a local student who’s willing to work for a free bag of coffee – or take a course on writing from a local adult education program.
Above All, Sell Coffee You Can Be Proud Of
All the work you’ve done to promote your coffee brand will be in vain if your customers feel disappointed in the coffee itself. So, instead of stale coffee shipped in from halfway around the world, choose world-class coffees roasted in the USA and shipped the same day.
When you source your coffee from Dripshipper, you’ll get specialty-grade gourmet coffee beans shipped on the day they come out of the roaster. They’re drop-shipped, which means you don’t have to have a brick-and-mortar store to get started.
We send your customers’ orders directly to them without you having to handle them yourself or keep inventory on hand.There’s nothing you need to do but sit back, enjoy a great cup of coffee, and count the money that rolls in. Start your 14-day, no-obligation trial today!