coffee shop marketing ideas
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

Do you own a coffee house in a chic location of a crowded metropolis? Or perhaps a tiny coffee shop in a cozy small-town building? Regardless of the type of café you own, the coffee shop marketing ideas below will help you put your place on the map and turn it into a coffee lover’s dream.

10 Coffee Shop Marketing Ideas You Can Implement ASAP

1. Optimize your website and Google My Business profile for local searches

If your business doesn’t have an online presence, it might as well not exist nowadays. You’ve probably googled a “business near me” yourself at least once, so you’re familiar with local searches.

A local search includes a geographical parameter such as “near me” or specific locations such as “New York” or “Denmark.” For your coffee shop to pop up in local searches, you need first to have a website for people to access and then to optimize that website.

Learn more: Tips That Can Boost Your Local SEO

Including relevant keywords is the best way to do that. Here are some of the best keywords you can use:

  • Coffee shop near me
  • Best coffee shops near me
  • Café near me
  • Coffee places near me
  • Coffee house near me
  • Best coffee shops in [your city, country/state]
  • Coffee places in [your city, country/state]
  • Coffee houses in [your city, country/state]
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Your website isn’t the only online platform that you’ll want to optimize. Create a Google My Business (GMB) account and optimize it for local searches. The more information you add to your GMB profile, the more chances of Google displaying it all when people search for you online.

Read more: How to Optimize Google My Business: Must-Know Tips

2. Focus on growing your social media following

Social media is a potent tool for marketing coffee shops. A social media strategy for coffee shops should include at least the three biggest social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you have the time or a dedicated social media person, you can also build a presence on Snapchat, Pinterest, or TikTok.

Coffee shop Instagram marketing

Instagram is a particularly valuable platform for a coffee shop because it allows you to use stories and reels to take customers on a journey around your café.

Create short behind-the-scenes videos of how your barista prepares your most popular beverages and post them on Instagram reels. Use stories to create limited-time promotions that will generate a sense of urgency.

Another benefit of Instagram is using hashtags that will draw more people to your posts. Here are some coffee shop hashtag ideas you can use:

  • #coffeetime
  • #coffeelover
  • #coffeeshop
  • #coffeegram
  • #coffeedaily
  • #coffeebreak
  • #coffeehouse
  • #coffeeoftheday
  • #coffeebar
  • #coffeecorner

You can also add your city before some of these hashtags to narrow the searches (e.g., #brooklyncoffeeshop).

Coffee shop Facebook marketing

Use Facebook to update your customers on new menu items or promotions or post photos of your coffee shop. But Facebook is also a great place for contests and giveaways.

They are an excellent way to increase brand awareness and attract customers actively looking to participate in giveaways. Moreover, they can help you grow your followers by asking participants to like your Facebook page. Ultimately, they can lead to a boost in sales and long-term customers.

Learn more here: Facebook Contest Ideas to Increase Likes

Make sure you check Facebook’s policy for what is permitted and forbidden when organizing a contest or giveaway on your page.

3. Enable delivery and pickup options

Especially if the target market for your coffee shop is millennials and Gen Z, but not exclusively, start delivering coffee as an extra income source. Delivery has witnessed a boom in the pandemic, and it’s now clearly here to stay.

Add an Order button to your coffee shop website to enable customers to place orders online for delivery or pickup. Make sure the button is visible at the top of the homepage so anyone who visits your website can see that they have the option to place orders online.

Free Online Ordering System for Your Coffee Shop Start delivering coffee to your customers today

4. Offer special promotions and discounts

If you’re looking for foolproof coffee shop marketing ideas, you can never go wrong with promotions and special offers. They’ll help you attract new customers and secure the loyalty of your regulars.

Here is a list of coffee shop promotion ideas you can implement today:

  • Buy-one-get-one-free promotions will encourage people to bring a friend to share a cup of coffee with.
  • The bottomless mug promo refers to charging more for the first cup of coffee but offering free refills.
  • Half-priced refills can persuade customers to stay longer and purchase something like a pastry or a sandwich.
  • Coffee and food menus include adding a croissant with the purchase of any coffee or offering a discount if people purchase a drink and a food item.
  • Free treats for special holidays like a free heart-shaped cookie with the purchase of any coffee on Valentine’s Day.
  • Free samples of new menu items might persuade people enjoying a cup of coffee at your establishment to buy the full size.
  • Coffee hour when you notice foot traffic slowing down, at around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. A 15% discount on the entire menu will have customers knocking on your door in no time.
  • Bulk takeaway discounts for groups of people who order coffee at the office.

5. Make your storefront stand out

Curious how to promote your coffee shop in the neighborhood and get more customers through the door? All you need to do is invest in your entrance for increased street visibility.

Have your logo displayed on your windows and decorate your windowsills with plants, cups of coffee, or other knickknacks so that passersby instantly recognize your business.

Consider playing music just enough to draw people’s attention but not as loud as to disturb anyone else in the neighborhood.

Write your daily specials and promotions on a blackboard and post it in front of your restaurant to tempt people to come in. Add small doodles on the blackboard and develop unique names for your beverages to draw even more attention.

You can also ask one of your employees to hang out in front of the coffee shop to distribute flyers, offer free samples, and welcome people to your shop.

6. Partner with local businesses

Everyone benefits from local businesses partnering up, from the owners to the customers who love seeing companies supporting each other.

While you can’t exactly go to competing coffee shops and ask for cross-promotion, you can do that with other businesses in the area, especially restaurants. Visit restaurants in the area with a pile of discount code flyers and propose a mutually beneficial partnership.

They display these in their restaurant, providing their customers with a discount on a much-needed cup of coffee after an excellent meal. In return, you display their discount flyers in your coffee shop for people looking for a place to eat in the neighborhood.

You can also strike up these deals with other local businesses, such as gyms, hairdressers, or real estate agencies.

7. Host and participate in local events

Looking for unique café ideas to attract customers to your shop? Look no further than organizing events. They will get people talking and attract a new crowd curious to see what the fuss is about.

Take a look at these coffee shop events for inspiration:

  • Galentine’s Day – a day where women can bring a friend and enjoy exclusive discounts while celebrating friendship.
  • Bachelorette party – for women who would rather sip on coffee and chat with their best friends before the big day.
  • National Coffee Day Extravaganza – a day where you celebrate coffee in all its forms.
  • Poetry reading – poetry and coffee go hand in hand.
  • Coffee-making class – a chance for your barista to show off and for customers to learn something.
  • Open mic night – support local talent by giving them an avenue to promote their work.
  • Latte art class – latte art is as beautiful as it is hard to master. Give your customers some insider tips & tricks.
  • Live music – shake things up by having local artists play in the background instead of a YouTube playlist.

Besides organizing events at your coffee shop, you can also participate in events organized by other businesses, whether to supply the coffee or to support a local charity. If there are any food or music festivals in your area, inquire whether you can have a stand there.

8. Print and distribute promotional materials with your branding

Your branding should be visible everywhere, from your store window to your menu, flyers, business cards, delivery vehicles, and cup sleeves.

Bring branded business cards to any events you participate in and print flyers with special offers to distribute around the neighborhood. You can print them yourself if you acquire one of those printers specifically designed for printing business cards and flyers.

This is an excellent way to promote your delivery service by including a website where people can place an order and a unique free delivery code.

P.S.: If you create an account with us, you get access to heatmaps that show you the highest order density areas so you can distribute flyers where you know they’ll convert the most.

Even something as simple as cup sleeves can help you raise brand awareness and bring in more customers. Attractive cup sleeves draw people’s attention instantly.

Not to mention that established brands like Starbucks have turned theirs into a national symbol that everyone can recognize. It’s basically free advertising!

9. Serve seasonal drinks

One of the simplest coffee shop marketing ideas is serving seasonal drinks. They are trending and an easy way to make some noise and stand out in the crowd.

Quality ingredients, fun decorations, and catchy names are a recipe for success in seasonal beverages. Here are some ideas for every season:

  • Winter coffee ideas: Gingerbread, spice, and everything nice; butterscotch bonanza; eggnog delight.
  • Spring coffee ideas: La La Lavender; early bird special brew, rose-colored glasses.
  • Summer coffee ideas: Mint mojito madness, coconut & chill, wild child iced coffee.
  • Fall coffee ideas: Pumpkin pie latte; Scary Spice latte; cauldron cake cappuccino.

10. Create an enticing loyalty program

Closing off this list of café marketing ideas is a classic tactic that will never fail to provide results. Loyalty programs help you show your appreciation toward your regulars and attract new people when they see the irresistible offers you have prepared for them.

Other than regular discounts and freebies for loyal customers, implement a friend referral program where they can recommend a friend. Reward them both as an incentive to do this.

You can create traditional paper loyalty cards that customers can get stamped on the way to a delicious reward or ditch paper altogether and create your own loyalty app. Customers can download it and scan a virtual card for the same rewards.

Having a branded loyalty app will increase brand recognition and make it easier for customers to keep track of their points and benefits.

Instead of creating an app solely for your loyalty program, create a branded coffee shop app where people can browse your menu, place online orders, pay online, and also keep track of their loyalty points.

Final Words

Have you tried any of the coffee shop marketing ideas above? How did they work for you? If you have more suggestions of other ways café owners can promote their business, you can share your experience with me on Twitter @andreeaa_voicu. I’d be happy to hear your stories!

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Laura-Andreea Voicu
Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura-Andreea Voicu is an experienced content writer with a knack for marketing and SEO. She delivers business-optimized content to help restaurants boost sales and grow their brand.