7 Tips for Coffee Shop Marketing

Numerous national coffee shops are fortunate enough to have loyal customers. They allowed Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks to be the most dominant coffee shops in every city block on the East Coast. But how did these coffee shops go about building customer loyalty—what are their coffee shop marketing tactics?

A small independent coffee shop has the advantage of supporting local businesses rather than buying from big companies. But, if you’re that small independent coffee shop, how do you start convincing locals to switch from the chains and start drinking locally?

A good start is a good Restaurant point of saleSystem can help you identify everything you need to market your business, including your best customers and most loyal clients. To help, we’ve listed seven coffee shop marketing examples to boost sales and create more repeat customers.

  1. Offer wifi in your cafe
  2. Get social about coffee
  3. Get personal
  4. Introduce yourself and your coffee at nearby businesses
  5. Know your audience
  6. Leverage video advertising about coffee
  7. For increased sales, offer unique drinks

Take your cafe up a notch

Use our Marketing Guide to create a winning strategy for your coffee shop’s marketing. Find the latest trends in social media, technology and traditional marketing techniques that haven’t lost their magic.

1. Offer wifi in your cafe

Although you might think wifi is a feature and not a marketing tactic for coffee shops, the strategy is to place a large wifi sign in your windows. Offering wifi says two things about your business: you don’t mind people coming in and working, and you probably have enough space for people to stay for a while. These are all mental benefits for people who drive or walk by your coffee shop. Your timing is perfect. Many jobs were made impossible by the pandemic. People working from home will need a place to get rid of cabin fever.

2. Get social about coffee

It is rare for businesses to be able to speak casually and in-person with their social media followers. This is a great way for businesses to grow. customer loyaltyYour regular customers will be happy to keep you around. This is because your customers already know you and your personality. Even if you are a small coffee shop, it is possible to have a singular voice.

Coffee is such a broad interest that it’s easy to attract people from all walks of life and have them talk about any topic. Movies and tea, music, and even movies. Your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook URLs should be prominently displayed at your counter. When someone gets a great latte, they can say, “I’m drinking the most amazing latte from @YourCoffeeShop”, rather than just simply “I’m drinking the most amazing latte” without attribution.


3. Get personal

As we’ve mentioned, the greatest advantage you have over the big franchises and chains is the ability to inject whatever personality you want. Jesse Burke from Posie’s Cafe in Portland, OR, learned this quickly when she blogged about Groupon in Retrospect and earned herself a solid spot on TechCrunch.

Jesse also wrote a blog about her mom, Mothers Day. Another blog was about the emotional rollercoaster that comes with owning a business and taking criticism. Jesse and her coffee shop are always supported by comments that express genuine gratitude. Her honesty is appreciated by customers and readers alike. You have a personality. So use it!


4. Introduce yourself and your coffee at nearby businesses

Chris Lamb, a personal friend, explains this great tactic. Crimson CupOhio

“Greg [Ubert, Founder]Every business, big and small, was visited in a designated area. Although the area was more than the few blocks that surround our store, it was still within walking distance of the coffeehouse. Greg would bring a free drink card to all employees and introduce himself to the manager or owner of the business when Greg visited.

The camaraderie and support Greg received was inspiring and led to important community partnerships. Greg’s time spent networking was very valuable. It helped to raise awareness for our store in the community. We were able to track the return of our investment in the project by using the coupons. This coffee shop marketing idea has been a huge success and something we encourage other coffee shops to consider trying.”


5. Know your audience

45%This is 18-23 year-olds spend more money on coffee than they do investing in retirement.. You have more people coming into your coffee shop than planning for their house in Florida when they’re 75 years old. That’s why it’s important that your POS for coffee shop can keep up.

Coffee is a ritual that many people aren’t willing to give up. People will go to great lengths to get a cup of coffee every morning, even if it’s at the same place. 

The “work-from-home”Group has Since 2005, the number of people who have benefited from this program has increased by 140%, meaning there is a large group of people looking for a place to get stuff done that isn’t in a cubicle. A subsection of this group is also available: 4.3 million peopleThey work remotely half the time. You may not have opened your shop wanting to be a home base for bloggers and remote workers alike, but that’s what the coffee shop industry is leaning towards. Prepare your wireless internet connection and latte foam art.


6. Leverage video advertising about coffee

Video marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies in the coffee shop industry. There are 5,500 people per month searching for “latte art” according to YouTube’s keyword research tool. There are also 10,600 searches for “how to make coffee” in the YouTube search engine—seeing any missed opportunities? Cafe Yala began making YouTube videos showing a variety of latte art. They have over 10,000 hits on several videos.

These are just three examples of coffee shops doing amazing things with video.

Boston Massachusetts: Thinking Cup The Thinking Cup in Boston, Massachusetts has a promotional video that highlights the sexiness and elegance of their coffee shop. Chromed out espresso machines, artisan baristas forming designs out of cream – you can practically smell freshly ground beans in this video. This video can be used to promote your coffee shop. Highlight what you do best and don’t worry about your competition.

Boston Coffee House, Multiple Locations Massachusetts: This video from Boston Coffee House, Waterford Lake, is the most hilarious of all. It’s a musical about their coffee shop. It’s silly and, in some parts, downright ridiculous. It looks like a great place to grab a coffee. You can show off your silly side by using humor in your videos. Your video might go viral. This is another great example of a store that differentiates itself from its sister shops.

Equal Exchange Cafe, Boston Massachusetts: This video from Equal Exchange Cafe is a quick way to see a mission declaration in video form. Equal Exchange coffee effectively demonstrates what they’re all about. This video will make you feel like you know the baristas. It will also show you how Equal Exchange Cafe cares about customer service and coffee. This type of video can make a big impression on potential customers. It’s also the most difficult to produce if your heart and soul aren’t completely into what you are doing.

Your website should have videos. This is one of the best ways for potential customers to view your coffee shop prior to visiting. Your videos will influence their purchasing decisions so make sure to take the time and decide what messages you want. Is it a promotional video that highlights your store? Perhaps you want to showcase your friendly staff. Your video is an extension of your business. Show them passion and they’ll reward you with customer loyalty.


7. For increased sales, offer unique drinks

Here are some of our favourite takes on classic iced espresso.

Lavender Latte: This refreshing, light iced coffee is sure to keep you sipped. Each place makes them a little differently, but it’s up to you how lavender-y you really want it. It is best to make a lavender simple syrup. This will give it a floral flavor and sweeten it. Continue making iced coffee as normal.

lavender latte


 Nitro Iced Coffee Everything can be nitro-ified. But if you’re going to try one nitro thing, make sure it’s a nitro iced coffee. It’s cold brew served from a nitro tap, which is as crazy as it sounds. It looks like a stout but tastes like the best coffee you’ve ever had. The nitro gives it a smooth, creamy taste and mouthfeel.

Nitro coffee


 Espresso Tonic: Fizz, fizz everywhere. A little bit of carbonation is always a good thing. What better way to spice up your summer drink than slowly pouring it over tonic water? Each person will have their own interpretation of this basic idea. However, the most basic is to pour espresso over tonic and use a spoon to create layers. From there, you can add whatever flavors you want—a common addition is some orange bitters to add a bit of zest!

espresso tonic


Cold Brew You can find a classic cold brew anywhere nowadays, and that’s because it’s that good. What makes cold brew different from your regular iced coffee is that it’s actually brewed by steeping the grounds in cold water for about 24 hours, then straining and serving. You can now buy cold brew syrup in most grocery stores. It is easy to mix with water and make a delicious iced beverage at home.

cold brew


Vietnamese Iced coffee The key to a solid Vietnamese iced coffee is making sure your coffee is strong enough so it doesn’t end up cloyingly sweet. To make it, add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed coffee to a tall glass. Then, pour your hot Vietnamese coffee over the ice cubes. Stir, stir, and stir! It’s a perfect way to start the day, or even a great way to end it—just don’t forget to use decaf!

Vietnamese coffee


There are many other ways to market your coffee shop. You might offer a special on one the many geolocation mobile app, or even build a drive-thru. In any case, try these first – we’d love to hear how they work.

If you’d like to learn more about how Small Biz Sense can help you run your coffee shop, Talk to one our experts.

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.