During a survey in 2018, around 53% of respondents in India said they drink coffee regularly. The market value of the Indian restaurants and foodservice industry was about four trillion Indian rupees as of the fiscal year 2020. So many new cafes are regularly opening in India to cover such a large market. The cafe business is becoming increasingly competitive and fierce. However, many restaurants and cafes fail to do well in their first year. Running a cafe can be an arduous task, and one of the primary reasons they fail as they start is, lack of marketing. To sustain the increase in competition and meet customers’ demands, marketing is an absolute necessity for business survival.
But mapping this road to cafe marketing can be challenging. Creating an online presence and generating buzz about your cafe can take some work. A good marketing strategy, great food and pleasant customer service is the formula to increase sales. But don’t worry, we are here to help you handle the former part of this formula! Here are some strategies and tactics to make your newly opened cafe stand out from the crowd.
How To Do Cafe Marketing?
1. Build A Brand Identity
Brand identity makes your business memorable and easily recognizable among its competitors. Brand identity conveys your business’ values, vision and vision to the customers. Branding is to map out and attract your target audience. Take Cafe Coffee Day for example. The brand has established itself for serving the college-going youth and high-income working-class corporates who wish to take a little time off their busy schedule and enjoy a good cup of coffee. And so, creating a brand identity is the first step toward cafe marketing. Your brand can represent health and freshness or indulgence and extravagance. To make a brand identity, you need to understand your target audience and the interests you want to cater to. You need to establish a theme be it in the form of symbols, colour pallet, tagline or logo that you can consistently use in all your public broadcasting, marketing, social content and actions.
2. Focus on Social Media Content
Using social media for cafe marketing is an effective way to get the word out about your newly opened place. ‘Content is king’ in the digital world. The content you put on social media to promote your cafe needs to be exciting and relevant. Eye-catching pictures, taglines, videos and stories can create all the difference in your cafe marketing journey. Drool-inducing photos on Instagram are in high demand, and using such pictures across social media outlets is the way to draw hungry heads to your cafe.
3. Get Influencers Onboard
Brands often pay and hire known public faces to market their products. Even on social media, there are people specialising in doing such branding and marketing. They are called social media influencers. You can pitch them your brand and invite them to your cafe for marketing. Social media influencers carry significant influence over the digital generation and can do wonders in cafe marketing. If influencers recommend your cafe to their followers, it will result in a buzz around your place and increase revenue. Partnering with social media influencers can help improve your brand visibility and lure customers to your cafe, as they have an army of virtual followers.
4. Use Crowd Marketing Techniques
As you start your new cafe, you will not immediately engage a large audience on social media accounts. So instead of using your social media handles to reach out to people, you can make your customers assist you in your social media cafe marketing endeavours. You can even offer rewards to customers for posting about your cafe on social media. With each customer reaching out to a different set of followers, this can result in a large community reach and networking. Pick a hashtag that reflects your brand identity, display that hashtag in your cafe and ask your close ones, friends, family and customers to post about your cafe on their social media handles using the hashtag. Interestingly, tweets with hashtags increase engagement by 50% for brands. Your cafe can do well with some intelligent hashtags and get discovered by potential customers.
5. Offer Vouchers and Discounts
Vouchers and discounts are another fine way to bring in customers initially. You can offer freebies, discounts or deals to draw your customers to the cafe. Loyalty cards are another great way to reward your customers. A loyalty card with ‘buy seven coffees and get the eighth free’ is a simple way to incentivize customers to return to your cafe. Handing promotional flyers in public places like outside colleges and offices with your loyalty cards encourages customers to visit.
6. Organise Events
As the world is transitioning to offline mode, people are looking for ways to connect with others in in-person. Holding events at your cafes, such as trivia nights, book readings, and open-mic nights can put the word out there about your cafe. After hosting such events the next step is to analyse the response of your customer. If all boxes are checked green, then you can market yourself as the go-to place for such engaging events. This not just brings in new customers to your restaurant but also distinguishes you from your competitors.
Alongside marketing, advertising is also important. Such events can be advertised by designing a poster with relevant information. Social media works best to create a buzz around your cafe and the events you host. By putting exciting banners and advertisements on social media portals, you can make instant awareness about the possibilities and call people in. You can also offer them prizes and discounts for winning trivia nights or performing during open mic nights.
Marketing of any kind is a gradual process. No brand gets famous overnight. It is a very gradual but continuous step. You have to keep doing research on market trends and do periodic marketing activities. A marketing calendar is great for such tasks!
Hope you find this blog helpful in your cafe marketing journey. Let us know in the comments if you have any other ideas. Follow us on Instagram for regular restaurant-related updates.