Local Marketing Strategies for Coffee Shops

When it comes to marketing, having an effective strategy can make or break your coffee shop. Even with the best coffee or most creative menu items, your coffee business can’t turn a profit without getting customers in the door. Fortunately, several Texas Coffee School Coffeepreneurs® have paved the way in innovative, successful marketing plans. Check out these local marketing strategies for coffee shops, featuring Arwa Yemeni Coffee—one of Dallas’ hottest coffee shops owned by a former student!

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Create a Unique and Noteworthy Space

Designing a coffee shop is about more than just original hardwood floors or minimalist soft edges. It’s about picking the right location for your target audience and creating a jaw-dropping experience that’s specific to your unique business concept.

For example, Arwa incorporates touches of Yemen throughout its interior, with culturally inspired architecture and prints, low-seated corner couches, and mosaic wall art. It’s tucked into a shopping strip, but that doesn’t deter the customers who flood through the doors of this Instagrammable, Tik-Tok-worthy setting. The location is an easy exit off of a major highway in Dallas, conveniently placed between several thriving Dallas suburbs.

“I’ve never been to a coffee shop that could make you feel like you were in another country. This place is so popular and now I understand why,” says one Google review by Jeremias.

“The owners have created a true community atmosphere that feels welcoming and cozy. The decor is beautiful, and although it’s often busy, it feels like there’s always a place for everyone,” says another review by Heather.

Interior of Arwa Yemeni Coffee.

Interior of Arwa Yemeni Coffee.

Collaborate with Local Publications

By contacting local reporters and publishing desks to invite them to visit your coffee shop, you might be able to get coveted press coverage. You can also offer quotes and photos to make reporters’ jobs easier. If there’s a local “Best of” or “Tourist guide” issue, learn whether you can submit your coffee shop for consideration and encourage customers to vote for your business.

Arwa has been featured in publications like D Magazine, Dallas Observer, and Daily Coffee News. That kind of attention casts a wide net for customers across the city. Best of all? It’s usually free marketing.

Invite Your City’s Social Media Influencers

In addition to connecting with reporters, you can invite local social media influencers to visit your coffee shop and post about their experience. (A drink on the house might help!) These influencers might include food bloggers, local photographers, or influencers in or around the general orbit of your coffee shop’s concept. 

For instance, if your coffee shop is centered around a certain country or culture, consider inviting influencers who openly share that heritage. If your coffee shop also sells records, flowers, or motorcycles, then your local musician, florist or mechanic with a social media presence might be willing to come by.

Having a sign on the menu or on the wall with your social media username and a “Tag us!” can also encourage everyday customers to post, tweet, or snap. Make sure to repost and leverage positive content that other people share about your coffee business.

Influencers at Arwa Yemeni Coffee.

Influencers at Arwa Yemeni Coffee.

Curate a Local Online Presence

In addition to recruiting others to boost your social presence, you can take steps to build your coffee shop’s Google My Business account and reviews. Start by adding high quality photos, business hours, strong selling points (like your most-loved menu items), and other information that a potential customer might want to know.

You can also ask happy customers to leave a review on Google, Yelp, or Facebook using a QR code by the register or adding a note to the receipt. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing!

And don’t neglect your social media accounts. There are plenty of creative ways to manage social media for a coffee shop—just check out Arwa and Mothers House on TikTok for inspiration.

Host Events and Get Involved With Local Businesses

Lastly, engaging with other small business owners and organizations can help boost your presence locally. You can form mutually beneficial relationships with local artists, nonprofits, boutiques, and schools. You could also offer discounts for students, teachers, medical providers, and veterans. And keep an eye out for opportunities to sponsor things like events, fundraisers, and sports teams. It’s a great way to get your coffee shop’s name out there and build rapport with a new audience.

Coffee shops can help at fundraisers.

Build a Local Marketing Strategy at Texas Coffee School

In our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Classes this summer, we’ll be teaching students the know-how, resources, and a step-by-step plan of action to launch and grow their own independent coffee shop businesses. Will you join us and kickstart your coffee shop business? Sign up today before classes fill up!

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