May 3, 2018

3 Rules to Effective Digital Marketing for Coffee Professionals

The digital world is the easiest and most effective way to reach your potential customers. After all, 26% of US Americans report that they are online “almost constantly”.

Whether you’re a coffee shop owner, green bean trader, or specialty producer, you need to understand the basics of digital media and how you can use it to further your business.

Because done well, digital marketing will gain you more sales, cement your relationship with existing clients, and ensure that your name is the first thing that people think of when they search for a coffee shop, espresso machine manufacturer, or new trade partner.

So, let’s get started with part one of our two-part series and look at the three rules of effective digital marketing.

Lee este artículo en español 3 Reglas Para Un Marketing Digital Efectivo

coffee and work

When potential customers are online “almost constantly”, you need to be online, too.

1. It Creates a Relationship With The Audience

When your marketing efforts sell products, each successful conversion is a sale. But when your marketing efforts sell relationships, each successful conversion is a customer.

The difference is subtle but critical. Each customer that has a positive relationship with you will return for more products. They will tell their friends about you. They will be loyal to you.

The idea of relationship marketing isn’t new; it’s been around since at least the ‘80s. But it’s taken on even greater meaning in the modern world of instant communication.

You might also like Why You Need to Understand Your Customers

Building a relationship with your customers is crucial. And that means following the same rules as other successful relationships.

Invest yourself in it. Demonstrate your personality, values, and goals. Know who you are, whether it’s a coffee roaster concerned about social and environmental sustainability or an innovative coffee producer experimenting with processing methods for high-quality micro lots.

Care about the other people in the relationship: your customers. Understand their goals, needs, fears, and wants. Show how you will support them, not just in using a product, but in achieving their ambitions.

Let’s say that you manufacture green coffee bags. Buying quality green coffee bags is not your customers’ goal. Instead, it’s a tool to achieving their goal – and you need to understand what that is.

It could be, for example, having exceptional specialty coffee with distinctive flavours. Or it could be accessing the specialty market, leveraging that to gain greater income, and from there expanding the farm or even sending their children to college.

Show your understanding of your customers’ goals and how your products will enable them to realise those.

Communicate frequently, clearly, and honestly. Use the online world to start, strengthen, and reinforce your relationships with customers, clients, and business partners. Create a connection with them. Alert them to any potential problems and reassure them that you’re handling it. Tell them about your successes and what you’re proud of.

Multi-platform digital strategies build relationships with customers. Credit: Edubirdie

2. It Is Valuable to The Audience

Too many coffee brands, whether B2C or B2B, focus on what they want the customer to know rather than what the customer wants to read. Effective digital marketing must offer both – especially if you want customers to follow you on social media.

Let’s say you decide to write a blog post or article. Perhaps you want to write about your newly developed grinder. But unless your customers are actively seeking a new grinder, they don’t want to read about one. They don’t have time to: they’re too busy making coffee, serving customers, managing their staff, and more.

The thing is, when you focus only on people who are actively looking for your products, you ignore a huge source of potential income. Good marketing means not just meeting your customers’ needs but also letting them know that they have these needs.

So, what can you do? Well, perhaps your new grinder offers greater control over the grinding temperature and therefore improves coffee quality. Your potential customers will immediately see the value in learning about how to make better coffee in service – and, once you’ve told them how a more stable grind temperature can help them to achieve this, they might realise that, actually, they do want a new grinder. More specifically, they want your coffee grinder.

Understand what is valuable about your products and services. Understand what your customers want. And then focus your marketing on the overlap.

Create content around your customers’ business needs.

3. It Is Targeted at The Right Audience

Not everyone is a potential customer. Not everyone will buy your products. Don’t waste your time creating content that people will love if those people won’t then become a customer.

Remember that the purpose of marketing is not more likes, comments, and favourites. It’s more sales.

Yes, I know I just said that you can’t only market to people who are actively looking for your products. However, there’s a difference between someone who will never buy your product and someone who will if you show them how it will benefit them.

So, understand your audience. Coffee producers will engage with different things than roasters. Café owners will have different needs from baristas or home brewers. Gather data, poll customers, study your existing sales, read forum posts, and do everything you can to learn who your customers are and what they want.

If you’re a coffee farmer, produce content that will appeal to traders and direct-trade roasters – not just baristas.

Know whether your customers are in the coffee shop, the office, or the coffee farm.

Effective digital marketing, the kind that boosts your sales, gets you more engagement at trade shows, and helps to make you a well-known brand, is never about you. It’s always about your customers.

So, identify the right audience. Create useful content for them. And build a long-term relationship.

Want to know how to build that long-term relationship? Check back next week for our coffee professionals’ guide to digital marketing platforms and tools.

Found this useful? Visit the PDG Media website to learn more about the services your coffee business could benefit from.

Perfect Daily Grind

Want to read more articles like this? Sign up to our newsletter!