Most people wake up every morning with a routine: hit the alarm clock, take a shower, get dressed and grab some coffee.
Ah, yes: coffee. The hot beverage this country runs on, with the average American consuming upward of 3.1 cups of java per day! And with the ever-hurried pace of our everyday lives, people have less and less time to percolate their coffee at home. The morning (and afternoon and mid-afternoon and evening …) shot of caffeine is an on-the-go commodity, with many coffee drinkers spending over $1000 per year on lattes from coffee shops. So where do people go to get their daily fix?
Your coffee shop!
Coffee is trendier than ever, with new methods, such as poured over coffee and cold-brewed coffee, making their way into the spotlight. The competition for being the coffee spot people hit when they need a beverage is fierce, as coffee shops are literally around every corner. Coffee shops need to find a way to stand out among the competition.
Enter blogging. Online content is a way to get a head up on the competition and make your company shine. Here are nine ways a blog can jump-start your coffee business:
1. Brand Awareness: Give a Taste, Gain a Customer
Catch their eye and keep them hooked.
Sipping your coffee is a great way to create new and loyal fans. When customers stop in to your shop, they get a taste of your java in person. This in turn piques their interest and leaves them wanting to come back for more.
The same is true for your website. You’ve worked hard to build the website, so of course you want to drive traffic there! If your real-life business goal is to get people to frequent your coffee shop, your internet goal is to get visitors to your website. So how does a business do this? With a blog! Fresh content is the best, easiest and fastest way to draw people in. Fun fact: Search Engine Watch claims 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in the hope of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.
So, what kind of content is blog-worthy? Think about espresso cup-sized samples of information that update your readers, customers and potential customers with brand information. Blogs give businesses a personal side that keeps readers eagerly wanting to come back for more.
2. Increase Traffic, Increase Sales
The bigger the line at the counter, the bigger the sales.
A major internet goal of most businesses is to have a solid rank in online searches. Ideally, you want your website to be among the first few hits on a search engine’s results page. By blogging once a week, your SEO has the opportunity to increase. The outcome is exponential: research shows that businesses blogging 15 times per month get quintuple the amount of traffic than those who don’t blog at all. (Source: HubSpot) Consistency is a key factor, though. Having a blog whose last post is from several months (or years!) ago will reflect poorly on the brand overall.
A solid business principle: if you can increase the number of visitors that come to your coffee shop, you should naturally see an increase in sales as a result.
Extend the same principle to your website. If you increase your web traffic (which you can do easily through blogging), you increase the possibility of converting those visitors into fans—and, as a result, you’ll get more subscribers and sales. 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. (Source: BlogHer)
3. Engage with Visitors, Earn Trust
Customers love hanging out at coffee shops.
Visitors that actually visit a coffee shop, get to know the baristas or chat up the owner to gain knowledge about the process of roasting and steeping coffee will naturally trust the brand more and view that brand as an authority. The same is true of your blog.
Guests can hang out at your coffee shop virtually by reading your online articles, discovering information, looking at images, watching videos and more. As a result, they’ll feel more familiar with your brand and will be more likely to take the next step toward becoming a customer. 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs. (Source: BlogHer)
4. Build Communities
You know it’s important to have facetime with customers—do the same online.
Coffee shops are an important part of the community. It’s where people come to meet, to grab a hot drink, to read the Sunday paper. You are a proud part of your local community and it’s a great chance to have people see your brand in action.
Likewise, you also support a community of coffee lovers who patronize your coffee shop and love your product. With this in mind, blog about what you know your community wants to talk about. And don’t just talk. Listen and ask for feedback too. New specialty drink? Freshly roasted batch of beans? Your beverages featured at local events? Talk about it and ask for comments. Your online community will rally around you and come back for more.
5. Become Industry Experts
Be coffee thought leaders.
Coffee is long-rooted in the hot beverage history of America, so there are a lot of people who try to speak knowledgeably on the topic. Bloggers, coffee enthusiasts, roasters, big chain stores, small local shops and consumers all have their own opinions, information and insight to share.
It’s important that your coffee shop is not just part of that conversation, but leading the conversation. A blog is a great place to share your thoughts, strategy, passion and expertise and show your readers you know what you’re talking about. They will, in turn, trust your expertise, appreciate your continued interest in the industry and, if they find what you say to be valuable or if it resonates with them, share it with their networks and audiences.
6. Showcase Company Culture
Don’t brag, blog.
You opened your doors with a solid team. And they’re great—it’s why you work with them. Your coffee has been specially selected, and lines are out the door for your to-die-for macchiatos.
Who cares? Your customers care! People love to read blogs, especially when they give insider info about employees, company culture and the business. It’s important to find balance about sharing quality content without bragging. Sharing is caring.
7. Complement and Boost PR Efforts
If you blog it, they will come.
Where is the first place local writers go when they are assigned a story? The internet. They do some searches to dig deeper. But what information are they going to find? By blogging, you have a chance to make sure your own content is the first thing people find when attempting to learn more about you. Blogging means you will have content and information about your brand that’s ready and waiting to be searched and found. The next time a local magazine is doing a roundup of best coffee shops in the area, you’ll have a much better chance of being included because you have information out there to be consumed.
8. Build Your Audience
They like you, they really like you!
They like you—now keep ‘em coming! Earning the trust of online visitors and sharing interesting content means you’re more likely to have an audience that will want more. Get that audience more deeply connected by asking them to follow you on social media (where you can share new blog posts) and sign up for your newsletter. Both are great ways to contact customers and continue the conversation.