by Diedrich Roasters,
Hand fabricated roasters in USA
There’s a lot of information out there these days about online marketing. Start a blog! Post on Instagram! Optimize your website for SEO! (Do most of us even know what that means?)
Even though tips like these are usually vague and unhelpful, every business owner has heard them a thousand times. But where do you begin? How do you know what to write and how to effectively promote your content? How do you become a brand that people remember?
Today, we’re going to give you some insight on how to use online marketing effectively.
These aren’t just random tips copied from other places on the internet. These are tactics that we at Diedrich Roasters have used (and continue to use) to grow our online presence, increase our revenue, and make our customers feel like family.
One thing before we begin… Make sure you know what marketers call your “USP” or Unique Selling Point. What makes your product better or special? How do you stand out from your competition? Why will people look to you specifically to solve their needs or desires?
People are bombarded with hundreds of different brand stories and advertisements every day. You can’t afford to be like all the rest. Answering these questions will help you develop a unique identity and message that your customers will grow to love.
1. Start a blog (and get other bloggers to write about you)
Every business needs a blog. Even yours. Publishing regular blog posts not only allows you to rank on search engines like Google so people can find you more easily, but they give you a chance to demonstrate your authority, express your brand identity, and add value to your readers.
A lot of businesses (maybe even most) use blogging ineffectively — if they have one at all. Your blog isn’t a journal or diary. It’s not a place to write random thoughts down, no matter how interesting they might be.
The point of your blog should always be to deliver value of some kind. Teach your readers something. Make them smile. Make them laugh. They will begin to recognize your brand name as someone they can trust.
And while publishing your own blog is important, don’t miss out on the opportunity to reach out to other bloggers and influencers in your space. Are there interesting food or travel blogs dedicated to your city? Contact those authors and see if they would be interested in writing about you… Or, better yet, see if you can write a guest post for their readers. It’s a win-win.
2. Use social media the right way
Just like blogs, there are too many businesses who use social media in a way that is boring and unimportant. They’re missing out on a ton of great opportunities! In industries such as the coffee industry, social media has huge potential.
The biggest advantage of social media is the ability to interact with your customer base and have them interact with you. Give people an easy way to discover and share your content: Use hashtags, images, and video to promote engaging content. Ask questions on your feed and respond to their comments. The point is to portray the personality behind your business.
One big trend in online marketing currently is user generated content. Encourage your fans and followers to upload content of their own to your page. You can host contests or simply tell customers to submit pictures of cup drawings (as Starbucks did to great success). Feature and give a shout out to the most interesting submissions. It’s a great way to get your fans involved.
Don’t be afraid to explore other avenues besides the big ones like Facebook and Instagram, either. Recent studies have shown that Youtube and Snapchat are underutilized by marketing teams, despite the fact that these are two of millenials’ favorite platforms. For brick-and-mortar businesses, gathering positive reviews on sites like Yelp can also boost your credibility and encourage people to come in to check the place out.
3. Build an email list of loyal fans
Email marketing is the lifeblood of any business. “Email?” you ask. “Isn’t that a little outdated?” The answer is… no. A 2014 study found that, for every dollar a business invests into email marketing, it has the potential to 40X their revenue!
The explanation is simple. People who have signed up for your email list have already “qualified” themselves as leads. That’s just a way of saying that they’ve already told you that they’re interested in your business.
By continually sending them high-quality newsletters, exclusive deals, and other unique content, your readers will start to see your name in their inbox and think, “Oh, it’s my friend Coffee Shop Owner. I wonder what they have to say.” When you go to launch a new product or offer a new promotion, the subscribers on your email list will already be “warmed up” to the idea. Those are your biggest fans.
But how do you get people to sign up for your list in the first place? In online marketing, this is called an “opt-in” or “lead magnet.” Essentially, offer something that’s difficult to resist. A free coupon or some other helpful resource will incentivize people to sign up. Then, it’s your job to continue delivering value to their inbox so they can stay engaged.
4. Experiment with your own ideas
The tips above are just some of the ways that successful coffee brands have built up their businesses by using online marketing strategies. There are a ton more out there though, so be sure to test and evaluate other avenues that your own business might be interested in.
For example, at Diedrich we’ve found success in utilizing things like a podcast and Facebook live streaming, but you might want to target Pinterest or focus on developing strong relationships with community influencers online. Any business can follow the path of another, but it’s up to you to find what works for you.
What marketing efforts have you found to be successful or unsuccessful? What struggles or challenges have you had with online marketing in the past? We’d love to hear from you.