How to reduce the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Local Specialty Coffee Shops
There is ONE big mistake most Local specialty coffee businesses need to avoid as a consequence of the virus outbreak:
Stopping their Marketing.
Let me explain this…
This announcement was made last Monday 23 March by the UK government, reinforcing the one made on Friday 20 March, and obliging people to stay home.
At this stage, is it very important that you stay safe, help others stay safe and strickly follow the mandate from the government.
However, this doesn’t mean you will no longer be able to open your business.
In fact, this is a temporary situation…
And while you may not be able to operate as usual during this period, you can still generate awareness of your speciality coffee business…
…But most importantly, you now have a unique opportunity to grow your email list.
I will go through this straight away. But first, I want you to know something:
What you do during this period is something that your customers and online audience will remind when this crisis ends.
So take advantage of this period to work on the following 5 key assets:
- Continue updating Social Media Channels
- Show awareness of the situation in your posts
- Offer free VALUABLE content to your audience
- Grow your email list (some way of how to do it below)
- Sell gift vouchers/cards on your website
Let’s go deeper into the first key asset…
1. Continue updating social Media channels
Don’t stop updating your social media channels just because you are (temporary) closed.
If you do so, your audience will simply forget that you, at some point, will come back to business.
However, if you keep them posted and engaged, your specialty coffee shop will remain in their minds.
So then, by the time the outbreak ends, they will go back to you.
2. Show your awareness of the situation
One of the most common mistakes some specialty coffee (and other businesses) do is not acknowledging the current situation with their posts.
This means they keep posting like nothing is happening right now!
Why is this approach wrong?
First of all, your post will not get the engagement they usually do, as people as worry about other concerns.
Second (and most important), you don’t wanna look like a careless jerk, do you?
Please, don’t take the above personally.
I just want to show you that, in marketing, it is very important to keep in mind the context.
And, to make this point clear, here are some real-life examples of using the context in social media post :
Example one: Ozone Coffee
Notice how Ozone Coffee Roasters show awareness of the current situation in this post and, therefore, show their support for the community by providing these basic goods to charities.
Example 2: Extract Coffee
In the case of this post, Extract Coffee Roasters is acknowledging the situation by mentioning those who weren’t able to find tea at the supermarket.
They also made a special mention of all those working in the hospitality industry during those difficult days.
You get the point, right?
Let’s get into the key asset number 3:
3. Offer them free VALUABLE content
Take the opportunity this time to HELP your customers and online audience make their life easier.
For example, most people are working from home these days.
They are no longer able to get their barista-made coffee from the local coffee shop.
And most of them opted for buying their coffee beans online and make it from home.
So, how you, an specialty coffee shop owner, can help them with their routines?
Help them brew their coffee.
Here are some ideas of VALUABLE content you can make for them:
- V60 Coffee Brew Guide
- Chemex Coffee Brew Guide
- Expresso Brew Guide
- How to make home latte art
- How to find the right grain size for your brewing method
And the list goes on.
You can combine this educative content with another more entertained.
For example, you can also show them your equipment in your shop, how you grind the coffee inside, etc.
Another good example is the following post one from Colombia Coffee Roasters, where they made a guide for AeroPress brewing, where its followers can access through the link.
Looks good, right?
Now, it’s time for you to brainstorm content ideas that help and entertain your audience.
Then, post them in your blog and/or your Instagram and Facebook.
And when you feel there is a piece of content that your audience enjoys the most, then convert it into a Lead Magnet to….
4. Grow your email list
Bringing your audience to your email list a very important part of your growth as Specialty Coffee shop business.
And the reason for this is that, once you got their email, you can send them valuable content, business updates and promotional offers right to their inbox.
You can also use this channel to keep them up to date with the situation of your coffee shop, so they will know when you are back to normal.
It also works very well to make special discounts to your email lists once this situation changes back to usual.
And guess what?
There is no better time to grow your email list than now!
But, how do you grow your email list?
Here are some ideas:
- Use a successful piece of content you created in the past (such as one of the valuable content you created in the point 3) and make it available only when someone fills a simple form with their email address.
- Keep the successful piece of content available, but offer them something extra from that piece of content when they fill the email form. For example, If your valuable piece of content is an Aeropress Brewing Video Guide, then offer then a written guide as well when they give you their email address.
- Make a simple coffee quiz, and give then the results when they give your email address. For example: “What type of coffee drinker are you?” quiz
- Make a specific recipe doc of a drink that is made with coffee (for example, expresso Martini) and offer the recipe in exchange for their email address.
And there you got.
A complete set of ideas to grow your email list!
Let’s now go into the final key asset.
5. Offer Gift Vouchers to sell them in your website
Also known as gift card, they are a very good way to keep the cash flow of your business during the quarantine.
But, if you are not familiar with gift vouchers, let me show you how it works:
- STEP 1: Include a gift voucher on your website for sell. This gift voucher can be exchangeable for hot drinks, pastries, food and whatever you offer in your local specialty coffee shop, and usually have a price, from £10 to £50.
- STEP 2: Your customer buys them on your website and has it delivered to their indicated address.
- STEP 3: Once your shop is back to business, your customers can use the voucher whenever they prefer (however, gift vouchers usually have an expired date).
Basically they are purchasing from you today, and claim it in some moment in the future.
Now, you may be asking why they would wait so long to exchange their voucher?
The quick answer is that your customers are usually concerned about the impact of the virus in local businesses, so they want to support them…
…especially the ones they love.
So make sure your current customers know you are selling those (post it on Facebook and Instagram, let your email list know that you are offering them).
See how Friends of ours Cafe are selling gift vouchers on their website to reduce the impact of the coronavirus in their local business:
So now you have a bunch of ideas to use for your coffee shop and keep up with your marketing in lockdown times.
It’s time to put them on use!
Is there anything that you are doing and I didn’t mention?
Let me know in the comments!
Like this article?
Follow us on
Leave a comment
Enjoying this post?
Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly posts like this in your inbox
More To Explore
Short answer: Yes We have been asked this question A LOT in the past month… Many local coffee shops are now looking for ways to
Let’s accepted… Claiming to “source the best coffee possible” is no longer enough to sell coffee online. And the reason for this is the abuse
There is ONE big mistake most Local specialty coffee businesses need to avoid as a consequence of the virus outbreak: Stopping their Marketing. Let me