6 Cafe Marketing Ideas To Help You Connect and Build Your Audience

We know what it’s like running a cafe: Your barista just cancelled their shift, the milk delivery is late and somehow the grinder has stopped working. To top it off, you’ve somehow just run out of cup holders too.


Does it ever get any easier? Nope. The cafe down the road is constantly buzzing and you’re left scratching your head wondering how you can get a piece of their pie. We might not know exactly how to get you in on that action, but here are a few cafe marketing ideas to help owners connect, add value and grow your audience so that more people are lining up at your venue.

  • 1. Be personal, tell your story.

As much as we love coffee, we love the people behind it even more. The same can be said for your customers. The coffee you serve helps them get up in the morning, but your service keeps them around, and your story separates you from the competition. They might stock the same products, but their story can never be the same as yours.

You don’t have to write a speech, stand on the counter or scream it at customers to be effective in this area of your cafe marketing strategy — simply posting on social media should be enough. Talk about things that are unique to your cafe: team members, inside jokes, personal stories or even a few embarrassing hiccups you have experienced as a cafe owner.


  • 2. List your business on Google and Bing.

Looking for a product or service? Just google it. Much of what we do relies on the information we get from search engines. In fact, Google processes around 63,000 search queries per second.

But Google isn’t the only search engine. Bing receives around 1 billion visits per month, and is quite popular amongst older demographics, which makes it worth setting up a profile — especially considering it’s free! We feel that these are really unique marketing ideas for cafe owners, so create and complete a business profile and make it easier for more customers to find you.


  • 3. Step up your social media game.

We like to think of social media profiles as quick-access websites, especially in hospitality. It’s where most people go to get a quick idea of what you’re about. Here are our best tips to help you improve your cafe social media marketing, but remember to add your own voice and personality — make it uniquely you!

Update your bio.

It’s absolutely essential to make sure the bio on your social media profiles is as accurate and descriptive as possible. Generally speaking, we recommend including the following information:

  1. Cafe name
  2. Operating days and hours
  3. Tagline
  4. A link to the website or preferred ordering platform
  5. Address


You can experiment with bios in your notepad on your phone. Lastly, make sure to set up your public business information on Instagram. This will allow you to display your category, contact options and action buttons (like ‘book now’). If you’ve already put in the hard yards to set up a profile on Google and Bing, this step should be a little easier.

Post consistently good content.

We cannot stress this one enough — with an emphasis on good. Posting consistently bad content is known as spam. Don’t do that; it won’t go down well with your audience.

Most of the time, people use Instagram to check out a cafe before they give the coffee a chance. Your first impression is a massive factor in purchase decisions. Take the time to get your cafe marketing strategy on social media right, think about what your audience will want to see, and keep it fresh — avoid posting the same things too often. Save time and schedule posts with a meta business account, and make use of free tools like UNUM to plan your grid’s look.

Experiment with stories, reels and TikTok.

Make your cafe marketing unique and do what others are not doing. Give your manager or another trusted staff member the logins to your social media account and ask them to post stories of what is happening in the cafe. Stories are a quick way to consume content and are becoming one of the most preferred ways to interact with brands. 58% of users say they are more interested in a brand after seeing a story, so it’s worth taking the time to post one every now and then.

According to Meta, video accounts for almost half of the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram. Short-form videos are a cheap, easy and fun way to captivate an audience and showcase your brand.

Make your location known, even on Social Media.

Get strategic with your cafe social media marketing. As good as search engines are for information, social media platforms (particularly Instagram) have turned into search engines of their own, especially for people checking out cafes. The explore feature on Instagram is incredibly sophisticated; make sure you include your suburb location when you post on Instagram to help you reach local audiences. This can come in the caption, bio, or even in hashtags.

Show your best side all day, everyday.

Looking good on social media has gotten so much easier. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a professional photo shoot to help you advertise your products. Get creative with marketing ideas for your cafe, there are a ton of free photography courses available on YouTube, phone cameras are always improving, and free tools like Canva can help you design posters, flyers and other digital assets for free! It is important to note that curated photos still have a place, so if you’re interested, give us a call and we can help you out.

Create a qr code link to your socials.

Make it even easier for people visiting your cafe to find you on social media. The best part about this is that it will cost you no more than a latte — all you need is a printer and a laminator. But wait, how do I generate the QR code? It’s simple: all you have to do is copy paste a link from your preferred social media platform into this QR code generator and Bob’s your uncle!

  • 4. Host events and connect with local businesses.

We’ve covered a few of the digital elements to include in your cafe marketing plan, but there are other great traditional marketing opportunities for cafe owners to capitalise on.

Hiring out your space is a great way to grow your audience and earn some extra money. Reach out to local artists, groups and businesses to advertise your space for hire. Branch out and offer small businesses a space in your shop to sell their products. Facebook groups (like local neighbourhood groups) are useful message spaces, while also getting your brand in front of new eyes. Join these groups and post relevant updates – do not be spammy!

  • 5. Offer deals to customers.

Loyalty cards and other deals are proving to be more and more important as our economy feels the effects of the last few years and inflation kicks in. We’re feeling it, and so are customers — rewarding loyalty goes a long way. Try to make the most of your quiet periods by offering small discounts on coffee to loyalty card holders.

We also recommend offering discounts to service workers and other key local professionals like teachers. If you can afford it, it is a great way to grow your audience and support your local community.

  • 6. Experiment with ads.

Social media ads are great if you have a hefty budget to back them, but if you don’t, your ads are more than likely going to get lost in the crowd – have a good think about it before you consider including social media ads in your cafe marketing plan. Instead, implement traditional advertising and invest in a sign board. Or better yet, reach out to us and we’ll supply you with a Zest A-frame to help you catch a second look from people passing by.

We also recommend printing pamphlets and handing them out to a school or other local businesses. Running ads on Google maps, Waze, or in your local newspaper (especially if you have an event) is a cheaper way to capitalise on a very local audience and build your brand with the most relevant consumers.

Caffeine & Connection

Once you have a firm understanding of your marketing strategy, schedule a meeting with your team to work through this list, then set your goals and monitor the performance every month. A good cafe marketing strategy evolves with the times, so If something isn’t quite working out, give it another month or two and then don’t be afraid to cut it.

Marketing opportunities for cafe owners are abundant, but they only work when you put in the effort behind them.