5 Signs that your coffee marketing is a little too decaf.

June 25, 2013 by

one coffee bean in cupMarketing is like serving up a never-ending feast. And you’re the chef.

What you serve had better be tasty, nutritious and fresh. And guess what…you can’t just serve up just one meal and then go home. This is a never ending feast. Your customers want tasty, nutritious and fresh food every day!

What’s true for food is also true for marketing.

Serving up bland, uninformative and stale marketing and content won’t win you any prizes or customers. Do that and you’re on the road to decaf marketing.

And if you’re not sure whether your marketing is decaf or not, here are 5 signs to watch out for.

Decaf Moment #1: Photos of your coffees or coffee brewers are all shot against a white background

I get it. I understand the need for some shots against white backgrounds for use on your own catalog pages and on external sites like Amazon. However, that doesn’t mean that all your product photos should be shot like this.

Unless your coffee bag labels or your brewers are amazing enough to find a home in a museum of modern art, they need more than a white background to appeal to prospective customers. A plain shot of a bag of beans is about as enticing as shot of...well, a paper bag.

Why not takes some photos that give your products some context? On a kitchen counter, at the roaster, on a cupping table at a coffee farm, in a coffee shop.

People don’t to spend money on plastic appliances and bags of beans. They spend money for other reasons, ranging from convenience to a love of the coffee-making experience.

Decaf Moment #2: You think an online product sales page with a bland photo and a few words of description is enough to close the sale

Get the photo right and you’re maybe half way there. Now for the words.

On most product pages online, whether for brewers or beans, the text is simply descriptive. It’s all about the facts and the features. This brewer has an 8-cup water reservoir. This coffee comes from Colombia.

That’s it? Really?

You don’t think there is a more powerful way to use language…to hook your readers and make them feel a deep desire to buy your products over any others?

No stories to tell? No videos to share? No growers or roasters to interview? No customer feedback? No pairing suggestions with meals or pastries?

Decaf Moment #3: You don’t keep in touch with your buyers through an e-newsletter or social media

If you sell coffee, you’re lucky. Coffee is addictive. People buy coffee every week of every month, year after year. They can buy your coffees, or someone else’s.

Don’t you think it’s worth keeping in touch with your buyers on a regular basis?

You can do this with an ongoing series of emails or e-newsletters, a blog, a podcast, social media or even a video blog. Tell stories, share what’s new, feature the customer of the week.

Do this well and you’ll not only hang on to your customers for longer, but you’ll turn some of them into raging fans who will share your message with their friends and colleagues.

Decaf Moment #4: You push out just one message for all of your prospective buyers, instead of segmenting your market and your messages

Your market is not just a single homogeneous lump of people, all in one place.

Coffee buyers are aged 18, 88 and every age in between. Some are wealthy and some are not. Some just want a cup of joe each morning while others will pay a premium for a single estate coffee.

When selling a single serve coffee maker, the message that will convince a wealthy couple in the 40s to buy isn’t the same as the message you would use to convince a college student.

Also, different geographic areas of the U.S. are not united in agreement over their preferences when it comes to the blend, weight, color and grind of coffee.

If you try messages designed to fit every group, you’ll never hit the nail on the head for any single group.

Decaf Moment #5: You don’t invest in professional copywriting

This ties back to Moment #2. There are two principal types of writing on any ecommerce website. The first is editorial writing. This can be descriptive, it can involve storytelling, it can be about news and announcements. The second typeof writing is copywriting.

Copywriting is about driving sales. Copywriting is what you need on all your product pages. No, it doesn’t need to be full of hype. Smart copywriting is both an art and a science. And online copywriting is a skill all of its own.

And the best online copywriting can make a massive difference to your conversion rates and sales. (I once rewrote the subscription sales page for a major daily newspaper and conversion rates increased by over 400%.)

In other words, if your sales pages are currently being written by editorial or content writers, instead of copywriters, you are likely leaving a huge amount of money on the table.

Wrapping it up…

Marketing specialty coffee and coffee makers is still a relatively young discipline right now. The market is in a state of flux. New players are appearing every day.

The winners will be those who take a more structured and deliberate approach to selling, and make sure there isn’t even a whiff of decaf in either the planning or execution of their marketing.

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