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Uncovering the Content Marketing of Starbucks

Starbucks is one of the most recognizable American brands with locations around the world. It has redefined the coffee shop space with its unique yet streamlined offerings. Despite remaining an industry leader, Starbucks invests heavily in its own marketing strategies to attract and retain customers through email marketing campaigns, social media ads, and content on its website and mobile app.

Here are some of the ways that Starbucks utilizes content marketing in its overall strategy.

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Challenge

Starbucks understands that its customers are naturally competitive and like to win, especially free products. Therefore, Starbucks will create challenges for customers to get them engaged in spending more money at Starbucks. One such challenge might reward customers who come into the store and make a purchase five times in one week or try three new menu items. Many customers really love these marketing campaigns.

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Inspire

Starbucks also embraces seasonality by creating content marketing campaigns that reflect on certain events, whether it’s the first day of summer or school. The company knows that these emails are more likely to get opened simply because they are more timely and relevant than other types of marketing emails they may send. The company sometimes even ties in fun promotions and products to these campaigns. Pumpkin Spice Latte, anyone? By tying these seasonal products to marketing campaigns, which are often offered only for a limited time, Starbucks successfully increases demand and awareness for them.

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Educate

As a company, Starbucks makes conscious decisions about the kinds of products it carries and the type of customers it wants to serve. It uses these “fair trade” and “environmentally-friendly” products as a platform to educate customers in marketing campaigns. For example, do you know the process of harvesting Ethiopian coffee beans, or what makes different roasts taste so great? Starbucks customers might know because of an effective content marketing campaign that focused on educating them. It’s a great, non-confrontational way Starbucks is able to get even more attention from its dedicated customers.

Inform

Starbucks customers want to know about Starbucks, as a company. These are not the types of customers who would support an unethical company. By buying Starbucks products, they send a clear message of support. As a result, customers like to know about the great things that Starbucks does as a company, perhaps as a way of reconfirming that support. Starbucks sends out marketing campaigns that highlight its new corporate policies, awards, and industry recognitions to inform customers.

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For instance, when Starbucks rolled out its college tuition program for employees, it sent out an email notifying its customers of the change. In reality, customers don’t need to know anything about the employee benefits it offers. However, it became a selling point for Starbucks customers because they want to support a company that would do this.

If your company is looking to connect with customers through content marketing, use some of the strategies Starbucks uses. It certainly has served them well. Hopefully, these are strategies that can work for your business.

Melanie G.

Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She's freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.

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