digital marketing case study on Starbucks

Case Study On Starbucks’s Digital Marketing Strategies – Which You Didn’t Hear Before!

Starbucks uses multiple social media platforms to reach its target audience and interact with them. Their website is also well-optimised for search engines and markets their brand effectively yet effortless. Starbucks’s digital marketing strategies aim to bring a community together, celebrate a festival, support a cause, or make people happy.

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The pioneers of the second wave of coffee, the one that turned coffee from an energy drink to one that is flavourful, the one whose social media strategies have been revolutionary, the one that customises each cup of coffee for their customers – yes, you may have guessed it right! This blog is going to be all about Starbucks! 

Starbucks has come up with different ways of marketing ever since the beginning – from writing names on the Starbucks cup to personalising every cup of coffee to running online campaigns people can never forget! In this blog, we will break down all the strategies Starbucks uses and how they are ruling the digital world! Read on and join us on this journey.

Before anything, let’s start by talking about the roots of Starbucks. 

About Starbucks [History]

The story of Starbucks from brown aprons to green and selling fresh-roasted coffee beans, tea, and spices to coffee is an inspiring one. They have grown to welcome millions of customers each week over the following decades after 2000, becoming a part of the fabric of tens of thousands of neighbourhoods worldwide. Starbucks is committed to its mission in everything they do: to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup, and one neighbourhood at a time.

Today, Starbucks has over 30,000 retail stores around the world in 33 markets. Starbucks was interested in entering the Indian market in the 2010s. By focusing on the specific upper-class demographic in India, the company hoped to profit from the rise of coffee culture. It declared its debut in India in 2007, but then abruptly withdrew without explanation. Starbucks ultimately made its major entrance into the market in 2011.

When the world’s largest bistro chain decided to enter the Indian market, it formed a 50-50 joint venture with Tata Consumer Products Limited, Asia’s largest coffee grower.

Why Should Digital Marketers Study Starbucks’s Digital Marketing Strategies?

Digital marketers can learn a lot from Starbucks’s digital marketing strategies. They stand as a source of inspiration for other marketers to carry out creative campaigns and encourage them to carry out campaigns that work!

1. Festive Marketing

More times than less, Starbucks introduces their campaigns around festivals. Starbucks has also launched a new seasonal whole-bean coffee, the #StarbucksDiwaliBlend, for customers in the United States and select international markets. Hand-picked and obtained from Tata Estates in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the current exquisite blend is a must-try. Starbucks Diwali Blend pays homage to the region’s rich coffee legacy and skill.

It created the #SketchTheBlend promotion, in which consumers could win five free beverages by sharing their creativity on the Diwali Blend cup and sleeve.


2. Consistent Branding

Everything they make follows the same clean, modern design idea. Everything about Starbucks looks, sounds, and feels like Starbucks, from the environment in their stores to their digital content to their advertising.

Even the glasses and tumblers available for purchase have a clean, modern style. What’s the end result? Whether you’re reading a social post, waiting in line, watching a TV commercial, or interacting with Starbucks in any way, everywhere, the experience is always constant.


Starbucks’s Digital Marketing Strategies 

1. Starbucks’s Social Media Strategies

Starbucks’ customer promotion approach is driven by social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are some of the most commonly used platforms. The coffee firm invests in paid social media ads in addition to the organic content, leveraging its abundance of demographic data to target specific consumer groups and new audiences.

In a nutshell, this is how Starbucks is performing on the different social media platforms:

Platform No. of followersEngagement rate
Facebook1.1 million
YouTube1.03K subscribers26.18%

Starbucks’s Instagram Marketing Strategies

Starbucks India’s Instagram page (@starbucksindia) has over 325k followers. You can find a variety of promotional posts, posts featuring their products, and starring their employees in their content bucket. 

Off late, they have made multiple posts on their collaboration with Sabyasachi, introducing their new range of cups introduced in order to support the education of female children. 

The Sabyasachi x Starbucks announcement


The big CSR collaboration was announced on Instagram by both brands, with similar posts and captions. The power of social media has clearly shifted from just getting updates from your friends to something that’s a lot more significant. 

What is Starbucks’s Instagram engagement rate?

Starbucks’s Instagram engagement rate is 0.87% and they receive an average of 2,944 likes and 20 comments per post. 

Starbucks Instagram Engagement

Starbucks’s Facebook Marketing Strategies

The social media marketing strategies that Starbucks is using include special offers, coupons, sapling, and discounts distributed through Facebook because Facebook is the main social networking site for Starbucks. In 2008, Starbucks promoted the world’s biggest Facebook ad campaign that included Facebook members in 16 that will be served ads for a Starbucks charity sing-along of The Beatles ‘All You Need Is Love’ when users log in. 

Starbucks undertook the biggest global Facebook ad campaign; the purpose was to raise awareness of the project, which was a celebration of its partnership with Sabyasachi, to support girls’ education. This particular campaign has invited people to buy mugs and cups in stores.


More importantly, Starbucks effectively manages a variety of engaging content updates, such as blog posts and films that cover all aspects of coffee, such as how to cultivate coffee beans, as well as pieces of writing about Starbucks and Starbucks employees. The tone and pitch of the updates are educational and easygoing. Even on their own, product updates are maintained broad enough to remain engaging, such as by offering and introducing new music and book reviews to be displaced and for sale in their cafes. As a result of the well-managed and high-quality status update material, the social networking site has an extremely active fan following. Each update receives hundreds of feedback and comments.

Starbucks’s Twitter Marketing Strategies

Like its Instagram and Facebook pages, Starbucks’s Twitter (@StarbucksIndia) posts the same kind of content. Starbucks interacts with its followers regularly by replying to their questions and retweeting what others say about the company. Twitter users can also receive an e-coupon for a fresh coffee or create their virtual drink to share on the social media network.

Starbucks’s YouTube Marketing Strategies

The videos uploaded on Starbucks’s YouTube website late too are related to their new collaboration with Sabyasachi. 

Starbuck's Youtube Videos Marketing Strategies

Starbucks’ YouTube films are more about coffee than about their brand or products. This is why YouTube has such a large subscriber base. Starbucks employs marketing and instructional videos to deliver information and build relationships with its followers and viewers. Starbucks offers a variety of educational movies on topics such as the origins of various coffee blends, how to make the ideal cup of coffee, farmer stories from Costa Rica, and much more. Starbucks allows people to post its films anywhere on its website to increase its visibility.

2. Starbucks’s SEO Strategies

Website Overview

Starbucks has a website with a ‘good’ domain authority of 44. Their website ensures complete user-friendliness and is easy to navigate. With subtle colours, clear fonts, and even the option to order their coffee for takeaway/delivery is available. 

Starbucks SEO Audit - ubersuggest

The only place where the font is a little difficult to read is for the drink’s name. Marketers should ensure that all the fonts used in a website are easy to read and do not demand much effort from the user.

Starbuck's Website Image


With over 24,851 organic keywords, Starbucks can get 4,09,828 organic monthly traffic, which is amazing. 

Their top organic keywords are: 

  • Starbucks India 
  • Starbucks Indian 
  • Starbucks India menu 
  • India Starbucks menu 
  • Starbucks Mumbai 
Starbucks Organic Keywords

GMB Page

If you are a local business with a physical presence (particularly if you have many locations), you must register with Google My Business. It’s free, pretty simple to set up, and when it comes to free promotion.

If you look at what Starbucks does, you’ll notice that they do an excellent job of setting up Google My Business sites for each of their locations, but some businesses never get around to setting one up for all of their locations. It takes a lot of effort initially, but as you can see, it pays off in the end.

Starbuck's Google My Business Local SEO

Reviews on Google

Reviews are quite important when it comes to local searches. As much as we’d like it to be true, simply creating a listing isn’t enough. You must consider it from the standpoint of the search engine. Businesses with more reviews (especially excellent ones) will rank higher (as seen below) since it provides search engines with more data points and demonstrates that people have great things to say about them, implying that it must be important.

After getting listed, one of the most difficult aspects of local optimisation is building reviews. Getting reviews isn’t easy, but if you put your marketing hat on and apply your imagination, you can do just as well as Starbucks.

Starbuck's Customer Reviews on Google

Starbucks’s Top Digital Marketing Campaigns 

1. Cup Contests

Starbucks has always been ahead in using user-generated content and ensuring that its customers receive a personalised experience. Their two cup contests – the red and white cup contests- generated some buzz around their brand and got people posting about it online. 

2. The Red Cup Art

The “Red Cup Design challenge” was launched in 2016 by Starbucks, through which they invited people to design their red cups and post them on their social media wall. By the end of the challenge, Starbucks chose the best 5 designs and launched cups with those designs across all their stores. 

Red Cup Art - StarBuck's

3. The White Cup Art

The #WhiteCupContest was a 2014 campaign that encouraged its customers to doodle on white cups and post their creations online on Twitter or Instagram. The person with the best design could have their designs printed on a limited edition reusable cup. 

White Cup Art - StarBuck's

4. To be human

In early 2019, Starbucks launched ‘Starbuck Stories,’ a content website that focuses on a storytelling about the company’s social effect. This information is also shared on its respective social media channels, such as Twitter and Instagram.

To be human - Starbucks' Instagram Campaign

Starbucks’ illustrated series #ToBeHuman is one of the platform’s most effective and popular types of content. Short but captivating video drawings are overlaid with the voice of several Starbucks employees sharing personal and encouraging experiences.

5. The Unicorn Frappuccino 

In April 2017, the Unicorn Frappuccino was only available for three weeks, but its impact lasted much longer. It was no surprise that the drink – a sweet, vibrantly coloured mix – erupted on social media. Starbucks produced the limited-edition beverage with the expectation that dedicated customers would share it on social media.

The Unicorn Frappuccino - Starbuck's

On Instagram alone, the hashtag #unicornfrappucino is linked to over 150,410 photographs. The majority of the most recent photographs are recreations of the Starbucks original, demonstrating how long-lasting limited-edition products can be.

Starbucks has continued experimenting with secret menu items, successfully generating excitement on social media and directing customers into stores.


As you can see, Starbucks has made inroads into the internet arena to promote its products and brand. Do you want to come up with your standout tactics? To strengthen your company’s digital marketing methods, enroll in Digital Scholar’s online digital marketing course. This course is for anyone who wants to understand everything about digital marketing and how to apply it to their own business. Also, try this free digital marketing course to get started.

Are you prepared to take your company’s image to new heights? Enrolling in an online digital marketing course is the best option!

Which Starbucks campaign is your favourite? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thanks for Reading!!

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Digital Scholar

Digital Scholar is a premier agency-styled digital marketing institute in India. Which offers an online digital marketing course and a free digital marketing course worldwide to elevate their digital skills and become industry experts. Digital Scholar is headed by Sorav Jain and co-founder Rishi Jain, who are pioneers in the field of digital marketing. Digital Scholar’s blogs touch upon numerous aspects of digital marketing and help you get intensive ideas of different domains of digital marketing.

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