Simply running a bar isn’t enough to guarantee successful returns, especially if you’re new to the scene. Constantly marketing your bar is crucial, and one way to do this is by creating useful and interesting online content. In this blog post, we’ll talk about all the ways you can use to create and even reuse older content and share it with your patrons.
Gauge your audience’s interests
Are you running a sports bar? Or maybe something more quiet, a hangout spot for friends. Whichever your niche center your marketing campaign should be relevant to its associated audience, including your bar’s identity. This will shape out everything you do, from the drinks on your menu to the color of your walls.
For example, if you’re running a cocktail bar, show that your lounge is upscale, with emphasis on signature drinks, luxury and a fine dining experience. If you’re marketing a music bar, spread the word about next week’s lineup, and if you have a genre preference, make that obvious.
And that’s just the start.
Create an email list
An email list is crucial for any kind of business, especially with promoting a bar, because it acts like a direct line between you and your customers. Emails can be used at any occasion, whether to invite for a special event, a menu update or an upcoming giveaway.
But no one is going to subscribe to your email on their own. That’s where your content comes in.
Give a discount
Customers will not give you their email address on their own. You’ll need to offer something in return. A discount, or maybe even a chance to enter a lucky draw for something bigger (depending on your budget) is well worth the effort.
Restaurant review cards
Review cards are an easy way to get feedback and emails for your email list. These are especially great for upscale bars where the dining experience and ambiance need to be top notch to guarantee patronage. You get to listen to your audience, and if they trust you, they’ll give you their email address.
Note: It’s necessary to respect customer privacy, and to not inundate them with emails. No more than 2 promotional emails should be sent per week, and an unsubscribe option should be easy to find.
Twitter and Instagram revolve around hashtags, and effective usage can make all the difference, including making your content viral. The first step is to make a hashtag and own it. The Drinking Gentleman has done exactly just that with their posts by adding the hashtag #monsieurdrink.
The hashtag allows potential customers to not only find their posts, but also share their own experiences. This is a double edged sword though. While many customers can share the great time they had at your bar, others can also use this hashtag to voice their complaints and reservations.
Dealing with complaints
Using your own hashtags demands a lot of work. One of your tasks is to skim through posts made with this hashtag, looking for complaints, feedback and suggestions accordingly. Rule of thumb: Always be cordial and patient when dealing with customers.
Using positive responses
Positive reviews should be shared across social media. You have a few options:
- Temporary posts via Instagram stories. Create a fun graphic, and add the customer’s name and review.
- Occasionally share your best reviews as social media posts.
- Use customer reviews as a footer for your website home page, about page or promotional emails.
A discount for a share
Not everyone will be willing to publicly share their experience online. A little nudge, such as a little discount can give customers enough reason to share a photo on Instagram with your hashtag.
Additional primers about hashtags
Getting your hashtag popular to the point where it will be actively used by customers is by no means easy. On first glance, no one will recall your hashtag whether you tell them by mouth, a flyer or an online ad. The hashtag therefore needs to be added in most of your marketing imagery.
Here are some ways you can share your hashtag with your audience:
- Create flyers for your next event, include your hashtag in them.
- Add your hashtag to most of your Instagram and Twitter posts.
- Let your customers know via word of mouth.
Create a blog post
Is a blog necessary for a successful business? Yes! Having a functional blog with quality content can mean the difference between online obscurity and being found in Google searches.
So what should you post on your blog?
Announce upcoming events
An open mic night, a themed party or giveaway can all be announced on your blog. Simply inviting doesn’t always do the trick. Promise fun, festivity and something great in return. And these can’t just be empty promises, show it off. Share photos of similar events you’ve done in the past to create hype.
If you’re running a music bar, use your blog to talk about the various bands that get the chance to perform, along with schedules for upcoming daily performances.
Occasionally, you can share a recipe or two for a cocktail, with ingredients, preparation details and additional tips. This is something that anyone can appreciate, and useful knowledge rarely goes sour. Just remember to not go overboard with this approach, and always mention that while one can always prepare their own brew at home, they should come to you (the professionals) for the best experience.
Food drink pairs
A common dilemma when ordering is often combining foods with your preferred drink. Will this spicy dish go with an ‘earthy’ drink or something sweet?
Know the ins and outs of your dishes and devise the best combinations, and list them out. Your customers will be grateful, and potential customers may just find a reason to give your bar a shot.
Prepare for the Season
Exciting events happen throughout the year, and it’s your job to stay on top if it and prepare way in advance. St Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest, Halloween and Christmas are some of the many events that need your attention, and will get you a huge turnover if you play your cards right.
Each seasonal event has its own visual aesthetic. Luckily, we’ve prepared a wide assortment of templates for some major events at your disposal.
St Patrick’s Day
Go green this St Patrick’s Day with your advertisements! Begin advertisements with any of our banners below, or take your pick from our St Patrick’s Day templates collection.
Drink beer and be merry. So bring on the pretzels, sauerkraut and beverages and give your customers a good time. Expect your advertisements to be shades of mustard and blue. Pick any of our designs below, or customize from our Oktoberfest collection:
When the moon darkens, and the dead awaken, Halloween will be upon us! But before that, you can go with the mood with some purples, blues and reds of Halloween with some of our templates below, or browse our entire collection of Halloween Designs:
And as the year draws to a close, Christmas will be right around the corner. Whether you’re announcing a new offer for Christmas or just sending out a hearty wish, keep your marketing material top-notch!
Something to take away
Here’s a quick recap of everything you’ve learned in this blog post:
- Email lists are crucial; use these to share discounts, announce giveaways and news. Few, well crafted emails have the best impact.
- Use restaurant review cards to gather feedback and build your email list.
- Create and own a hashtag so customers can share great experiences (and voice their concerns).
- Use blog posts to announce an upcoming open mic night, share recipes and offer great combos with your food and drinks.
- Create thematic flyers and social media posts for upcoming events. Use PosterMyWall design templates and be done in minutes.