The January Thaw: Inspire Customers to Chill at Your Bar All Winter

Image Source: The Huffington Post

There’s nothing like the combination of New Year’s resolutions, post-holiday bills, and winter weather to impact business. When customers are more inclined to watch movies, their wallets and their waistlines, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to come to your place. But it does mean that you’ll have to step up your marketing efforts to get them there. Here are some ideas to jumpstart your brainstorming to entice customers to get off the couch and into your bar this winter.

Choose a theme for your winter marketing campaign. And carry it through all of your marketing activities. For example, a “Reject or Rejoice Winter,” campaign presents lots of opportunities to engage customers and keep your place top of mind. Some ways to do this include a poll on social media asking customers to share their most favorite and least favorite aspects of the season. You can then use their feedback to spark online conversations. Also, consider running a contest where customers enter photos or videos showing them participating in their favorite winter activity for a chance to win cool prizes, which are awarded at a special event in the bar. During that event, encourage customers to check in online, share photos and upload videos. While you’re engaging customers in person, ask them if they’d like to join your mailing list to receive special insider offers and news. Along with boosting your online presence, this allows you to get to know your customers better so you can create more targeted marketing campaigns that inspire them to come back and bring even more customers to your door.

Present a compelling offer when customers subscribe to your email and introduce a friend to your place. For example, VIP table service, backstage passes to meet the band, or time in the DJ booth are ways to let your regulars know you appreciate their patronage while inspiring them to talk up your bar with friends.

Throw a “halfway to summer” or a “countdown to spring” party. Reserve one or two nights this winter to pull out all the stops, including hiring professional dancers, a popular DJ, an up-and-coming band, or even a guest celebrity. You can quickly fill the place with your ideal customers if you send a personalized message to those who have given you the green light to contact them through email or text. As an added incentive, offer your insiders a price break for advance ticket purchases.

Make a big deal out of the smaller dates on the calendar. Ground Hog Day and Leap Year are great excuses for running smaller marketing promotions, particularly since they fall during the slower days of the week in 2016. For example, consider drink specials based on whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. Also, since February 29 is Sadie Hawkins Day, consider hosting a singles event. [Check out the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Holiday Calendar here.]

Establish your bar as the place to watch all the sports action. If you thought the competition in professional sports was fierce, it’s nothing compared to all the bars angling to attract sports fans, particularly during playoffs. To stand out from the crowd, integrate your online and offline marketing campaigns. For example, run a sports related trivia contest on Twitter with cool prizes that are redeemed at your bar. Or you can encourage customers to prove their fan pride with photos on Instagram or Facebook. Reward them with a special offer if they include your unique hashtag and/or turn the idea into a healthy competition for most enthusiastic fan.

By mapping out a winter marketing plan, you’ll have a steady stream of customers throughout the season and avoid the slowdown that typically happens after the holidays.

To learn more from industry experts like Ron Cates, and to be inspired to create incredible promotions, register now for the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show! Use code SAVE20BARNEWS to receive $20 off any pass!

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