Having a savvy marketing strategy is important for success but independent and small bars and clubs don’t always have the budget for those marketing dollars. However, all great marketing strategies utilize free marketing opportunities, says Nina Maurer, marketing coordinator at Identity Management Group, which owns Sutra, Ten Asian Bistro and Ten Nightclub.
These strategies include the benefits of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “Social media is beneficial because it gets your name out. However, it takes time and dedication to consistently do a couple posts,” she says.
“We don’t have a deep budget when it comes to marketing on social media,” so Maurer suggests doing pay per click advertising when needed for a big promotion. “You only pay for who clicks on your ad.” This will help to control your budget and boost your media presence online.
Bar owners should also pay attention to review sites such as Yelp. People go to those sites and rely on them to provide insight information on a venue that they might not have been to before, Maurer adds. “The more good reviews the more Yelp can contribute to positive word-of-mouth promotion.”
Video screens in your venue that advertise the business’s Twitter and Instagram can help grow followers and is an easy way for bar and nightclub owners to maximize awareness to their clientele.
Once you have a strong social media presence, couple it with an intense guest interaction program in order to have a successful marketing strategy while keeping the budget down. Delivering guests incentives to stop by can involve offering guests free drinks, if they “like” the bar or club’s Facebook page or check-in on Foursquare. “People are going to places that provide incentives,” says Maurer.
In addition there are “old school ways” of doing things, she says. If done properly, flyers can be very helpful, especially if owners target their key demographics. “That kind of promotion is fairly inexpensive and quite accurate,” she says.
Maurer also suggests taking advantage of the local radio stations. “The radio stations are a great outlet especially if you can work out a deal,” she says. “We’ve done several radio promos in exchange for getting the station interviews with high profile DJs we have coming for the weekend.”
“With everyone on such tight marketing budgets,” she says, “you want to make sure your dollars are going through beneficial marketing campaigns.”