Marketing is a key part to the success of any business and marketing your bar well can make or break it. Check out these bar marketing strategies to help most effectively promote your business and bring in customers.
Social Media Marketing
With the rise of social media, having a strong online presence is important to bringing in new customers. Create accounts on various social media sites and keep them updated regularly. Make your posts interesting and useful to your audience to keep them engaged and interested in your accounts. If they are interested in your accounts and what you post, they will remember your bar the next time they head out for a drink. Social media is also a great way to keep your customers updated on what’s going on with your bar. If you are offering a food/beverage special or holding an event, you want your customers to know about it and social media is a great way to keep them informed.
Specials & Events
Having specials and events at your bar is a great way to bring in new customers and keep returning customers coming back. Everyone likes a good deal and having specials like happy hours, or flash discounts are a great way to bring people in. Having specials going on during the big game is a great way to make your bar stand out from the competition. Holidays are also a great promotional tool, including lesser known National holidays such as National Irish Coffee Day (January 25), National Cocktail Day (March 24), National Beer Day (April 7), or National Lager Day (December 10). Check out this list of National drinking holidays you could celebrate at your bar!
Hosting events is also a great way to attract customers. If your local sports team is playing a game, consider having a watching event at your bar. If your bar is in close proximity to the sports venue host a post-game event to celebrate or mourn, considering how the game goes. Stay updated on what’s going on in your local community and get involved in events that could relate to your bar. Bringing in customers that are already out for another event is easier than bringing in customers straight from their homes. Don’t be afraid to ask your returning customers for input on what events and specials they would most enjoy! Getting inside the minds of your customers is the best way to appeal to them.
Keep It Local
Supporting the local economy is important to many people and serving locally-made brews and making food and appetizers from local producers may turn the tide for people to choose your bar. Research breweries and local artisans in your area and see if you can serve their products in your bar. This not only supports your local economy; it also creates an important connection with those in your community. Creating connections is the best way to bring in repeat customers and create loyalty to your bar. Supporting local events and businesses is also a great way to get your name out there and reach out to potential customers. If someone sees or hears the name of your bar at their favorite local business, they are much more likely to check it out the next time they go out.
Alliances and Partnerships
Another way to get people into your bar is to create partnerships or alliances with breweries and have events around those partnerships. One of the events that bars often do are “tap takeovers.” For a set amount of time a bar will have most all their taps taken over by one brewer. This event often draws in people excited to try beers they normally don’t have available to them. Having exclusive or rare beers and merchandise to give away is a great way to make your tap takeover unique and get more people involved in the event. Another event option is to have a small day long festival with a number of partners. Having unique opportunities and exclusive beers at events like these are important in bringing people in and creating a memorable event for your customers.
Know Who Your Customers Are
To most effectively market to potential customers, you need to know who those customers are. If you own a sports bar, your customers are most likely going to be sports fans. Make your promotions and events related to sports and play to the interests of your customers. If your bar is known for being involved in the local community, make sure you are reaching out to customers who are also involved in the community. Consider promotions that celebrate small local business and community events. If you are located in a college town, consider having student discount nights, or having events after finals or during school breaks. If your local college has a sports team hold events after games for locals and visitors who came to your area for the game. Again, the best way to know your customers is to talk to them. Ask for input and reviews and check review sites like Yelp to see what your customers love and what could be improved.
Good marketing is important to the success of your bar. Make sure you are getting the word out about your bar and the events and specials happening. Create connections to your community to keep customers coming back and work with the feedback you receive to create the best experience possible for your customers. Cheers!