Running a bar isn’t enough to guarantee successful returns, no matter the excellence of your service or the quality of beverages. Nobody’s going to know about your existence unless you make an effort in that front.
Marketing your bar is necessary for success, and content marketing is a great way to establish authority and generate interest. It helps you tackle your audience’s problems by providing a solution that’s better than what your competitors offer. With content marketing, you’ll also make the best use out of each social media network, creating content that works best for each medium.
Gauge your Audience’s Interests
Are you running a sports bar? Or maybe something more quiet, a hangout spot for friends. Whatever the niche, 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.
Once you have the right audience in mind, you can go onwards to create content. And there’s so much you can do in this avenue.
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 of communication between you and your customers. Emails can be used at any occasion, whether to invite for a special event, a menu update, an upcoming giveaway, or provide your expertise on bartending.
But no one is going to subscribe to your email on their own. That’s where your content comes in. Here are some effective strategies to get your audience to sign up for your content.
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 ambience 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.
Repurposing Content with Email
Once you have an audience for your email list, you can go way beyond the occasional discount email. Instead, you can incorporate regular content from your other media, such as your blog, and make this a part of your weekly, or monthly newsletter.
Think from your audience’s perspective, and add content that would interest them the most. Wouldn’t it be great if your favourite bar:
- Sent you an email update of this week’s music/stand-up artist lineup.
- Occasionally sent you a recipe for a drink or snack you can make at home.
- Sent you a list of recommendations of food items that go with your favourite drink.
Twitter and Instagram revolve around hashtags, and effective use of hashtags can make all the difference, and it can even make 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. Use it not only for promotion purposes, but to also capture feedback, reviews and customer complaints along the way.
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 of their experience at your bar on Instagram with your branded 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.
- Go the extra mile with flyers: Add your hashtag to your flyer’s tear-off tabs.
Tear-off tabs are useful, because they allow interested people to take a bit of the information you display on your flyer. This can include contact, your social media hashtags or your trending hashtag. With the PosterMyWall editor, it’s a free add-on to your flyer, and you have so much more to gain from it.
Feedback and Complaints
Getting feedback means also coming across complaints, which isn’t a bad thing. How you deal with those complaints makes all the difference.
Be on the lookout for all kinds of complaints, and deal with them as soon as possible. Skim through your posts and DMs and deal with complaints, feedback and suggestions as soon as possible.
Using Positive Responses
Positive reviews should be shared online. You have a couple of 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. Remember, user generated content is the best content!
- Use customer reviews as a footer for your website home page, about page and other landing pages.
- Footers for promotional emails or email newsletters. If you have a constant stream of positive reviews, you can add a new review every week, or month (depending on your email schedule).
Creating Instagram stories may seem a daunting task, but it’s actually really easy, with our favourite online design tool, PosterMyWall. PosterMyWall offers customizable Instagram story templates, offering a nice minimalist aesthetic which works really well when highlighting customer reviews.
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 on Google searches.
Whether your goal is to gain more customers at your venue, or offer your expertise in the bartending industry, a blog will be your indispensable tool. So what to do with 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. If it’s a sports bar, put up a schedule for next week’s screenings.
Educate with Detailed Guides
A blog can’t run simply by publishing event updates. Instead, you should answer your reader’s questions. Here, detailed guides offer a great avenue. Offer your expertise on a variety of topics from running your bar, to helping prospective bartenders look for work.
Go a step further by creating highly detailed ebooks such as one made by Crafty Bartending, which equips aspiring bartenders with the knowledge and skills they need to know to land their first job.
The great thing about value-focused articles is, occasionally sharing on social media and email will get you the audience you need. Couple this with organic traffic from Google and you’re good to go. Just make sure to use an interesting header and the right keywords!
Prepare Content for Your Newsletter
Most content that goes to your newsletter (discussed earlier) should come from your blog. A newsletter with well-written, relevant articles guarantees a steady readership for your blog.
It’s not always possible to add your own content to a newsletter. Maybe the season is slow, or a blog post missed a deadline. An easy strategy to help you sift through content worthy of curation is by checking if:
- The blog post is relevant to your industry.
- It’s genuinely interesting, and you had a good time reading it.
Repurposing for Social Media
Any piece of content, such as a blog post on a list of beers to try on your visit to London can be repurposed for all kinds of social media posts. Here’s how you can go about it:
- Design the blog post cover on PosterMyWall, and share the blog post on Facebook and Twitter.
- Resize the blog post cover to a Pinterest graphic, using PosterMyWall’s resize option. Add the blog post link in the pin.
- Take individual headers of the blog post, repurpose those to a video, and share it on YouTube.
- Fancy slides? Convert your blog post to a series of informative slides, and share it on Slideshare.
Once you’ve figured out the kind of content you want to create, the options you get via repurposing are near limitless. Now it’s your turn to get your creative juices flowing and begin content marketing.