Bar Marketing Strategies for Premium Events
- Posted on: Jun 15, 2018
Our founder Joe Hand Sr. likes to say that nothing draws a crowd like a big fight, and there are few people who would know as well as the man who helped arrange the first Ali-Frazier fight! But while our exclusive events have great value, it’s not as simple as ordering one and turning on the right channel on fight night.
No matter what type of event you’re planning, it’s not enough to just book talent or buy content - you need to reach your customers and build excitement. In other words, you need a bar marketing strategy.
As event marketing experts for years, here are the most effective promotional strategies we’ve seen:
Develop a Social Media Strategy
Everyone is posting on social media, so you need to make sure you’re engaging your fans with unique content. Below are just a handful of the best ways to do so.
Creating a Facebook event is a must! Ask us to co-host with you, we’d be happy to accept. Facebook events are searchable by Google, so fans looking for a venue in your area will be able to find you. Even better, people who liked your page will get a notification that you’ve added an event. And if they show interest in attending, their friends will too! Every time you update the Facebook event, a reminder will be sent to those who’ve indicated interest.
Not surprisingly, we’ve also found video content, especially short, high-energy clips, works best to grab attention. Our partners at UFC, Showtime Championship Boxing, and UFC produce some of the best video packages in the world - and they’re available free in our marketing hub!
If you don’t have time to craft your own social posts, we’ll do the work for you! For each event, Joe Hand Promotions provides a social media cheat sheet with suggested posts for Facebook and Twitter. Just copy and paste at our recommended intervals and be done with it! When putting these posts together though, consider “boosting” posts to your followers for as little as $5 a day. Without the extra nudge, your posts may be reaching as few as 1-2 percent of your page’s total audience.
Last but not least, creating a custom hashtag specific to your location or event can do wonders. For example, we like to use #JHPUFC on UFC nights. The best custom hashtags relate to your business and may include things like your name, location, a slogan, a date, or a catchy phrase. These special hashtags will help you brand your event and grow your audience.
Create the Right Environment
When crafting any kind of advertising, be it for social media or any other channel, it’s important to remember the three factors bar watchers find most important in picking a place to watch an event, which should all be reflected in your advertising messaging:
- The presence of large-screen TVs
- The number of TVs in the venue
Don’t forget to also include a call to action or an offer, including things like buckets of beer, pre- or post-fight specials, VIP seating or reservations, special menus, etc. Our research shows ads are more effective when they engage rather than just raise awareness about the event.
It’s also imperative that you pay attention to the timing of your marketing. Did you know that 71 percent of bar watchers plan where to watch a week to two days before the event?
Develop Your Bar Experience
Bar owners and managers across the country are always looking for new ways to promote their businesses. And in the long run, what it comes down to is the experience customers have at a bar. A good, different experience is what will keep them coming back for more.
First, figure out who your target audience is. Sports bars, in particular, should make sure they’re always showing different sporting events in order to make their mark as ‘the place to go’ for local sports fans. But, while showing different events is very important, there are plenty of other factors that go into developing your bar experience.
Coming up with unique and cool bar concepts is what will make you a recurring destination for fans. Here are a few marketing tips to attract customers your bar:
Think outside of the box! Come up with ideas that will make most likely help you pack the house.
- Know your audience. Establish the kind of bar you’d like to run.
- Develop different promotions and watch parties.
- Make different food and drink specials.
- Create ambiance with different entertainment.
Create an Online Presence
In today’s world, businesses who aren’t on social media won’t be considered by customers. Online visibility is what will set you apart from your competitors.
Having engaging social accounts have immeasurable value. Businesses who aren’t using social platforms give off a “dead” look to prospective customers. By creating your online presence, you are saying to the world that your venue is the place to be!
To catch the attention of new business, make sure you are posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. If you have a website, make sure it’s updated! We have several best practices that we encourage you to follow. There are plenty of points you can be executing:
And above all else, be real and creative! Brainstorm different bar game ideas or happy hour ideas to help you stand out from the average bar. Because when customers have a different experience than ever before, they’ll be back next time with a group of friends.
- Utilize paid and organic advertising
- Create a Facebook event
- Use Twitter in real-time
- Advertise upcoming events on your website
- Use email marketing
Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Once you’ve done what you can to develop your bar experience and online presence, word-of-mouth marketing is what will continue to get both new and repeat customers through your door.
First and foremost, make every night at your bar special. Get customers to visit once and then make them want to come back for more! Like we talked about before, come up with signature plates and drinks for different days. That will entice them to visit and come back next weekend with friends. Offer up giveaways to your visitors. Reward repeat customers or setup a referral program. Do whatever you can tol get the word out about your venue.
But, what can help you infinitely is the great service you provide. A host, server or bartender that makes a customer feel welcome or at home will increase the chances of a second visit. Educate your staff on your weekend events so they can plant the idea with their guests and encourage them to come back later in the week for whichever event your venue has planned!
Get Ideas From Your Customers
The best business owners know that they can never stop learning. And who are the best people to learn from? Your customers, of course!
So many of our venue partners quickly learn that they should be showing premium events because their customers asked about it. Don’t wait until they come to you - go talk to them. Set up surveys or encourage staff members to start conversations with guests.
Don’t wait for them to come to you with feedback! Be proactive and start the conversation. By doing this, your guests will start to feel important and will feel as though their opinion matters. When a customer feels appreciated, there is no question if they’ll be visiting again.
When you order one of our exclusive sporting events, you’ll receive both point-of-sale materials and digital assets to promote the event in your store, on the web, and across social media. You will also receive access to a toolkit of marketing resources and our proven event-marketing system. But our best resource is our team of event consultants and marketing professionals.
If you’re interested in learning more about our proven bar marketing strategies, contact us today! We’re always available for one-on-one consultations and will walk you through our best practices for promoting your first event.