Online and offline bar marketing can help make your location more of a destination, and bring in customers who may not have otherwise come your way.
Why Engage in Marketing for Bars?
If you’re opening a new bar or rebranding a concept, this answer might be obvious. For established bars, however, the answer may not be so apparent. Foot traffic may seem sufficient, the bottom line may not be suffering, and the stream of regular customers may seem to provide a solid base. The bar and restaurant industries are notoriously difficult for a reason, however. Competition and unpredictable, external factors can play a huge role in success or failure. A well-reasoned Internet marketing plan can help you be proactive in pursuing every avenue to keep your seats full and your bottom line safe.
Bar marketing services typically cover online and offline efforts — for instance, hosting parties or events, and using various online channels to drive and promote awareness. Here are some of the methods that bar marketing firms utilize and recommend to help increase business.
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Internet marketing as a concept can help you lay out more specific action plans such as those explained below. In a big picture sense, Internet marketing helps you reach potential customers wherever they may be looking for a bar — general search engines, your website, and review/research outlets such as Yelp, to name a few.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the organic (unpaid) practice of building your content, links and web presence to move your bar to the top of search rankings. For a business like a bar, your website is just the beginning — and shouldn’t be overlooked. Content for your site can include updates on events, menus, specials, and a blog that might focus on your business and community. To maximize the potential of SEO, you should also claim or create listings for your business on sites such as Yelp, and keep them active and updated.
Pay per click (PPC) is similar to SEO in that it’s a way of getting your site to the top of search results. Where it differs, however, is you pay — via a bidding system — for those top spots. Bar marketing agencies recommend choosing specific, localized terms for your PPC choices. It’s worth noting that even though your PPC investment won’t result in a direct ROI (via a transaction on your site), getting a potential customer to visit your website is likely to result in a visit to your establishment.
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Email marketing can help you to build relationships with existing customers and entice visitors to return to your bar, with methods such as special deals, event announcements, and other unique content that creates a personal connection with the recipient. One-time specials or discounts are a great way to get customers to sign up for your email list as well.
Good web design is often overlooked in the bar industry, but it can play a big part in whether or not a visitor chooses to check out your business. Be sure that your web design is up to date and consistent with your brand and the image you wish to convey.
If you’re interested in working with a bar marketing agency to grow your customer base, contact Straight North at 855-883-0011 — or click here to request a quote.