Digital marketing - the process of reaching out to prospects via email and social media - has a much quicker turnaround than its snail mail equivalent. This makes it an ideal solution for nightclubs and bars looking to get their names out there to connect with people sooner rather than later. Additionally, the fact that nightclubs and bars are naturally social environments puts them in a great position to benefit from the advantages offered by digital marketing channels.
How can bars and nightclubs benefit from email marketing?
Email is virtually instantaneous, meaning your nightclub or bar can reach people on its mailing list in a matter of seconds - and all at the same time. This makes the medium an ideal way to make sure your regular patrons have easy access to your upcoming events calendar and are in the loop about theme nights, special deals, limited-time promotions and anything else you want them to be aware of. The immediacy of email makes it the ideal channel through which to send news updates and day-of event reminders.
Provided you integrate robust email marketing solutions into your promotional operations, you'll find it quick and easy to do things like personalize messages, track consumer preferences and segment your customer database. Sending targeted emails to members of a demographic likely to find a particular piece of information interesting is a good way to:
· Increase awareness among a captive audience
· Make recipients feel your brand "knows" them on a personal level
· Reduce unsubscribe rates due to the delivery of irrelevant or boring content
The ease and immediacy that defines email-based outreach means you can communicate more regularly with your customer base, and this is a great way to keep your brand top of mind among your clientele. Think about it - when people on your mailing list are considering which watering hole to drink at with their friends on a Friday night, are they more likely to think of the venue that dropped a generic flyer in the mail a month ago or the one they just got an email from that morning?
If you're still not convinced of the benefits of email, just let the numbers do the talking: Myriad studies have revealed companies that integrate email into their marketing strategies enjoy a high return on their investment. To cite just one example, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents to Econsultancy's Email Marketing Industry Census 2014 rated the channel as "good" or "excellent" and named the medium as being the best in terms of generating ROI.
Why is it necessary to be active on social media?
Many of the advantages associated with email also apply to social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are immediate communication channels that allow you to share information and promote your bar or nightclub instantaneously - but make sure the content you post is relevant to your audience, or else people will stop following your account and you'll lose an important way to communicate with them.
What's more, it's quick, easy and cost-effective to post on social media at regular intervals. Although paid business accounts are available on some social platforms to help further your promotional efforts, the regular free accounts can work wonders by themselves. Communicating with customers on social networking sites is a snap thanks to features such as wall posts and comments on Facebook and mentions and direct messages on Twitter. If you take the time to personally respond to comments and questions, this will cast your brand in a favorable light and bolster customer loyalty.
Social content is also easily shareable, which is great for expanding your reach. Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether users regram your Instagram photos, re-pin items on your Pinterest board, retweet something from your Twitter account or share one of your Facebook posts - the important thing is that they're engaging with your content somewhere and are getting your message out there.
Companies in some industries must maintain a serious tone in their social media postings, but the nature of the bar and nightclub industry means you're free to have some fun. That being said, make sure your online voice is in sync with your real-life atmosphere. If your venue is known for being an informal local hangout, using a casual tone on social platforms is appropriate, but if you operate a high-end establishment, affect a professional air that's more in line with the vibe at your physical location.
Establishing and maintaining engagement via digital marketing
Email and social media are viable outreach channels for bars and nightclubs thanks to factors such as their immediacy, ease of use and cost-effectiveness. Entering into direct communication with current and prospective patrons, updating customers on things they care about and disseminating reminders about upcoming events all help to generate engagement among your consumer base. In terms of keeping this engagement going, staying in frequent contact with customers - whether directly (via personalized emails) or indirectly (through their social networking feeds) - can go a long way.
Measuring metrics such as open rates and click rates can also assist bars and nightclubs in cultivating engagement by indicating which posts and messages resonated most with the audience. When you know what your customers best respond to, you can tailor future communications accordingly to increase your rate of engagement.
How to increase engagement via your digital channels
Not quite sure how to handle social media as a business? Here are some suggestions for ways to establish your presence and maintain engagement:
· Humanize your bar or nightclub by posting photos and bios of your employees. The next time patrons drop by, they might even recognize members of your team from the pictures! This works especially well when showcasing patrons’ favorite bartenders.
· Send out exclusive email promotions or post secret codes on your social platforms that customers can present at the door for reduced admission or at the bar for free drinks. Advertise the idea on posters so people who aren't on your mailing list or who don’t follow your social accounts can get in on the action.
· Monitor the comments and other feedback you receive on social media, then enter into conversations with the people who shared their thoughts. Everyone likes to be listened to.
· Share intriguing or funny content that may not have much to do with your brand but is sure to be a hit with the people who follow you on social media or sign up to be on your mailing list.
· Offer a behind-the-scenes look at your establishment that will allow customers to see the familiar space in a different way. For instance, if they've only been there when it's dark and crowded, snap a photo one night before the lights go off and the doors are opened. People will love seeing the venue in a different light - literally!
· Spread the word about any awards you won, reviews you got or articles in which you were featured. Your patrons already know you're great, but it doesn't hurt to reinforce the idea.
· Post facts about your bar or nightclub. Before you came to town, what was the space used for? Has your venue always had the same name, or was it previously known as something else? How long have you occupied the space? If you had a previous location, where was it?
· Share trivia related to your industry. For example, did you know that The Cave, which opened in the basement of the Gruenwald Hotel in New Orleans in 1912, was one of the first nightclubs in the country? Your customers probably didn't either!
Digital marketing can be extremely lucrative for nightclubs and bars thanks to its quick turnaround and interactive nature. Use email and social media to connect with customers on a personal level, promote upcoming events and keep your brand top of mind.