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Five Effective Online Strategies to Promote Your Bar

Explore five impactful strategies, from email marketing to social media and SEO, to promote your bar and attract new customers.  

 

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

 

Five Ways to Get Noticed Online

Getting your bar online is crucial to driving customer footfall. Here are five key strategies to enhance your bar's visibility online, promote your offering or menu, attract new customers to discover what you can do, and help people find your bar.

1. How to Use Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and TikTok offer a huge opportunity to raise the profile of your venue, promote your drinks and events, and build customer loyalty.

Social Media Top Tips:

  1. Post regularly - Develop a consistent content plan displaying your bar's unique ambiance, menu, signature cocktails, upcoming events, and promotions.
  2. Use the skills in your team - Is there a digitally savvy person? Invite them to take charge of the venue's social media and work with the team to capture and post content.
  3. Start small for brand consistency - If your bar is new to social media, start by posting regularly to one main channel like Instagram or Facebook to keep quality and consistency.
  4. Regularly engage - Create a sense of community and loyalty around your bar by promptly responding to comments and messages.
  5. Run online contests and promotions - Generate excitement and engagement by offering prizes such as free drinks, gift cards, or VIP experiences to winners.
  6. Stay ahead of the competition - Find endless ideas, inspiration, and trade education by following leading bartenders and venues around the world.
  7. Use photos and videos - The algorithm prioritizes what we see on our social media feeds, especially posts with photos and videos.

Watch Video: Diageo Bar Academy – Bitesize Sessions

Ready to take your social media up a notch? Natalie Migliarini, founder of Beautiful Booze, shares her social media expertise: 

2. Optimize Your Website

Your website serves as the virtual front door of your bar business. Ensure it is visually appealing and mobile-responsive.

Website Top Tips 

  • Present essential information clearly - Keep your website updated for customers to find your location, contact details, and operating hours quickly.  
  • Be Google-able - Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to improve your website's visibility on search engines. For example, add a blog and publish a new article each month, use keywords in your content (common descriptive words used in search engines relating to your area/business), and utilize Google Ads to promote your venue.  
  • Add a Digital Menu - Attract potential customers browsing your website by sharing a digital version of your menu, highlighting popular cocktails, promotions, or seasonal drinks.  
  • Keep it simple - If you're creating a new website for your venue, use a website builder with simple templates and built-in email marketing, such as Squarespace, Mailchimp or Wix.

Watch: Diageo Bar Academy – Bitesize Sessions for Website Optimization

3. Try Location-Based Marketing

Location-based marketing is a fantastic opportunity to improve your bar's visibility when people are looking for a wonderful place to eat and drink in your area.

Location Marketing Top Tips 

  • Claim your Business listings - Fill out your business details on sites like Google and Bing Maps, including address, phone number, and opening hours.  
  • Encourage Reviews - Invite and respond graciously to positive and negative feedback. Review responses to improve your chances of appearing in local search results.  
  • Add Photos to Your Listing - Photos add visual appeal and help improve your ranking in search engine results. Consider adding photos of your signature drinks or your venue's indoor and outdoor seating areas.  
  • Embed Google Maps on your website - Help customers find your venue quickly by adding an interactive map to your contact page or linked in your footer.

4. Use Email Marketing

Build and support an email list of interested and loyal customers so you can regularly share promotional offers, events, and news through an email marketing tool that lets you create, schedule, and plan all your emails. There are plenty of easy-to-use and effective tools out there!

Email Marketing Top Tips 

  • Send out engaging newsletters - Add exclusive offers, event invitations, and updates about your bar.   
  • Make it easy to read - Use eye-catching visuals, subheadings, short paragraphs, and bullet points, and test before you send to ensure your email is easy to read on smartphones and tablets.   
  • Reward loyalty - Offer email subscribers a special promotion, free birthday drinks, or seasonal discounts to encourage repeat visits and foster customer loyalty.   
  • Add email sign-up to your website - Add an email sign-up option for visitors on your website and social media to increase subscribers. 
  • Email sparingly - Too many emails may turn people off and lead them to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Be careful with using words like FREE or PROMO in your subject line, as the email may go straight to spam.

5. Engage with Popular Review Websites

Tourists and people new to the area will often search for bars and restaurants using local review sites like TripAdvisor, Open Table or Yelp to influence their choice of bar or restaurant.

Review Websites Top Tips

  • Add photos and exact information - Check your venue has correct descriptions and compelling images on review sites such as Trip Advisor.
  • Regularly monitor and respond to reviews - Professional replies to positive and negative reviews can serve as powerful testimonials for your bar business and show your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews - Help happy customers review your bar by adding review site links to your email newsletter, website, and social media channels.
  • Repost positive reviews – Add quotes to your bar's website and social media channels to showcase customer satisfaction and help promote your business to potential customers.

Introduction to Review Sites

Five Key Takeaways

  1. Start with simple actions and build as you start to gather momentum. A great easy first step is to set up your first social media account and add your business to the Google Maps listing for your location. 
  2.  Use the skills in your team - Is there a digitally savvy person working at your bar? Invite them to take charge of the venue's social media and work with the team to capture and post content.  
  3. Add a blog to your site - Publish a new article each month to keep your website relevant for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).   
  4. Respond professionally to reviews - Reply to reviews both positive and negative on sites like Google or Trip Advisor to show your commitment to exemplary customer service and improve your chances of appearing in local search results.  
  5. Send emails people want to read - Make your email newsletter clear, mobile-friendly, and visually appealing.

Like all strategies for success, whether you utilize one or all the above tools, consistency is essential to build an effective online presence, promote your venue, build a loyal community, attract new customers, and establish a positive online presence.   

The online space and how best to improve your online presence is ever-changing. Stay connected, informed and ahead of the curve by joining the Diageo Bar Academy.