Digital marketing for bars has never been more important. Every industry today needs digital marketing, but it is especially vital in the hospitality industry.
As technology has evolved and consumer habits have changed, so has digital marketing, with new platforms and techniques emerging all the time.
In this article, you will discover the secrets of digital marketing and how it can work for your bar business.
1. Social media marketing
Social media has transformed the marketing landscape. Digital marketing for bars and social media is the perfect combination. By developing a positive, responsive relationship with your customer base, you can win many more customers than a business that doesn't. According to Forbes Magazine, 71% of respondents would recommend a bar with an active and engaging presence on social media. Ideally, you should set up pages for all your locations on the biggest social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, etc.
That way, you can provide information, showcase your bar in the best possible light, and give your customers a space to leave feedback.
2. Your Website and SEO
Digital marketing for bars requires a good understanding of search engine optimisation (SEO) principles. When your guests search for bars like yours in the area, you want to make sure your business is on the front page. As well as ensuring that your main page is attractive and provides value in the form of useful information about your bar, it would help if you also make sure that it is evident to search engines and appears as close to the top of search results as possible.
By populating your website with valuable menus, hours and booking details and ensuring a cohesive brand identity, you must also make your website content search-friendly. Research the keywords your guests will be looking for and include them in your website's text and image tag. Then, provide new, original, fun and engaging content for your visitors.
3. Google Business presence
Google is still the king of search engines. Digital marketing for bars means harnessing the power of Google to build your online visibility. This is particularly important for local businesses that don't have the kind of brand recognition that national chains enjoy. Google offers a free tool called My Business that can help with this. You'll need to register your business website with Google and use My Business to add your bar's location, hours of operation, and other details customers will need.
You can also add photos and images. Crucially, your bar will also show up on Google Maps when customers look at your area. Google My Business also allows customers to leave reviews and reviews, allowing you to get feedback and engage with your guests. Google My Business optimisation is a quick and simple way to ensure that as many potential guests as possible know about you.
4. Email marketing
Don't underestimate the power of old-school email in digital bar marketing. Email marketing can effectively reach new customers and retain existing ones. The key is personalising your marketing emails, so they are relevant to the recipient. No one likes to receive generic bulk emails that are irrelevant to their interests or needs. On the other hand, most people are happy to receive news and offers that are useful to them. Customers who have already ordered pizza from your bar might be interested in pizza specials.
5. Customer Loyalty Programs
In the catering industry, it is not enough to attract new customers. You need to retain existing customers as well. If you can encourage customers to keep coming back for more, you don't have to reach as many new customers to get the same value over time. By targeting attendees who have already chosen to dine at your bar, customer loyalty programs are powerful tools in digital marketing for bars.
You can convert one-time visitors to returning customers, one-time visitors to frequent visitors, and increase your average spend per person. Using the information provided by the customer, you can reach them with offers, coupons and updates on your menu. By engaging with your guests and encouraging them to come back, you can improve your bottom line and ensure a steadier revenue stream.
6. Online Ordering
Bar digital marketing can fail if you don't give your customers a quick and easy way to act on the information they receive about your bar. Ordering online is increasingly vital in this digital age. Even if you don't deliver food, online ordering allows customers to select food for pickup or plan their orders before they arrive at your facility. Allowing customers to order food via their phones from their tables saves time and reduces errors and disappointments.
7. QR menus
QR codes are black-and-white squares that encode digital information. Although less popular than before, QR codes remain an essential tool in digital marketing for bars. An entire menu and other information can be encoded into a QR code. Alternatively, they can encode a URL to read an online menu. Customers can scan these codes with their mobile phones, immediately open a menu and see what's on offer.
They are a great choice for marketing as they can be displayed anywhere. QR codes can also be ideal for bars that get busy and need to provide quick service without overworked staff. QR menus are also ideal upselling tools as they can be used to automate menus and suggestions. In addition, QR code menus make it very easy to change menus, add new items or refresh branding without having to pay for printing a whole batch of replacement menus every time.
8. Reviews Impact
Reviews are tremendously critical in digital marketing for bars. While word of mouth has a significant impact, more and more people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends or family. According to recent data, 84% of people express confidence in online reviews. People are increasingly looking for reviews online before trying a new service or product. As bar dining is primarily a leisure activity, people are more selective and look for companies with the most positive feedback.
Good reviews also improve your bar's search engine ranking, which means more people are likely to find your site when they're looking for dining options in your area. Customers use Google, social media, and review sites like Yelp to find reviews. Engaging with feedback, good and bad, is essential. Customers appreciate being thanked for a good review, while a polite and respectful response can offset the negative impact of a bad review.
AI chatbots have become highly sophisticated in recent years, and their use has increased across all hospitality industry sectors. A bar chatbot is a software application that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to replicate a human operator. They can answer common questions, provide information, and direct customers to the services they need.
One of the main trends in digital marketing is personalisation. As you've seen in the context of email marketing, personalisation can make a big difference in how a customer feels about a business. The hospitality industry as a whole depends on providing a positive customer experience. This is especially true for bars, which means personalisation plays an important role. Whether the customer is dining out in person or ordering food for delivery online, it's always a better experience if there's some attention to detail.
Even something as simple as a friendly greeting by name when a customer logs in to their bar account can leave them with a more favourable impression.
Digital marketing for bars has never been more critical. After the dark days of the pandemic, demand for face-to-face services is on the rise again. On the other hand, new challenges have emerged: staff shortages are hitting the hospitality industry, while supply chain disruption and rising costs are hitting the bar industry in particular. In this dynamic landscape, bars are finding new and innovative ways to market their services.
More and more businesses are choosing to go online in response to growing consumer confidence and demand for mobile and web-based services. Not only does it make it easier for customers to discover bars they'll love, but it also means the bar can collect essential data about their customers and the industry at large. As a result, staying current on bar marketing trends is more vital than ever. It's also a lot easier. Social media marketing, video marketing, and other new approaches can increase revenue and grow your business quickly