Bar Marketing

10 Bar Marketing Strategies

To Promote Your Bar


As a bar owner, bar marketing is probably something that gets pushed to the bottom of your ‘To Do’ list – but it shouldn’t be that way.  Whether you’ve just opened a bar / restaurant or you want to solidify your brand in the marketplace, the proper bar marketing mix can help you achieve all your goals.  Bar marketing can also help you promote weekly or one-off events.



Depending on things like your location and budget, you should be using multiple promotional methods in your bar marketing mix.  Here are a few that we employ here at

1.  PPC ADVERTISING – PPC or pay-per-click advertising can be a great way to bring in instantaneous visitors / customers to your site or establishment.   Before Facebook opened its advertising doors, Google Adwords was really the only big player in town.  Now, however, you can buy PPC ads from both Facebook and LinkedIn.  Be careful, though!  If you don’t know what you’re doing, the costs can rise very quickly.


2.  BANNER ADS – some marketers may tell you that banner advertising is dead.  That surfers have developed what is referred to as “banner blindness”.  While there is some truth to this – that Click-Thru-Rates (CTRs) for banners have definitely dropped.  And that means two things: First, that you need to know how to pick the right places online to put your banners – the ones that target your ideal customer.  And secondly that you can get banner ads for a lot cheaper now than you used to be able to.


3.  PRESS RELEASES – press releases are an excellent form of “free” media.  Free in the sense that it’s free to send out your press release to free press release sites – and this is a great place to start.  But, you can (and should) pay a press release company to at least distribute your press release for you.  Paid distribution sites distribute your press release so much further and to many more companies than the free distribution services do.  And you should only write your own press release if you’re good at writing press releases.  If not, leave it to the professionals – you can usually get a press release professionally written and distributed to the biggest news agencies and sites for a couple hundred bucks.  Press releases can get a lot of free publicity for your business / event – plus they are an excellent way to boost your website’s ranking in the search engines.


4.  SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING- social media mentions are gaining in importance in the eyes of Google for search engine rankings.  Meaning that the more people who mention your site on social networks, the better your site will do in the search engine rankings.In addition to pushing up your site’s rankings, social media marketing can be used to advertise your brand or your event – often with immediate results.  No matter what way you look at it, social media is here to stay.  So you need to make sure you add social media marketing to your bar marketing efforts.


5.  VIDEO MARKETING – videos are a great way to get your company name out there.  Not only are they an easily produceable marketing piece, but they are easier to get ranked in the search engines than web pages are.  Creating and ranking two videos on the first page of Google for your establishment is much easier than trying to rank a page on your site for that term.  And since it’s easier to create and rank, you can have multiple short videos all ranking on Google… and all advertising your company.


6.  DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING- direct response marketing is basically any type of marketing that is meant to illicit a direct and immediate response from the consumer.  The most popular form of direct response marketing is direct mail.  Remember those sweepstakes envelopes you used to get in the mail?  Well, those were direct mail pieces.  If you had ever opened them up, you’ll know that they all want you to do something.  Send in some money, buy something, order something etc.  SMS is a new form of direct response marketing.Direct mail used to work really well 20 years ago.  Then it got too much and people developed ‘junk mail blindness’ – not even looking at the envelopes before throwing them away.  Since the advent of the internet, direct mail has gone down and it’s again an effective marketing tool add to your bar marketing plan.


7.  LOCAL NEWSPAPERS / MAGAZINES – if you can get coverage for free, do it.  Go to local news sites, classifieds sites, government sites, entertainment sites etc and post your information wherever you can.  You’ll likely be able to find a couple of local websites who have an event calendar.  Post your bars’ events on all these calendars and make sure you have someone post every time you have a new event.  You can also look at buying ads in local newspapers or magazines.  Call around and get demographic information about their readership before you decide to place an ad.


8.  TV / RADIO – although this is the most expensive way you can choose to advertise your bar, there are some TV / radio advertising options that may fit your budget.  Most towns / cities have an online classifieds channel or local TV guide channel / radio station.  If your city has one of these stations, it can be an affordable and effective advertising tool.


9.  TEXT / SMS MARKETING – with the increase in the number of cell phone users, smart phones and tablets, SMS marketing or text message marketing is becoming an increasingly effective way to reach your target market immediately.  Adding in a direct response quotient to your SMS marketing campaign can take it to the next level.  Eg. “Come by in the next 30 minutes to receive…..”


10.  MOBILE MARKETING – in addition to SMS marketing, you can also reach your ideal target market via mobile PPC ads or by optimizing your current website to be mobile-friendly.  With more and more mobile devices, the way we access information is changing.  More of your customers are searching for you online via their mobile devices.  You should have a mobile-friendly site with a call to action (i.e. Tap to Call) else you’re losing customers.


Bar owners have to be jack-of-all trades.  They need to know the legal side of running a bar, they need to understand the operations of a bar / restaurant.  They need to be able to train / manage staff and they also need to be able to take care of bar marketing.  That’s more hats than the traditional small business owner wears.



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