The nightclub industry is going through an interesting time. While there have been several closures in recent years, numbers are said to be stabilising. Additionally, the decline of city centres as shopping spaces means there is a renewed focus on the night-time economy as a way to revitalise these areas.
Whether you consider the current situation good or bad for nightclubs, one thing is for sure: there will always be those that do well. Part of this success comes down to how the clubs market themselves.
In this article, we’ll look at five nightclub promotion strategies you can use in 2020.
Table of Contents
- 1 Strategy #1: Get Social Media Right
- 2 Strategy #2: Build a Mailing List
- 3 Strategy #3: Create a Varied Events Calendar that Different Customer Types of Customer Will Love
- 4 Strategy #4: Create a PR Plan
- 5 Strategy #5: Get an App
- 6 Provide Easy Access to Information About Your Club
Strategy #1: Get Social Media Right
As with everything in 2020, social media will play a large part of your nightclub promotion strategy. However, you’ll need to do more than throw out the odd post with information about your latest club night. Here are some of the elements a great social media marketing strategy will contain.
Which Social Media Platform Should You Use?
The answer here is obvious: it’s the ones your ideal clientele uses. Facebook and Instagram are musts due to them being by far the most popular networks. Twitter may provide an excellent way to connect to users, especially if your club caters to affluent 18 to 25 year-olds.
Additionally, younger clubbers may be more likely to use Snapchat or Tick Tock. If you run a bar that specialises in beer, you may find value in signing up to Untappd.
There are social networks out there with varying degrees of popularity for pretty much every type of user. Just Google your customer type along with the phrase “social network” to see what you can find.
What Type of Content Should You Share?
The most obvious type of content is promotional material for your club. Providing clubbers with information about your latest events via social media is an excellent way to spread the word.
However, if the content you put out is solely promotional, people won’t have a reason to interact. Mix up promotional posts with images or videos from your nights. This can be especially interesting if you put on a special event, for example, a live band.
The Instagram account for The Warehouse Project does a great job of combining promotional content with professional quality images and videos of the nights they put on.
Use Social Media to Encourage Signups
Social media can also be used to encourage people to sign up to your event. You can send out Facebook event invitations with links to your ticket provider so clubbers can buy tickets in advance.
Beyond buying tickets, another way to get people to sign up in advance is to provide an offer to those that do.
For example, in this Facebook post 42nd Street Nightclub promises to give free entry to anyone who comments on the post.
The club posted about the same event twice, once saying the guest list was opening and once to say it was closing soon. The two posts generated 16 comments and a guest list total of 103 people – not bad for a Thursday night.
Hire a Photographer to Take Photos of Customers
A final way to promote nightclubs on social media is to hire a photographer to take professional photos of customers and share them on social media. This has several benefits:
- Customers will be more likely to look at the social media page following their night out, which may lead them to follow the page.
- Customers may share photos with friends or on their social media accounts. This can result in micro-influencer or word-of-mouth marketing that gets your club in front of a larger number of people.
- People who haven’t been to your club yet will be able to see what a night out there is like.
- While many people have access to great cameras on their phones, not many people have access to professional photographers. People may be encouraged to visit your club to get their photo taken by a professional, especially if the night out is for an important event.
Bounce Ping Pong do a great job of sharing photos of nights out on their Facebook page. The images they share are all high quality which makes it more likely that people will share them. Additionally, the action shots of the people playing table tennis make for some fascinating photos.
Strategy #2: Build a Mailing List
Alongside social media, one of the best ways to keep in touch with customers is to build an email list. By creating an email list, you will be able to contact customers with information about events. You’ll also be able to include direct links to places where they can buy tickets.
The biggest challenge of getting an email list is collecting email addresses. Here are some methods you could try.
- Collect emails when selling tickets.
- Ask for emails when signing up for guestlists.
- If you take customer photos as per the example above, offer to email customers high definition versions of the picture.
- Offer discounts to nightclub members and require an email as part of the sign-up process.
When collecting emails from customers in the EU, make sure you also receive permission to contact them, so you stay compliant with privacy regulations.
Strategy #3: Create a Varied Events Calendar that Different Customer Types of Customer Will Love
Events area great way to increase the number of customers that visit your nightclub.
There are two ways you can use events. The first is to put on events that your existing customer base will love to encourage them to come out more often.
This type of event works if your existing target audience is broad and you are situated in a city with enough people from this audience to keep you busy several nights a week. A club that plays top 40 dance music in a student area of London, for example, may be able to get away without a ton of variation in the nights it puts on.
The second type of event marketing is to put on events that widen the appeal of your club to new groups. A nightclub that puts on heavy metal nights for an older crowd on weekends could expand its reach by putting on nights during the week that target, for example, students or people interested in other types of music.
Here are some types of event you could consider:
- Concerts, either from known bands or unsigned acts.
- Fancy dress nights.
- Theme nights – 90s, 80s, emo, Motown, etc.
- Foam party.
- Drinks offers.
- Guest DJs.
- All-night parties.
- Nights based around events in the calendar. For example, NYE, Hallowe’en, End of Exams, Freshers Week, Día de Muertos.
Strategy #4: Create a PR Plan
Creating a PR plan is an essential part of any marketing strategy. While social media is a form of PR, another aspect is building relationships with those in the media. Here are some ways you can use PR to promote your nightclub.
Put on Events and Invite Media
The media is unlikely to be interested in your average nightclub event. However, special events may be more newsworthy. If your club puts on concerts, think about giving local media representatives access to the event. It doesn’t have to be major acts; giving young local artists a chance is also an interesting story for the right publication.
Concerts aren’t the only thing you can do to generate PR. A quick Google news search shows that media outlets across the world have published nightclub-based stories about:
- A new two-story nightclub opening in Sacramento.
- A playground themed nightclub complete with a Tetris wall and a beer claw machine in Manchester.
- A rooftop ice bar opening in Liverpool.
The key is to do something interesting that you think is newsworthy and pitch the story to a suitable publication.
Choose Suitable Publications
Unfortunately, a national newspaper is unlikely to be interested in your event unless you have somehow bagged a world-famous name to perform at your club.
On the other hand, local nightlife or music bloggers that specialise in your area may be more interested. Some of these blogs will have big audiences.
Find these publications by Googling your area plus “nightlife magazine” or “music blog.” There are a surprising number around. For example, here are sites that cover Liverpool, Manchester, East London, Leeds, and Birmingham.
Ultimately, it’s just a case of reaching out to the people who have an audience similar to the people you want to attract.
What to Include in a Press Release
When looking for press coverage, there are several things you can do to increase the chances of being successful. These revolve around making it as easy as possible for publications to publish your story.
When sending out a press release, be sure to include high-quality pictures that publications can use. Also, add quotes that publications can easily use. Consider making yourself available for interviews and mentioning your availability in the press pack.
Be sure to include as much information as possible in the release and do so using the inverted pyramid structure. This is a way of writing stories used by most journalists in which you include the most critical information at the top of the story.
Strategy #5: Get an App
Apps provide several promotional possibilities that other forms of marketing can’t replicate. Here are some of them.
Build Customer Loyalty
Apps help build repeat business through customer loyalty programs. A common type of customer loyalty program nightclubs can deploy is a stamp program.
In these programs, customers receive a digital stamp every time they perform a particular action. For example, buying a ticket to your club or purchasing a drink. When the customer has performed this action a certain number of times, they will receive a predefined reward. For example, free entry or free drinks.
Cruz 101’s reward program is a great example of this. The nightclub gives users a stamp every time they pay to enter the club.
When the customer collects nine stamps, they get free entry. However, this isn’t the only reward the club offers. To keep customers interested, users receive a free shot on their third time at the club and a free drink on their sixth entrance.
This type of program is great because it is simple for staff at the venue and customers to understand.
Use Notifications to Advertise Events
Apps can send out notifications which nightclubs can use to promote events.
A well-timed notification, for example, sending out information about a Friday night event on a Friday afternoon, is a good way to engage potential customers. These notifications can be sent using geolocation so app users within a certain area.
Notifications can be even more effective when combined with the next point.
Send Out Offers
Clubs can use apps to send customers offers. There are many ways you could do this. One is by tying the offer to the event. For example, you could encourage people to come to specific nights by offering buy-one-get-one-free drinks.
Sell Tickets Directly to Customers
Another way apps can be used to market nightclubs is to sell tickets directly through the app.
An effective way to encourage ticket purchases is to combine the request to purchase tickets with an offer. For example, say that anyone who buys a ticket with an app will get a free drink, or will be able to avoid queues on the night.
Provide Easy Access to Information About Your Club
Nightclubs can also use apps to provide customers with all the information they need about the club. For example, drinks prices and menus, addresses and directions, events calendars, opening hours, and contact details. Giving customers easy access to this information will make it more likely that they have a great experience at your club.
The great thing about apps is they are easier to create than you may think. Check out our article here for information on how you can build an app for your nightclub.
The nightclub business can be competitive. However, an effective marketing plan can help ensure a steady stream of customers. When creating your strategy, consider using some of the points mentioned above.