How to Improve your Bar Marketing Plan – 14 Top Tips


Bar marketing plan


Every successful bar needs a robust bar marketing plan.

In case you are worried about the success of your bar, then you might consider reinventing your bar marketing plan.

Although it may seem like a never-ending job, the right strategy can consistently increase customers.

We understand how excruciating it can be to make a strategy and to implement it. We have 8 crucial tips that will help you make an amazing bar marketing plan and boost your business.

Read ahead to find out!

There are numerous bar marketing plans that may help you advertise your business more efficiently.

For example, you can work on social media marketing and your ranking in the search engines.

Alternatively, working with influencers on different social media platforms and hosting contests can be a great way to increase your engagement with potential customers.

Therefore, we advise you to try and find out what among the following ideas works best for your business and implement it without any delay.

You can use the links below to jump to the section you’d like to read.


14 Crucial Tips to Improve Your Bar Marketing Plan


1. Set realistic goals
2. Budgeting is important
3. Know who your best customers are
4. Search engine optimization (SEO)
5. Try to get reviews
6. Use photography
7. Create your own website
8. Email marketing
9. Have an active social media presence
10. Throw themed nights
11. Include unique menu items and special days
12. Take advantage of free listings online
13. Use pay-per-result PPC marketing
14. Create trackable campaigns on Facebook and Instagram


1. Set realistic goals


Every marketing plan should start with the goals and objectives you’re trying to achieve.

Unless you know exactly what your goals are you’ll have nothing to aim for and you won’t be able to see whether you’re on track or not.

Goals and objectives should be SMART.


Bar marketing plan goals


SMART stands for ‘specific’, ‘measurable’, ‘achievable’, ‘relevant’ and ‘time-bound’.

For example, one goal might be ‘to increase our weekly revenue from £7500 to £10000 per week by the end of 2022’.

The objective is very specific, we can measure it by looking at our books, it’s achievable as it’s not a huge jump, it’s relevant to our business and it’s time-bound as we have said ‘by the end of 2022’.


2. Budgeting is important


Budgeting for your bar marketing plan is important.

You can do this by looking at how much you’re willing to spend each month and then allocating the budget to each medium you’re going to use.

For example, you might have a budget of £3000 per month.


How to budget properly


£1000 may go to an SEO agency, £1000 to PPC ads, £1000 on traditional marketing like print.

By the end of the month you should be able to work out the return-on-investment (ROI) from each medium.

This can be done by using Google Analytics and connecting the platforms to your accounting software.


3. Know who your best customers are


There’s no point in spending on marketing if all you’re doing is reaching people who won’t be interested in visiting your bar.

Instead, do a deep dive into your customer segmentation.

Know exactly who your best customers are.

As soon as you understand exactly who your customers are you can plan your bar marketing plan around them.

For example, your best customers might be 21-25 year old males because they spend the most money.


Bar marketing plan how to find your target audience


You can easily research online to find out that this demographic mainly hangs out on Instagram, so therefore maybe you need a better allocation of resources for Instagram.

The easiest way to work out who your best customers are is by creating an excel spreadsheet.

Sporadically throughout the month, take a look around your bar and jot down all the characteristics about each individual.

Jot down their age, gender, ethnicity and anything else that characterises that person.

After a while you’ll find patterns will emerge on the spreadsheet.


4. Search engine optimization (SEO)


When you search for a bar on google, it displays 3 placements.

Did you know that the first placements are paid advertisements?

They appear on the top of the list.

Below the paid ads are the Google pack.

SEO or search engine optimization is a technique through which you increase the probability of your bar appearing in the Google pack and in other organic search results.




Another way to be noticed quickly is to update your bar’s location on the map alongside working on your bar’s website and optimizing it with keywords that fit your business will increase the chances.

You can also complement this with a survey/research to figure out what the locals are typing in the search when they try to find a nearby bar. You can add these keywords to your website for a better ranking.


5. Try to get reviews


Are you wondering why reviews need to be considered to form a successful bar marketing plan?

Here are some quick facts for your reference.

Research has shown that around 91 percent of the people go through online reviews once in a while.

About 84 percent of people have confidence in online reviews.

It is seen that they make a decision almost immediately after reading them.

Nearly 68 percent of the people form an opinion about a place or a venue after skimming through 1-6 reviews.

Usually, there are 2 kinds of customers. One, that is satisfied with the whole experience and will make a point to recommend to their friends and family.


Google Reviews


The second kind has a bad experience and vents out their frustration through an online review. Such reviews will be highly detrimental to your business.

There are various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc. that are perfect for customers to add reviews about your bar.

When satisfied customers post a positive review about your bar on, say Facebook, they are essentially advertising your bar to their network of friends for free.

You should encourage your visitors to leave reviews, and you should read them from time to time.

Accordingly, dealing with bad reviews is important, and you must constructively work on the criticism to improve your service and ratings.

If you are hesitant about asking your customers to leave reviews, you can find a digital marketeer for managing the bar reputation online.


6. Use photography


High-quality images can boost your sales, whereas low-quality pictures may not be as pleasing to your potential customer base.

This is why quality pictures are important. Here is a compilation of the top tips to help you ace the photography.

One of the best spots for lighting inside your venue is probably near a window.

Positioning your food and beverages near windows will help create soft, yet bright, and high-quality lighting.

Use the golden hours to shoot outside. The light at this time is neither too dark nor too bright and helps create magical lighting for a professional photo shoot.


Outside cocktail


Involve people and different settings when you want to capture images of beverages at your bar.

Photographing the drinks alone can be a boring visual and therefore try to add people.

This helps customers to envision themselves stepping into your bar and having a drink.

The beverages you show in your pictures should resemble the drinks that are provided to the customers.

You do not want a look of disappointment when the drinks look nothing like the photo on social media.

You can try to post images of mouthwatering food and beverages along with their recipes. People may try to use it and make the dishes, but you should call attention to the fact that your chefs/bartenders are perfect at the job.


7. Create your own website


It is impossible to obtain a rank in search if your bar does not have a website.

Try to keep the website informative.

You can add details like:

– Working hours
– Menus
– Reservations
– Pictures
– Customer reviews
– Upcoming events
– Awards won
– Staff profiles
– Special days/celebrations
– Links to other social media accounts
– Online booking forms
– Event calendars
– Discounts, offers, and a lot more.

You can also write your story and philosophy, and share your unique take on the business.

Your readers will find personal insights very engaging.

You can also cross share it on other platforms to gain the required traction.

The more informative your website is, the better as it lets people stay on your website rather than just clicking away.


Bar marketing plan website

Just like how a set of high-quality images can enhance the impression of your bar, a well-designed website can attract a lot of viewers

Providing a digital space that is easily navigable and informative is essential, irrespective of the device they use to log onto your website.


8. Email marketing


Craft a monthly newsletter and send it via email to your subscribers and customers.

You can include the following in it:

– Highlights of special events
– Upcoming events and their details
– New menu items
– Important happenings in your local community
– Show off your house staff
– Unique recipes
– A personal message from the head (if possible)

In order to prevent your viewers from unsubscribing to the newsletter, you can provide them with incentives.

For instance, you can post a trivia question and publish the names of the winners in the subsequent edition.

The winners could make use of this opportunity and avail discounts or special offers on their next visit.

This encourages repeat customers.

Emails are a great way of connecting and communicating with your audience.

A study conducted by McKinsey and Company revealed that email marketing is about 40 times more effective than that of social media marketing.


Hip hop brunch


Before you start sending out the emails, remember that you should not send too many of them in short intervals.

This can lead to annoyed recipients who may go ahead and unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Keep a check on the content that is being emailed to them and always fill it with relevant and engaging information.

Through newsletters, you can target a range of audiences too.

If you are a specialised, upscale lounge bar, the recipients may be interested to know of a specially curated drink.

Or if you are a biker bar, the viewers might want to know of specials and events at the venue.

In case you do not have the time to spare for writing a newsletter periodically, you may consider hiring a writing or marketing agency to do the job.


9. Have an active social media presence


There is a lot more to social media than just sharing pictures and chatting with friends.

Since many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are free to use, there is no barrier to developing your social media marketing strategy.

While social media can be time-consuming, it can be used effectively to gain, engage, and win followers’ appreciation.

You can keep your audience updated by posting pictures of events and the day’s happenings.

You can also host giveaways or ask questions via polls to know the popular opinion for menu items or new special dishes.


Facebook social media marketing for bars


Not just that, posting jokes and memes showcases your bar’s unique personality.

You can also add links to the promotional events you have had recently.

Many people think that addressing negative reviews/comments on public platforms might look bad for business.

In fact, the opposite happens.

If a person posts a complaint or a critical complaint online, you should respond to them and have a conversation to address the issue.

When you take some time to address, acknowledge a problem, and offer solutions or discounts on their next visit, it conveys the importance you place in customer experience.

Additionally, you can encourage your visitors to tag your bar’s profile in their pictures and use its hashtags. You can do that by hosting small contests and giveaways for the best picture of the week/month.

This is very beneficial as user-generated content always fetches good results.


10. Throw themed nights


Themed nights are one of the most effective promotion tactics.

Alongside serving as a brilliant marketing technique, they are a super fun way to attract customers into your bar.

Take advantage of sports and organise football or cricket viewing parties.

In addition to this, you can also make use of occasions like Halloween or summer solstice parties.

Use such themed nights to draw the attention of your guests.

Such arrangements will definitely set your venue apart from the other bars in your area.

Themed nights are not only great for fun but great for sales as well.

People love to stay until they finish watching the game or playing one on the table in front of them.


Bar Marketing Themed Nights

Excellent service during the tournament/match hours implies higher sales for your bar.

Avail this opportunity to hand out gift cards to trivia game-winners.

A fun and exciting atmosphere encourage customers to hang around the bar for a longer time and grab some more food.


11. Include unique menu items and special days


This is one of the low-risk tactics to promote your bar.

All you need to do is update your already existing menu or reinvent the old items/drinks in a fun, out of the box fashion to draw the attention of customers.

Apart from the themed nights and seasonal occasions, you can add more fun to the regular bar atmosphere by uniquely designating weekdays or weekends with quirky specials.

Here are some cool titles you can take inspiration from:

– Margarita Mondays
– Taco Tuesdays
– Wing Wednesdays

If you want to work on your special days and make them even more attractive, you can arrange for live music or raffle prizes for everybody who ordered the specials.

Use your creativity to come up with some other unique menu specials which your competitors are not offering.


Perfect drinks menu


Once the list is ready, spread the word across all your social media platforms and promote them using the aforementioned techniques.

If you have already indulged in outdoor advertising, this is the best time to put it to use.


12. Take advantage of free listings online


To strengthen your bar marketing plan make sure you’ve listed your bar on every single free listing tool online that you can find.

As why wouldn’t you? It’s free!

These listings will get some free traffic to the site and some will even contribute to your SEO efforts as you will get a dofollow backlink from them.

Free listing sites include Google My Business (getting on the Google map), Tripadvisor and Yelp.

At Bloc, we have also launched our own free listing tool for bars.


Bloc Nearby


It is called Bloc Nearby.

The way it works is that you submit your listing on the site (for free) and then we determine what tags are a best fit for the venue.

We then use those tags to place the listing in multiple articles.

And listings with the most likes will appear at the top of those articles.

So for example, if you own a sports bar in London, we will use the tags, ‘London’ and ‘Sports Bar’.

So when someone is searching for ‘the best sports bars in London’, your bar could be included in that article.


13. Use pay-per-result PPC marketing


Impressions and clicks are not a good measurement as to whether an online click campaign is successful or not.

People could click and land on your website but never attend your bar, so it is a wasted click and therefore a wasted allocation of your budget.

Most of the platforms online charge on impressions and clicks because they know too many people will still pay.

However, at Bloc we didn’t feel like this is fair and it’s just a way to maximise profit as a platform.


Bloc Advertising

Instead, we have opted for a pay-per-result model where you only pay if someone who has clicked on our ad physically attends the venue.

It works whereby the user checks in and if they attend we track them via geo-location.

If they attend the venue then we charge a small amount, as this is your perfect result, someone in the bar spending.

We don’t charge for impressions or clicks, so therefore it’s risk-free and budget friendly.

You can trial Bloc ads for free with £150 ad credit today.


14. Create trackable campaigns on Facebook and Instagram


Like we’ve mentioned above, clicks and impressions are not a good indicator of success of a campaign.

We hate seeing venues wasting money on paid ad campaigns without knowing whether it’s actually making them any money.


Bar marketing plan Facebook and Instagram ads


One trick to combat this on Facebook and Instagram is offer a special promotion in the ad (exclusively) so you can track whether it’s working or not.

For example, the promotion might be ‘Quote TEQUILA when you get here and we’ll give you a free shot!’

This way you can track how many people have cashed in the promotion and you can work out the ROI of the campaign.


Summing up


Although effectively marketing your business can be challenging, we are sure that the above tips to ace that bar marketing plan will definitely work and drive your sales.

If you are a bar owner, it is advisable that you track your efforts in each of the tips mentioned above and see which one works great for your business.

Happy marketing!

About Josh Wood

Founder | Writer | Tech Enthusiast