How to Create a COVID-era venue marketing plan


COVID-era venue marketing plan


Creating a COVID-era venue marketing plan is all about reducing costs but still getting as many people through the door as possible.

COVID has completely transformed people’s lives and we still don’t know how long it’s going to last or what the long term effects will be.

Venues need to create a robust COVID-era venue marketing plan so they can make sure their venue survives and then more importantly, prosper in the months and years to come.

It’s not completely out of the question that there will be rolling lockdowns and further national lockdowns in the future, so venues need to be prepared. It’s not just short-term results that are important, as venues should also look to the future.

Here’s what we’re going to look at for producing a results-based COVID-era venue marketing plan. You can jump to the section by clicking on the links:


1. Putting your customer’s mind at ease with safety checks
2. Reducing costs and focusing on results only marketing
3. Creating a strong web presence
4. Taking advantage of all advertising channels
5. Creating a community and personalising your marketing


1. Putting your customer’s mind at ease with safety checks


The first obvious question you need to ask is how you’re going to market your venue’s safety.

People simply won’t attend your venue if they don’t think it’s safe to do so.

Your job as a marketer is to put your customers mind’s at ease and have a safety plan. You need a plan for how you’re going to make your venue safe, but also a plan on how you’re going to market this to your customers.

Your website, social media, blogs and all other marketing channels should be littered with all the steps you’ve taken to make your venue safe to attend.


Food retailer safety notice


By offering your customers a safe experience without taking away the ‘fun experience’ of attending your venue is key. If you’re over the top and take away the experience, then your venue will suffer.

But you also need to listen to government guidelines and make sure your venue is actually safe.

For example, implementing table service only can actually add to the experience as service can be quicker and more efficient.


2. Reducing costs and focusing on results only marketing


Before COVID hit a lot of venues were probably spending a lot on marketing without knowing whether the marketing was actually working or how many people each medium actually brought in.

There is no room for that type of marketing in your COVID-era venue marketing plan. You can’t afford to spend precious money on marketing that’s simply not tracked or not bringing results.

There are a lot of mediums out there that are harder to track than others, i.e. poster display advertising.

In this era, it’s probably best to only spend on marketing that you can track.


Bloc Analytics


As a lot of businesses have been hit hard by COVID, less businesses are spending money on advertising which means a lot of mediums have become cheaper.

Bloc is a perfect example of an advertising platform where a venue can track exactly how many people the medium has brought them. And it’s also pay-per-result only.

A venue that advertises on Bloc is only charged £2 if a person checks in on the app and only if they actually attend (using geo-location). So this is a venues perfect result.

This means that £0 is wasted on marketing.

Seeking out mediums that you can track and are pay-per-result is the best way to go.


3. Creating a strong web presence


As rolling lockdowns and slow up-take on bookings may prevail, doubling down on your web presence is a really important step to consider when creating a COVID-era venue marketing plan.

Venues should look at taking advantage of all the free marketing resources there are online. Increasing followers on social channels and ranking on Google are the two most important places.


Google's local pack for COVID-era venue marketing plan


As it’s free, a venue has nothing to lose. Learn how to rank on Google’s local pack, and learn how you can grow your venue on social media platforms.

Your venue will thank you in the long run but also even as early as next year when a vaccine has been found and things can go back to normal.

The venues that don’t do this will be at a disadvantage when the time comes.


4. Taking advantage of all advertising channels


It’s actually quite difficult to persuade someone to attend a venue when over 40% of people surveyed say they’re too scared to leave.

This is why you need to reach as many people as possible with your marketing across all advertising channels, so you can reach the other 60%.

It’s best you focus on the free marketing channels, so no precious money is wasted.


5. Creating a community and personalising your marketing


Creating a community is the future of marketing.

Venues should create a tight knit community of local customers in every way they can. And this doesn’t just mean their regular customers.

Venues can create a community online on platforms like Instagram, as followers are a form of community.

Another avenue to explore is creating your own venue community platform. Tribe for example is an online cloud community, and it’s completely free.


Bloc Social


The platform allows you to create a unique URL where your community’s members can join and discuss things specific to your venue.

This has its advantages over using a 3rd party like Facebook groups or Instagram because you’re in complete control.

If people stopped using Facebook (like young people have), then it’s hard to migrate them to another platform if you were to switch.

Community is key and should be at the forefront of any COVID-era venue marketing plan.

About Josh Wood

Founder | Writer | Tech Enthusiast