A Guide to Online Marketing for Nightclubs
Online marketing for nightclubs is essential if you want a busy club. One way to ruin a group of friend’s night out is if they enter your nightclub, after midnight, and it’s completely empty.
This a complete guide to online marketing for nightclubs to help make sure that your club always has customers partying the night away.
Online marketing isn’t a new concept for nightclub marketers, yet so many nightclubs are not reaching their full capacities or potential.
This guide should be able to guide you into applying the best practices for your nightclub and we’ll also explore some tips and tricks that will give you a competitive advantage over your competition.
Here’s what we’ll cover (use the links to jump to that section):
2. Lead magnets
3. Email campaigns
4. Local directories
6. Facebook marketing
7. Instagram marketing
10. Analytics and Testing
Effective online marketing for nightclubs starts with a perfectly made website.
This is where most of your online marketing channels will lead and without an effective website, you will lose a lot of potential customers.
Your potential customers are using mobile and the internet to not just find nightclubs but to research them before they go.
You have around 5 seconds to persuade them to stay on your website and will be a big deciding factor on whether they will round up their friends to attend.
Your website needs to be beautiful, aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Here are things you need to think about for when designing your website:
– Have high-res photos or videos showcasing your nightclub
– Implement an easy-to-use booking system (consider having this on your homepage)
– Show your opening hours and contact information
– Keep it updated in line with modern themes
– Make sure it’s mobile and tablet friendly (check on every type of device and screen size)
– Make sure your USP (unique selling point) or type of nightclub is clear on the homepage. i.e. if you’re a high-end, expensive nightclub, make sure that’s clear to your website visitors
Top tip: You should have your nightclub’s website designed on an easy to use platform like WordPress. This way if you need minor tweaks or you want to update them themes to be more modern you can easily do this yourself without the added cost of having to pay your web designer each time.
2. Lead Magnets
Without a lead magnet, 95% or more of your website visitors will leave without making a booking or ever visiting your nightclub.
You can’t just rely on a perfect website to increase your customer base; you also need to have a plan in place for capturing customers who visit. This is where lead magnets come in.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is a pop-up or button (or both) on your website that aims to grab the email address of a website visitor. This is so you can add them to your email database so you can contact them later.
There are different ways of displaying your lead magnet, but one of the most effective lead magnets for nightclubs is to offer a free drink if they subscribe with their email.
This is proven to work because not only does it mean you have captured an email address; it also increases the chance of them actually attending because they will want to cash in their free drink.
If you don’t want to offer a free drink, other types of lead magnets include allowing your site’s visitors to request a table booking or to simply subscribe to your newsletter.
For their enquiry, for you to contact them back, you obviously will need their contact information which should include their email address.
Lead magnets are smart for capturing far more potential visitors and also improve customer retention for repeat customers as you can contact them again and again.
Top tip: Remember to have all the necessary tick boxes and policies implemented as you may need the permission of the visitor if you want to contact them.
3. Email Campaigns
Now you have a plan on how you’re going to create an email database, successful online marketing for nightclubs wouldn’t be complete without a well thought out email campaign.
There is still a big space for email to be part of any online marketing plan as it’s still widely used by everybody and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. Email is still very powerful and works well for getting more customers.
Once you have a database of relevant email addresses you can send emails to try and persuade them to attend your nightclub.
Lead magnets are just one way of curating an email database. Another method for grabbing emails is by offering free WiFi in your nightclub. The customer, in your nightclub, has to put their email address in to get access.
As they are already in your nightclub, they are the perfect customer to be a repeat attendee in the future. Targeting your current customer base is always a good idea as it’s always cost effective.
To send your emails there are lots of affordable options that you can explore. There is software like MailChimp or Woodpecker, which is super easy to use, to send out your campaigns and track all the data (including clicks to your website).
You do need to be careful when sending emails as there are best practices and ways to reduce unsubscribers. Here are some of our tips:
– Less is more. Sending too many emails is the biggest mistake a marketer can make for email campaigns. The number one reason for unsubscribes is frequency, that being, marketers send too many emails in a short space of time
– Send relevant emails around major events. Are you throwing a Halloween party? Send an email in the lead up inviting your email database
– Offer a deal or promotion. Add validation to your email with a promotion or deal. The receiver will ask in their heads, ‘why are they sending me this?’ Without a good reason, they’ll probably unsubscribe
– Have a clear CTA (call-to-action) in your email. What do you want the receiver to do? Buy a ticket to your club night?
Top tip: Your email client might not like it when you send lots of emails at once. There are email client limits, inbox spam filters and other barriers you need to get through to make sure your email lands in a customer’s inbox and is therefore read.
Use someone like SendGrid to handle your outbox, they exist to make sure the chances of your emails being read are the highest they can be.
4. Local Directories
Your website is pretty pointless unless you are getting traffic and visitors. The first step you need to make to make sure your nightclub can be found online is by adding the URL to every single directory you can.
Most directories are free and the best ones that will get you the most traffic are Google Local, Yelp, and Bing.
If you are on ‘Google Places’ then many other directories will add your nightclub before you ask, but you should check each one and search for your nightclub to see if you’re displayed.
Many 3rd party apps and websites also use Google Places API which means you will be automatically added, and people will be able to search for your nightclub. Google is the most important one to be on.
Make sure you’re on them and also make sure the photos, copy and your nightclub’s information is perfect and accurate.
Don’t think that just by adding your URL to these websites that people will flood to your nightclub. It is simply a listing, and therefore not enough to get people to attend. This is why your website is so important.
‘Best nightclub in London’ and ‘nightclub playing house music’ are just a couple of examples of what your potential customers might be searching on Google to find nightclubs they want to go to.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the practice of getting your nightclub and website at the top of the search results. Online marketing for nightclubs wouldn’t be complete without SEO, as once you are ranking, it’s free organic traffic and potentially free customers.
The most important aspect of your SEO is referred to as ‘Local SEO’ as people usually search for nightclubs within an area.
You want to make sure your nightclub ranks in your ‘local pack’, also known as the top three Google map spots, when users search a specific keyword like “best nightclub in LA”.
These top three nightclubs will receive the most traffic because they are the first results a user sees.
How do you get in this top three?
– Optimize your website (make sure it’s mobile friendly)
– Have a ‘Google My Business’ account
– Have a ton of online reviews
As well as your local SEO you want to rank for different key phrases that are relevant to your nightclub.
You can use Google’s keyword planner to find keywords that are relevant to your nightclub. Once you know what you want to rank for then you need to start implementing SEO. Here are our best practices:
Make sure the keywords or phrase is the perfect density on your page.
Get quality back links
This is a big part of SEO, the more 3rd party sites that are linking to your website, the more Google recognises it as a good site and therefore ranks it higher.
It’s also about quality back links, this means big sites that have a good rank themselves. For example, if you get a media site like Timeout to write an article on your nightclub, this counts as a good back link.
Depending on how many searches your keywords or phrases are getting, SEO might not be worth the money or time. Analyse the forecast of potential customers from SEO and weigh it up. It might not be for you.
Top tip: ‘Best nightclub in London’ might get a lot of searches. It might be worth plugging that into Google yourself and paying whoever is in the top 3 to have your venue included in the article.
If you make sure your link is included this will also add to your SEO efforts for the same keyword.
6. Facebook Marketing
There are two sides to Facebook marketing that you need to familiarise yourself with. Free and paid Facebook marketing.
Facebook marketing begins with your nightclub’s Facebook page. It’s free and is easy to setup.
You can use your page to upload photos, videos and upload events. It’s a chance to engage with your customers in different ways and will help you build a brand and community with your current customers.
By engaging with your current customers, you will see improved results for customer retention and word of mouth marketing.
One common strategy successful nightclub’s implement is employing an in-house photographer. You can then upload every events photos to Facebook.
Why does this work?
Facebook has a function where people can tag themselves and their friends in the photos. This ‘tag’ then shows in their friend’s newsfeeds and profiles so you can reach thousands of people.
If a customer is proud enough to tag themselves and be seen in your venue, then more people will want to go. Including branding in the photos is important too so people can see where their friends are partying.
Top tip: To increase the number of photos your customers will want to be in, consider installing a ‘photo op’ that encourages people to take photos. Examples include a flower wall, photo booth with props and entrance backdrops.
Paid Facebook advertising is something you should also trial.
There are different ways to set this up. You can either choose a new audience and hope your ad creative is convincing enough for them to attend, or you can use re-targeting ads. You will probably get better results from re-targeting ads, but you can try both.
Facebook advertising has developed over the years to be highly targeted. So, what are re-targeting ads?
Choosing the re-targeting option works by advertising to your website’s visitors. Facebook uses the cookie from your website and then sends your ad to them at a later stage, usually within 30 days of their visit.
The results can be incredible because your website visitor is already familiar with your nightclub (as they have been on your website before), so the chances are they fit your perfect client profile.
You can also set the re-targeting ad to only show if an action was taken on your website.
For example, if you implemented a lead magnet on your website for a free drink if they submit their email address. The visitor clicks to enter their email address for their free drink, but for some reason they bail and exit your website (maybe the doorbell rung).
You can then tell Facebook to send your ad to this website visitor who didn’t sign up to the free drink offer. The ad, for example, could have a headline of ‘You forgot your free drink’.
Your visitor may not have been in the mood or ready for that free drink now, but in the future they could be. The visitor then clicks on your ad and signs up to the free drink offer, because they are ready.
Using Facebook ads without having a powerful hook can be costly. You should also have a way of measuring whether it’s working. Clicks and impressions don’t count for anything unless a customer is going to go to your nightclub and spending. It’s not cheap so should be used with caution.
Top tip: You can set your Facebook advertising to only charge you if an ‘event’ is completed on your website. Your ‘event’ could be if the visitor completes a booking on your website. Simply choose this as an option when creating your ad and Facebook will instruct you on how to set this up.
7. Instagram Marketing
Similar to Facebook marketing, Instagram can be used for free, but you can also pay to reach a wider audience.
When you set up paid Facebook ads you can also choose Instagram as a placement, so it works in the exact same way.
However, Instagram is a different platform to Facebook so you can use it for free in a slightly different way.
Instagram is incredibly visual. Your Instagram page should show high quality images and videos of your nightclub, the drinks, the food and most importantly, of the people having a great time. Your Instagram is a representation of your nightclub’s culture and brand identity.
Instagram is also the home of ‘influencer marketing’, which is especially important for your nightclub’s marketing.
‘Influencers’ are individuals who have a large following on social media, and usually the number of Instagram followers is the cornerstone of how ‘influential’ an influencer is.
By arranging an influencer to promote your nightclub to their following you can brand your nightclub as the place to party. These followers trust the influencers recommendations and can be persuaded to attend.
Getting an influencer to promote your nightclub to their following is simple. You should invite them to attend and give them the VIP experience. They can then take photos and videos in your nightclub, check-in and talk about your nightclub positively.
Influencers have the power to make a nightclub appear to be the coolest place in the world and lots of people will want to attend. On the flipside they also have the power to make your nightclub uncool and not worth going to.
If your service is bad for example or they get treated badly by your security, they could do a lot of damage to your nightclub’s brand as their following will trust their review.
Top tip: There are lots of brands that like to hold events for marketing purposes (like Bloc). Try partnering with these brands, as it’s likely they could get press, celebrities and influencers to attend.
Make sure you have photo ops with your venue name prominent and you never know, your nightclub could feature in a top news outlet or reach thousands of people on social media.
Twitter is still being used by a large demographic despite a rocky couple of years. It’s still a useful platform to engage with your customers, advertise on and to also deal with customer complaints.
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, Twitter’s focus is on words so it’s a chance to convey your nightclub’s brand identity with text. You can still upload photos and videos with your Tweets too.
Scheduling Tweets is a good idea because you can get the most interaction by Tweeting at the best times, i.e. on a Friday afternoon when people are deciding on whether to go out or not.
Twitter is also a useful tool for connecting with similar industry professional, journalists and other stakeholders that might be useful to your business.
Top tip: Use Google to find journalists that have written about your type of nightclub. Search ‘site:www.insertwebsite.com nightclub’ on Google. This will show you all the articles written about nightclubs on that website and then you can find the journalist that wrote it.
When you have found the journalists that have covered promoting a nightclub, you can start a relationship with them on Twitter and try and get your nightclub covered as well.
Bloc is a unique marketing tool that you can introduce to your nightclub’s marketing plan. It’s a free social events app where people can check-in to your nightclub.
Users check-in so they can connect with other people before they go, and they can also earn real money by checking in and attending. Bloc has its own reward system and users are rewarded if they check-in and attend using geo-location.
This incentivises people to actually attend your nightclub and there’s an opportunity to advertise on the app to increase your check-ins.
The more check-ins your nightclub has the more popular it will appear so other people will want to check-in and attend as well. There is a snowball effect capable with check-ins on Bloc.
Advertising on Bloc is free until someone attends (using geo-location). You don’t pay unless you get your perfect result, someone in your venue, spending.
There is also a free trial of £150 ad credit which is 75 customers for free. After that you only pay £2 Inc. VAT each time someone attends.
Bloc is risk free and budget friendly.
10. Analytics & Testing
Online marketing for nightclubs can be daunting, but if you constantly test and analyse the analytics you can constantly tweak it until you’re seeing the results you seek.
There’s no harm in starting small with your budgets and data to try it out. Once you feel comfortable you can start rolling out the online marketing to bigger audiences.
Using tools like Google Analytics for your website data is critical. All the different mediums including Bloc have their own analytic platform so you can see the results for yourself.