Pub Marketing Plan: How to Create an Effective Plan
A robust pub marketing plan is vital for every pub if they want to be successful.
Operating a pub is undoubtedly a tough business.
Amidst the cutthroat competition, each pub wants to be the new hotspot. It doesn’t matter whether you are new to the business or are a veteran pub owner, in order to turn your pub into the talk of the town, you need a rock-solid marketing plan.
Standing out and having your own identity is definitely a great first step but getting the word around is the key to a workable marketing plan.
The ever-changing pub scenario requires a dedicated marketing plan, and that is exactly what this article discusses.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan establishes ways to let the world know about your business in the market.
It is an essential instruction manual that sets out clear guidelines on how to promote your pub.
It contains key goals and milestones in customer acquisition, growth, and retention. It also sets a framework that helps to assign roles, responsibilities, and a marketing budget.
This comes together to help you find the best and most sustainable way for market growth. The right marketing plan can help transform your pub into the best one in town.
A marketing plan is as important as a business plan, and we’ll show you how to go about developing it.
Before you start planning the right marketing plan for your pub, there are a few key points to consider. This will form the basis of your marketing plan, which is why it is important to do the right research.
Analyse the Competition
You need to understand what the competition is up to.
This can be done through effective analysis of their social media content, newsletters, offers, promotions and so on.
This will help identify and analyse their strongest channels, how they appeal to their customers, their weaknesses, and any opportunities. It also lets you understand how they might be a threat to you.
A SWOT analysis can help you gain insights into the way you want to run your marketing.
Make sure to cover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your pub. Ensure it is an honest list.
Now, make one for your major competitors. You can compare these lists and note any points that overlap. This information could help while you come up with your own marketing plan for the pub.
A mission statement will help you identify the key values.
It can also convey to customers what kind of environment you want to create for them. A short statement that says what you do and how you do it can help go a long way.
It gives you clarity while developing your marketing plan. It will also make sure that you attract the right crowd for your pub.
A mission statement that goes alongside your business plan can easily be an integral part of your entire marketing strategy.
You can even tweak your marketing strategy to align with the mission if you have to.
Writing down the marketing plan for your pub
Once the preparation is complete, you can now proceed to writing and formulating the actual marketing plan.
This is the strategy that will let people hear about your pub and bring in customers.
It should also take into account market conditions, how to present the pub, and how to retain your customers.
It should go with your marketing goals, bring in a crowd and also merge with your business plan. Here are the main things to take into account while finalising a marketing plan.
Social media presence
Social media is one of the easiest tools to leverage while coming up with a marketing plan.
Since it has a low entry barrier, all you have to put in is a little time and some quality content.
Engage with your followers, announce any theme nights and discounts, and address any issues followers raise.
You can post photos of your regular customers and tag them, or even hire someone to generate content.
All this increases the engagement you have with your current and potential customers.
This is a great way to get your pub seen.
When you post on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, make sure to showcase the unique personality of your pub. Show potential customers the best things the pub has to offer, even on the most mundane days.
People also love to visualise their food and drinks, which is why you can employ a professional photographer to take tantalising photographs of the food you offer in order to generate engagement on social media.
More than 80% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends’ or family’s opinion.
You can encourage your customers to leave positive reviews.
This can be done with incentives like a free drink for every review. You could even offer vouchers or coupons to those who are willing to leave reviews.
This creates an impression on their mind, which makes it more likely that they will leave a positive review.
Reviews also ensure that your pub has good visibility, which gives a boost to your search rankings. It also gives you the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with the customer, especially if they are a local.
This could improve the business in the long run, as it gives you a clear idea about what is working and what is not. It allows you to make any necessary improvements in order to invite more customers.
This plays a major role in creating a good impression in the minds of potential patrons.
Pub promotions can be quite fun as well.
One of the best ways to do this is by including weekly theme nights. It could be a fun and interactive experience that brings together people who share common interests.
This could be as simple as hosting game nights or seasonal events.
Most pubs do hold theme nights regularly, so you should be able to promote yours via social media.
You can include costumes, quizzes and so on. This will prompt more people to stay until the end as they would be engrossed in watching a game or would want to stay for another round of trivia.
You can even hold raffles and pick winners. Reward them with a coupon, a discount on the bill, or a voucher for their next visit. This helps retain customers and also makes it fun for everyone.
Collaborate with the community
Always seize the chance to collaborate with the local community.
This way, you could also support local businesses and figure out opportunities to partner up even with your competition. This helps you create a positive and lasting impression about your pub in the local community.
You can even host some of these events at your pub in order to bring in more customers. Sponsoring minor league sports teams or community events are also a great way to integrate the community. It also helps to reach a wider audience and is great if you have any plans for expansion in the future.
Nothing drives crowds to a pub like Happy Hour.
If you have a themed bar, offer happy hour drinks that live up to the theme. Don’t forget to take into account the time it would take people to reach your bar after they get off work; always give enough time before the crowds gather for happy hour.
You could even hold corporate nights with discounted drinks for nearby industries or have your pub open all night long if people generally get off work late. Make sure to devise a schedule that works best for your customers for the best results.
Create a Website
Another important part of marketing is to create the right kind of online presence.
The best way to cement your position in the online sphere is by creating a website. Though you do not need a very fancy website, it needs to capture the attention of the customers.
It also needs to be found easily. You should target the local audience and give information that answers most frequently asked questions.
This includes menus, specials, deals, and reviews along with awards or online reservation options. Here are a few things to keep in mind to build a great website that aids your marketing plan and helps your pub get better reach.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimization will help your website to be easily found.
When people search for “pubs near me” or “pubs in X”, your website should be among the top search results. This makes it easier for potential customers to find you.
If you are not sure how to go about SEO optimisation, it is best to hire a third party writer to get the job done. Ensuring that the site has all the keywords required to bring it to the forefront helps it gain visibility. This could be crucial in bringing in new customers.
Easy to find information
Make sure that information about your location, specialties, and events is easy to find.
It also helps to make a personal connection if your mission is also available for customers to see. This makes it simple for users to navigate through the site, and can bring in much bigger crowds as opposed to a website with a lot of options to navigate.
Include themes, happy hours, discount options, and the menu in easily accessible tabs so that customers can get a complete overview. Adding reviews to your website gives it a personal touch, leading to better impressions.
Options for reservations
Offering visitors an option for reservation on the very front page of your website makes it easier for them to make the decision to visit. Have a simple reservation system that checks availability and books a reservation.
This allows your pub to host larger events, parties, and so on. It allows for better reach and brings more customers.
Why You Need a Marketing Plan
The right marketing plan can significantly improve your business while complimenting your business plan. It is a great way to ensure that your pub attracts the right attention and stays in businesses.
Here are the advantages a marketing plan offers.
– It allows you to follow different marketing strategies and lets you see which one works better. You can diversify your marketing plan to cater to a wide audience. You can also change your strategy or make minor changes in it once you identify what the right way to move forward is.
– A good marketing plan allows you to plan and spend marketing resources on the right things. It avoids unnecessary expenditure, which is crucial to keep a successful pub running.
– The analysis you do during the marketing plan formulation will give you an idea about the industry and the competition. This will help you adapt to the market and provide what your customers really want.
– You get a clear idea on the return on investment from each marketing channel, allowing you to optimise your strategy.
– It allows you to carefully think through all the possibilities. This will take out unnecessary pressure and allow you to focus on the right things.
– It offers a transparent system to identify the reach of the pub.
– It allows for consistency and peak performance due to quantified results. This results in much better operations and an improved plan of business.
A marketing plan is the first step towards spreading the word about your pub.
Figure out the right one, and your pub could very well be the next cool hangout. So, spend enough time creating the marketing plan. While you might need some minor tweaks in the future, make sure your plan has a clear objective.
A pub is made popular and successful by the people who frequent it. So, make a marketing plan to help attract their attention and you’ll find immense growth.
While running a pub might not be a piece of cake, it is definitely a great investment; and a good marketing plan can and will prepare you for a bright future.