Running a booming nightclub business requires imaginative strategists to constantly think up fresh ideas because it’s notoriously difficult to sell a service that’s just for fun, rather than something that is desperately needed or something that solves a big problem for customers.
People have busy lives and work hard for their money – so how are you going to encourage potential customers to pause for a night just to let their hair down? Moreover, with so many bars and clubs already filling up cities, how will yours stand out? Nightclub owners are certainly facing a great challenge.
While marketers worldwide pass on expert advice to nightclubs owners, sometimes a better strategy is to think outside of these experts’ standard marketing toolboxes. Below we have listed five nightclub marketing strategies that will help you beat your competition.
Digital marketing experts often discuss taking advantage of ‘social proof’.
This is the method of collecting and sharing positive reviews and your successes to ultimately generate more business. However, illustrating your company’s achievements does not only have to take place online.
Talk face-to-face (or at least over the phone) to your current customers about what they love about your nightclub and ask them whether they would like to earn money from their love for your business. You could offer them cash in return for new sign-ups to your marketing list or offer them a free entry ticket for every ticket they sell to their family and friends.
While this sounds simple and isn’t a new strategy, many businesses are forgetting about this efficient tried-and-tested method. Moreover, you don’t have to stick to the traditional phone call Brand Ambassador recruitment. For instance, try to hire a student Brand Ambassador within a university hall or from a local youth community group so that they can spread the word with their friends.
Since we are fully aware that people are often too busy to take notice of our marketing (no matter whether it’s good or bad), we must ask ourselves the question: where will you find people who have already made the informed choice to take a break and might have time to read my advertising?
Take a short walk around your local area and count the coffee lounges. Each of these cafés contains at least 20 people who are already relaxing and might want something to read to pass the time. Clearly, this is where your marketing needs to be.
Moreover, an even better question to ask is, where might you catch people who are not just relaxing, but also perhaps bored? Easy – the restroom. Might they want to read something to keep them entertained? Imagine if you had a leaflet posted on each of their bathroom doors (and where people queue) marketing your latest event. Your potential customer here has nothing better to do than read your marketing material.
For maximum impact, your marketing material should contain a call-to-action. This buzz-phrase ‘call-to-action’ is mentioned time and time again by marketing experts and they are not wrong. It’s evident from social media that imperatives such as ‘Click Here’, ‘Follow’, ‘Like’, really do work. However, many marketers have difficulty knowing how this works offline.
A smart way forward it to allow the online and offline world to intersect; invest in a personalised QR code, which is a barcode that can be linked directly to your web pages and print it onto your posters. Most people nowadays have a function on their smartphone that allows them to scan these anywhere. It takes a matter of milliseconds to do and your customers will really appreciate that you didn’t make them type in a long URL themselves.
Moreover, you are more likely to get people jumping onto your desired landing page this way because they know it will only take them a brief moment to follow through with a call-to-action of scanning a code. Again, people are busy and have short attention spans in this modern world.
This strategy doesn’t require much explanation. It’s a powerful strategy in and of itself and needs little input or money to put into place, and it can be really effective for your themed club nights. Simply announce on your social media pages that those wearing a specific garment on the event night will get discounted entry.
You will get people actively discussing with their family and friends whether they can borrow their old t-shirt so that they can attend your event. It’s an easy and fun way to get people talking about your nightclub. The more whacky the garment the customer has to wear, the more likely they will have to go asking around to source the item.
Also, remember that this particular method works really well with students. Combining this strategy with strategy five can be an excellent way to see success with your nightclub marketing strategy.
Ask individual taxi drivers if they want to create a second income stream by becoming paid Brand Ambassadors. Alternatively, call the taxi company manager and ask whether you can create a reciprocal business partnership with them – i.e. you will advocate their service if they advocate yours.
Perhaps you could even provide parking space outside the club for their taxis just outside your venue on particular nights. After all, the taxis already take your customers to your venue and probably discuss it with them. This word-of-mouth power should not be overlooked.
Furthermore, if you have a large student customer base, remember that universities often have a selected taxi company that they feel most comfortable advertising to their students. Ensure that this is the taxi service you partner with to have maximum impact.
Student budgets are tight. However, this has not stopped students from being renowned for their partying ways. The reason for this is most likely the number of discounts pitched to them on an almost daily basis from clubs. However, if your competition is already providing nearly completely cost-free entry for students, how are you going to get them interested in your more expensive nightclub?
The answer is – more free stuff. For instance, offer a free t-shirt upon arrival or a free shot for the first 100 entrants to the club. It may sound counterproductive to keep throwing out deals that don’t provide a decent ROI, but the word-of-mouth ROI will serve you very well in the long run. You just need to get the students through the door, and once they have been there, they are sure to discuss it with their friends.
Freshers sign up on numerous Facebook pages once they sign up to university so that they can begin connecting with potential friends even before they arrive. Find these groups. Also, find established university society groups who might be looking to get bulk ticket deals for their members.
Check the rules of the group and contact the group owner to see if you can post on their group about an upcoming nightclub event. Be sure to make the event post specific to students and provide student deals, discounts and, most importantly, a free gift for them if you want to really sell.
Another method to get students on board is to hire a stand at a University Freshers’ Fair. At these fairs, every stand will be handing out free pens and canvas bags to advertise their business to new students. Make sure you get involved in this. Key to this marketing strategy, however, is not simply chucking the free items out without getting anything in return; there is a much better two-way exchange technique – announce that you will provide them with a gift if they sign up to their marketing list (both on social media and at the stand itself). Remember that free food is always a winner!
The lesson here is that creative problem-solving can go a long way. Simply thinking about your target audience, where they hang out and what their common traits are can start off the imaginative strategy creating process. The phrase “everybody loves a freebie” could not be more true of students, so play on this. Moreover, busy people take breaks in specific places, so pinpoint where and place your advertising here.
Most importantly, keep brainstorming, try new and different techniques and see what works for you.