Nightclub Marketing: How to Effectively Brand and Sell Your Club
When customers enter a popular nightclub, no matter where it is, they tend to think that the club sells itself. Drinks, music, a party atmosphere… what’s not to love?
The truth is that many nightclubs struggle with regular customers for a few key reasons:
- They just aren’t connecting with their customer base,
- They don’t put themselves out there, limiting their visibility, and
- They don’t leverage a clear marketing strategy that will maximize the media channels they have available.
When these key aspects of a business aren’t in place, it spells disaster. Perhaps more so for a nightclub that thrives on people coming in night after night and investing significant time and money into their party.
Major nightclubs already know this, and they have their marketing machines serving up what their customers want to see to get them in the door. But if you are a smaller nightclub trying to boost business, then read on. We will cover some of the key aspects of developing a nightclub marketing plan that can get your club from flat to jumping in no time.
Figure Out Your Brand
We can’t stress this enough. Before you start throwing good money after bad in failed nightclub marketing plans that don’t pay off, consider what your brand is. By knowing your brand, you know how to market yourself and to whom.
Consider some of these examples:
- The Viper Room, formerly owned by Johnny Depp, is the pinnacle of cool rock and roll clubs. Along with neon green lighting and a simple stage setup, the grungy attitude of the club itself is evident from the first glance of the web page. They want to bring in the hip rockers and wannabes who are ready to see the latest national stars.
- The XS Nightclub in Las Vegas is one of the biggest dance and music clubs in the city–and that’s saying something. Marketing directors for XS, already have their hands tied in some respects (XS is part of the larger Wynn Nightlife stable of clubs). What they did was present a bright, flashy image of Vegas… complete with poolside bottle service and national dance and pop acts.
- LIV, a popular dance club in Miami Beach, is a great example of localized marketing. The LIV nightclub marketing strategy is focused on highlighting Miami Beach and the local color, with plenty of outdoor space and VIP locations.
Each club has a brand, and the brand helps that club target the right customers. So before you start, decide what club you want to be. Hip rock and roll? Dancehall and VIP parties? Outdoor relaxing for large groups? Grungy and dark-lit? Professional and sleek? All of these aspects should carry across your entire marketing efforts. All of these attract a different brand of guest, and your nightclub marketing ideas should always incorporate your brand.
Consult with a graphic designer and, if possible, a copywriter to help you fashion some key aspects of your brand, including a logo, tagline and motto, business proposal, and sample sales sheet to support your business. These
Developing a Nightclub Marketing Strategy
Developing marketing methods for your nightclub should follow naturally from your brand. Following that, your brand should be consistent across all media channels.
With nightclub marketing, your strategy should include two primary areas of effort:
- Local advertising, and
- Digital marketing.
Nightclub digital marketing strategies need to pull people in from the local area to actually visit the club. In this sense, both local and digital marketing can help. However, digital marketing in particular will help you develop a national brand and reputation that will entice visitors to visit your establishment specifically.
Traditional Nightclub Marketing Methods
Once you’ve got your brand in order, you should start to mobilize a local marketing strategy. Nightclubs need feet on the dance floor and drinkers at the bar, and the best way to get there is to pull them in locally.
Now, local customers don’t have to me residents. You just want people to hit your club when they are in town. In order to get them in, remember your brand and who you want to attract. Once you’ve got that on hand, then think about where you will start approaching those clients.
- Advertise in local papers and magazines. If you’re running a club catering to your professionals, find out what publications cater to those professionals. If you run a dance club, then look for local nightlife magazines. And so on.
- Target incoming travellers. Hotels and informational kiosks will usually store promotional material for free. If you have cards, fliers, or specific print ads, this can be a great place to get your brand in front of people looking for a club.
- Run promotions that target slower times. Drink specials or live music during the week can bring people in on nights that they normally wouldn’t show.
- Consider using a street team. Street team nightclub marketing can get your club in front of people that traditional print will not reach.
Digital Nightclub Marketing Strategies
Modern advertising is going to rely more on digital strategies, as more customers are searching for things online. In order to mobilize your online marketing strategy, you need to get your brand across multiple digital media channels. Primarily, you’ll look at SEO and social media advertising.
- Search Engine Optimization is a way to make sure that your site comes up when people search for nightclubs on Google. To get great results on SEO, you need content and great reviews.
First, build a great website that reflects your brand. Make your logo a prominent part of the site, and show the kinds of images that will entice your core market. For example, dance clubs usually show pulsing, colorful dance floors while elegant Vegas clubs might show beautiful poolside seating. The first thing that they should see is how much fun they will have at your club.
Second, get good content up there. A blog helps, but your blog will primarily be focused on developing special promotions and events. Talk about who is visiting, what kind of specials you have, and share content related to those events. Blog content can help tell Google that your site provides useful information.
Finally, get your site linked on local digital media and review sites. Having positive reviews on several ranking websites can give your site notoriety and draw people to your club. More importantly, this kind of positive exposure will convince customers that your club is the place to go.
By following through with all of these techniques, you can drive direct web traffic to your website, and make sure that your site shows up higher in Google rankings.
- Social Media Advertising is one of the best ways to put your best foot forward is to have a killer social media presence. Much like the SEO approach, you need to maintain your brand on social media in a way that draws customers. You also want to know the tools that specific social platforms provide to share your information.
Right now, one of the hottest social media platforms around is Instagram. This platform is specifically visual in nature, and is particular is a great place to showcase great images and events for your club. You can use hashtags to link your special posts to a larger community and get the word out.
Using Instagram also positions you for a nightclub mobile marketing strategy. Because Instagram is a mobile-specific social media platform, you can get more folks on their phones than with other methods.
Bringing it All Together
These approaches are only the tip of the iceberg. Marketing your nightclub means using all these tools to build a successful strategy. The best marketing strategies for marketing a nightclub are going to involve getting your club out to your market in a consistent manner.
What does this mean?
- Identify your market and your brand, and build your logo and content around that.
- Get your club out to local publications that serve your target market.
- If you have the budget, get a street team involved to pass out marketing materials or approach people on the street.
- Build a website, post regular content, and make sure to highlight special and recurring events.
- Get busy on social media, especially visual-focused social media where your audience congregates. Instagram is popular with younger and adult audiences, so this might be a great place to start.
Nightclub marketing isn’t a science, however. Make a plan that works for your idea of what your club should be and then follow through over the media channels described here. Your nightclub will be successful if you have a real brand and are honest about the place you want to run. After that, put in the hard work to bring people in.
With an authentic brand and a real push for local content and social engagement in digital spaces, you’ll find that real customers will start to come in. At that point, the only thing left to do is to show them the night of their life.