The Right Crowd

They say that water seeks its own level and nowhere is that more apparent than in a bar or nightclub. As you look around your place, ask yourself if the clientele you’re attracting is the result of a carefully crafted marketing strategy or spray-and-pray marketing tactics executed to simply fill the space.

When you focus your marketing efforts on cultivating a crowd that best reflects your bar’s atmosphere, you’ll attract more of your target audience. Not to mention that you’ll also weed out the customers that don’t align with your vibe.

So if you’re ready to pack the house with the type of customers you look forward to seeing and serving, here’s how to approach it from a marketing point of view.

First, define your audience and be specific about their age, income and interests.  Next, honestly assess how well your online presence, including your website and social media profiles, reflects that ideal audience.

To gauge how close your assessment is with the public’s perception, take advantage of free tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics. These tools give you insight into your website and social media performance as well as demographic data about your fans and followers.

Armed with this data, make the necessary adjustments to the following marketing channels.

Your online presence: Update and completely fill out your online profiles on social media sites, especially Facebook and Yelp. Include relevant data such as dress code, menus and pricing as this helps attract more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

Events: While everybody wants to consistently cater to a sell-out crowd at events, you may need to initially anticipate a smaller audience if you’re transitioning the perception of your place. Remember, quality trumps quantity and there are ways to manipulate your space to appear fuller or create a VIP ambiance. Besides, if this is your challenge, it’s only temporary until the word spreads among your new crowd.

Promotions:  As you come up with ideas for promotions, think about what your target audience values most. If you’re unsure, take a closer look at trending hashtags and online conversations. You can also post a survey on your Facebook page. For example, your survey may ask customers to vote on their favorite summer drink. As people respond, make it optional for them to share a memory of that summer or drink. This will give you additional ideas for promotions, enable you to engage your customers online by responding to their comments, and it also fosters a sense of community among your customers.

Also, when you strike up a conversation with customers, ask them how they found your place. If you have a reward system for online check-ins, highlight this in your conversation. These additional tactics provide you with more insight into the marketing efforts that are most effective while also giving your place an online shout out through your customers’ social networks. And depending on your level of engagement, ask for feedback or direct customers to post comments on your social media pages or on review sites.

As you focus on cultivating a crowd, everything you do, including your website design, word choices, tone of photos and images, and overall online presence should reflect the type of customers you’re trying to attract. Doing this enhances your brand and allows you to draw the type of patrons that will build your business through regular visits and word-of-mouth marketing.