Nightclub advertising is a necessity and it goes hand and hand with your promotional events. Once you have set up great events like a Ladies Night Wednesdays, Gay Tuesdays or a Student Mondays and divided up your calendar so that each night that you are open you have a different branded event in mind, then it is time to set up your nightclub advertising to make sure that your target audiences know about your events. A club promotion party is only as successful as your nightclub advertising allows it to be. (For more on Club Promotion see our article:The Ins-and-Outs of Club Promotion )
So how should you go about your nightclub advertising?
Begin by Targeting Your Niche Audience
Let us say that you have decided to open your club on Mondays and have come up with a great promotional idea: Mini-Skirt Mondays. Mini-Skirt Mondays will be a version of Ladies Night where girls who show up wearing a mini-skirt (or a skirt that cuts above the knees) will get in for free and have a complimentary cocktail at the bar. Your head bartender has even designed a special fruity cocktail just for the evening. Your hope is that you can take advantage of what is usually a slow club night in your area—only the local sport’s bars get any action on Mondays with their Monday night football offering, and mostly frat boys and a few of their gal-pals.
So, you have a plan and have designed an excellent event. How do you use your club advertising to reach your audience?
Targeting your Nightclub Advertising
Print Ads: Perhaps you begin by taking out some ads in print publications where you might be able to reach your target patron. You take out an ad in the College Newspaper or in the Free Paper that serves your area. You place it right by the movie section so that you are more likely to reach the girls and maybe by the TV listings or sports events listings to reach the frat boy crowd looking for game match-ups. Whenever possible you want to target your specific audience so, for example you might tailor your language by gender: For the girls your club advertising reads: “Tired of being a football widow? Come with your gal-pals to get the attention you deserve at Mini-Skirt Monday.” For the guys: “Game Done but you Still want to Score? Come to Mini-Skirt Mondays for some Overtime Action.”
Promotional Flyers: Of course, you will want to use this tried and true form of nightclub advertising: the promotional flyer. It is generally cheaper than the print ads and often just as effective. In addition, you can usually deliver it right to your target audience. Get some of your employees who attend the local college to hand it out there. Get it to the frat houses and the sororities. Have some of your employees hand it out to the cuties on their lunch break in the nearby financial district. Tape it to light posts along the street by the sports bars or maybe put it on the windshields of cars along the same route. (For more on designing flyers, see our post here:How to Design Effective Night Club Flyers ) Flyers are almost always the bread and butter of nightclub advertising.
In Club Advertising: Of course, nightclub advertising should start in the nightclub itself. You want to make sure your regulars know that you are now open on Mondays and what the new theme will be. Many of them may be drawn-in by such a great promo night. Put up a banner or poster at the entrance or just outside and maybe in front of the place they are sure to look, right over the urinal. Have your bartenders and employees talk the new night up as well. (For other ideas for making the interior of your nightclub into a self-promoting machine, get our comprehensive guide: How To Start Your Own Bar/Nightclub)
Mailers and the Internet: Of course, in the internet age, club advertising includes the internet. Be sure to update your website to include the new night in the calendar. If you have a blog, blog about it. If possible, put something about it on the landing page. Update your Facebook and Tweet about it as well if those are mediums you use for nightclub advertising. In addition, if you have been gathering e-mails via your promotions as you should be, send out a mass electronic mailer to everyone or a targeted e-mail if you have your audience segmented into groups. (For example, if you divide them by gender, send a special e-mail to the ladies and another to the gents.) For more on Internet Club Marketing see our post here: Nightclub Marketing in the Internet Age.
Tip from the Pros: One old trick of nightclub advertising is the event night “Grand Opening.” When you want to start up a new night at your establishment and want to make sure the word gets out, you throw the new night a “Grand Opening” and have a blow-out party for it. So, you might start advertising your new night early and making a big hoopla about how great your new mini-skirt night is going to be. In order to make sure you attract those frat boys from the local sports bars, you book a few of the cheerleaders from the local football team to show up. You pull out all the stops and really work to make it into a big deal so that word of mouth about it spreads.
How much should you use to promote a completely new night? Two months of your advertising budget is the rule of thumb. Sometimes a bit more if you think you can really draw a big crowd.
Taking it to Next Level
So what do you do when Mini-Skirt Monday becomes a success? How to keep the momentum going?
Keep up Variations on the Promotion: The first rule of nightclub advertising is always keep it fresh. You always have to be creative with your promotions, of course, so that people don’t get tired of it. You need to keep getting the hotties in (even if this sometimes means paying a few pretty party promoters to keep things lively). You also have to vary things up a little bit—bring in a live band one night, introduce a new drink another, insert Macabre Monday on Halloween—that kind of thing.
Expand Your Audience: Look for a slightly broader audience. Not just the college girls, but the professional girls looking to let loose a bit. Target some of your nightclub advertising at the young professional crowd and try to get not only the guys but some of the twenty something girls—never be satisfied with just an okay crowd.
Merchandizing: Another great way to do nightclub advertising is through merchandizing. Create cool shirts with “Mini-Skirt Mondays” written right on them, sell some of them, and give some away as prizes so that your customers—especially the hot ones–become walking billboards.
Then just when you’ve turned Mondays into a kick ass night, you are ready to start on Techno Tuesdays. Where did you put those extra strobe lights, anyway?
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