These days, nightclub marketing is no longer just about your grandfather’s form of advertising. You can no longer leave out the internet as part of your nightclub marketing strategy. Even the littlest hole in the wall Tiki Bar has an internet site now.
Not to mention that promotion in general is especially important for nightclub marketing. The internet offers your venue yet another opportunity to create the right vibe. For that reason, you should put in the time to work the web into your overall nightclub marketing strategy.
Club websites have really evolved in the last few years. It is no longer just a single landing page with the address and hours. The website is now more like a nightclub marketing portfolio that uses the full abilities of the computer age to create an experience for the visitor. Just check out some of these club websites and notice how sleek their websites are:
If you weren’t wearing your head phones you might want to check these out again, because these are not just visual documents. The websites set the tone—draw their target audiences in by teasing them with a complete experience: enticing keyhole glimpses of the hotties patrons will only see inside, intriguing music to make the site surfing even more enjoyable and beautiful layouts to give customers a sense of opulence—true masterpieces of web design. Put simply, your brother’s community college course on web design isn’t going to be enough to throw together a site like this.
This is not say that all clubs have sites as sleek as these New York venues. But if you want to compete with the big boys in the club world and really make your site pop like these do, you will need to invest your time and some of your money in your cyber nightclub marketing.
(Want to check out some more sites to get more ideas about creating a website? Check this website out and click on Venue Website for the venue you are checking out: http://www.partyearth.com/)
What Should You Have on Your Website?
Basic Club Information: Always be sure to include your club name (prominently on every page—perhaps as the background), your location, and your nights. Often this is included on the landing page, but you may also have another page that includes everything from hours of operation to contact information. Be sure to include Dress Code, parking requirements, reservation information, Bottle Service and Private Party prices– that sort of thing here as well.
A Calendar of Events: This page should include weekly events: what you do regularly on Mondays, Tuesdays, etc. This is where you lay out and brand your regular promotions so patrons will be enticed to come. You should also have a page or link for special events, such as the date you expect to have a blockbuster band or special DJ in. This is the spot to give more information about any big blowout party you are planning (you should really always be planning one of these). (For more on club promotions see The Ins-and-Outs of Club Promotion.)
A Menu or Drink List: If you have lots of special cocktails or offer food items, you should list at least some of them here—perhaps even offer some pictures of special cocktails you want to promote.Photo Gallery: These days just about everyone has some kind of a photo gallery. The sleeker sites usually do this by having an automatic play gallery that times out to the next photo after a few seconds. (If you do this, be sure to create a way of pausing the photo so patrons can get a good view.) You might also go the opposite way with your nightclub marketing. Some sites just give a wall of clickable photos—going for a more raw feel. If your club is more grungy, or has a hipster feel to it, this kind of look may fit your vibe. (Otherwise it feels a little amateurish.)
Tip From the Pros: In some cases, if you are looking to create a hyper-exclusive high end feel for your nightclub marketing, then you might choose to not include images of the inside of your bar and leave the descriptions to the reviews. This can work for some places but does create some problems in terms of making for a visually compelling site. (For a complete view of running your nightclub see our comprehensive guide: Nightclub Management Training Guide.)
Reviews Page: You should also include a page with magazine and newspaper reviews of your site. This allows you to control the message somewhat. If you get any lukewarm reviews, you can just exclude them and present the patrons with only the positive reviews.
Contact Information: Always make sure you make it easy for your customers to contact you or your main promotions guy. Being unapproachable will lose you opportunities for private parties, free publicity and new customers.
Optional Website Features
Some aspects of your website are only optional. Some can really help you in your nightclub marketing campaign:
Professional photos, logo and general web design: Although it is possible to design all of these on your own if you have a bit of computer expertise and a good eye for things, you are usually better off using professionals for this part of your nightclub marketing. You want to present your nightclub in the best possible light, so consider hiring a photographer to take digital photos of your place, creating a professional looking logo for you club marketing that you can use on the web, and getting graphic designers to put your website together. There are a number of websites where you can hire freelancers to do this for relatively inexpensive sums—though you need to be careful to find the right ones. (The most common sites for this are Elance.com, Guru.com and Odesk although there are a number of others as well.)
About/History Page: If your venue has a particularly interesting history or has been around a while, you might include an About Page to tell about it.
Intro Sequence and Music: You don’t have to have either one of these but as you saw and heard from the sites above, they can definitely add a whole other dimension to your site.
Restricted Areas and Subscription Services: A great way of adding people to your mailing list is to ask for their information on the website. A mailing list can make it easier for you to promote special events. Some sites like Kiss and Fly above, bar viewers who do not give their information from entering the photo gallery and other sections of their site. This can be an effective method, but be careful that you do not alienate your patrons by asking too much of them.
Other Forms of Nightclub Marketing On the Web
You can also employ nightclub marketing in a few other ways. You can for example, get your sight reviewed by internet sites and try to build some links to your site. You can create an SEO marketing campaign to make sure that Google brings up your club name for those searching for clubs in your area. You can also create some buzz about your club through social marketing. All these require a lot more time, but may be worth it in some cases.
Generally, however, having a strong website goes a long way towards a successful internet marketing campaign, giving you a medium of directly communication with your customers and potential customers.
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