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Marketing Your Illinois Business

How to Spread the Word about Your Bar or Restaurant Promotion

October 9, 2020

You come up with a great promotion, post about it online and when the big day comes, no one shows. Sound familiar? There is nothing more frustrating than spending time, energy and money on an event that no one seems to know about, which is why promoting your event is just as important as planning it.

Digital marketing experts estimate that Americans are exposed to roughly 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day, so your one social post and one flyer probably aren’t enough to break through the noise. Customers also require multiple touchpoints before taking action, so they need to hear or read about a promotion several times before they decide to come.

Here are some ways to generate awareness around your promotion. Just be sure to use multiple tactics, and make your posters, posts, and ads creative and eye-catching. And don’t put any more information on them than necessary. With too much clutter, people won’t take the time to read it!

Advertise your promotion inside your venue

The best place to publicize your promotion is, of course, in your venue. If you want to draw a crowd, make sure to put lots of posters around your location. It should be the first thing guests see when they walk in and the last thing they see on the way out. Hang posters on the hostess’ stand and in every bathroom stall. Put your promotion on the bar’s TVs and make sure every table has a table tent advertising it. And don’t forget to create menu and check presenter inserts to catch your guests’ attention where you know they’ll be looking.

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Take things outside

Promotions like a happy hour, darts league or St. Patrick’s Day party are great ways to get new patrons into your space, so make sure you advertise outside of your bar as well. Hang posters on the windows so they’re facing out and use a sandwich board to grab the attention of people walking by. You can also write up a short press release and send it to local reporters, and post your promotion on event calendars of local newspapers, radio stations, and your Chamber of Commerce.

Get social

Social media is a quick and free way to get the word out about your promotion. But there are hundreds of thousands of posts going live each minute, so it’s important to post often. Create posts about your promotion well in advance and ramp up posts as it gets closer. Create a hashtag, include it on all marketing collateral and encourage guests to use it. You should also create an events page on Facebook and invite all your followers to it. During the promotion, be sure to take and share photos of your guests having fun to make sure anyone who missed the event won’t miss the next one.

Spread the word online

Your website is another great resource. Create an events page on your website with all the promotion details. You can then send out an email to your customer base, driving them to that page. It’s also a great place to link to from social posts, so you can keep the posts nice and short.

Involve your staff

Finally, be sure to ask your staff to mention your promotion to all customers. You can even create special shirts for them to wear leading up to the event. And consider a referral program where the staff member who brings in the most guests receives a prize.


Need additional help getting the word out about your promotion? Drop us a note below!

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