One bar marketing idea that many local bars have used to grow engagement with the community is to create a contest.
I recommend that you promote this contest for several months before completing the contest. The key to this contest is to get a lot of local customers to participate since they will be the main ones to promote the contest once its in place.
The best way to maximize the results from this bar marketing idea is to run the contest for 30 days, but promote the contest for several months before it starts. So, for example, I would begin promoting the contest on January 1st and promote the contest that Begins on April 1st or something like that.
Bar Marketing Idea #2 – Craft Cocktail Contest
How the contest works is to have a craft cocktail recipe contest. The winner receives a certain prize, whatever you deem to be a really good prize, because in fact the better the prize the more participation you will have in the contest.
However, in addition to the value prizes (I recommend 1st, 2nd and 3rd) you can have the winner receive an honorary place on your house cocktail menu. They get to name the cocktail and see their recipe on your cocktail menu for a year.
A way to really ratchet it up a bit is to offer five places on the cocktail menu, this works great for local bars who don’t necessarily have a craft cocktail menu. Then they can have the top 5 winners all get their drink on the menu for a year. Then whichever cocktail sells the most over the 365 days, that person wins another major prize.
In comparison to other bar marketing ideas, this one gets 5 local craft cocktail enthusiasts promoting your bar for you and the encouraging everyone they know to go to your bar, and buy their drink so they can win a prize. The business you receive from this promotion will far outweigh any costs associated with the prize. I don’t know another bar marketing idea that achieves this result better.
Getting More Mileage from the Contest
You see an average person knows 250 people they are connected with on social media. If that person shares something on social media the 250 people they know, and the 250 people those people know, means you have the chance to have your message in front of 62,500 people. However, if that person posts something and says,
“Hey everyone, can you please re-post this and share with all your friends, I would really appreciate it, I am trying to win this trip to Hawaii, and I need to sell the most cocktails at XYZ Tavern. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, please go by and buy one a cocktail made from my own recipe. Etc etc. When someone posts a request like that, it gets shared fanatically, and you reach a much higher percentage of those 62,500 people.
There are a million ways you can get more mileage from this contest. You can require people to record a video of themselves and post it to YouTube or Facebook. Then whichever video gets the most comments or shares, wins a spot on the menu.
Then you can share those videos on your own channel and ask people to vote for their favorite. You can also set it up to where there are three types of winners. You can have Staff Choice where your staff votes for one, the owner can pick one, then the public can vote for one and you can also have one that the entrant who has the most likes, shares, comments etc.
The key to this program is not to run a contest and forget about it. You really have to milk it for all that it is worth. This is a great way to get PR as well, because you are involving the community and offering a prize that is worth talking about. It makes a great story and that is what local news channels are looking for.
If you want more information on how to profitably and cheaply promote this promotion through inexpensive Facebook ads, give me a call, I’d like to work with you.