If you operate a nightclub, you know how competitive your industry is. That’s why it’s so important to develop a powerful marketing strategy to get customers to pick your venue over your competitors’. Some marketing initiatives require significant investments, and while they are necessary your competitors are likely taking them too, and so you’re not gaining a competitive edge. You can, however, gain a competitive edge by taking advantage of the following 10 cheap nightclub marketingideas, many of which your competitors probably are not trying.

1. Host unique entertainment

Most nightclubs entertain with bands, DJs or comedians. You can mix it up by hiring unique entertainment for an evening: a magician, live trivia, a local celebrity group or an interactive game.

2. Posters

Hang attention-getting posters where your target customer base is known to frequent. If you’re located in an area with heavy nightclub foot traffic, place posters that tell customers how to find you. Add a QR code so customers can instantly scan it with their mobile phones to get interactive navigation, a reservation for 15 minutes later, and a free drink or waived cover charge.

3. Press releases

Promote major events with press releases, especially if a portion of proceeds benefits a charity. Chances are, you’ll get play from media other than the local entertainment newspaper (where all your competitors are also listed).

4. Club card flyers

Many nightclubs hang flyers, but you can get more customers in the door by employing a “street team” to hand out flyers for you. Hire enthusiastic people who meet your target customer demographics, and your campaign will be a success.

5. Location marketing

Offer a free drink or other incentive to customers who “check in” with their mobile devices. Their friends will see that they’re at your nightclub and will want to join the fun.

6. Promote on social media

You’re probably already using Facebook and Twitter, but did you know that for around $20 your Facebook post could reach thousands of potential customers? Don’t just post on social media, take advantage of social marketing tools to increase business.

7. Text marketing

Get customers on-board with a text marketing program (or join a text advertising network), and you can build a loyal customer base that’s in it for the long haul.

8. Stickers

Print funny stickers and place them in unexpected areas, such as public restroom stalls, vending machines and elevators. Your stickers will draw attention to your nightclub and will increase your customer base. For extra impact, engage potential customers with QR codes or interactive links.

9. Local popups

Your local entertainment magazine and website probably want your ad dollars, and it’s not a bad idea to advertise with them. But you can also propose advertising to locally based websites whose users meet your target demographics. See if you can get a popup ad for next weekend with a popular local site, even if it doesn’t currently offer advertising, to expand your customer base.

10. Unique contests

Many nightclubs offer contests, so you need to make yours unique if you want to stand out. A “make your own cocktail” night or “bar spelling bee” are just two ideas.

None of these marketing ideas will cost more than $200 to implement, and all of them can herd droves of customers in your door. With a bit of creativity and a strategic marketing plan, you can reach customers where your competitors aren’t, and profit all the more for it. These ideas can be modify or you can use them if you’re going to promote a local business like a restaurant or even a mom&pop shop.

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